These days, you’ll see Taylor Swift wear slippers on the red carpet. The irrepressible Ryan Gosling appeared on the US chat show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, wearing – yes – carpet slippers.
So what’s going on? Are outdoor slippers cool? Or are the stars out of step? Here we find out.
The Albert slipperPrince Albert’s eponymous slippers were a 19th century invention that had their origin in the majestic stately homes of the aristocracy. Lords of the manor sought footwear that didn’t damage their expensive floors but could cope with the outdoors. Enter the leather soled slipper.
Prince Albert refined the design with the addition of velvet and satin, and many added personalised embroidery.
These men’s slippers were the epitome of luxury and were worn at elaborate black tie dinners. In America, they became known as tuxedo slippers.
The Churchill slipper
Winston Churchill was not a man to be messed with, even in his pyjamas. A serial napper and a habitual wearer of slippers, he proved that casual slip-on footwear can be worn for nearly every occasion.
In the 1960s, velvet Albert slippers became popular with America’s elite, and RFK was no exception. Here he is with his children, on the steps of his family home – look at his feet – he’s wearing Albert slippers.The most famous outdoor slipper wearer is rarely seen without his jim-jams. Rich, yes. Saintly, no. His behaviour may be questionable, but his sense of style is undoubtedly unique. Say hello to none other than Hugh Hefner.
Taking the bins outIt seems it’s acceptable for the elite to sport outdoor slippers inside and outside their homes, but what about us mere mortals?
Taking the bins out is a job few people enjoy. But some mens leather slippers are sturdy enough for the rigours of a pebbled path and won’t be worn down too quickly.
Slip-on mules made from nappa leather and with tough man-made soles, are much sturdier than traditional fabric slippers. With their smart looks, mules are perfect footwear for a quick natter over the fence with the neighbours, or a potter around the garden. And they’re equally at home – in the home.
The case againstWhile there are some occasions where it’s fine to slip on your slippers, sometimes PJs and slippers are a definate no-no.
A Cardiff Tesco banned shoppers from wearing pyjamas and slippers to “avoid causing offence or embarrassment to others”. School headteachers in Middlesbrough evidently share the same view, writing to parents to ask them to not wear pyjamas when dropping off their kids.
Seen as lazy and a poor example to children, authorities from Louisiana to Shanghai have adopted anti PJ and slipper policies. Perhaps we’re seeing a return to more formal morning attire.
So are the celebs right? Is it OK to wear your slippers in public. We think the answer is yes – as long as you choose the right ones. For red carpet affairs, pick a pair of luxury Albert slippers, for taking out the bins, Churchill slippers or outdoor mules. For a trip to Tesco stick to loafers.