If my mom were reading this, she’d probably have a heart attack (proverbially speaking, of course). That’s because I’m rocking a brand-new pair of shoes that already look a little worse for wear — and cost a whopping $320, no less.
With everyone from Taylor Swift to Bella Hadid sporting dirty-looking shoes these days (think noticeably distressed looks like those infamous Golden Goose sneakers), I was inspired to try the unconventional trend for myself. In my quest for a style a little less predictable than those celebrity-approved picks, I landed on Melissa x Comme des Garcons’ Derby shoe.
First appearing on the Comme des Garcons spring ’18 runway, the oxfordlike style is covered ankle to toe in real sawdust, creating a speckled effect with strategically placed scuffs. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to see what sorts of reactions these quirky shoes would get during my typical day in NYC.
While the style isn’t one I’d traditionally pick out — the pair initially reminded me of clown shoes — I had a feeling they could actually look pretty edgy when worn with the right outfit. On my first day giving them a spin, I sported them with black tights, a skater skirt and white blouse for a more classic look. But despite my wearing them on the subway for my morning commute, at the office and to dinner with a friend that day, no one seemed to look twice or comment on what was happening below my knees.
It wasn’t until I decided to get a little more daring with my outfit that people started to notice them — a pair of light-wash jeans and fishnet socks highlighting the unexpected style in all its glory.
The result? I actually received tons of compliments on them. They earned high praise from my especially fashion-forward friends and some enthusiastic “yaaas queen” responses from a few of my colleagues. Heck, they even started to grow on me, too.
Aesthetic aside, I began to love the shoes even more because of how comfortable they were. Although their all-rubber construction emanates a strong gluelike smell (which, thankfully, has started to go away the more I’ve worn them), it makes them super-flexible and easy to slip on and off for added convenience. They also feature a slightly padded insole, so I never suffered from achy arches running around the city throughout the day.
Love or hate the way they look, it’s safe to say this dirty-looking style isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As my 26-year-old brother, Ph.D student and far removed from the fashion industry, comically put it best: “They make you look like a chimney sweep or someone who is bad at painting walls. But I imagine that’s probably a good thing in the fashion world, though.”
Yes, brother. It is, indeed.
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