We’re 100% here for “what goes around comes around,” both as a J.T. song and a reason for fashion to turn a saying about karma into a reason you’re itching to DIY cornrows with glittery miniature butterfly clips. But Vogue, bro, there’s a certain amount of time one must wait before heralding a trend as a resurgence, and that time is not the same amount of time that has passed since Susan Boyle dreamed a dream. (2009, if you were trying to forget.) “It’s the shoe for those of us who appreciate the lines of a mule (the added length to the leg, the exposed ankle-bone) combined with the cavalier demeanor of a spa sandal. These are not the crocs of Mario Batali, not a flash-in-the-pan hashtag-emblazoned trend—these are the shoes of indisputably epic summer style icons from Jane Birkin to Marcia Brady: the lower-leg equivalent of a bronzed shoulder peeking out of a peasant blouse, an ankle reveal between a cropped jean and a classic clog.” Wonderful writing, but the most admirable part of this ode is that it fails to mention the horrific resurgence wooden clogs experienced only five years go. You don’t have to be a fashion person to remember the last time these things were “back.” But if you are you’ll remember Chanel’s Spring 2010 collection, which heavily featured wooden clogs, heavily adorned with poppies and crystals and calf ties that looked like awkward tan lines from from someone who went to the beach dressed as a basting Christmas ham. Miu Miu did them with cats, and Louis Vuitton with festival fringe tassels. And soon clogs were an epidemic. They were on Olsen twins, Alexa Chung, Rachel Bilson, and even Ashlee Simpson. Thanks to Steve Madden and Payless Shoes, they were also on us. There was a wooden platform monstrosity for every foot — or, rather, for every budget. By a cost-per-wear analysis, by which we mean cost-per-footstep until you accidentally kick one off your own foot and into the back of an elderly person’s head, we’re talking approximately $500 for the Chanel version. But in that snazzy vinyl pair with unevenly placed studs? You were still getting a bangin’ as bargain even if you only wore them once because doing so made even the softest of footsteps sound like those of a tap dancing elephant. Another problem with heralding the return of the clog right this second is that people are obsessed with shoving socks under any and every incarnation of sandal they can. Sure, if you’re Chloë Sevigny you’re earned the right to assemble worse pairings than short ribs and moscato. But for the rest of us this just sounds like an accident waiting to happen. By all means wear clogs if your life requires you to move only at a glacial pace. But there is no way, as Vogue claims, such an impractical shoe is the logical conclusion of the ugly-cool trend — which, no matter how abrasive, always has comfort at its heart. It is absence that makes the heart grow fonder — and these things have been absent for not nearly long enough.
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