Fashion vs. function: Can you look good AND be comfortable?

It’s a question as old as time. Can you look good AND be comfortable at the same time? There really is no correct answer. Short of packing and wearing a tiny waist pinching corset to wear under your ballroom gown on your holiday trip to Vienna, I feel that for most part we live in a world where what we put on our body has evolved to an extremely comfortable state. Light cotton for the beach, sheer chiffon in the tropics and cashmere and wool sweaters in the cold.

Now what we put on our feet however, is a different matter altogether.

Whenever I travel, I tend to look in sadness at my shoe closet and apologize to the ones I know I will have to leave behind. Shoe’s in general does not guarantee you a stable comfort level regardless of whether they’re high heels, wedges, or even flats. Most of the time you would have had to break them in long before, walked around the house cooking in your heels (probably helps spice up dinner as well) and survived having your feet expand your new pair of shoes naturally and getting used to the biting on your ankles. Now imagine having to do all that while walking miles and miles all over a city you are planning to explore. That does not a happy camper make.

At the same time though, the thought of pairing your beautiful summer dress with a pair of chunky walking sneakers absolutely abhors you. So what do you do? How do you balance it out?

There are of course, numerous ways, but one that I lauded was an outfit Ms. C had put on our jaunts all Madrid. Peggy and I were waiting in front of the Del Prade when Ms. C walks up to us, in a beautiful long maxi dress of black and white print looking fresh and crisp. She walks like the dancer that she is, graceful and barely skimming the floor, the skirt a quiet rustle. It was only after I had complimented her on her dress did she give me a little laugh and lifted the hem.

Ms. C

(Ms. C in front of the Bear and the Madrono Tree – Madrid)

Underneath, tucked in a whole different world, unseen to the rest of us was a pair of old school walking sneakers. And as she claimed “you know, you will never see these in a picture anyway”.

So perhaps that’s one way to balance both. When in surety that you will be on your feet the entire day and sneakers are the only things you want on your feet, you can hide it up with a beautiful maxi dress, or long bohemian skirt trailing close to the ground.