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Manolo the Columnist | Manolo's Shoe Blog

Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, the most recent column of the Manolo for the Express of the Washington Post it is now available for the downloading.

The topic? Mandals!

Dear Manolo,

My husband and I are about to head to Mexico. He is a very stylish man, and we are stymied by his beach options. Most mandals are either unmanly or hopelessly granola. Is there anything for the self-respecting man who doesn’t appreciate the flip-flop?


Manolo says, this it is the new delimma for the mens who are travelling in the regions of the tropics: what to wear now that the white linen suit, the panama hat, and the white buck shoes are no longer in the fashion?

Sadly, what has replaced this dignified and classic look is something that may perhaps be described as the “Robinson Crusoe Tatterdemalion”, with the raggedy-baggity board shorts, the stretched-out, stained tank top advertising Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax, and the flip flops that appear to have been constructed of the plastic palm fronds and coconut fibers.

In place of this garish and juvenile “getup”, the Manolo proposes that you take as your mantra, WWTJBD? What Would The Jimmy Buffet Do?

Who better to turn to for the advice than the genius muse of the Gulf Coast, the man who has guided generations of the Parrotheads in constructing the entire pastel-colored, rum-soaked Margaritaville fantasy world?

And thus the answer to the question, it is do as the Jimmy Buffet does, by wearing the presentable khaki shorts, the untucked hawaiian shirt of the high quality, and the leather sandals of the manly shape and cut, such as the Capistrano from the Tommy Bahama. This sandal it is not childish, nor unmaly, and it savors not of the granola.
Capistrano by Tommy Bahama    Manolo Likes!  Click!

18 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist”

  1. R C Dean March 10, 2006 at 8:10 am #

    Of course, the outfit will need to be accessorized with a highball glass clinking and sweating with icy goodness. Hold the umbrella.

  2. carefulnow March 10, 2006 at 8:51 am #

    I read icy goodness” as icy goddess.

    What about the men’s toes showing in these? What does the Manolo think about mandals with closed toes?

  3. La BellaDonna March 10, 2006 at 11:12 am #

    La BellaDonna, she takes this opportunity to suggest to the Laura that she may also want to introduce her stylish husband to the Wonderful World of the Pedicure, if he has not already been introduced thereto. La BellaDonna, she also suggests this to the other gentlemen who wish to wear the sandals.

  4. Mamafitz March 10, 2006 at 11:38 am #

    please, consider the lovely guaybera as well, for the shirt option.

  5. Cass March 10, 2006 at 12:03 pm #

    Please listen to Mamafitz! The guaybera is head and shoulders above the hawaiian shirt.

  6. Moira March 10, 2006 at 1:22 pm #

    I think traditional huaraches are also acceptable. I think TravelSmith sells some nice ones for men.

  7. Manolo the Shoeblogger March 10, 2006 at 1:43 pm #

    Ayyyyy! The Mamafitz is exactly correct! The Manolo has erred! He should have recommended the guaybera, as it is far superior for wearing in the Latin tropics than the shirt of the Hawai’ians.

    As for the huaraches…some can be good. Most are lamentable.

  8. good peasant stock March 10, 2006 at 4:55 pm #

    A plea for clemency for the flipflops (formerly known as thongs, in the good old days). As a former beach bunny, I feel there is a time and place for the flipflop; at the beach and at the pool!

    While the very handsome sandals the Manolo has chosen are perfect for dining at the nice restaurant in the evening, with the mojito and the red snapper, surely the stroll along the sandy beach with the fit man in swimwear is the moment for the wearing of the manly thongs from the surf shop. Am I alone in this credo? Just don’t wear them to the affair of dignity.

    Sand and or chlorine must be present for the appearance of the flippity flop.

  9. alex March 10, 2006 at 5:03 pm #

    Those sandals remind me of something my dad would wear, but with socks. I don’t intend this as a compliment. I think this really points up the difficulty expressed in the letter. I would go with some clean pumas or flip-flops, provided that the feet are tan and at least minimally un-Orc-like.

  10. dgm March 10, 2006 at 8:57 pm #

    alex and good peasant stock are right. sometimes the flip flop is appropriate, even if one is not normally a flip-flop wearer. although the recommended capistrano may suit some occasions (personally i think they’re hideous and would beg my husband not to wear them, ever), they are not for the extreme laid back attitude that the beach requires. i live in a beach town and we locals cringe when we see men (tourists and those from the uppity regions) wear these and try to look casual. they look uptight and out of place.

    i know you anti-flip-floppers will disagree for fear of going down the slippery slope.

  11. Sunflowery March 10, 2006 at 11:54 pm #

    First time ever that I question the Manolo’s taste. These sandals are ghastly. Much better looking and more stylish example of mandals : http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/11960420/c/4373.html

  12. Kat March 11, 2006 at 2:10 am #

    Tatterdemalion! A wonderful word that is not used enough!!

  13. Dani March 11, 2006 at 6:46 pm #

    The only mandals that do not look completely womanish, IMHO, are TEVAs. And a nice pair of deck shoes for more formal (not that there’s much formality in or near the sand, with the notable exception of Palm Beach) occasions. My manly man husband will not go near anything else. Although, I must compliment the Manolo for his diversity in taste- what other fashion blogger can quote Alan Jackson?

  14. Andrea March 12, 2006 at 2:45 am #

    I’m sorry, but those sandals are seriously, seriously dorky. Tevas or flip-flops would be better.

  15. danilo March 12, 2006 at 3:10 pm #

    I have only respect for the mens who wear the canvas Sperry deck shoe without care in this world. It is the good look for the shoe to be a little dusty from the beach. Why would you care when you are the man of leisure?

    Now if you have a little more of the Cote d’Azur in your lizard self, my friend, then for you there is the espadrille.

  16. widmerpool March 13, 2006 at 4:28 am #

    ugly ugly ugly. Try JM Weston instead

  17. alex March 13, 2006 at 9:49 pm #

    Tevas suck too. Men should wear shoes.

  18. piperki March 18, 2006 at 2:44 pm #

    Alex is RIGHT–men’s feet need to be covered unless they’re in the water or in bed. Deck shoes or clean canvas sneakers (not filthy running shoes) would horrify fewer people than the mandals. As for flip flops, the noise they make hitting a man’s sweaty, nasty feet is something we could all live without.