I looked at the sleek leather sandals with jealousy. I’d been searching for a supple brown leather pair just like this for weeks, with thin ankle straps and hearty soles to handle New York streets in the summer, and coming up empty, so I could hardly believe when another pair of feet strolled on next to these in the same sandals. What kind of impossibly, effortlessly stylish Italian women were these? I lifted my head to get a good look, only to come face-to-face with two nuns in full habit.
Now that’s “style” in the classic sense. This is the sort of shoe she had in mind:
From Zara to Brother Vellies to Jeffrey Campbell, every single shoe I want for this summer looks like something my nonna took off her foot to wave at me when I was a bratty child. It was a familiar summer scene in my neighborhood of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn: Wild children running amok down 18th Avenue, nonnas in tow, waving shoes and yelling for Gina or Anthony to get home for supper. And yet here those flat slippers are, appearing not in the hand of a curly-haired grandmother, but on the feet of the most gorgeous of fashionable New York ladies. And the stylish sisters of Assisi, Italy. And if we’re keeping score, St. Francis gets originality points for this one.
The sample above comes from Zara, and runs a mere $39.90.