I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I feel sorry for grooms and their uberly boring outfit selection. Of course if they were super funky they could go all out with a plaid suit and ruffle shirt but for the average groom that just wants a little bit of originality there are very little options. In addition, Kyle is not funky by any means. He has no desire to really stand out but would appreciate a little flare in his wedding day outfit. Which is why I suggested red argyle socks, yeah I know socks, lame. But it is just the level of funkiness Kyle can handle. So I set out on a search for red argyle socks, ideally black socks with red diamonds. Remember we are going for subtle here. I am positive every other time in my life that I was never looking for such socks they were on every rack in every men’s sock section that I passed. However, my search turned up zilch (I don’t think I’ve ever typed that word out before). My search didn’t just involve actual stores, it involved Google. I know something to be true and that is if you can’t find it on Google, it doesn’t exist. Therefore I concluded red argyle socks do not exist. Amazing, I know. Sock crafters everywhere should take advantage of this black hole in the market. Anyway so I thought, surely I can find plain red socks. Nope, because what man wears red socks? I take that back, I found a few pairs of crazy insulated hiking socks or some madness like that for $40 a pair! I think not. I will stick some of his white socks in homemade beet dye before I pay $40 for socks. I did find some argyle socks in the ladies section that I thought could have worked. However, Kyle in all his manliness, was convinced they looked like girl socks. Trust me if we found them in the men’s section, I guarantee this wouldn’t have been the case. In reality they wouldn’t have worked anyway with Kyle’s gargantuan feet, they would have been ankle socks for sure. I was feeling hopeless and disappointed that Kyle would have plain old black socks to wear with his plain black suit. Then out of some fantastic twist of fate, I landed on Tom’s Shoes website. In another exhausting process, we have been shopping for black (plain) dress shoes for him to wear with no luck. Turns out it was fate. To my pure delight, Tom’s has a wedding section. Now if you know anything about Tom’s shoes you know, they all look the same pretty much in terms of style. The wedding section was no different than the classic section but it did mean that people wear them to weddings. Brilliant. How did I never think of Tom’s before?!
Let me tell you a little bit about Tom’s Shoes. In developing countries many children do not have shoes. At all. This means they walk everywhere barefoot which can lead to injury and disease. There are many soil transmitted diseases that can penetrate through the skin of their bare little feet and make the children sick. So when American traveler Blake Mycoskie visited Argentina and realized the children had no shoes, he decided he wanted to give shoes to these children. In an effort to have a sustainable charitable organization that did not have to rely on fund raising, he created the One for One concept. For every one pair of shoes you buy, they donate one to a child. Tom’s Shoes have an organic look to them and apparently are super comfortable. The line has expanded over the last four years (founded in 2006) and as of April 2010 they have given away 600,000 pairs of shoes thanks to people like me and you who buy them. Companies like Ralph Lauren and Element Skateboards have jumped on board with the One for One concept and offer limited edition Tom’s Shoes. Charity Water even has their own Tom’s Shoe which not only provides a pair of shoes to a child but also helps fund a water project in Ethiopia. The majority of the shoes are canvas which means you can write on them, use them as your guest book, or decorate them in any way you choose. I have two major loves in life: shoes and charity. (3 loves, Kyle, oops.) It doesn’t get any better than this in my opinion.
So back to Kyle and his flare. I tried, with all my might, to get him to wear these red shoes. To kill two birds with one stone if you will, flare and shoes. All the shoes we looked at in the dress section at department stores came in around $100, they were shiny, and chances were great they he would never wear them again as we aren’t super formal people. When it comes to shoes for men and weddings I think you either have to have a nice, appropriate dress shoe or something completely unexpected. A mid-grade dress shoe will just look like weren’t paying attention when you got dressed. A Tom’s Shoe on the other hand is clearly a statement, something you did on purpose. In addition, with each step he takes, he will know a child is running around in a new pair of shoes thanks to his wedding shoes. These are very functional and he will wear them again, especially since he went with … plain black.
We’ve asked the groom’s party to consider purchasing and wearing Tom’s Shoes and we’d be delighted if any male guests would wear them as well. Of course the ladies are welcome to wear a pair too, but I know they don’t really go with a dress. While I already have two pairs of wedding shoes, there was no way I could resist these. After all don’t I need “Getting Ready” shoes? If it means one more child gets a pair of shoes, I think I do.