Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
This entire summer, my husband has insisted on wearing the same pair of sports mandals, despite the fact that they’ve grown shabby looking and smelly (something I did not know was possible for a sandal). With the end of summer approaching, can you recommend something casual that he might like? He’s moderately outdoorsy, and fit, and prefers khakis and plaids, in other words, he pretty typical.
Manolo says, the Manolo frequently gets the plaintive missives from the women who wish to restyle their men folk into something more put-together, something less sloppy, rustic, disastrous, and/or menacing
“Manolo,” they frequently cry out, “my husband dresses as if he were Larry the Cable Guy’s younger, messier brother. Please help.”
To which the Manolo can only reply, you cannot overnight change your man from the Tom Arnold into the Tom Selleck. You must work deliberately, and politely, using positive reinforcement and strategic praise
For the example, “Oh, honey, you look so much better since you stopped wearing buckskin and shaved off your Grizzly Adams beard. Like the handsome man I married.”
Or, “Darling, I’m so glad you finally threw out those too-small jeans with the hole in the seat. I’m just sorry it had to be the police who told you to do it. Here, I bought you this pair of styling, flat-front khakis.”
You must move your man slowly along the continuum of style, using the well-thought out gifts to nudge him gently in the direction you wish him to go. Start with the men’s casual shoes.
Here is the Hush Puppies Authentic Saddle Shoes, the American classic, one that any American man should be proud to wear.
Manolo says, here are the few things which may help you past the idle moment…
They’re a bit Advanced Fashion so potentially not for the average user, although I honestly don’t think they’re as tough to pull off as most people think.
There are some written medieval sources on possible female breast support, but they are rather vague on the topic.
The manifestation of that may change from day to day, but the elements of joyful dressing for me are Movement, Color (not necessarily *vivid* color), Harmony, and just a bit of Edge.
Manolo says, the Manolo does not wish to be so cruel as to kick someone when they are down, but zzzzz…
Shoe designing is not easy, and yet other celebrities, such as the Jessica Simpson and the Carlos Santana(!) have been able (with professional help) to produce the decent looking shoes for the mass market.
Madonna has played it safe, predictable, with her blacks and grays and shapes we have seen before. She needs to introduce either the trendier colors, the unusual finishes, or the more daring shapes, probably all three. Since she she has none of these, there is nothing that especially distinguishes this collection except her celebrity.
It is yet more evidence that the Madonna needs to take the little break here. She needs to allow herself to recede from our consciousness for the next two to three years, and then come back in the more intimate, more surprising form. Perhaps “Madonna Unplugged”, playing in the smaller venues with the less bombastic material. Although, the Manolo is not sure that her talent is the sort that can stand apart from the spectacle.
Manolo says, this is how things sometimes work in the world of the Manolo: he is looking at the shoes, and suddenly, something catches his eye, and delights his fancy, and he is moved to cry hosanna and put it on the humble shoe blog for all to admire. Such is the case with this, the Clarice Satin Pump from the Kate Spade New York, the perfect shoe for the festive celebration where the bold color is required.
Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends, the Lisa, has sent the Manolo the desperate missive.
Manolo!! Help me! I am the professor currently writing a book about ethics. I live in the mouldering old house in the historic district, with the beautiful crown mouldings of This Old Housedom. But today starts the workmen! As the Manolo would say “Ayyyyyyyyyy”. They are cutting holes in walls, stomping in and out. Go to campus and deal with yucky colleagues? In summer? Or listen to my lovely little house being destroyed? I am going CRAAAAAAZY. Please suggest some ultra-super fantasy shoes for daydreaming soon. Love your blog and your philosophy, Lisa.
Ayyyy! The Manolo knows exactly how frustrating it is to be working hard to avoid work, only to have the real work done by the workmen interfere with your avoidance of work.
But is it not always thus for the people who write for the living?
You know you have to write, you must write, and yet before you can put the words to the paper, everything has to be perfect in your surroundings. Yes, sometimes the words flow like the freshet, tumbling over themselves to escape from your brain onto the page.
At the other times: molasses. Frozen molasses mixed with peanut butter and tar, which you must laboriously unmix and purify using only the single dental pick and clumps of hair you have pulled from you head.
Ayyyy! What to do in the cases when the muses have been chased away? The Manolo’s friend Lisa knows…
Look at the pictures of the super fantastic shoes! Like these pink and red Tahiti Sandals from the Sergio Rossi.
And now, the Manolo will give you the writing prompt, to get the creative juices flowing…
“Daphne,” said Carlo, “rather than rejecting it out of hand, you really should take a moment to consider my proposition.”
Daphne, folded her arms across her chest, unfolded them, and then spoke, “It’s a problem of ethics, darling.”
“It’s those shoes, isn’t it,” shouted Carlo, “admit it, it’s those shoes!”
Daphne looked down at her Sergio Rossi’s — gorgeous, really– and then back up at Carlo, his face as red as the color of her sandals….
Please to leave your best effort in the comments section below.
Manolo says, the few things to tickle you…
Manolo says, “In a program, you know, acknowledging my Higher Power, trying to make amends. Spend a lot of time recycling. Hitting spots behind the Safeway plaza and in the park. Five cents a can adds up real fast, but you gotta be there before the crusties, know what I mean. Hey, you gotta cigarette I can bum, while I fill out this application?”