Victoria Jelinek

London Shoes

I revisited London this past summer for the first time in years. In a pensive mood one day, I walked among the crowds in order to sort out my thoughts, head bent looking mostly at the ground, down at Oxford Street. Suddenly I noticed what a wonderful array of footwear!

Plastics with cotton…linens with leather…canvas with metal…and of course wonderful variations on leather shoes from sandals to thigh-high boots; I saw all of the different textures, fabrics and style that are so splendidly unique.

Londoners don’t wear splashy outfits to match these spectacular shoes, either: a wonderfully bowed, glass-like slipper in a bright fuchsia can be seen with a plain skirt and t-shirt. Multi-colored boots that zip up the side are put with a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt; linen with leather sandals that have a wedgie cork sole can be worn with the most casual of shorts; and fabulous, stiletto-heeled, elaborately woven leather shoes are a contrast to conservative business suits.

What a sense of style the Londoners have! I ducked into a shoe shop and bought a pair of shoes. Later, as I stood waiting for the train and the inevitable breeze through the tunnel that signals its coming, looking at my feet and new shoes, I felt satisfied, and no longer a bit melancholy. All I had needed was a great, new pair of shoes, and they are: ruddy brown leather sandals, with a strap around the ankle, and a modest heel about two inches high, convey the subtlety, individuality and the great sense of style that I so appreciate in London.