This week, I took my new Don Draper kicks out to work. You may be asking, “What are Don Draper kicks?” After assuring you I’m not an alcoholic nor a compulsive sex addict who grew up in a brothel (Dick Whitman realness!), I would say they are women’s shoes, appropriately called the Dapper, that look like man loafers. They have a grooved pattern dotted with pin marks along the toe and through the sides (AKA wingtips). They have golden brown laces. They make you look and feel smooth like the “Mad Men” lothario without the nasty side effect of being a sociopath.
Your follow-up response might be, “Big fucking deal. Menswear for ladies is so done.” Listen, I’m not pretending to be Tilda Swinton. She’s got that women in menswear thing on lock. She can do it in her sleep. Seriously. She’s done it twice while napping in a glass box at the Museum of Modern Art.
What I’m saying is I got a pep in my step from wearing classically masculine shoes. There is something about not getting blisters on your feet from high heels all day that relaxes your mind and cankles. I even felt more confident when I stepped into an elevator full of men in suits wearing the same shoe. I wanted to say, “Sweet Drapers, Bill. Where did you get yours? Rack Room? Me too!”
Lots of ladies find their power in wearing stilettos, which I honestly don’t understand. I spend the whole day teetering on 3-inch heels (yeah I know that’s not very high by Sarah Jessica Parker I-grew-an-extra-bone-in-my-foot-from-wearing-Manolos standards) and praying for the workday to end so I can go home and run barefoot on my patio. Sometimes I quit wearing heels mid-day and slip into my aerated flats — NOT CROCS, TRADEMARK SYMBOL.
It’s kind of weird that high heels became stereotypically feminine anyway. In Egyptian murals dating from 3500 B.C., both men and women of higher classes are depicted in high heels. Men and women wore early versions of them during the Middle Ages, Turkey in the 1400s, and Europe until the mid-1600s.
High heels became more of a fashion statement when Catherine de Medici, only five feet tall and arranged to be married to the Duke of Orleans, wanted to be taller than the Duke’s mistress, which, um, is either sad or overly progressive. When she put on two-inch heels, the people of France went wild for them. “I’m gonna shoe shank you now bitch!” is what Catherine said to her husband’s sidedish, Diane de Poitiers. Verbatim. Or not at all.
So high heels — and Drapers — are for everyone.
Here are my 5 tips for rocking menswear shoes, non-Swinton category:
1) Wear colorful pants: I paired my shoes with red slacks, a gray jacket and top plus a statement necklace. Here’s a picture of just the necklace and not my pants because I only snap pics of my bottom half when I’m sexting.
2) Wear a colorful scarf: It’s sort of like a tie but with more parrots on it. Ok, maybe that’s just my scarf.
3) Stop saying colorful so much: You don’t need to compensate for your unisex shoe with scarfs and bright prints and patterns. You don’t always need to sparkle like a fabulous drag queen singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by a piano, do you? I think I’ve just undermined my #3 tip.
4) Shoe your friends your new look: I’m sorry, that should have said “show” instead of “shoe.”
5) Convince your mom how great they are: She may have frowned at you in Rack Room Shoes, but now seeing you prancing around in your sweet Draper kicks, she’s just happy you’re happy.