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Manolo the Columnist | Manolo's Shoe Blog

Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

What types of shoes should I wear with a long denim skirt and what is your opinion on wearing sneakers with a long skirt?


Manolo says, this is the rare question that presents two potential fashion disasters in the same sentence.

In answer to the first question, what to wear with the long denim skirt, the Manolo would answer “the house slippers”, as he would not want you to leave the home with this upon your body.

The long denim skirt says one of the two things to the Manolo: Yippee Ki Yay! Calamity Jane has finally come to town! Or this woman is the suburban matron on the way to her home canning classes.

As for the wearing of the sneakers with the long skirts, the Manolo would say absolutely not, unless you are a) the 18 year old hottie, in which case you may wear with impunity anything upto and including the burlap sack, or b) if you wish to look exactly like the Jan and the Dean’s “Little Old Lady From Pasadena”.

Go Granny, Go Granny, Go Granny, Go.

What should one wear with the non-denim casual long skirt? The Manolo recommends something like this charming “Work-V” flat from the Delman.

Work-V from Delman    Manolo Likes! Click!

20 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist”

  1. VeddyVeddyBadAng January 12, 2007 at 10:20 am #

    Coming from rural Indiana, my first thought was, “Is Carrie a Mennonite?” Because that’s what exactly the young girls always wore when I saw them out and about. I imagine that’s as close as they could get to regular jeans.

    Thank you, Manolo, for letting her know that long denim skirts are never a fashion “do”.

  2. jezebella January 12, 2007 at 11:15 am #

    The long denim skirt may mean a third thing, if it is combined with an enormous amount of hair piled upon your head: it means the wearer is a Mississippi Pentecostal. The Pentecostal ladies often wear the sneakers with the long denim skirt. They are not fashion icons to be venerated, I assure you, more like the opposite of fashion icons.

  3. SerenityNow January 12, 2007 at 11:18 am #

    I agree, Jezebella. But in the midwest they are the conservative homeschooling christians.
    Still, I like my non-denominational long denim skirt. I usually do it with the ballet flats also.

  4. angelhair January 12, 2007 at 11:42 am #

    In New York City they are Orthodox Jews – also not fashion icons. So unless you want to be mistaken for a member of a conservative religious group that prizes modesty stay away from the long denim skirts. If, however, you are part of such a group then kudos for trying to glam it up a bit. And stay away from the sneakers.

  5. The Baron inquiringly January 12, 2007 at 12:03 pm #

    Manolo, could not the Chuck Taylors be integrated with a long skirt for that fresh & funky look?

  6. Rondi January 12, 2007 at 12:11 pm #

    Angelhair, I was about to say the same thing about Toronto. A lot of Orthodox ladies in the long denim skirts — but they generally have nice footwear and lovely hats.

  7. Lee Anne January 12, 2007 at 12:35 pm #

    I wear the vintage Frye boots with the long denim skirt.

  8. Nancy January 12, 2007 at 1:20 pm #

    The perfect solution? Never wear long denim skirts, and never wear sneakers. Problem solved.

  9. Fausta January 12, 2007 at 6:48 pm #

    As a self-procalimed suburban matron (with apologies for the shameless self-promotion), I assure The Manolo that some of us refuse to wear long denim skirts, or sneakers with skirts.

  10. nanflan January 12, 2007 at 10:08 pm #

    “could not the Chuck Taylors be integrated with a long skirt for that fresh & funky look”

    No, please don’t.

  11. sunflowery January 12, 2007 at 11:20 pm #

    funny, I myself have found the extra long A-line premium denim skirt paired with a skinny teeshirt or tank to be quite the young, casual look…worn in the summer with very pretty metallic or jeweled thong sandals for a look that works..

  12. Jen January 13, 2007 at 10:32 am #

    Flip-flops are always good if you just need to go to the store or something.

  13. Sarah in Israel January 14, 2007 at 5:29 am #

    As one of the Orthodox Jewish ladies who enjoys wearing the long denim skirt (because in my subculture it is taboo to wear pants, and if I can’t wear jeans, how else am I supposed to be comfortable? Go around in my flannel nightgown?) I take absolutely no offense at not being known as a fashion icon, because, truly, Orthodox Judaism puts the value of superfantasticness on many, many things before the fashion.

    However, there are indeed ways of dressing up the denim skirt. I am somewhat shocked that the Manolo decided to avoid the issue, rather than rise to the challenge! There are so many beautiful pumps out there that can dress up anything! (and, also, different lengths, colors, and styles of denim skirts. Some look more polished than others.)

    Finally, the Sarah wonders: Why is a woman wearing jeans, sneakers, and a t-shirt “a soccer mom running errands,” but a woman wearing a jean skirt, sneakers, and a t-shirt “frumpy”? Can someone please tell the Sarah why this is?

  14. Elsa January 15, 2007 at 5:34 pm #

    Hilarious! And I agree completely.

  15. La BellaDonna January 25, 2007 at 11:58 am #

    La BellaDonna, she loves the Manolo, but here she most firmly disagrees with him. La BellaDonna, she is not the suburban matron, nor a member of a faith which regulates her clothing. La BellaDonna, however, does wear the long skirts, and if she wears the denim skirt, it will, perforce, be the long denim skirt. She wears the long denim skirt as she wears her other long skirts – either with the ballet flat of superfantasticness, or the even more superfantastic boots. (Hola to the Lee Anne and the SerenityNow!) The long skirt has been offered as a fashion alternative to the miniskirt for the number of years now; why is it that the “denim” marks the wearer as the conservative, the dowdy, even the repressed, person? There are the many cuts of the long skirt, and the many, many colours of the denim.

    Hola to the Sarah! La BellaDonna, she can only offer the response, that the “soccer mom running errands,” she is not necessarily known for the stylishness, either; sometimes, and for the some peoples, the “soccer mom,” she is the epitome of all that is not stylish. La BellaDonna’s own taste does not run to the skirt-with-sneaker as an attractive look, under nearly any circumstance that occurs to her, but she is a firm believer that the cut of a skirt, and indeed, the cut of a t-shirt, have everything to do with whether or not an outfit flatters – not the mere existence of the skirt, nor of the t-shirt.

  16. carrie February 2, 2007 at 1:48 pm #

    Veddy, I am a Mennonite and I am not allowed to wear jeans. I don’t appreciate any of your comments about the way I dress. After reading Manolo’s rude and degrading response I’ve decided that I’ll just wear whatever I want and forget what other people think.

  17. Shannon February 15, 2007 at 12:35 pm #

    Carrie, I am proud of you for sticking up for your beliefs. I am Pentecostal and we are to look modest at all times. I myself wear long skirts all the time along with long sleeves. Usually in layers for the skirts though. We are always worried about what we are wearing, but what is really important is who you are and what you believe in. In the end, no one is going to remember you by the fab outfits you wear and the fashion does and don’ts but for who you were as a person. I say good for you if you are Mennonite or Amish OR Pentecostal and dress differently than what the world says is “fashionable”.

  18. annonymous September 29, 2008 at 2:41 am #

    I am Pentecostal…tho not raised one. I think that many of the young girls in the Pentecostal church look beautiful with their long hair and fashionable jean skirts. Much nicer than some of the skimpy clothes that you see elsewhere. You can look very fashionable in a jean skirt…if you wear the right one and use the right accessories.

  19. Anna November 3, 2008 at 7:55 pm #

    It’s too bad that people are so narrow minded about fashion…meaning that you have to wear what’s in and not what’s comfortable. I’m sorry, Carrie, that everyone was so rude.

    I disagree with the denim comments above. I have an absolutely beautiful denim skirt that reaches my ankles and no one’s ever thought I was wearing because of my religion.

    I agree that the right accessories will make the outfit for you. I like the ballet flats suggestion.

  20. Amy December 16, 2008 at 1:50 am #

    Just to let you non-penti’s (non-pentecostals) know, there are many different types of jean skirts just like there are many types of jeans. And not all pentecostals wear the “balloon” jean skirts and clunky sneakers. We also have our own fashion trends within our own religious culture. What you may think is ugly may be totally hot in the
    Apostolic world. So I’ll close with this, “Modest is hottest!”