The Fashion Paradox: Trendy vs. Comfy

Current Trends
With summer arriving earlier than expected, Montrealers have been forced to make a prompt transition from gloomy winter digs to a misty summer wardrobe. But a quick look around the city streets reveals the flagrant shame of its citizens, a shame that may very well be the consequence of left-wing politics.

There is no doubt that Montreal is a trendy city but we have to admit that in terms of footwear, there is great progress to be made. Much like New Yorkers, Montrealers prefer comfort over style. Yet, the fact that residents are quick to judge those who choose to wear 5-inch heels on a Sunday afternoon shopping spree, says there is more to this story than a matter of comfort. It is quite clear that the city cultivates a certain shame in wealth as well as great timidity toward flaunting and showing off.


Montreal is what it is, and to attempt to change it would only turn it into another fashion metropolis’ clone. But one must wonder if there cannot be some effort made on Montrealers’ part to at least forego the atrocious flip flop when strolling down the city streets.

Wearing the ugly toe-splitters in your backyard, at the beach or on a camping trip is perfectly befitting, but do Crocs et al. have their place downtown? Is Montrealers’ shame toward opulence ruining its chic?

Local stores and magazines are showcasing a season marked by dazzling peep-toes, strappy sandals and sassy bowling style shoes, and each ‑ probably in an attempt to cater to the crowd so as to avoid bankruptcy ‑ also displays a variety of cut-out flats and bright runners. So why do Montrealers feel the need to wear rubbery black soles when thereFlip-flops are so many funkier options at their disposal?

Spring Summer 2010 collections call for colourful Caesar sandals, ankle-wrap espadrilles, peep-toe wedges, and heeled gladiators. The season’s shoes are sky high and come in all shapes, colours, and sizes, not to mention infinite details such as feathers, fringes and ruffles. Some even go as far as to say that this season’s ultimate shoe is the ankle-breaker, going as high as 7 inches. (Check out Alexander McQueen’s Armadillo shoe for a good example.) So why is a city like Montreal snubbing the trend and insisting on wearing atrociously boring footwear?

While I find heels to be quite comfortable and never resist the urge to wear them 7 days a week, I understand that some may prefer to drop a few inches when outside of work. That however should not mean that you have to make the worst fashion faux-pas there ever was.

Louis Vuitton

For the true fashionista, Louis Vuitton carries a very cute ballerina this season, and it comes in a breath-taking silver hue that instantly jazzes up any old pair of blue denim. Check it out at Ogilvy but hurry up…

If you’re on a budget or simply prefer to let your toes out for a bit of fresh air, you can always substitute that purchase for a few pairs of Louboutin-inspired canvas and rope wedges. They’re comfortable enough to walk around all day while adding a bit of French flair to your outfit.


Finally, if you really insist on having your heels touch the ground and LVs aren’t your style, try to pick a funky and colourful thong slip-on with beads, jewels or flaps, much like Blahnik’s Cappucia. Make note that while I do not endorse Havaianas in any way, the brand has teamed up with Swarovski to make some pretty original crystal designs. If you must, try these out instead of the dreaded crocs.


With so much originality in our stores thanks to a very creative 2010 SS collection, there is no reason why Montrealers should continue to walk in shame this summer.


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