Houses with 'No Shoe' Rules

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by RSS, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. wesny

    wesny Active Member

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    I keep a no-shoes policy which I enforce most of the time. Living in the city, I think it keeps the house much cleaner in general. I keep a metal shoe tray for wet shoes in the winter or when it rains and cubbies for the rest of the time. If someone asks to keep them on, I usually let them and I never enforce the rule if I am having any kind of get together or party because of outfit collaboration with shoes and just because it is too hard to enforce and tell everyone. I almost always take my shoes off at the houses of others just out of habit. I've never thought of keeping slippers in the house because no one has ever objected to going barefoot.
     


  2. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    I don't mean to pick on you specifically because a lot of people in this thread feel this way. But this attitude is the antithesis of hospitality. Miss Manners, who I have already /thread quoted, offers these examples of gracious hosts.

    At a great London banquet, dear Queen Victoria lifted her finger bowl and drank the water. She had to. Her guest of honor, the Shah of Persia, had done it first. At a Washington embassy dinner party, the king of Morocco plunged his fingers into his teacup and wiped them on his napkin. He had to. His guest of honor, President Kennedy, had done it first. Then there was the time that Mrs. Grover Cleveland attempted to engage a tongue-tied guest in conversation by seizing on the nearest thing at hand, an antique cup of thinnest china. “We’re very pleased to have these; they’re quite rare and we’re using them for the first time today,” she is supposed to have said. “Really?” asked the distraught guest, picking up his cup and nervously crushing it in his hand. “Oh, don’t worry about it,” said the hostess. “They’re terribly fragile. See?” She smashed hers.

    How does this attitude stack up against all those people who are so worried about their carpets?


    Nor should you. It is certainly not at all rude to maintain a private domain and run it exactly as you please. But it becomes very rude when you invite people into that domain and then try to enforce a list of "house rules."

    The bottom line of this entire discussion is that there is no way to politely impose your personal quirks on a social gathering, even a social gathering of two. Whether your personal preference is "better" is utterly and completely beside the point.

    Note that this has nothing to say about whether shoes should be removed or not. But it does tell you how to decide. If, as a host, your guest -- or guests -- are more comfortable leaving their shoes on, then let them leave them on -- and leave yours on as well. If, however, your guests remove their shoes, then remove yours as well. And if you are going to go spare if a guest leaves his shoes on, don't invite people over.
     


  3. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    I feel much the same. How and/or why have I missed this.

    I like the Fran Libowitz definition of the out-of-doors: That space between front door and cab. On the other hand, I'm now retired and spend a fair amount of time in the country ... I still don't see this custom. Of course, most of the 'country houses' I visit are occupied by urban -- and rather urbane -- people.

    At my own house in the country, when I'm out tromping around in the fields, the woods or down by the water, I wear Wellingtons (on a wet day) or some other approprate type boot (leather w/ a country sole) when the weather is fair. When I return home, I enter via the vestibule where there is a bench affording me a place to remove my soiled footwear and replace it with shoes or slippers. There are also a deep sink where said boots can be cleaned ... and cubbies in an adjacent cloak room where said boots can be kept for use another time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011


  4. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Indeed. Moreover they can be refinished, reupholstered, or replaced. They are not 'living' beings that die.

    [Emphasis added]. Agreed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011


  5. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Now that is special.

    The dogs of the Iditarod wear booties. But that is for the dog's protection.
     


  6. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    But are they bespoke? Color? Last? Pics?
     


  7. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    I felt exactly the same when reading his response of 'my house = my rules."

    You hit the nail on the head.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011


  8. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    Yes she's special. :alien: I would also consider booties for a rough hike. Not so much for walking on a paved trail.
    Many would disagree with you and Sonny that rugs and floors are for walking and sofas and chairs are for sitting. I would've thought you more worldly.
     


  9. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Thanks for repeating this. Both the events that I referenced in Post #1 were events with guests. The events were 'casual' in style, but not exactly a group of 'close friends.' One was an afternoon cocktail party and political fundraiser. The other was a dinner meeting -- at table -- of an NPO.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011


  10. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    :D

    RSS - Thank you for indulging me! I am sincerely amused!
     


  11. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    I'm thinking they look more akin to 'Crocs' than shoes of the bespoke variety typically discussed here.
     


  12. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Oh, I'm not saying one can't sit on the floor in the right setting. Even at my advanced age, I can easily get into and out of -- and, most importantly, up front -- the quarter lotus.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011


  13. facet

    facet Senior member

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    I don't see how you couldn't take this line of reasoning, reverse the references of "host" and "guest", and not have it be equally valid.
     


  14. threeLegDog

    threeLegDog Well-Known Member

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    Because host and guest are not equal, therefore you cant swap them. That's what some folks are trying to hammer home here with the "my house - my rules" line.

    Seems like it boils down to:

    Host: If you want to enter this abode, you will abide by the (0-N) rules I have set.
    Guest: If I want to enter the abode, I will agree to the (0-N) rules set by the host.

    We are all free to (a) set rules for others and (b) respect the rules of others. Will they mesh? Unknown. Makes life interesting...
     


  15. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    No it is not.
    If you were to officially meet the Queen of England you would be coached on how to behave in front of the Queen, whether it be to kneel or bow or whatever. Her house, her rules.
    My house my rules too. What's good enough for the Queen of England is good enough for me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011


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