The Fartorialist

Today’s a Sunday in late July, and we don’t move to Milan until September or October. In terms of packing, I’m still in the ‘Oh, I should get my tupperware back from Peter and return his umbrellas’ stage. We’re headed to Milan on Thursday to look at places to live. Tobias wants somewhere charming with green space and a reasonable commute to work and airport; I’m hoping to find a neighborhood artsy enough that my extra ten pounds look deliberately counterculture instead of just sloppy. Hard to communicate that to the real estate agent while insisting that we be within walking distance of the school that we haven’t picked yet. (Want to cast your vote? There’s a British school with a good reputation, an international school that sounds lively and warm, and a German school that sounds… effective.)

My feet are suffering because, with only a few months before the move and a visit next weekend, I can’t really justify buying shoes anywhere but Milan so I’m spending the Hamburg summer either sweating in wintry boots or getting the last few miles out of some blown-out sandals that only stay on if I shuffle. (See above re: sloppy.) It’s going to be hilarious when I get to Milan only to buy those goddamned thong Birkenstocks every 32-68 year old woman* is wearing in Hamburg right now.

Speaking of which, anyone else seeing lots and lots and lots of Hammer pants this summer? On the way to the train yesterday, I counted 8 pairs of black and white-patterned summer-weight Hammer pants, PLUS 3 black and white-patterned summer-weight Hammer-esqe jumpsuits (one strapless, one button-up, one with straps.) I’ve also been seeing lots of bubble suits (the shorts-plus-top combos that have elastic waists and a loop over the neck to keep the top up.) It’s been hot lately, I get it, but I cannot recommend wearing these while biking. It’s not the look, it’s the road rash potential. My experience in the 1982 Pledge-a-Mile Children’s Bike Ride for Charity taught me that the last lap is never worth it, that bubble suits and bikes don’t mix, and that you get extra ice cream if you have recently acquired scabs on your knuckles, wrist, elbow, shoulder, scapula, upper ribs, hip, knee, ankle, etc.

*this is very nearly not an exaggeration. They are ubiquitous. I’ve seen men wearing them. These. 

I’m actually holding off on the Birkenstocks because I have this dream of having a pair of sandals custom-made for my ever-so-special feet such that the sandals are perfectly stylish, perfectly comfortable, and perfect for every occasion. This is where my Italian skills might be a bit limiting. ‘I want them to be flat and yet flattering.’ ‘Impossibile!’ ‘Yes, but I can’t walk in a heel.’ ‘Impossibile!‘ ‘But I have two little kids to carry and I walk all the time everywhere and I want to be comfortable.’ ‘Non impossibile, basta indolente! Go get some Birkenstocks!’


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