Fashion advice: The types of sandals that fit your dress or casual wear, and how to choose them
How to choose a sandal that fits your dress style
Sandals have been around almost as long as humans have been on the planet. In fact, the very earliest people fashioned crude shoes from animal skins, held on to their feet by straps. This style has certainly evolved over many thousands of years and, today, the sandal is one of the most versatile styles of footwear on the market. From beach to office to formal occasions, sandals are everywhere. But, with so many choices available, how do you make this comfortable shoe fit your own personal style? Here are some basic guidelines to help.
Sandals are the perfect compliment to casual spring and summer wear – whether you prefer shorts, jeans or capris. Flat heeled sandals are perfect with shorts and can be a simple thong style or strappy, European-style sandal with a molded sole. “Jelly” sandals are a recent addition to the market and are available in a wide variety of colors. There are sandals decked with large artificial flowers, beads, bows and all manner of other decorative additions. For athletic types, the rubber soled, single cloth or rubber strapped outdoor sandal is a great choice and can go from sand to surf without a problem. Exercise sandals that combine the support and traction of a running shoe with an open design are great with shorts as well. A lower wedged heel shoe can be worn with shorts but avoid teetering high heels with shorts.
When wearing sandals with jeans, consider the length and style of the leg. Longer, flared jeans look great with a wedge-heeled sandal and this look can go from day to night with ease. Flat-heeled sandals work better with straight legged jeans or those with a short length. With so many colors available, it is easy to match your shoes with your top for a real color coordinated appearance. Stay away from real high heels or dressy sandals with jeans. Think casual.
Capris are back with a vengeance and sandals are a natural match for this comfortable cross between shorts and jeans. A low to medium wedged heel is the best look with capris. A canvas upper and roped wedge can really pull your look together. Again, matching the shoe to the shirt creates a coordinated outfit. Match up a pair of exercise sandals with sporty capris and a tank top for working out. Your toes will be cool and so is this look!
Many women enjoy wearing light, cotton sundresses in the summer and a flat, sandal in a matching color is a nice way to accessorize. Long skirts also pair up nicely with a simple, flat sandal. Avoid fussy shoes for casual wear. Think simplicity for maximum style.
Sandals haven’t always been considered acceptable for office-wear, but, in many work environments, this is no longer the case. There are many styles that can be worn to work but it is important to pay attention to your company’s dress code for guidelines. Sandals are okay in a casual, creative environment but probably should be avoided in a highly professional environment. When meeting clients or doing formal presentations or training, it is best to stick with a closed shoe. Obviously, sandals should never be worn in a manufacturing environment or in any area where safety could be compromised by exposed toes.
For the office, look for low wedge heels with a bit more coverage than you would wear casually. A stacked heel will also create the illusion of length while maintaining a more polished look. The thong style that you wear with your shorts is not appropriate for the office. Choose a nice, low heeled, criss-cross strap design to wear with dress pants. This will also work with a dress or skirt. Look for a leather “mule” – a sandal with leather or cloth strap across the toe line – with a medium heel. Slides, which are similar to mules but with a wider strap are another option.
There are many dressier, heeled sandals that work with a suit. Think basic colors – black, navy or beige – as opposed to the more colorful styles that are more suitable for casual wear. And, for work, think about wearing sandalfoot or nude hose (in the summer you can get away with knee-highs with long skirts or pants.) Always consider the setting in which you will be working when deciding on your shoe style so as not to appear frivolous. You want to be taken seriously and shoes are part of the impression that you create. And remember to match your bag to your shoes to complete the polished effect.
Sandals and eveningwear are a match made in heaven. A little black dress worn with a pair of heeled, black strappy sandals will certainly turn heads. There are heeled sandals in every possible color, including clear. Or try something with beads or embroidery. Dress shoes should have some sort of heel but avoid wedged or stacked heels with formal attire. For evening, throw caution to the wind and experiment with fabric, textures and even animal prints.
Worried about price? Sure, you can pay hundreds of dollars for designer shoes but savvy shoppers know that a trip to a discount department store can yield the same shoe for a fraction of the price. Online auctions also offer designer shoes for sale to the highest bidder. Looking for style on a tight budget? The discount shoe store in your local mall offers passable knock-offs of designer shoes as well. You may sacrifice quality but you can achieve the same look and no one will be the wiser.
Sandals for Men
For years, men’s sandals were pretty much the same – thickly strapped, brown or black leather clunkers attached to a thick, black rubber sole. Who can forget the sight of Dad decked out in Bermuda shorts with a pair of these ugly sandals worn with black socks? But the 60s brought about a revolution in more ways than one. Young men discovered the freedom of sandals and everyone was wearing the Indian leather “Buffalo” sandals. Those young men have grown up and are still enjoying the comfort of sandals. Today, men’s sandals are available in many styles, colors and materials, and can be worn for a variety of occasions. But please, guys, no socks!
With so many options available, finding the right pair of sandals to fit your own personal style can be fun. Experiment a bit and take some fashion risks! Soon you will be turning heads with your interesting and creative footwear choices.