Colombo’s Toe Nazis.

Personally, I think wearing shoes in Sri Lanka is madness. It’s just way too hot. If the President wears sandals it’s good enough for me.

The Arugam Bay collection at Colombo Fashion Week 2012

West Is Best?

Years ago there was this idea that Western fashion was fashion, even though it’s oriented around seasons we don’t have. I mean, try to wear a woolen suit here. Thankfully, people like the designers at Colombo Fashion Week (see interview) have been pushing a new season/style called Resort Wear. This is an international style marketed for upscale Westerners who traveled to destinations like St. Barts, because they liked to dress comfortably and well.

This is the paradox of the colonial hangover. We retain Western foolishness long after those countries have moved on.

Yolande’s collection, nary a covered toe in sight

Not Looking Like A Hobo

That said, there’s something for places wanting to maintain a certain look. They are, after all, private establishments. However, is the look we want to preserve really pleather shoes and tucked in shirts over bundis? Is that smart casual? In this weather it’s just foolish and colonial.

Toe Nazis

Instead of bouncers that curate a crowd, what we get are dudes that just stare at your feet. They’re toe nazis. If they see some toe, you’re out. You can be wearing Gucci shorts and slippers, but if they see toe and, God forbid, ankle, you’re out. We recently went to Flag & Whistle (in Kotahena) to try and review it and they wouldn’t let us in because Shru was wearing slippers. As a man I’m used to being kicked out for foot violations, but this is the first time I’ve seen them boot a girl. And the place was (as usual) empty.

Nightclubs especially are like this, and quite rude about it as well. No one’s taken the leap of having a dress code where people can look comfortable and good, it’s like uncomfortable is good, because that’s how we see Westerners dress on TV, even though that’s not how they actually dress when they’re here. Banning rubber slippers, well, OK, even though Arugam Bay and the late Urban Thongs have made them fashionable. But banning chappals or ministerial footwear? For shame. Banning sarongs is even more backwards, and I’d venture that shorts should also be allowed.

Arugam Bay’s foot fashion

Toe Tagging

But what to do. The culture is changing but slowly. Till then we’ve started adding whether you need to wear shoes at certain establishments or not. We actually end up avoiding these places most of the time cause they’re generally not awesome enough to justify the lifestyle change. But just so you know. Look out for the toe tag.

Photos here by Smriti Daniel

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp




The Delightful Indian Cuisine at Navaratna by Taj Samudra

Navaratna is an Indian Restaurant located in Taj Samudra Colombo. Taj Samudra is a 5-star


10 Places to Get Sushi in Colombo

By Janani Vithanage A Japanese dish most often presented as vinegared sticky rice, seafood or

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

An ideal dinner date spot in Colombo – Ward 7

By Shamrina Carim Are you struggling to decide where you could have a decent fancy


Reaching new heights at Virticle by Jetwing’s rooftop bar & restaurant

We were so excited to go to the highest rooftop bar & restaurant in Colombo

Highlights Kamu

Satisfy your Kottu cravings at KottuLabs

Located in Nawala down a little lane, Kottulabs is home to the widest and most

Highlights Kamu

A flavorful journey to the North East by Paadum Meen

An ecstatically beautiful place located down Frankfort place, Bambalapitiya has caught a significant eye for

Highlights Kamu


Savor The Salt Of The Sea At Hilton Colombo

Fresh from the seafood markets to your table Colombo, Sri Lanka – 20th June 2022 – Partake


10 Types of Sri Lankans in Petrol Queues

By Janani Vithanage These days, spending time in the petrol queue is almost every Sri

Highlights Trending

Celebrating life with Perera & Sons

by Shamrina Carim Perera & Sons holds a privileged history of catering to the most

Highlights Trending

Before You Watch… Jurassic World Dominion

By Shamrina Carim The movie On a critic of honest opinions, Jurassic World Dominion is


Treats fit for a King at Ramada Colombo this Father’s Day!

Enjoy Father's Day special Grill, Lunch, Dinner, Deliveries, and Stays… This June 19th, we all


Celebrate Father’s Day with your Super Dad at Hilton Colombo!

Looking to express your gratitude for the superhero of your household this Father’s Day? Hilton


Yamu Guide.

10 Places to Get Sushi in Colombo

By Janani Vithanage A Japanese dish most often presented as vinegared sticky rice, seafood or

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

The ideal skin care routine with Bio Oil

By Shanali Fernando Feeling overwhelmed, confused, and/or frustrated by the multitude of competing messages about

Highlights Yamu Guide

5 common causes of Dry Skin

The general cause of itchy, dry skin might seem like a no-brainer: It's a lack

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Places to Watch the SL Vs. AUS ODI Matches

By Janani Vithanage Sri Lankan cricket may ot have been on its best footing over

Highlights Yamu Guide

5 Cooking Tips from Knorr

By Janani Vithanage Being a mother in today’s world is no easy task. From waking

Highlights Yamu Guide

How Bio Oil reduces scars

By Shanali Fernando Still curious about this little pink bottle of magic and what it

Highlights Yamu Guide