How to Wear The Casual Sandal

How to Wear The Casual Sandal

Everywhere you’d probably get the side-eye for wearing them before.

It’s taken us years of defiant loafer-wearing to learn the thing we kind of all already knew was true: unless you have the proportions of the Delevingne sisters, most not-so-casual-Friday outfits look better with heels. We know, we know—as huge proponents of not squeezing our feet into pointy-toed torture chambers, it kills us to say. Now before you start Twitter-boarding us with photo evidence of how well you pull off Birkenstocks with your trouser suit, hear us out. There’s an exception to the rule, and it’s this season’s casual sandal.
From sling back flatforms to sophisticated slip-ons (contrary to popular belief, not an oxymoron) to the long and short of the gladiator game, this spring, we’ll be doing our fancy footwork in comfy kicks. Here’s how to wear them to all those loungewear-prohibitive events on your social calendar.


If you loathe the idea of leaving a trail of divots as you cross the Serpentine lawn in heels the width of a wineglass stem, we’re right there with you. It’s the perennial garden party where Londoners flock in 3D florals and grass-skimming gowns, and while the idea of wearing espadrilles with your lace confection may seem more inappropriate than mistaking a royal for a pop star, you’ll look boldly bohemian in understated slip-ons and an elegant maxi, à la The Row SS15.


Even those of us who work in fashion aren’t immune to the ambiguous dress codes of after-hours work events. Yes, the guys will be in suits, but for a woman, looking equal parts powerful and approachable is not as straightforward a task. Our warm-weather mantra for such occasions? Business on the top, party on the bottom. Opt for a makeshift urban suit in Monterey black leather Birkenstocks with silk joggers and a structured blazer, or pair an office-appropriate dress with beachy Tibi lace-up sandals.

So you met in a fairy-tale philosophy class she wasn’t just taking for the easy A, and her impromptu wedding to that Spanish dude she met on exchange is sure to be, well, not so conventional. Slip into metallic fringed Peter Som sandals and an Erdem crop top and voluminous midi set, or pair your breezy handkerchief hem with cognac Valentino knee-high gladiators—you know, just in case the reception is in a clearing in the woods.


Your not-so-glamorous press trip to Cannes is fast approaching, and you know from blistered experience that from red carpet scrums to nightly after-after parties, chances are you won’t see a chair all week. But that doesn’t grant you dress code immunity. Go for the sneakily comfortable sequined jumpsuit and sleek black slip-ons (also known as the formalwear version of PJs and slippers), and avoid the side-eye as the celebrities limp by in Louboutins. 


- Chelsey Burnside

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