spruced by marlene

welcome to the dark side

By Marlene | Published: 30. July 2013


It has taken three years, but today is the day. The day my mother will look at this blog and go into total shock. Because her daughter has bought flat shoes. Not just flat but sensible shoes. Voluntarily. Mama? I don’t know how this happened either!

Perhaps it all started with these mails between Okka and me.

Okka: „Birkenstocks – we shouldn’t, right? RIGHT?”
Me: „Can I tell you something? I actually like them.”
Okka: „Me too!”
Me: „I blame the Danes. Everyone wore them in Copenhagen a couple of weeks ago, even the most graceful creatures – with mini-dresses and disgustingly evenly tanned legs, of course.”
Okka: „They look pretty good on Ashley Olsen, too. And, no, I can’t believe I’d ever write that sentence.”
Me: „Then again: Heidi Klum, Birkenstock design collection, the Seal years.”
Okka: „Then again: Kate Moss, vintage 1990s, the Johnny Depp years.”
Me: „Of course, when I mention the word ‘Birkenstock’ to James, he looks at me like I’ve suggested we have stuffed pig’s stomach for dinner.”
Okka: „Well, he’s not wrong. But still: the sandals in black, with two straps, could work.”
Me: „In brown they remind me of my 9th grade geography teacher, who wore them with woollen socks.”
Okka: „Wear them in white and I’ll call you Nurse Ratched.”
Me: „What about the Gizeh version?”
Okka: „Jesus sandals!”
Me: „Maybe this is all just a trick. A ploy by the designers. Make comfortable shoes, put fancy labels on them – and then wait who’s going to fall for the trend.”
Okka: „Or they’ve finally understood us and made shoes that we can actually move forward in rather than getting stuck with our heels in cobblestones.”
Me: „The Birkenstocks would be comfortable.”
Okka: „And very healthy.”
Me: „Although not elegant. At all.”
Okka: „F… elegance. They’re cool.”
Me: „Okka? We’ve been in Berlin too long.”
Okka: „Jup.”

A week later. Okka and I meet for ice cream.

Okka: „You bought them! The Gizeh! Actually, they’re not bad. Quite good really. Damnit, now I want them too.”
Me: „I had to! My other sandals broke – 20 meters from the Birkenstock store. It was a sign.”
Okka: „Ha.”
Me: „No kidding.”

And there’s your explanation, mama.

But, don’t worry, I’m still your daughter. Which is why I’ve established some personal guidelines for wearing the Birks.

| Never with jogging bottoms. Not even at home.
| Always with a pedicure. My friend Lise says: try neon colours. I’d say so, too.
| Or in Céline red. After all, it was Phoebe Philo who got us into this mess in the first place.
| Wear them with boyfriend jeans and a denim shirt.
| Or shorts and a silk top.
| A colourful summer dress
| A little hippie number in white
| Ah, you can wear them with almost anything!
| But never with jogging bottoms. Or to a business meeting with someone who might not understand that sometimes? Sometimes you are simply powerless in the face of a fashion trend.

And what about James? My man has gotten at least so used to the sandals that he can still smile in pictures with me.

It’s entirely possible that behind that smile he’s devising a devilish plan. He couldn’t think of buying himself a pair.

Could he?!

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  1. Anne
    Posted 31. July 2013 at 10:37 | Permalink

    I’ve bought myself a pair in the Birkenstock Shop in Mitte in the hot worldcup days in 2010 – my feet were really hurting in flipflops, these flat sandals etc, I just could not go on walking anymore.
    and we just passed the Birkenstock shop – a sign! 🙂
    I told myself “ah, fuck it, fuck fashion, I need ‘proper’ shoes” – went in, came out 10min later with very comfy and very good lucking shoes, amazing! (I have the feeling they don’t produce this exact style anymore – just looked at their website: mine look like ‘Mayari” just missing the second strap…so they look very delicate and have an amazing colour , too – greyish blue, slightly metallic.)
    I still love them a lot and EVERYONE made me compliments, already in 2010.
    What i really wanted to say here, – it was ME , the trendsetter, HA! 😉

  2. Anne
    Posted 31. July 2013 at 10:39 | Permalink

    ah, they do still exist, are called “Piazza” – for all these people who probably don’t really wanna go “Birkenstock” all the way….

  3. Serena
    Posted 31. July 2013 at 11:10 | Permalink

    God Marlene. You’re so behind! I bought some weeks ago!!!

  4. Marlene
    Posted 1. August 2013 at 11:21 | Permalink

    You girls! Clearly I’m a late adopter. I’m starting to feel like there’s a secret society of Birkenstock lovers out there…

  5. Theo
    Posted 1. August 2013 at 18:55 | Permalink

    Hallo Marlene, Birkenstock wollte ich auch niiieee haben, aber dann musste ich immer zügig vom Zug in die Uni laufen und habe mich ergeben. Bei mir hat es mit dem Modell Madrid in lack pink angefangen. Als ich damit das erste Mal in die Uni gelaufen bin, hab ich entschuldigend gesagt “ich hab mir jetzt auch Gesundheitslatschen gekauft”, ein Ingenieursstudent hat mich dann angestarrt und gesagt, nur ein weiblicher BWLer kann neon pinke Lacklatschen als Gesundheitsschuhe bezeichnen. Da habe ich mich dann besser gefühlt!:D
    Letztes Jahr sind dann noch die Sandalen “Yara” in habana dazugekommen und die finde ich wirklich lässig!
    Liebe Grüße

  6. sab
    Posted 1. August 2013 at 19:15 | Permalink

    no summer without birkenstock’s gizeh: the metallics are all awesome, i wear the silver and bronze.
    and yes, birks without a pedicure is a no-go!

  7. alma
    Posted 2. August 2013 at 13:45 | Permalink

    ich habe sie mir auch vor einigen tagen gekauft.
    mit schwarzlack.
    macht sie auch ein bisschen eleganter.
    aber du hast recht, keine jogginghosen und immer lackierte nägel.
    und bequem sind sie! und wie!

  8. Nora
    Posted 5. August 2013 at 15:50 | Permalink

    Liebe Marlene,

    danke für Deinen Blogpost – genau diese Gedanken gingen mir durch den Kopf – ich habe mir aber in letzter Zeit die Füße so kaputt gelaufen, dass ich dachte, jetzt sei es doch einmal Zeit für “sensible shoes”, wie Du sie so passend beschreibst. Danke für Deine Unterstützung, dass nicht nur ich solche ambivalenten Gedanken im Kopf hatte.

    Eine beschwingte Woche wünschend, herzlichst, Nora

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