THE SLIPPER STORY
With all the at-home time happening lately, it’s a good suggestion to wear the proper True Fashionista footwear. Whether it’s your daily trip from bedroom to living room to kitchen and back to living room or looking good for your latest TikTok vid, your at-home footwear deserves the very best in both comfort and style. These are trying times, after all.
Why, then would you want to wear anything at all in the comfort of your own home? Wearing slippers in the house not only keeps your toes all nice and warm, it's also good to wear them on slippery tile or hardwood floors, preventing any sudden slip’n falls. And hello, stairs? If you’ve got ‘em, slippers are a best bet for getting up and down safely. Consider also something you could spend the entire day in. Sure, there are the “inside only" slippers which don't necessarily need a sturdy sole, but there are also versions of a more hybrid slipper for quick runs out to the mailbox.
A bit of history, courtesy of the Broadland Slippers company. Slippers have actually been around since prehistoric times as one of the earliest forms of footwear. The name itself comes from the Old English words “sliper” and “slipor”, which together mean “slip-shoe”. Noted 18th century British writer and historian Dr. Samuel Johnson referred to them as “a shoe without a leather behind, into which the foot slips easily.” The oldest surviving pair of shoes ever found are indeed slippers, made from woven fabric with a folded pocket to protect the toes of those wearing them and were strapped to the foot with a thong due to the lack of structure.
For some cultures, mostly in the Middle and Far East, displaying bare feet in front of others is considered offensive. The sole of your foot is viewed as dirty and the lowest part of your body, therefore, it shouldn’t be on display in front of others. This carries over to the shoes that cover your feet, as they are expected to be removed as a sign of respect, especially when entering someone’s home. The Koreans and Japanese opt to hide their feet with slippers and socks, also known as “sil nae hwa” which is translated into “room indoor shoes”. There have been many styles of slippers over the years.
An adaptation of the Arabic word “babush”, these shoes produced during the Cradle of Civilization were described as slipper-like with an exaggerated point for the toe. Those who wore them were said to care very much about their lifestyle and appearance. Babouches were also known for being very comfortable and a real True Fashionista piece due to the repetitive cleaning and drying process used in their assembly. In true throwback fashion, Vogue announced in 2016 that babouches were THE must-have shoe. In places like Morocco, traditional Babouches are still being made and worn.
Pantofle is an extravagant clog-like slip-on type of slipper that predominantly supports the forefoot but is also lightweight and backless like most slippers. Largely popular in France, pantofles are perhaps most easily recognized as worn by Disney princess Cinderella. Her glass slipper is a pantofle. And now you know…
These days, points out review site 10BestChoices, several styles of True Fashionista slippers exist, including closed back, moccasins, novelty slippers, sandals, boot slippers, and slipper socks. Designers weigh in with their interpretations of indoor foot comfort. Christian Louboutin’s True Fashionista suede smoking slippers feature a closed-toe design, beautiful intricate woven pattern throughout, and yes, his signature red soles. Italian company The Row makes a similar closed back/closed toe version with leather upper.
Depending on your house rules you could bathe your soles in flannel lined canvas slippers perfect for indoors, while something like Lands End suede shearling Moc slippers would work for both indoor/outdoor use. If it’s a purely “inside” day, NakedCashmere makes a fine line of heavenly, super-cushioned 100% cashmere slippers to encase your soles.