Manolo the Columnist: Betty T-Strap from Frye

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

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

Dear Manolo,

I’ve been invited by my boyfriend to spend Thanksgiving with his family in rural Kentucky. This will be my first meeting with his “kinfolk,” and although I know he is exaggerating when he describes their country ways, as he himself is quite urbane, I’m still worried. What should I wear?


Manolo says, the Manolo is sorry, but whenever he hears the words “kinfolk” and “Kentucky” he thinks of the movie entitled Next of Kin in which Bill Paxton, Liam Neeson, and the late Patrick Swayze play three hillbilly brothers from deepest Appalachia. (Even the Manolo, whose English is not so good, could tell that everybody was faking the accent. )

In any event, the Manolo takes away two important lessons about rural Kentucky from watching this piece of cinematic flapdoodle.

The first is do not mess with the kinfolks, lest the hillbillies come after you with their antique shotguns, crossbows, Bowie knives, and rattlesnakes.

The second is always be polite to the rural people, or as the great Monday Night Philosopher, Hank the Bocephus, Jr, says about the country boys, “We say grace and we say ma’am and if you ain’t into that we don’t understand.”

As for what to wear, the Manolo suggests the Betty T-Strap from Frye, as being the shoe sturdy enough for the country road, and yet not inappropriate for Thanksgiving dinner or the church on Sunday.

Betty T-Strap Pump from Frye  Manolo Likes!  Click!


11 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist: Betty T-Strap from Frye”

  1. klee Says:

    A lovely recommendation, elegant but not too ‘city-folk’ ish. Plus Frye is, I believe, an american-made shoe. Bravo Manolo!

  2. Francesca Says:

    i am obsessed with frye… i need a pair of their boots immediately!!

    F <– two girls blogging fashion from nyc and chicago!

  3. angelhair Says:

    Fantastic choice! Entirely appropriate and very chic too. I love Frye shoes – I’m wearing an adorable pair of Frye ballet flats right now.

    Just be sure to take some sturdy sneakers or hiking boots as well since hikes on the farm are often a feature of rural get-togethers. I should know – I’m from rural KY but I’ve lived in NYC for the last 20 years. And don’t be scared – the natives most likely will be extremely friendly. The most interesting people I know are from the south.

  4. Melie Says:

    As a true Kentuckian in exile up North, I highly approve of these shoes. They’re gorgeous! I would also add a bit of advice, should your solicitor of guidance check your shoe blog:
    Be sure to wear nice jeans or casual pants. No dresses or skirts! You can’t scoop up lil’ ones up off the floor when asked in a short skirt at least not without nearly giving Uncle Eddie a heartache.
    Be sure to offer to help with the dishes. You don’t want to be the only female in the parlor after dinner beacuse all other ladies will be wagging tongues about the city slicker their good boy brought home. Even if you don’t know where the devilled egg tray goes or how to wash the burnt marshmallow off the sweet potato casserole dish, offer to help. They’ll talk about how sweet you are for a month for trying.
    Bring food! Stop at Grandy’s for some rolls, if nothing else.
    Have fun and enjoy. Afterall, southern hospitality starts in Kentucky.

  5. Lisa Says:

    Ohhhhhhh lookitdem purty shoes!!! Woooo eeee! That’s what I think. And then there’s people talking about the marshmallow and sweet potato dish which I love which I shouldn’t love because sophisticated people shouldn’t love such things and YUM. Shoes. YUM. Food. YUM YUM YUM. I hope everybody has a great holiday!!! I’ll be working (somebody’s got to, and I have no family). I’ll spend the whole day thinking about shoes!

  6. La BellaDonna Says:

    Hola to the Lisa! You will not be the only one working that day. Trust La BellaDonna on that one.

    I think the advice of the Melie is most fantastic – although I do not understand why one cannot wear the skirt or dress so long as it is neither so short nor so narrow as to restrict movement. La BellaDonna, she manages to do That Which Is Needful (including the lifting, carrying, and scooping up from floors) in the skirts and dresses, but then, they are not of the Brad Pitt Gladiator variety.

    … and La BellaDonna may very well rummage through her little box of DVDs and tapes to see if one of her favorite movies, Next of Kin, is in there, as she has much love for it!

  7. class factotum Says:

    Don’t put sugar in your grits. But do eat them because they are delicious.

    If someone says, “Bless your heart” to you, you’ve just screwed up, but you have been forgiven because they think you don’t know any better, being a Yankee and all.

  8. Vizia Says:

    La BellaDonna–though it is possible to do all manner of things in a graceful way while wearing a skirt, Meredith would in all probability find herself over-dressed at this gathering if she chose to wear one.

    And do not be put off if the turkey has a Dr. Pepper or Coca Cola glaze–it’s also delicious! If they serve ham with red-eye (gravy), yum that up, too….

  9. La BellaDonna Says:

    Hola to the Vizia! Truly? The Meredith would be overdressed at an important family holiday in the South in a skirt? La BellaDonna, she bows to the wisdom of the Vizia, accepting the idea that perhaps the people La BellaDonna knows are more conservative than many others (as is La BellaDonna, at least sartorially). La BellaDonna would only say that if the Meredith ordinarily wears a skirt or a dress, she should perhaps be able to wear one to this gathering, as long as it is not of the restrictive variety.

  10. angelhair Says:

    Class Factotum said “If someone says, “Bless your heart” to you, you’ve just screwed up, but you have been forgiven because they think you don’t know any better, being a Yankee and all.” LOL! So true!

    I recently had a discussion with a friend from Texas who is also in exile in NYC about this very topic – the uses and meaning of “bless your heart.” This is the best definition I’ve heard.

    Ah, now I’m getting homesick…and I still can’t believe that I never get any cornbread dressing on Thanksgiving, since my Yankee hosts don’t know what that is.

  11. raincoaster Says:

    If someone does want a vintage (ie 1972) pair of Frye boots, I know someone who’s selling hers, size 7, but I warn you she knows what they’re worth.

    Also: is Meredith really Vanessa Paradis in disguise? Johnny Depp is from Kentucky, y’all.

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