If the shoe fits. . .
The annual general meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America is coming up next week in Denver, and with it that age-old question: What to wear?
As readers of Among the Janeites will recall, my foray into Regency evening dress was . . . problematic, and I have long vowed that I will never repeat the experiment. (Although I’m toying with the idea of breaking that vow this year, I suspect I will ultimately chicken out.)
Luckily, there are less adventurous ways to wear my Austen-love on my sleeve, or other parts of my body: I currently own a Jane Austen wristwatch, a Jane Austen pendant, two different sets of Jane Austen earrings, and multiple Jane Austen T-shirts.
But as every fashionista knows, it’s the shoes that make the outfit, and thus it is that I set out to discover the options in Jane Austen footwear.
Which, it turns out, are many:
* Punk JA: “It is a truth universally acknowledge[d], that every person with good taste in books must be in want of nerdy fashion accessories,” proclaims Janeite artist Sarah Donawerth. And if pink combat boots decorated with the famous wedding-ring portrait (actually a based-on-a-questionable-portrait-based-on-a-portrait portrait) of Jane Austen are your idea of a nerdy fashion accessory, a pair can be yours for $99.99.
* Briskly efficient JA: For all the Janeite nurses out there, white canvas Pride and Prejudice slip-ons adorned with Darcy-and-Lizzy silhouettes and “quotes from the book” may seem just the ticket. I won’t be forking over the required $30, though, because one of those book quotes (“Only the deepest love will induce me into matrimony”) is actually a (slightly garbled) movie quote.
* Casual JA: Nothing says “beach season” like flipflops decorated with matching halves of the wedding-ring portrait. Also, nothing says “hideous” like these appalling creations, which, in my opinion, are overpriced even at $18.99. (Although these bilious high-tops are a close second in the hideous department.)
* Nighty-night JA: Time to curl up with a good book before bed? Fork over $30 for fluffy slippers sporting the peacock cover of Pride and Prejudice. Not as ugly as the flipflops, but not my cup of tea either, especially given that I can never keep heel-less shoes on my feet.
* Little-girl JA: I haven’t worn Mary Janes since my mother was dressing me for dinner with the grandparents. But those Mary Janes—unlike the ones designed by Jennyvi Dizon of Jane Austen Couture--definitely weren’t decorated with the famous (if questionable) Jane Austen silhouette. I’ve already charged the $75 to my credit card. You can inspect the results in Denver next week. I'll be looking at your feet, too.