Have you ever been invited to a home where the host asks you to take your shoes off the moment you walk through the door? A magazine writer recently asked me to weigh in on the etiquette implications. Here’s how I replied:
I must say, insisting on shoe removal is risky because it puts guests in an awkward spot. It can be crushing to fashion people, those in need of a pedicure and anyone under 5’7. I’m doubly wary of this practice because of Sex and the City. Remember that chilling episode in which Carrie reluctantly parts with her Manolos only to have them disappear during the party? Tragique!
Then again, I myself had a no-shoe nursery when my son was tiny and perpetually playing on the floor. I maintained the policy for family and caregivers but would never have thrust it upon visitors.
As hosts, our most important job is to make guests feel relaxed, welcome and comfortable. If there’s any reason to think they’ll find the shoe rule jarring, it’s best to make an exception and tidy up after the visit.
Hosts who simply won’t budge on this issue should have a basket of pristine socks or slippers on hand to offer their guests. It certainly won’t enhance anyone’s outfit, but a little luxury will hopefully make them feel more at ease.
P.S. These chic spring loafers are beckoning over at Net a Porter.
Got an etiquette question? Ask Annabel!