Thursday, July 2, 2009

Los Zapatos Blancos

Zapatos Blancos

I've been watching a few YouTube videos here and there lately, and noticing more and more tango demigod leaders wearing white shoes. Demigods, and not-so-demigods.

I have to say, I just don't get it. Sure, it's nice for the visual contrast to see their actual footwork. But for me, it comes across as "look at me!". "I'm a tango badass, or at least I believe myself to be a tango badass." It smacks of arrogance and conceit and pure ego.

Is it simply about fashion - a fashion statement - because everyone else is doing it? Keeping up with the Don Juans? The Rico Suaves? Is it the male equivalent of the Comme il Faut effect for followers? Although, believe me, I do understand the nature of female attraction to Comme il Faut shoes, and shoes in general, and that it is an entirely different thing, with nothing to do about ego or arrogance.

I do understand it's entirely possible, even very likely, that these compadrones de los zapatos blancos are really nice guys. Good men. Full of humility. Amazing dancers. Interesting, well-read, well-rounded, intellectually and emotionally and spiritually healthy people. Right?

Are we seeing white shoes among the tango commoners? Ladies, what do you think of white shoes on a man? What do you think of white shoes on a beginning dancer? What do you think of white shoes on a most excellent leader who makes you feel wonderfully amazing in his embrace? Do we see white shoes on close embrace/milonguero dancers, or is it more of a baggy pants thing?

Guys, why do you wear white shoes? Or would you? Or why don't you? And, if you don't, what is your perception of men who do wear white shoes?

White pebble grain wingtips? Blue or red suede? What does the color of a man's shoes tell us about the man? What does it tell us about the dancer? So porque? Porque los zapatos blancos? Please help me understand.

I knew I had a good seque coming...red, white and blue...I'll call this my fourth of July post...(grin)...

Happy Independence Day!

11 comments:

ModernTanguera said...

I don't think I ever give a thought to a man's shoes! I can only tell you about three men's shoes: my boyfriend only wears blacks shoes, one friend has a red pair that he finds incredibly comfortable, and another friend has a pair with soles that velcro on and can be swapped out for dancing on different surfaces.

I would never have noticed if they hadn't pointed these things out to me. Really, I never take shoes into account--whether they belong to a man or a woman--when considering whether someone might be a good dancer.

Alex said...

Hola MT and thanks for the comment...what are you doing up so early? Oh, it's Friday, I forgot.

I wasn't wondering so much about the correlation between shoes and quality of dancing, although that does pique my interest. I was just wondering more along the lines of what does it tell us about the man.

My uncle once said to never trust a man who (in any combination) drives a corvette, wears a pinky ring, or gold chains around his neck.

For me, with tango shoes, it does come down to comfort almost exclusively. If I found that a white pair where the most comfortable, I think I would dye them black.

But that's me...

have a great holiday weekend, and thanks again for the tanda the other night...

tangocherie said...

It's one thing if the man is wearing a white suit--then it can be ok, especially for a performance.

But otherwise, when I see a guy in the milongas here in BsAs with white or two-toned shoes, invariably he's a tourist.

White, or bright shoes, draws all the attention to the feet, (and this goes for women too--white or shiny shoes are like spotlights on the feet), and the wearers had sure better have perfect footwork!

Joli said...

White shoes = tacky. Enough said.

Johanna said...

I second Cherie. I really like a man who takes care of his appearance, and a smart ensemble goes a long way. White shoes with a pale suite or outfit look great, but absurd when worn with dark clothes. I think that the choice of buying and/or wearing them is more about expanding the fashion concept than showing off - except in the latter situation. Women have shoe wardrobes, why shouldn't men?

Malevito said...

Hi Alex, how are you?

I don't own a pair of white shoes but I wouldn't have a problem with them. In fact, I've decided that for my next pair I'd like to get something in a light grey since much of what I wear is light in color. It's kind of the opposite of what Johanna said about white shoes with a dark outfit; it seems kind of off that I only have dark shoes to wear with my light clothes.

As far as what it says about the person who wears them, for me colors or styles say little of significance. Just as I wouldn't judge a guy if his shoes were old and worn, I can't in all fairness judge a guy if his shoes are shiny and white. It's more about what he does with the feet that are wearing them.

Johanna said...

"It's more about what he does with the feet that are wearing them."

Amen to that Malevito. While the color of shoes might be offputting to some, it's really more a statement of fashion sense. It's things like wearing a fedora WHILE DANCING SOCIALLY that really makes me question their common sense.

n a n c y said...

White shoes are for Florida men to wear with their madras plaid jackets and their pink Sansabelt slacks. And certainly not by a tango poseur in the middle of winter in Buenos Aires as I saw last night.

Red Shoes said...

White shoes are most often a sartorial statement about the wearer's opinion of himself, I think. I kind of miss the days of black leather all around--black patent cross-strap closed-toes on the ladies...not that the fellas didn't sport flashy shoes to show off then, too. (Gah, I'm such a crotchety old tango lady!)

Whenever I see a man in flashy shoes I watch to see if I think he "deserves to wear them." Likewise the ladies in their bright CiFs.

Elizabeth said...

Ixnay on the white shoes. Only thing worse is white socks..
Of course you would have to wear them with a white suit, but in these parts we don't see much of that...

Suzy Vegas said...

Nooo nothing like Comme il Fauts. I wear my commies for lying around on the rug wearing nothing else. These white things are for guys who should be tangoing in Miami before they get the blue plate special