Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Take on TOMS

This semester, I decided that in order to build up my credibility as a "fashion writer," I should write a fashion column for the University of Waterloo student newspaper, The Imprint. Little did the Imprint staff know, now that I'm the self-proclaimed fash-expert on campus, I am free to hurl gleeful insults at the plebes whose lack of fashion sense offends my visual sensibilities! Ok, not really. But my first article was about I think TOMS shoes are dreadfully ugly. Read on.

34 comments:

Jenni Wells - Stop Making Sense said...

I must admit I too find Toms to be plain ugly; however, a red pair came into the thrift store I work at in my size so I decided to try them on.... damn are they comfortable. I mean, really really comfortable. I noticed an immediate relief from the pain in my lower back and legs. aesthetically displeasing, yes. fanastic to work in, yes.

Sarah said...

I love the article! I totally agree about the TOMS; It's a nice concept about the "one for one" shoes, but they could at least make their shoes LOOK nice.

Rebecca Rose said...

Agreed! In England it is now a trend for MEN to wear these hideous shoes. WITHOUT SOCKS. Seriously, every other teenage boy is wearing them. Think yourself lucky that you don't have to witness this!

KristiMcMurry said...

I agree. I am not a fan of the style, but I do like the charity work they do. What's annoying to me is that people INTENTIONALLY destroy them so they'll look "cooler." I don't get it.

Laumika said...

Oh those are tipically Valencian shoes, from Valencia, Spain... (actually my town) there was a time when they sell them here in all the colors but actually the female version is really cool and comfortable. It's kind of odd seeing them under the TOMS brand... mostly cause they cost like 3 euros here.

Eline said...

Do you know that this is actually traditional footwear from Catalonia? (Espadrilles) In Europe most people wear it as a casual and very unfashionable summer shoe. I love them, I had so many pairs when I was young and my favourite comic book hero wore them all the time! They are like 4 euro new, so it's pretty weird to see them as a brand thing.

Angie Bitchface said...

God those shoes just...bother me. like, they literally make me angry and upset. maybe it's the medical look of them that does it, or maybe it's the type of people I generally see wearing them. I like their charity business model, but I wish the shoes you buy to do that didn't look so awful!

Allison said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks this! They're all the rage at my school and I just can't understand it. I did see some crochet-looking ones that I thought were kind of cute, though.

Sasha C said...

I let my stepdad buy me a pair of TOMS, 'cause they're pretty comfortable. I only plan to wear them as lazy day shows though.

Fifi said...

Your writing style is funny and smart, I think a good article to start with!

Well done.

Anonymous said...

My dad used to work for Skechers, and I am soooo glad he's not anymore because they are quite the despicable company!

Sonia said...

I agree, TOMS are not the most fashion-forward choice (Hello? They look like you got your foot wrapped in crazy-colored duct tape! Not my style...), but I have to say that I own a pair of shoes that are of the canvas-clad sliders that are believe-it-or-not, NOT TOMS. They're Airwalks, and just like the TOMS and the BOBS, they also donate a pair of shoes to a child in need, but they ACTUALLY LOOK DECENT. I have two pairs. Got both at Payless for $15 each. SCORE! ;)

www.unknownathena.blogspot.com

Marissa said...

I'm not a big fan of Toms either, which is a super unpopular opinion at my Bible college! While they are ugly, it bothers me more that they wear out so fast on people that aren't wearing them everyday. My friend got a pair of Toms last semester, and she wears them about 3 times a week, and they have huge holes in them. If they are the only shoes someone has, and they were them all the time, they must wear out in months!

A Fashionable Flaw said...

They definately aren't my style, but at least they are better than crocks.

alexis monty buell said...

ugh i've hated toms since they've made there way up in popularity. people think they're so righteous with it. "well i'll do minimal work to help someone by buying myself something"
various stores here even have a "decorate your toms event" every so often. ugh. gross.
Hipsters love 'em especially with tight capris.

The Other Sister of Death said...

Haha. Wow. I only just realized that I have TOMS glasses, and by that I have "enabled a person in need to get medical treatment, prescription glasses or a sight-saving surgery". Well, at least that's what the TOMS homepage sais.. Haha. Let's hope it is true!

Concerning the shoes: I actually quite like them! I do not own a pair of TOMS, but Espadrilles however.

Ok, I admit they're not the prettiest shoes there have ever been, but since I wander the beaches and cities of Italy and Sicily every summer, it's the perfect shoe for that. Comfortable and suitable for all summer activities, be it on holiday or at home. So even though I kind of agree with that band aid resemblance theory of yours, I don't plan on giving them up any time soon! ;-)

But thanks for sharing that article anyway, it made me laugh more than once!

http://theothersisterofdeath.blogspot.com/

olivias-pizzaz said...

i agree i like more structure and weight! but oomg skecthers copied it? thats sooo stupiiid! Great article!

Crimson Ebolg said...

Great article. I had no idea any of these shoes existed. But then, I am getting old, so fashion is beginning to become mysterious to me. Soon I will be wearing tracksuit bottoms and crocs. Yikes.

Lara Kasabian said...

I dont know if TOMS are ugly... I just think they seems very uncomfortable...

honore said...

*currently wearing the vegan mauve and white tire tracks ones* Every month I try and change one thing about my consumer habits in order to better the world. Supporting a company that betters the lives on children is right up my ally.

Jake said...

Whenever I look at the cost of TOMS, and thier pair for pair approach... I often think that I could get a much better pair and donate money somewhere for a few pairs of shoes... I don't like 'em!

skraeling said...

Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, spoke at an anti-gay Focus on the Family event and I've been boycotting them ever since ):< Plus there's a ton of controversy about how they actually distribute the shoes (there are stories of them just being dumped off trucks in poor countries?), and about how they might actually be messing up the economies of the areas they try to "help".

Lucius said...

This has a very "Financial Times" look to it. Is the paper pink even?!

It's a nice blend of aesthetic and social commentary; but I admit to some wry anticipation of the day when you just let your unsuspecting readers have at it with a pure-hauteur fashion piece.

I remember college newspaper as a fond place to let rip with the rantings, as they did seem to fall into a well of silence.

I admit, it would be fun to see you rock a serious updo for your byline pic, maybe with a scolding finger tsking the fashion-unforward to task!

Laura said...

I am sick of 'flat' shoes being ugly and all the effort being put into designing high heels that i cannot walk in! I am clumsy by nature, and high heels may lead to my death, not to mention, my feet ache after an hour in heels, and my knee is kind of dodgy! so i'm a flats and boots girl, but i am constantly offended that companies only make fancy shoes in heels! when will will get sexy flat shoes???

ha ha sorry for the rant.

http://frustratedwriterstyle.blogspot.com/

Lauren said...

I find TOMS a terribly ugly accessory. The 'One for One' scheme is an ace idea, but I really need my shoes to be good looking. Everyone here in England wears these types of shoes, even when it's cold and raining. Both sexes walk around with TOMS, no socks and rolled up beige chinos. I cannot wait for this fashion to change.

Hazel said...

A girl actually wrote an article for MY high school paper (which I edit 'cause I'm BOSS) about the TOMS phenomenon. She criticized them as being a fad and also revealed that by donating these shoes to foreign countries, many local shoemakers go out of business. A lot of people at my school wear them and they really don't care about being charitable anyway. They truly are unfortunate looking.

Anonymous said...

This doesn't have anything to do with TOMS, but I just wonder how you feel about Ethel Granger and the new Italian Vogue cover and story. Would be great if you could blog about it!

Emma said...

I once considered buying TOMS...but then the next week suddenly everybody at my school was wearing them. They are now in the same style category as Uggs for me.

Vicki said...

Yay! Thank you! I thought that I was completely alone in my feelings about TOMS...they're ugly...look kind of like slippers, and everyone seems to love them! :/ I don't understand it...

Jennyboo said...

Besides the fact that Toms are quite ugly, what really got me was when the CEO decided to speak at a day-long Focus on the Family event. Just can't support that at all.

Damsels said...

we agree on so many things . i dont exactly think theyre the ugliest shoes .but they arent nice at all and seeing them constantly this summer was really annoying.
I like that they are into charity therefore i think it was a great trend to happen but i am also glad that its too cold to wear them . right?
i know some girls are still going to be wearing them well into winter.
can you write on your column how annoying it is to still see flip flops in october? and flats in january?
thick wool coats in september instead of a jacket!?

now that is what really bothers me .

Amy said...

Thank you for writing this and saying all the things I didn't know how to say.

Raquel Cotty said...

The worst things about TOMS shoes are: they undermine local markets. It's a "feel good" purchase that a lot of us Westerners make, because we feel like we are doing something good for people who are less fortunate than we are, but good intentions are not enough. If you've ever been to a market in a developing country (I've visited my fair share in some Latin American countries, as well as Zambia and Malawi in southern Africa) you will see that they are not short on shoes! Shoes are readily available in these markets - so when we drop off a bunch of shoes for them in these countries, who will buy the shoes from the person selling them in the market? Giving hand-outs distorts local markets, and in turn and in some cases, completely ruins the livelihoods of some of its people. Maybe what TOMS should be doing is using the money from the extra pair of shoes and putting it back into the economies of the countries where they are dropping off their shoes. (I'll end my rant here...)

Born for Joy said...

I went around today looking to see who was wearing TOMS .. there was only one student and he was also the one who moved from California to London very recently. Then again, it is very cold here..