Claudia Winkleman: Take It From Me

'If muppets decided to create the ghastliest footwear on earth, they couldn't come up with anything quite as heinous as the Croc'
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The Independent Online

This week Kelly Preston has come out against the C-word. She told The New York Times: "That is a trend I am excited about passing."

Well, love, aren't we all. It's gone on long enough and we've all been polite. Up to now no one has screamed " How can you do this to your children?" No one has sounded an alarm. Nope, we've turned the other cheek, we've hummed to ourselves, bitten our tongues and we've gone about our business.

But now Kelly's come out of the closet then I'm afraid I'm right behind her. Seriously, enough is enough. Sorry, I should be clear. Not as in that C-word. Not as in: "Pass me the ketchup you c***" (surely that's completely fine in anyone's book) but the other C-word: Crocs. You know, the colourful plastic shoes that people can't seem to take off their feet.

Yes. I know. It's taken the wife of John Travolta, a Hollywood actress to uh, break the Croc ice. I'll be totally honest, I wouldn't have expected it from her. Sure, she's very smiley and has freakishly glossy hair, but up until now she has never come across as the wisest of women. Number one: she told her husband that Battlefield Earth (the film based on Scientology where he's dressed as a bearded lizard) was a corker and number two, she named her son Jett. Oh yes, that's not a typo: that's two ts. See what I mean? But hallelujah. She's said that Crocs are totally rubbish so it means we can all follow suit. Or me at least.

What IS going on? Sure, I'm all for people expressing themselves through what they wear. If you need a tattoo of a Chinese verb on your shoulder, get yourself to Camden Lock sharpish. Who am I to say: "Wow, you're really going to regret that when you're 60." If you want to let your parents know you think they're idiots then yes, of course you should wear black eyeliner, pointy, pointy shoes and throw some talc on your cheeks. Listen, I'll even accept playsuits – a new trend that makes most people feel violently sick. Imagine dungaree shorts – made out of parachute fabric. There you go – not pleasant. If you think that a beret finishes off your outfit then who am I to argue? Seriously, go ahead and buy a pastel jacket with a shell motif button. Do what you need to do.

None of these are fashion crimes. They're small misdemeanours that can be overlooked. All of us need to make fashion mistakes, just so that when we finally reach for a pair of dark denim jeans and a white T-shirt we know we've got it right (by the way, if you're wondering – that's what's right. Under no circumstances is faded denim or, God forbid, white denim ever, ever OK).

So, back to me being non judgemental – the Crocs thing. There's really no excuse. They're not even supposed to be worn on a road. They're boating shoes; shoes for people who get in and out of boats. Hence the plastic, and hence the holes.

They're slingbacks too – even a Blahnik slingback is a little bit obvious, a little bit cheap. These are made of out of jelly-like substance and have a slingback and a small heel. I mean, if a group of muppets sat in a room and decided to create the most ghastly piece of footwear on earth – they couldn't come up with anything quite as heinous as the Croc.

"Aren't they orthopaedic or something?" was thrown in the mix by my husband. I tried to involve him in a conversation but after some recent, um, family-themed columns he chose to race upstairs and hide under the bed shouting: "I won't be dragged into your strange world." I called up: "It's a bit late for that now." But he'd put ear-plugs in. Whatever.

I phoned my friend Lucy. I love her and I love her children. The only problem I have with her family is their footwear. "Why do you wear Crocs?" I asked. "Are you kidding me?" she replied. "Have you ever worn a pair? They're SO comfy. Like, they support you but you don't sweat. You should try them." I know. I obviously can't talk to her ever again. (Even if she went back to normal shoes all I'd be thinking was how much her feet were sweating.)

Comfort? Comfort? That's the excuse? If it was comfort we were all after we'd have invented grown-up sized Babygros in flattering colours. We'd wobble around in head-to-toe brushed cotton. We'd give up on shoes altogether and would only wear cashmere socks. We'd never apply make-up because sticking eyeliner on can be quite tricky. High heels would be burnt along with bras. We'd eat bread and butter all day long. Comfort? That's all you people have got?

So. This is the big news. If Kelly Preston can be leading the pack with her fashion insights, maybe the whole L Ron Hubbard thing is worth looking at again. I mean, we could have been space lizards right? Just think about it...

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