Manolo the Columnist

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, the Manolo’s latest column it is now available at the website of the Express of the Washington Post

Already the controversy about this column is has begun!

Dear Manolo,

I’m a physician, one who like most doctors spends many hours standing, can you suggest something comfortable and stylish?

Many thanks,


Manolo asks, when did the doctors first begin to dress like the mental patients?

Is it now mandatory that every physician now appear everywhere—the surgery, the hospital, the bank, the country club—wearing the green pajamas and the ridiculous plastic “comfort” clogs?

Yes, the Manolo knows that they are called the “scrubs”, but are they not the same institutional pajamas worn by the troubled residents of many psychiatric hospitals?

Worse, it is not just the surgeons who are wearing the scrubs. All of the doctors are now doing it. Even the Manolo’s own celebrity podiatrist—the man whose most tricky operation involves the rasp and the recalcitrant bunion—even he has begun to affect this disconcerting style.

Perhaps this happened at that moment when the nurses began to dress like the circus clowns, in the ridiculous and gaudy polyester prints that have mostly replaced the starched white uniforms of the past.

Happily, there are the few, like the Manolo’s friend Lucia, who know that if one is a professional, one must dress the part. This it is why the Manolo would suggest the Nanico from the Bruno Magli, the handsome and professional shoe that will inspire the confidence in your abilities as the professional.

Nanico by Bruno Magli     Manolo Likes!  Click!


12 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist”

  1. furlagirl Says:

    The (our) Manolo is in the Encyclopedia

  2. Kate Says:

    I have often wondered–when the Manolo describes a given shoe as “comfortable,” on what criteria is this based? Does the Manolo have female friends with limitless closets who attest to the comfort of these shoes? He certainly does not try them on himself–is he not familiar with the low-heeled shoes that scratch and pinch and poke in the heel, in addition to the two to three inch heels that are so beautifully crafted as to lift a woman’s foot and hold it in a relatively comfortable position? How do you adjust for this phenomenon when making recommendations?

  3. Dani Says:

    Manolo is absolutely correct, as usual. Plus, if the scrubs do happen to be the surgeon’s attire, one must wonder where they’ve BEEN (Shoes, too- ick). Doctors have been told repeatedly they should wear the white coat (true for all but pediatricians and psychiatrists) so this leads to them thinking that is ALL that is required. Though, I did have a partner once who wore scrubs because he did not have to admit that he had become rather portly through the years.

    I would also recommend the Bruno Magli Molly which is slightly more ornamented than the Nanico but otherwise identical. For me with the unhappy feet, it has been a treasured addition, considering the prior pair of black pumps I got were Trotters. Plus, they are on sale at Sierra Traders, normally the bastion of the dreaded comfort shoe, but with an occasional flash of the superfantastic.

  4. Phyllis Says:

    Manolo asks, when did the doctors first begin to dress like the mental patients?

    … I’d wager it happened the day managed care took over.

  5. Tinuviel Says:

    As an intern, I always thought the scrubs and a starched white coat look was rather sharp. Scrubs on their own are Not Attractive, especially if you are, for example, a portly orthopedic surgeon whose scrub pants hang low, displaying the unfortunate “plumber” look. After a while, I quit wearing scrubs, as I associated them with a 36-hr shift, i.e., pain.

    Now I don’t even wear a white coat anymore. Thierry Rabotins are my stylish comfort shoes of choice.

  6. cheryls Says:

    Yeah! We should all dress like Addison Shepard! Minus the coat – coats are for students.

  7. Elvira Says:

    What an interesting line of discussion, dearest Manolo. My internist is rather small and prefers a baggy white coat that obscures the dress underneath. She does consistently wear beautiful shoes, however. A gynecologist always looked as if she could whip off the white coat, add a string of pearls, and go out to a nice dinner and the opera with her husband.

    When I left her practice, I shifted to a doctor who worked on the sixth floor of a building. My first appointment was scheduled for right after lunch. I got on the elevator with a distinguished-looking older gentleman who wore the most beautiful black leather jacket I had ever seen. It is hard to describe, but it was quite elegant. It spoke of good taste, wealth, and intelligence. This older gentleman turned out to be my new gynecologist, of course. Last year, when I required minor surgery that had to be performed at a hospital, he showed up beforehand once again wearing a nice black pants and an oxford shirt. He even had an air of dignity later when I saw him in his scrubs. Granted, were he a jerk or poor communicator, I would have dumped him like a pair of second-hand Birkenstocks, but his appearance reinforces my confidence in him.

    I think it is easy for harried medical personnel to forget that a professional appearance reassures patients, so thanks for reminding them, Manolo.

  8. Pencils Says:

    My gastroenterologist wears Hermes ties and beautiful shoes–I’m not sure what kind, as I’m not very knowledgeable about men’s shoes, but they are obviously beautifully made and expensive–in the office. I wouldn’t go to him if he were not a wonderful doctor, but I somehow feel better knowing that he values things that are both beautiful and well made. It speaks of an attention to detail, which is exactly what I want in a man who is manipulating tiny tools through my biliary system on a regular basis.

  9. jenny Says:

    I dunno. My brother-in-law’s a general surgeon, and he dresses quite well, generally. Well-pressed dress shirts w/a tie and trousers (of course). But he’s getting called in all the time to help on operations, or is literally on-call, or is just plain too exhausted to peel off the scrubs & dress up sometimes. I mean, give the poor folks a break!

    Were it attorneys or stock brokers were were discussing, that would be a different matter indeed. But you couldn’t very well ask a construction worker to immediately change into business-casual the second she/he finishes jackhammering a sidewalk; or a baker to wear designer silk crepe under his/her apron.

  10. Dani Says:

    I really do expect doctors to change. I don’t mean they have to get dressed up. I do mean they have to change out of the scrubs they just wore to the OR. Here, those are Barney purple, to prevent people from wearing them around the hospital (or, God forbid) out of the hospital. The germ thing goes both ways. I agree that when you’re tired it is nice to slip on another pair of scrubs instead of getting all gussied up, so it’s okay for on-call or post-call docs to wear (clean) scrubs. I just think the privilege is abused. Since you have to change anyway, you might as well put on some real clothes. On the other hand, I really have operated with pearls on (and high heels- it was an emergency- not to be repeated- I’d go barefoot with double shoe covers first). The silk was hanging in the locker room, though!

  11. Fausta Says:

    Last year we were at the shore (a.k.a. beach) when this guy walks by in green scrubs (top & slacks). Since I associate green scrubs with pain, and trust me on this, there was not a surgical facility in miles, I consider it in very poor taste.

    That was the only time I have commented on someone’s “fashion” out loud so he could hear it, but I did say “One would think he’d make enough money to wear clothes that don’t remind people of illness”. I may have acted in poor taste, but it was time to say something.

  12. zanthine Says:

    Why do we wear scrubs instead of starched white uniforms? Because when the pt with the ruptured esophogeal varicies bleeds out all over me it doesn’t show. And i can take the hospital owned scrubs, toss them back in the bin, get fresh ones, and avoid taking all the germs home to my family. Shesh, do you *know* what I get exposed to every night at work!

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