A Guide to Women's Shoes for Men
A Guide to Women’s Shoes for Men
By Elaine Viets
The Lipstick Chronicles works hard to promote understanding between the sexes. Today, I’ve volunteered to help men translate this sentence:
"I need a pair of black shoes."
These simple words have different meanings for men and women.
When a man says, "I need a pair of black shoes," he means his shoes are falling off his feet. You might even see the guy’s toes poking through the holes. Sometimes, his wife or lover will order him to get a new pair of shoes. He’s happy with the old pair, believing they are broken in, instead of just broken. But the man has to buy a new pair – or else.
Most men hate to shop for shoes. The poor souls are content to own a mere three or four pairs. They believe if they have a brown pair and a black pair for dress, some loafers and running shoes, they’ve covered the fashion spectrum.
When women say, "I need a pair of black shoes," we mean something entirely different. Here is a sample male-female dialogue on that subject. Imagine a couple standing in front of the shoes in her closet.
SHE: I need a pair of black shoes.
HE: But you have six pairs of black shoes right here, and they look fine.
SHE: None of them go with my new pantsuit for work.
HE: What’s wrong with those black satin ankle straps? Those are hot.
SHE: They’re evening shoes. If I wore them during the day, I’d look like a cheap hooker.
HE: That’s not true. You look very expensive. Wait! I mean that as a compliment. I’m just trying to understand.
SHE: (taking a deep breath) You can’t wear evening shoes during the day.
HE: Is it like a state law or something?
SHE: Would you wear a tie with a sweatshirt?
HE: No, that would look stupid.
SHE: That’s why I can’t wear evening shoes with a business suit.
HE: I think I get it. How about those black shoes you bought last month?
SHE: Those are tennis shoes. They’re too casual for a business suit.
HE: You’ve got those black patent leather sandals. They look nice.
SHE: Those are summer shoes. My feet will freeze.
HE: What about your black boots? They’re suede.
SHE: The heel is too high. It makes the suit pants look too short.
HE: There. That black heel. It’s nice. Not too high.
SHE: It’s ten years out of style.
HE: So why do you still have it?
SHE: It may come back.
HE: Has that ever happened?
SHE: Not exactly.
HE: What’s wrong with those black flats with the gold buckles?
SHE: The Ferragamos? They hurt my feet.
HE: Can’t you take them back?
SHE: No, I wore them.
HE: Can you throw them out?
SHE: No, they cost too much.
HE: Okay, I understand you need shoes. There’s a new shoe store at the mall with racks of shoes for five dollars each.
SHE: I couldn’t buy cheap shoes.
HE: Why not?
SHE: They don’t last.