Monday, December 11, 2006

Should One Provide Slippers for Guests?


In some Eastern European and Asian countries, guests change from their shoes into slippers provided by the host.

Some argue that if you intend to have a shoes-off policy in your home, you should keep some slippers for guests to wear. This will make them feel more comfortable and prevent embarassments such as foot odour and holes in socks.

This is a fairly good idea, but I am not so sure. If slippers are provided, then they must either be disposable plastic slippers or else slippers that can go in the washing machine. It would be quite unreasonable to expect guests to wear slippers that have been worn by somebody else that day. I am not sure whether most slippers are machine washable. Some guests might not even trust you that they really have been cleaned and may prefer to stay in bare or stocking feet.

I think the practise of providing guest slippers might be just a bit too weird for British. Many British people will have been to a house where shoes-off was required, but not many people will have been offered guest slippers to wear, unless it was in another country. I think a lot of English guests would prefer to go shoe-less, rather than wear slippers that are not their own.

I think it is a good idea to buy slippers for family and regular visitors and keep them at your house. These should be worn only by the person they are provided for. Hopefully, one's family and close friends would be delighted by this consideration.

Providing clean socks is a different matter. I would suggest keeping a supply of clean socks in different sizes by the door for guests who are not comfortable going barefoot.

I think it is very sensible to let visitors know in advance that one has a shoes-off rule in one's home. That way, they can be sure to wear socks without holes or bring their own slippers if they prefer.


Redeemed said...

I like this post. It makes me really appreciate Montreal.

I've been to many people's homes here that do provide slippers at the door and no one thinks it strange. I usually provide my friend with socks, how strange is that!!!!

Redeemed said...

*it's usually on Sundays. The girls wear my socks over their long stockings :)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sarah, Montreal is a bit different to the UK.

As I said, providing socks is definitely a good idea, as some people may not want to go barefoot.

God Bless


missmellifluous said...

I think it's kind of creepy to provide socks &/or slippers - even washed ones - for guests. I personally would not like to put my feet in someone else's slippers or socks. Ew! The thought is icky enough. Bare feet are fine.

I suppose the climate issue is the problem in the UK, however, if you have a fire on doesn't that warm the house enough for you to go bare foot?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"I think it's kind of creepy to provide socks &/or slippers - even washed ones - for guests."

You make my point. Because sharing footwear is unusual in your culture and mine, a lot of guests would think it was weird to borrow slippers from the host.

I think a lot of guests would prefer barefeet to borrowed socks.

However, some people would definitely be uncomfortable about going barefoot in somebody else's house, so I would want to have some socks ready.

If a guest knows she will have to take her shoes off, you can assume she will bring her own socks or else will be happy to go barefoot.

But if she is not aware of the rule, I think it is good to offer socks.

I do not think lending slippers is really necessary. But it would be good to buy slippers for regular visitors like cleaners or relatives.

Every Blessing in Christ