We’ve all been there. Having dressed bleary-eyed and in the dark, we arrive to work in a shirt with a splodge of ketchup down the front rather than the crisp, Daz-white one we intended to wear. But not all of us have had to face the world’s media having made such a wardrobe faux pas. Donald Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer, who was snapped wearing a pair of mismatched shoes at a White House press conference on Monday – one brown, one black – did. Had he passed it off as a DGAF move from a guy too busy to care about something so mundane as shoes, it might have looked less of a gaffe. Or, had he owned his apparent mistake by adopting Theresa May’s infamous power stance rather than standing pigeon-toed behind Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services, and Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, as they discussed the Congressional Budget Office’s findings on the Republican health bill, it might have been fine. Because what Spicer might not realise is that he has unwittingly stepped out in the trend of spring/summer 2017.
Mismatched shoes are this season’s way of showing you know what’s what when it comes to fashion. At the Oscars last month, Moonlight’s Naomie Harris wore a Calvin Klein By Appointment frock – the big deal red-carpet debut of Raf Simons for the label – and mismatched bejewelled heels. On the Paris fashion week catwalk at Céline, a label known for being impossibly chic and French, one model wore mismatched white and black strappy sandals, another one red boot and one white.
It’s a trend with highbrow endorsement: David Hockney was rumoured to to encourage textile designer Celia Birtwell to go out in Paris wearing one pink boot and one blue. On the Golden Globes red carpet in 2011, Helena Bonham Carter also rounded off an extravaganza of a dress with one pink and one green shoe.
Of course, it’s a look that footballers have been sporting for years. With footwear an exception to Fifa’s otherwise restrictive uniform policy, players like to have a little fun on their feet. The mismatched boot trend reached its wonky peak at the last World Cup in Brazil, with Argentina’s Sergio Agüero, France’s Olivier Giroud and Italy’s Mario Balotelli all wearing the clashing pink and blue boots from Puma’s Tricks line. More recently, Puma has released a fuschia and yellow pair (both big colours this season).
So Spicer is in good company, although a clash more striking than his brown and black, nondescript, IT-guy shoes might have better boosted his style credentials. Still, it’s only a matter of time for the increasingly Trump-tango’d press man: having already been on the receiving end of a Trump-endorsed suit makeover , it’s likely that his footwear will be next.