Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Q&A: Summer Sandals

Hola snitchez and bienvenue to the first installment of my sartorial advice column. Two of my friends suggested I start this because I'm often on the receiving end of longwinded messages regarding what to wear and where to buy thangz. That sentence wasn't intended to position myself as a holier-than-thou consumer of clothes, but more of a testament to the fact that 87 percent of my daily thoughts are related to items with which I'd like to adorn myself. Soooo ask me anything, and know that if I don't have the answer off the top of my head, I'll take pleasure in finding it out for you.

Without further ado, the first Q from a friend and reader under the alias of Closed Toed and Confused:

"I'm in the midst of a sartorial conundrum. I need some summer sandals but am unsure of which to buy. I've never been much of a flip flop girl (too beachy) and have steered more towards the gladiator sandal. But as I think about a new purchase, I'm left wondering--is the gladiator dead? I'm pondering a pair of Birkenstocks right now but I'm pretty sure the rainbow straps I want scream gay pride."

Okay, well I love Birkenstock Arizonas. I've had the same pair since 2005 though I haven't worn them consistently over the years. I got the hint that they'd be coming back in style when I saw them in surf shops in Biarritz during summer 2k11, and as we all know, the French are legit forerunners when it comes to fahshan. Even though Birkenstocks are on the feet of French citoyens and models walking ready-to-wear runways, everyone shouldn't go buy a pair. If you dress hippie or dowdy on top, wearing Birkenstocks on your feet won't de-frumpify your look. So if you're going to wear Birkenstocks, you should do so with well-pedicured toes, skinny jeans or rolled boyfriend jeans, or a shirt dress/skirt. And rainbow straps equals #shinebrightlikeaNO. I happen to know that the reader who sent in the question has an affinity for navy blue, so I think a navy blue suede pair might complement her wardrobe. Or maybe in white or a pastel shade? The color you choose depends on how well it will mesh with the overall tone of your wardrobe.

I don't think gladiators are dead, but I think Jesus sandals could be a good compromise between them and Birkenstocks. Jesus sandals have the bulky look that is hashtag trending right now and the advantage of being a classic piece because they'll definitely come in handy when you're on a senior citizen tour of India in fifty years. I like this pair from Freda Salvador. I should also probably note that I'm not sure of the exact definition of Jesus sandals, but I once saw a pair of shoes at the leather market in Florence for 30 euros that had straps going over and around the foot, and since they reminded me of Jesus Christ Superstar, I called them Jesus sandals.

Finally, if you're loyal to the gladiator, you might want to think about investing in a pair of K. Jacques tropeziennes. Tropezienne shoes will never be out of style, and though I don't own a pair, I imagine they get better with age. You can also get them with rainbow straps that don't shout gay pride. 

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