Like many of us, much of what I know about dressing myself I learned from my parents. It was my mom and dad who taught me that the simpler, the better; that there's no discount like quality; that there's nothing more versatile than jeans and a tee (or that could be my Midwest upbringing talking).
Over the years, I've raided their closets a fair number of times, producing a few worthwhile discoveries on each occasion: a Rolling Stones concert t-shirt from my dad here, an ankle-grazing slip dress from my mom there. But there's one item I know will never be anything more than a daydream, and that's a pair of beautiful, intricately woven sandals my dad bought decades ago on a tropical vacation. Made from the most buttery letter, the slip-ons don't often adorn my dad's feet; the last time I saw him wear them was three years ago at my college graduation. But I've always found them to be the perfect alternative to summer-appropriate dress shoes for men or dainty ballet flats for women.
Alas, I've never been able to find my own pair — though these Chamula leather slingbacks, handwoven in Mexico and sold via Madewell, do come close. Not only is the weave a near-identical fit to my dad's prototype, but the customer reviews deem the sole comfortable, too. One compares the experience to "walking on angel pillows," which, I imagine, must be fairly pleasant.
For the record: This doesn't mean I won't stop ogling my parents' footwear collection anytime soon, but it's a start.
Chamula sandals, $80, available at Madewell.
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