inviting guests to take off shoes (for comfort, not as a rule)

timhoent2345hgFebruary 23, 2009

Hi. I'm going to have some friends over to watch a movie at my apartment. This is the first time I've ever really had guests over. I am kind of unsure of what to do regarding shoes. I don't have a rule or anything and I don't care if they wear shoes in my apartment. I thought it might be nice to invite my guests to take off their shoes if they want, just to be more comfortable, not because they have to. I would like to take off my shoes and socks, and maybe say something to them like "you're welcome to take off your shoes if you want to" when we come up to my apartment. Should I say something like this, or just don't say anything about it at all? I just want them to know that they can feel at home.

Would it be more proper for me to just take off my shoes, even thought I normally take off my socks too when I get home? Or, would it be more proper to just keep my shoes on the whole time and not invite them to take their shoes off? Let me know when you get a chance! thanks,


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I'd kick off my shoes and say feel free to take yours off and get comfy if you want to. I would leave my socks on though.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 9:53AM
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If someone said to me: "you're welcome to take off your shoes if you want to" I would interpret that as an awkward way of them telling me there was a 'no shoes' rule in the house.

I simply tell people that I have no rules about not wearing shoes in my house. Everyone seems to respond well to that and they make their choice.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 5:09PM
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What to do here sort of depends on the formality or casualness of the gathering. And it depends on how comfortable you are with the people you've invited.

I like to pad around my house barefoot. But when I have people over, I usually wear shoes, just because I know everyone else will be and I'd feel weird if I didn't. But the situation like you've described sounds very casual: gather round the TV, kick off your shoes, make yourself at home, watch a movie.

So you could approach it two different ways. You could just be barefoot before everyone arrives and then let people know that it's ok to keep shoes on or off, whatever makes them comfortable. OR you can keep your shoes on till everyone's situated in front of the TV, then kick off your shoes and say, Hey, everyone's welcome to kick off their shoes too. Either way, some probably will go barefoot, some won't.

This of course assumes that you're fairly comfortable with these people, that you know them at least fairly well. If these are people you don't know, or don't feel pretty comfortable around, you might be better off just keeping shoes on.

Example: if the friends are all your buddies and their significant others who gather often and all know each other well, then shoes off ok. If this is your girlfriend and her parents who you're meeting for the first time, shoes on. At least till you get to know them better and see how formal/casual they like things.

So, based on how well you know the friends, AND the formality of the event (I wouldn't kick off my shoes at a dinner party for example), use your judgement.

I've definitely gone the barefoot route before, especially in small gatherings of close friends for a casual event.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 5:55PM
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Personally, I would say nothing, be barefoot and comfy as you usually do at home and let your guests decide. How old are those friends ?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 7:31AM
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