Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pedro and The Belgians

Belgian Shoes get a lot of play these days in the trad blogosphere. Laguna Beach Trad weighs in and clearly, if you do a keyword search of my bratty cousin AllieVonBelgiqueen’s blog you’ll get tons of Belgian posits.
There’s really no middle ground on these prissy little cult shoddings. You either like ‘em or you don’t. It’s no secret that they are faves of mine. One of my first posts ever was an admonishment to guys to either wear them with confidence or don’t waste your money. Who spends north of three hundred bucks for house slippers? Here’s my closing Belgians sermon from that early post ….

“Belgian Shoes…like a bowl of biscuit batter in the South or a hanky about to be inserted into a breast pocket …can smell fear a mile away. They all have strong characteristics that must be dealt with confidently. You’ve gotta step up to all three with the same approach…treat ‘em like you own the hell out of ‘em…let ‘em know who’s boss…handle them with strength and aggression or the outcome will be embarrassing. They’ll walk all over you.”

Reggie-Lord of Darlington Hall did a Belgians post recently and asked readers to share where they had worn their Belgians. “Tell me, where do you wear your Belgians?" Here is my comment…
“Mine have traipsed with me down South Audley...'round Grosvenor Square...back to Mount Street...just prior to then slipping over to Claridges for a drink. But honestly, the dissonance, the dichotomy manifest in wearing Belgians up to the top of the Sombrero tower at South of the Border on I-95 is palpable.
So in honor of high and low brow dissonance, LFG and I stopped last week at South of the Border…the proverbial campy-kitschy white trash Mecca just south of the North Carolina line. You already know that I’m a sucker for tourist traps and junk shops and South of the Border, in all of its decline (God forbid its heyday) never disappoints.  
If ever there was a locale where Belgians might provoke more than a tisk-tisk it’s South of the Border. This is gun rack and camouflage land and an ass-whipping wouldn’t be totally out of the question here. I like pushing the proverbial envelope a bit and have now campaigned a tradition of traipsing around Pedro Land in Belgians.
We bought the usual kitsch while there…new salt and pepper shakers and plastic South of the Border placemats but the sartorial coup …why hadn’t I seen these before….was my Pedro Ascot. Dressing the neck is always problematic when one departs from a traditional necktie. I’ve provided you my two cents worth on this issue before. I don’t care what you put around your neck-ascot wise-you are still gonna project some element of Thurston Howell, III. There’s just no escaping it. Wait till the weather cools a bit and surely, my Pedro clad neck will be post worthy.

Onward, now from Boston on biz, Belgians in tow.


DAM said...

ADG: We stopped at South of the Border last year and was horribly disappointed in the state to which it has become. The shops didn't even have anything in them when we were there in late July and let's not discuss the bathroom/concessions situation.


James said...

While this is an interesting post, the thing that struck me most was how tall your sidekick is getting. I personally have never owned any Belgians, but I'm all for comfort in the feet department.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Any pyrotechnics in that yellow plastic bag? SOB always meant a haul of nasty fireworks for my Brothers and I when my Dad would finally capitulate to our begging and stop there.

Lisa said...

Probably don't want to see the rubber "Belgians" that I trod around the garden mucking about huh? I could snap a photo of them with a gin and tonic and instead of carpet, there would be grass/mud. They're real purty but make the feet sweat. (But then my Hunter's make my feet sweat too) When that happens I just hose 'em down. Got them from KMart ($5.00) though it sounds like your South of the Border might be the kind of place to sell them too.

First there were jelly Kelly handbags (actually a Birkin) and now jelly Belgians. Is nothing sacred?

Anonymous said...

South of the Border, eh? Because they couldn't raise the cash for a Cajun-themed joint in Seattle, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I was stranded once at South of the Border on my way back to William & Mary from Florida. It was around 3 a.m. when my key broke in the trunk lock. I had to wait for hours until a locksmith arrived. The silly music playing from the speakers outside the store was maddening.

Where do you suggest I go in Old Town Alexandria for an acceptable gin & tonic? We were in The Fish Market last weekend and it was heinous; terrible service and cocktails.

Please be safe on the road!


Anonymous said...

At the risk of sounding ass kissy and repetitive, I will say that I loved this post. I think Belgians bring out the best in your writing. I remember reading your "Man-Up" post and forwarding that closing sermon to my writer friend, Cornelia Read, because she wears nothing but Belgians. Her line is that some women wear fuck me shoes... but she has always preferred fuck YOU shoes. Belgians hit the mark. She wears them with the confidence of an old sod, rocker sitting on his front porch with his muzzleloader placed loosely in his lap. Cornelia is a novelist but calls her genre "WASP Noir", which still amuses me.

I was a little disappointed when I realized The Pedro textile was not a pocket square, but neckwear should be appropriate, if not stunning, for the next Dios de Los Muertos.

Belgianless in SF

Summer is a Verb said...

Hahahaaa...Bratty cousin indeed! Reminds me of how we first me. Love at first Belgian. Still waiting for my fuzzy leopards to arrive at a most inopportune time I'm sure, i.e., when Babe's at home to intercept. Rolling the fuzzy leopards on that one :)

Toad said...

don't post that please. i was meerly having sport with you

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG - You wear your splendid - indeed estimable - collection of Belgians with the perfect degree of nonchalance. (See I can do 'nice' and I even mean it!) Love Belgianless in SF's comment re fuck me/fuck you shoes... deinitely prefer the latter.

heavy tweed jacket said...

Great post. The Belgians look as comforting and refreshing as that drink with the wedge of lime. Don't you just tire of the cammy look?

TWJ said...

Sadly no Belgians for me, two in college does not let one get away with this. However, I do sport my Minnetonka single eye Driving Moc's. I still get the same statement though from some guy, "Did you forget to take off your slippers?" And I usually reply, "No, I am pretty sure that I left my slippers under your wife's bed before you got home last night. Did you by chance bring them with you?" Yes, you do have to be a bad a$$ to wear them and be able take the dumb statements.

One day, after the four finish college, I will have my Belgians. By that time I will be so old that no one will dare mess with me.

longwing said...

I'm gonna get some when I'm really really old.

Reggie Darling said...

I say ADG, thanks for the shout out, I am truly honored. Also, a great treat to see the photogs of you and your lovely daughter at SOTB, where I stopped on many a road trip in days gone by. I am wearing Belgians as I write this (black calfskin), and more recently wore them (only yesterday morning in fact) in Rome before boarding a plane (on which I wore them, again) back home. Can't seem to shake them off my feet! Reggie

ADG said...

Reggie...Gotta tell you old sport, if I was in Tuscany etc I'd not be cruising the blogosphere...get off the computer...now.

Longthang...you are-already-really,really old.

TWJ...your priorities are in order my friend. Get the four of them educated and I'll buy you a pair of Belgians.

HeavyTweed...yes, now that I'm no longer in cammy land I can openly agree with you.

AnonEngFem...I knew you could do nice.

Toad...they are gnarly.

AnonSF...it doubles as a pocket square.

Hilton...the Fish Market sucks. Cocktails at the bar in Restaurant Eve...much better venue.

Kurt...Seattle cajuns....sure.

Lisa...nothing is sacred and those rubber Belgians are wrong!

MainLiner....how DID you guess. But these wee attenuated compared to what I used to get there when I was a kid. We bought smoke bombs and those things that pop when you throw them against the wall/ground. I was buying cherry bombs and M-80s when I was LFG's age.

James....she's growing too fast.

DAM...I suspect they'll be out of business in another year or so.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous English Female:

I am laughing with you. We, in the shoe business, call those Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo ├╝ber heels, CFMs. Come F--k Me shoes. When Cornelia said that her Belgians were F--k YOU Shoes I nearly died. Perfect. So. You must give her the credit for that line. Cornelia Read is an ex debutant (this is something I am not sure about...after the coming out, is one perennially a deb or does one become an 'ex' after a 'certain age'?) who is now a writer living in New Hampshire because her daughter is at Exeter. Another line of hers is that her money is so old there is none of it left. Gotta love it. Cornelia Read. Buy her first book, A Field of Darkness. WASP Noir at it's finest. She is very clever. Intelligently funny. Peter Riegert has picked up the option to turn that mystery book into a film.

Belgianless in SF, or for that matter, wherever I am.....VERY flat feet..........sigh

Anonymous said...

ADG.....so relieved about the pocket square option!

Folded in the manner of a taco or perhaps in the nuevo hip burrito style, it would appear tragically trad in the breast pocket of your summer linen/silk expression

Belgianless in SF

Anonymous said...

I will case out Eve. What is your take on the Chart House and Union Street for libations? My nurse was not happy at the Fish Market.


Pigtown-Design said...

Anon ---> AEF... We call them CCFMPs. ChaCha FMPs. Or Knock me down and FMPs. There are scads of hilarious manes.

A.E.F. said...

Anonymous 8.27pm - Cornelia Read: A Field of Darkness - sounds good! I will be NYC next week and will go to the nearest bookstore and look it out - Thank you!
(PS - Would 'former debutante' be more appropriate ?? In England I think you can only be an 'ex' when you've snagged your Lord/Duke/Prince and can replace the 'debutante' with a rather more definitive title...)

Anonymous said...

A.E.F. "Former" debutant". MUCH better. C.R. did eventually snag a Duke of sorts, but came to find he was a Dick in Duke's clothing and so unsnagged herself.

Belgianless in SF

Lisa said...

you're just scared that when my son and i show up in Alexandria I'll be sporting the rubber Belgians and cause a frenzy :)

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Superb post and excellent shoes. I neither like nor dislike them--I love them! Reggie's recent article is so far the best on the subject IMO.

I well remember the South of the Border shop from our treks south to Hilton Head. Lots of memories. Damn.

ADG said...

LagunaTradMon...yes, Reggie's post was the best. Hilton Head...Y'all shoulda beeped the horn when you passed by.

Lisa...There will be no frenzy. Ridicule yes. Frenzy-no.

AnonymousSF...so did AnonEngFem.

MegTown...I'm embarrassed that you know all of those things. Damn.

Hilton...Union Street and Chart House....average at best.

Anonymous said...


Sorry about English Female.

Sigh...... and anon.

(Not to be confused with "Anon".)

Ever and anon in SF

ilovelimegreen said...

Oh, what a deprived child (and adult) I am, never having been to South of the Border. My parents were always insistent that I do "educational" activities and sheltered me a bit too much from the fun stuff.