Manolo the Columnist

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

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

Dear Manolo,

I must soon sit for my oral examinations to determine if I will receive my masters degree and am permitted to begin my doctoral degree. So, as you can see, I need serious shoe help.


Manolo says, It would have helped if the Melissa had mentioned her course of study, as the shoes one would use to impress the electrical engineers are very different from the shoes needed to sooth the professors of Marxist theology.

Still, the clothing should be sober and professional, something that recognizes and honors the importance this rite of passage.

Also, this is one of the few cases where the Manolo would tell his friend not to wear the shoes that are so super fantastic as to make her examiners jealous, for few things can become more dangerously petty than the professor who is jealous of the graduate student. In such cases they are like the cornered ferrets.

Better to appear just super fantastic enough to make them feel that you are worthy of the high honors they are bound to give you.

Here is the Helix from the Franco Sarto, the pretty yet serious mid-heel pump with the tiny bit of the peeping toe and the reasonable graduate-student price.

Helix by Franco Sarto   Manolo Likes!  Click!


7 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist”

  1. lurkingsmirk Says:

    I don’t know about this one…the shoe is very nice and not flashy, but in the serious areas of study a closed-toe shoe might be more appropriate. For some reason, toes have no place in science.

  2. ConeyBean Says:

    I agree. A closed toe shoe would be more appropriate, depending on the discipline.

  3. fabulous_ee Says:

    Unfortunately, in most technical fields anything would be appropriate. Fabulous people are sorely underrepresented in academia.

    My jaw would drop if a student walked into her oral exam in those shoes. Toes have no place in the lab, for safety reasons, but a lovely open-toed shoe would be just fine at an oral exam.

    This professor and electrical engineer is dying to know the Manolo’s choice of shoe to impress electrical engineers. The Manolo has impeccable taste.

  4. Gauss Says:

    I have a silly question: do you wear peep-toe pumps with pantyhose or without? I think pumps in general should be worn with pantyhose, but the toes could look better without.

    And as a graduate student, I completely approve of the choice of shoes for an exam.

  5. Phyllis Says:

    Manolo, your influence on me is complete – I tried on this shoe just yesterday in Macy’s! I think they’re fine for oral exams; there’s really no toe cleavage all. With dark hose you’d never even know it was an open toe. Melissa, you might want to go down a 1/2 size because they look best if you foot goes right to the edge of the toe box. Good luck with your exam!

  6. Melissa Says:

    These are lovely shoes, and at a very grad-student-friendly price! I perhaps should have mentioned that I am a historian (no lab safety issues here), and that my exam committee is all male (so I am unlikely to be the target of envious looks; indeed I would be surprised if any of my examiners even noticed my shoes, but I know I will feel more confident if I’m dressed well). Thank you, Manolo!

  7. Queen of West Procrastination Says:

    Melissa, good luck! I’m also a historian (PhD candidate), and a good pair of shoes does help you feel courageous in the oral exam. I wore high boots, which I nicknamed my “Boots of Power.”

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