Over the last several months, a specific sect of anti-fashion style has slowly gained popularity. We’ve seen an onslaught of caftans, Birkenstocks, and the rise of the quirky single earring. All the puzzle pieces meet to form a familiar look: a woman who’s creative, comfortable, a little bit mysterious, unpretentious — your middle-school art teacher. That’s right, slip on that billowy tunic. The rise of Art Teacher Chic is upon us.
It’s a look defined by, as Style.com put it, “loose tunics, big ceramic necklaces, and modest shoes” — the kind of clothes sold at Bird in Brooklyn, or at Rachel Comey (or even Céline, for those who want the high-fashion take).
My style has long been inspired by my zany elementary school art teacher, Ms. Kopf — lots of eccentric dresses, “artfully” unkempt hair, and, of course, a fast-growing collection of the preferred sensible shoe: the clog. Sure, you can sub in a Birkenstock or even a Teva. But without the clog art-school teacher chic easily morphs into “hippie sex doula mom” or “retiree who owns an artisanal ceramics store in Phoenix” — it’s a fine, fine line, people. Toe it with clogs.
If the “clog” still evokes Swedish milkmaids, line dancing, or a general idea of schlubbiness, rest assured that it has evolved from the all-practical Dansko — the stereotypical footwear of librarians everywhere (although, a white pair is on my Zappos wish list). But clogs have become so much more than that — they can be platformed, high-heeled, low-heeled; made of tough leather or disco metallic. And they are back in a big way.
The Cut pulled together a selection of clogs so diverse (and attractive) that you’ll finally understand why Cher Horowitz’s victorious declaration of “I broke in my purple clogs” was really a worthy triumph.