What’s old is new. What comes around goes around. Retro, kitsch. In fashion, things come full circle if they’re classic, simple shapes that can be customized and updated in minor ways. The humble men’s slipper has enjoyed a renaissance ever since TOM’S started giving one for selling one, and Stubbs & Wootton began furnishing men of Palm Beach society with needlepoint versions fit for formalwear.
My favorite brand to emerge as part of this trend is Rivieras Leisure Shoes. Part 1950s French Riviera, part Little Havana, the cork-soled slips are no-frills, but super comfy and carefully made. They come in an array of colors, designs, and materials, and range in price from $70 to over $100. My first pair was purchased in New York at the Ace Hotel Opening Ceremony store nearly two years ago. As you can see, they’ve taken a beating…but have been a tireless default on many a summer’s evening. The canvas mesh upper has frayed at the toes, so they’re relegated to pool duty now.
I found the navy felt pair online for $26, so I snatched them right up. The red canvas pair is a size up (42 vs. 41), because they other two are snug. The 42 is almost too large – so I guess I’m truly a 41.5 (Rivieras doesn’t do half sizes).
If you’re looking for something different and upscale to wear for the summer, Rivieras may be your silver bullet. But beware – they’re never to be worn with socks, and if you’re like me, your shoes get stinky fast worn sock-free. Throw in some baking soda for odor-killing in between wears.