My very first pair of jelly shoes were Stuart Weitzman. Clear plastic maryjanes sculpted like bird’s nests with rhinestones gently kissing the toebox like dewdrops. When I first saw them the child in me could be heard whispering, “princess shoes!” and I knew they would be coming home with me. I never got to wear jelly shoes as a child. My mother said they were not good for growing feet. She saved me from all kinds of regretful fashion trends ranging from the spandex biker shorts of the 80’s to the ruffled pirate blouses of the early 90’s. I am thankful for those, but, unfortunately, the deprivation of jelly shoes has resulted in an unnatural obsession with plastic shoes and handbags.
The practicality of plastic accessories knows few boundaries. Not only does one not have to worry about the material getting wet, plastics are easy to clean should they be thrown up on by a baby, cat, or drunk sorority girl. And carrying such accessories out into the public eye can leave you with the comfort of knowing that no member of PETA is going to hunt you down in your sleep.
I recently discovered these Missoni jelly flats on the Bloomingdales website. I find them to be delightfully summery and object to nothing but their steep price of $250 (Really? They’re plastic shoes.). Luckily there are slightly more reasonable options out there. One of my favorites is the BowWow (see below). A collaboration between Moschino and Kartell (an Italian furniture company specializing in aesthetically satiating plastic furniture), these sweet little ballet flats have been around for a couple of years and are available in 15 colors. They're non-toxic and recyclable. And new for this season, they’ve come out with a wedge.
Plastic handbags have the added feature of allowing one a glimpse inside the bag, which can be good or bad depending on your level of tidiness. Some people would maintain that plastic bags are only for the beach, but I strongly disagree. Last year Furla debuted their Candy Bag. I was not sure how I felt about the texture when I finally had my hands on one in their Munich store. I ended up passing and instead became the owner of a Jil Sander Orange Acetate Market tote. This summer season saw the return of Furla’s doctor bag shaped candy satchel and they’ve incorporated another of my favorite things: glitter. I don’t know how it would be possible to frown walking around with a sparkling pink carryall. Additionally, I am certain this bag would be a great conversation starter with my favorite three-year old diva, Cora, an expert in all things pink.
Unless you wish to look like a three year old or a melted crayon box while sporting these smile-inducing PVC accessories, I suggest you keep the styling on the conservative side. They would be best highlighted with neutrals, but it’s not entirely necessary to rule out contrasting colors. Take advantage of the bright color trend we are experiencing! Just don’t overdo the colorblocking or wear too many colors at once, unless you are interested in trying out that vomit easy cleanup theory I mentioned earlier. Leave the rainbows to Skittles and Lucky Charms, please. So, put your serious accessories away, and welcome in the warmer weather with polyvinyl chloride pleasure.