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The Smelly Leather Flat Conundrum: Some Suggestions

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Love, Frank has returned as a weekly style advice column tackling your hard-hitting fashion issues and addressing a different fashion glitch each week. Submit a query here.


Cute, but are they starting to stink? Via Live Creating Yourself.

Dear Frank,

My fall flats (leather and otherwise, new and old) are making my feet smell. Help?

Love,
Smelly from the Bottom, Now We're Here

Dear Drake,

Gross.

And I say that with empathy and understanding—it happens to the best of us.

A sad reminder that no matter how groomed and persnickety we might feel, we are all just basically animals.

And smells happen.

Especially in a leather shoe—leather doesn't breathe like a woven fabric. Which is why your Keds are fine (not great, but fine), and your Bensimons and Chanels (and Steve Maddens) are terrifying.

So here are some ideas:

To start—consider wearing peds or those silly-looking little loafer socks with closed-toe flats to eliminate the problem all together. Just be careful that your little peds aren't showing because a quarter inch of sock popping out of your cute little Tory Burch flats is sadder than just wearing ugly lumpy socks. It screams "tried and failed." No-one wants to scream "tried and failed."

Further, consider alternating your shoes and not wearing the same pair two days straight. A little tip sheet inside the box a pair of Paul Smith wingtips told me that—and it makes sense. It gives the shoes a chance to air out so moisture (read: stink) can't build up and compound day after day.


Dryer sheets aren't just for your dryer—via Something About Katie, who uses them to make scent diffuses for garages.

Another trick involves dryer sheets—simply split one in half and place a half in each shoe. Let those sit overnight. The sheets both absorb and mask. It won't restore new shoe springtime freshness but it will much improve the situation. You can also sprinkle baby powder in each shoe but it's obviously messier.

Speaking of baby powder, you can powder you feet each morning before slipping those leather shoes on. There are also horrifying sprays and stuff you can find in the horrifying Dr. Scholl's/foot aisle of your preferred pharmacy. Which, gross—visions of Thomas Haden Church dousing his ugly golf sneakers with Odor-Eaters in Sideways.

Finally, what can I say? Wash those dogs once you get home or at least before you go to bed.

If you can't beat it, rinse it.

Got a style question for Frank? Leave it in the comments or email one in here. Then buckle your two-toned leather Moschino belts, folks, because it's going to be ? Something.
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