Miu Miu Fashion Clogs
Clog shoes have been around for centuries in one form or another, but they are a fashion classic that just doesn't go away.
When thinking of clogs, many people think of the traditional, wooden yellow Dutch clogs, with their pointed, turned up toes. In fact traditional clogs can be found in England, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
Clogs were originally worn by poorer, working people, often doing manual jobs, such as mining, factory work, or farm labour. Traditionally, they have a wooden sole, which makes the clog hard-wearing, and relatively cheap to make and to buy, and also makes them comfortable enough to wear all day.
In England, clogs are associated with the North of the country, because of it's industrial heritage. Think of Lowry's paintings, with all the factory workers walking to work in their clogs. People in these industrial towns and cities developed their own clog dances by way of entertainment. There's a video of a clog dance flash mob included at the end of this article, which nicely demonstrates this genre (and I just love the bewildered expressions on shoppers' faces, when they realise they are caught up in a flash mob).
Clogs were also considered a healthy shoe for the foot, and in the UK, Dr Scholl shoes were sold in pharmacies.
Clogs then left the workplace and chemist shops behind and became fashionable in their own right. In the late 1960's and early 70's, clogs were everywhere. Since then, their fashion currency has waxed and waned, but their popularity is on the rise once more with many of the big fashion houses, such as Chanel and Vuitton putting clogs in their collections.
Pink Suede Clogs
Lotta From Stockholm
Clogs moved on from the workplace, to become a fashion accessory and are now produced in a variety of styles and colours.
I was recently inspired to take a fresh look at clogs, by a BBC radio article about Lotta from Stockholm. Lotta lives in the UK, and friends admired her clogs. Every time she went back to Stockholm, friends asked her to buy clogs for them and bring them back. Soon, Lotta was being given shopping lists of clogs to bring back and thought that there must be a better way of doing things.
She went to the clog manufacturers and asked if they would supply her with small numbers of shoes that she could sell in the UK, and they agreed. Lotta's clog business has gone from strength to strength and she now has her own website supplying stylish clogs, as the clog becomes fashionable once more.
How to Wear Clogs
Many people think of clogs as being frumpy or dowdy, but this is not the case.
FLAT WOODEN CLOGS
You can wear the flat wooden clog with the single toe strap with lightweight trousers, such as linen pants, or with a spring dress and they would look great, but they're not so easy to walk in. So maybe reserve these for a summer soirée.
CLOSED TOE CLOGS
Closed toe clogs are close to the traditional style and heel sizes range from flat, medium and high. They're comfortable enough to wear all day and in all weather, especially the type that have a chunky, tractor sole. They come in all colours and fabrics, even patent, and are glamourous enough to go with dresses, skirts, pants and look great with jeans.
The only criticism might be that if moving at speed they could slip off. If this is a concern, you need clogs with a heel strap
HEEL STRAP CLOGS
Clogs with a heel strap come in both closed and open toe varieties. In addition, there are some that look much more like a strappy sandal, and which come in a variety of colours, from bold to ice cream shades. These clogs are great to wear with a summer frock. They're comfortable and stylish enough to wear all day, then take you into the evening, AND they won't slip off.
BACKS AND BOOTS
If the heel strap isn't enough, you can buy clogs with a closed in back too, although this generally rises less than traditional shoes with a closed back, but again could help if you're worried about slippage.
You could even go the whole hog and have clog boots, great for a grungy, street style. Clog boots really say don't mess with me.
However you choose to wear them and whatever your style, enjoy your clogs!
Traditional English Clog Making
Although clogs are produced in a variety of styles, their construction has remained basically the same over the years.
The clog begins as a block of wood, which is shaped, sanded smooth and waxed. Then the uppers are cut and stitched into shape. These would have traditionally been leather, but now can be made from cloth, or canvas.
Once the upper has been made it is nailed or stitched onto the wooden sole of the shoe, and you have your clog.