Sunday, 20 February 2011

Paulistano's don't do havaianas...

I love my havaianas. I wear them to pop down to the supermarket, to go out for lunch or hang out on the beach... and even on the plane (if I'm going to land somewhere warm!). Sophie has 3 pairs of baby havaianas to pick from when we go out, they are the cutest little things ever. And if anyone has a new baby, guess what their baby present is!

But I had a friend tell me the other month that she was told by one of her socialite friends here that any self-respecting Paulistano would not be seen dead in a pair of havaianas in public. I mean, seriously?!?!? Is this true?? I've only heard it from one source so I'm not going to tar all high-society Paulistano's with the same flip-flop...

So I've  taken this mission on ... to wear my havianas everywhere and anywhere we go in the city, even if we are going somewhere considered 'posh'!


  1. Gil and I are Paulistanos and not high society and I can tell you it is cultural, not a class thing at all.
    I was talking to Gil the other day about a similar fact, that in Sao Paulo I would never even were bermuda shorts or shorts of any kind, Havaianas, on the beach, maybe.
    Yep, Havaianas are not used in Sao Paulo at all, but again, cultural, not defined by what class you belong to...
    Havaianas is beachwear. You wouldn't wear Havaianas in Sao Paulo just like you wouldn't wear a suit or a taier to the beach...but even if you do, nobody would give you a dirty look if you do, they would just know you are not a local.
    Our life style or weather are not very compatible with Havaianas or other beachwear and we tend to be more formal than most Brazilians who live by the Sea.


  2. I mention the class thing because the Paulistano that said it - said that she wouldn't wear havaianas because her empregada wears them.

    It's just another cultural difference. In the cities I've lived in havaianas have always been a fad or something cool to wear especially when the sun is out - and the sun is (almost) always out here!

    Though you're right, I wouldn't wear havaianas on a night out in London... and I'm certain if I did there, I would get a few strange looks.

  3. My husband says that if you have any doubt about whether someone is a foreigner, look at his/her feet! I have gone to work in Havaianas for years - Brazilians think it is hilarious, but are now used to it! (Obviously, in a big company or formal environment, it would be good to avoid....and there is always the risk of catching a crazy disease, like leptospirose!)

    Flip-flops are cheap, practical footwear, so they're definitely worn a lot by the poorest, especially kids and young men. My nanny wears flip-flops to work, but - unlike me - wouldn't be caught dead wearing them downtown!


  4. Dear Sarah,

    I don't know where you heard about catching leptospirose just by wearing Havaianas, but that is not accurate.
    One can catch "leptospirose" by coming in contact with Rat urine, regardless of the shoes one is wearing :)

  5. But the chance of coming into contact with rat urine is higher if one's feet aren't covered, is it not? (I understand that there are many forms of contracting the disease - for example, through ingesting contaminated food or water - but one of them is contact between contaminated water and broken skin...say, having a minor cut on your Havaiana-clad foot and accidentally stepping in a puddle!)

    It hasn't stopped me yet from wearing Havaianas, of course! ;)


  6. when you listen to the world socialite just automatically start erasing from your mind anything they say..

    use your havaianas anytime you feel like it. the only reason i dont use them is because i dont like my feet!


  7. I think I've worked that out now!

  8. Hi Jaime, Havaianas suffers from a love and hate relationship in Brasil. For a long time they were basically very poor people shoes and if the person could afford they would buy some "closed shoes". But thanks to Marketing (mainly outside Brasil) they are fashionable elsewhere. After living for a while in the US, I use mines all the time. Family thinks that I am pretty weird...