Brave? Me? A hero? Nah, I'm just a lady with a cause. Because when you believe in something, you have to take a stand. And there's nothing I believe in more right now than Tevas.
While my recent enthusiasm may have sparked just a few weeks ago, Tevas and I go way back to my childhood. There wasn't a Summer in the mid-'90s when a young Randy didn't return from her upstate New York sleepaway camp with some degree of a Teva tan (and a Speedo burn to match). So once deemed socially acceptable again by the fashion gods, I was ready to reintroduce my Velcro and foam friends to my repertoire. But before I hit the street, I had a few questions:
1. What should I wear with my Tevas?
2. Are Tevas still as comfortable as I remembered?
3. Will I get a lot of strange looks while I'm out?
4. And lastly, am I even cool enough to wear Tevas?
For my first attempt, I paired my Tevas with a Saturday-ready combo of J.Crew sweats and a graphic tee (a baseball cap came later, as did a denim jacket and shades). After all, the weekend is that kind of safe zone where you can experiment with riskier fashion choices. I'd wear them through my coffee run, and if I needed to change by the time I was back to my apartment with the mental clarity that can only come with four shots of espresso, so be it.
Are Tevas comfortable? They sure as heck are. Which, worth noting, is the most crucial point that I must stress. No matter how unsightly you may find them, no matter how many '90s flashbacks they give you, Tevas are just plain comfortable. The same can be said for those equally divisive Birkenstock-inspired pool slides that are so hot even Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are wearing them. And for that, we should all be thankful for this trend.
My final two questions weren't answered as easily. Would I get looks? I'm a New Yorker. Tevas, shall we say, are the least of my fellow pedestrians' problems. (We Manhattanites can go to bed thankful if we've made it through a day and Tevas were the oddest thing we saw.) Still, it took a bit for the self-consciousness — a feeling that peaked when I nearly got run over by a truck while trying to selfie my sandals on a cobblestone street — to dissipate, which brings me to my final question. Am I cool enough? Like any important decision, I left that answer to Instagram nation. The feedback was mostly positive, but a series of unsolicited texts from friends that all began with the line "I love you but . . ." was a bit concerning.
Ultimately, I came out of my first wearing unscathed, a proverbial toe dipped into the pool of Tevas. It wasn't all bad. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. And should I add one last question to the list, it would be: Will I wear Tevas again? That depends.
I'd certainly try them on the weekend, maybe see if I'd be pushing my luck by teaming them with a sundress. I'd also wear them to work — I'm staunchly in favor of a good commuting shoe. At the office, that's a different story: casual as Summer style can be, these sandals fall into the flip-flop and denim cutoffs camp of things that don't belong in a professional environment. So all in all, my answer is "yes," I will be wearing Tevas this Summer . . . though I've had to promise certain friends it won't be around them.