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Flip flops drive me crazy. Can’t we just call them a faux pas?

Man wearing flip flops with feet up on desk in office, low section

Martin Poole/Getty Images

The question:

Is it just me or does the slap-slap-slap sound of flip-flops and other similarly-designed sandals drive you mad? Is this kind of sound pollution a fashion faux pas?

The answer:

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I'll admit that Satie's Gymnopédies pleases me more. Perhaps I'd be more irritated if I worked beside a stairway, where the slap of heel against sole is exacerbated when a person descends. But the reality is that flip-flops have an onomatopoeic name for a reason; they will never be silent like sneakers. Some offices advise against flip-flops on account of the sound effects, but also because, by exposing so much of the foot, they suggest beachwear. If the noise is interfering with the way you work, you have a right to tell human resources or someone in a managerial position. If it's just a matter of hearing the sound and cringing from time to time, I'm afraid your options are limited. In fact, approaching a testy stranger to complain might get you a slap-slap-slap across the face.

Amy Verner is The Globe and Mail's Paris-based style reporter. Have a fashion question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com or follow her on Twitter @amyverner.

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