Let’s talk flip-flops, and I don’t mean politicians. I refer to flip-flops the sandals.

Although the item of footwear did cause some ruffled feathers at the White House when the women’s lacrosse
team from Northwestern University showed up in Washington, D.C., wearing summer dresses and flip-flops, I might point out that not all team members chose to wear them. Those who did, however, received stern comments from fashion mavens. It seems the consensus was the sandals were not appropriate attire to meet the President, although I am sure his daughters wear them quite often. Were this the only problem in Washington, the country would be in good shape.

The fore-runners of flip-flops were rubber sandals. They had the same basic design as today’s flip-flops, but were called thongs?”not to be confused with today’s definition of thongs. I will not go into thongs in this column, but suffice it to say there is not much in the way of material used.

The early flip-flops were basic, with the only difference among them being their color and maybe the thickness of their soles. They hung around for a few years without much style, but in the last year or two they have become the must-have footwear item for summer. They now have adornments of all kinds: flowers, sequins, shells, rhinestones, beads, ribbon, you name it. And if the adornments are not enough or the colors too plain, one can slip on plaid or printed flip-flops.

The price of the little sandals has also changed. A $2.99 item before, they now can be pricey for what you are getting, but after all, it is fashion and that’s what it’s all about.

Getting a hold of this seasonal footwear doesn’t have to break the bank, however. For you crafty souls out there, you can go to the local craft store purchase a pair of cheap-o flip-flops and decorate them yourselves. Why, you can have a pair to match each outfit in your summer wardrobe (but if you do that, you have far too much time on your hands). It will keep the younger set busy for awhile, though, so don’t dispel the idea entirely.

Also, remember to complete the look. A pedicure and painted nails are a must. I might add, men should wear the basic flip-flop, nothing fancy.

Flip-flops have also created a whole new market of related items: watches, bracelets, earrings, necklaces (which are really cute), toe rings ( yes, toe-rings!), stationery, and personalized checks and address labels. Who would have thought it would come to this?

So why do they call them flip-flops, aside from the fact it is better than thongs? Have you ever heard someone walk past wearing them? And what is the sound they make? “Flip-flop,” of course.

If your wardrobe is lacking in flip-flops, and you wish to rival Imelda Marcos in the number of shoes you own, now is the time to purchase them. They are on sale and
available everywhere?”and I do mean almost everywhere. Flip-flop your way through the summer and into today’s
fashion craze.

On a personal note, one of the best things about writing this column is the comments from readers, whether in person, by phone, or mail. Jim Borrelli was one of my readers who was quick to give me a call to answer a question I may have posed or give me feedback on something I wrote. I looked forward to and appreciated his comments. Jim passed away last week, and he will be missed dearly by his family. My sympathies to them. I, too, will miss Jim and will keep him in mind when writing some of my columns, wondering what he would say about my latest musing. It would probably be something positive because that’s the kind of guy he was.