Flip flops

Flip Flops…A Mainstay in American Wardrobes

On July 19, 2005, some members of Northwestern University’s national champion woman’s lacrosse team were criticized for wearing “flip flops” to the White House to meet with President George W. Bush. The women stated that their shoes were “dressier thong sandals” rather than beach shoes. They are worn worldwide today, not only on the beach but in everyday life. They are the popular shoe in the summer. You no doubt remember how much fun children had wearing them, and now women and men also wear them. Some would prefer to go barefoot, but this footwear has become not only a substitute, but a way of life. The foot is not restrained, the toes are exposed, and they are not only are worn for comfort, but serve as shoes when in a restaurant or when shopping. They come off easily, are easy to carry, and fit easily into a beach bag or a tote.

They were originally designed after a Japanese sandal, and became popular in the 1930′s. Formerly worn just at the beach, the shoes gradually gained popularity, as celebrities started wearing them, and high end designers even began manufacturing them with bling. Now they are best sellers worldwide, and people wear them to work, on city streets, and even on the Red Carpet. Bridesmaids also often use them as they are comfortable when walking down the aisle or dancing at the reception.

The word “flip flop” actually means “an acrobatic spring backward from the feet to the hands and back to the feet” or “a flapping noise”, so they obviously got their name from the latter.

They are very common in India and are known as a chappal. They have also been known in India as a weapon, and used as a threat. In the middle of a heated argument, people who disagreed would take off their flip flops, and the other person felt threatened. They are also known as jandals in New Zealand; infradito (between-toes) in Italy;and thongs in Australia. In Hawaii and several other places around the world, they are called “slippers”. In the UK and U.S. they are most commonly known as flip flops, but they are also sometimes called “slaps” or sandals.

Whatever they are called, they have become a mainstay in the American wardrobe.

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