Clogerati: A New Yorker term for the cult of bi-coastal boho-chic women who swear by the clog. The creative class has long been a stead-fast believer in the power of #cloglife. But the shoe now worn by Brooklyn moms and free-spirited Venice-beach blondies came from much humbler beginnings.
Where exactly did it all start?
Early styles, or “klompen,” date back to 1230 CE in Holland. It’s suspected that they’re the unofficial offspring of a similar style from the Roman Empire, “calceus” — a strappy leather upper on a wood flatform sole. But, with harsher conditions and fewer bath houses, sandals were swapped for the hardy, closed-toe wooden shoe in Northern Europe.
As all great trends do, this one quickly spread from Holland to France, England, and Scandinavia. The sturdy shoe became kind of an OG workwear staple, protecting peasants’ feet from the elements. Think of them as the Timberland or Caterpillar of the Middle Ages. The cultural importance of the clog transcended utility. In Holland, it was customary for a man to give his fiancée a pair upon engagement — not clear if that was in addition to or in lieu of a ring. When the Industrial Revolution paved the way for mass production, they were shelved until material scarcity in WWI led to a returned need for this functional shoe. It was around this time they landed on American turf.
Ultimately their transformation into an iconic shoe was cemented in the 1970’s, when stars such as Cybill Shepherd and Tonne Goodman embraced this slip-on, creating some trend-setting moments.
This season, Tory has put her individual, modern spin on the classic clog by marrying the simplicity of the silhouette with the spirit of the American Southwest. Instead of flower crowns and bell-bottoms, let them be the unexpected finish to a slip dress or canvas cargo suit.