It’s A Sandal Affair…

Rejoice and get bare for sandal season is here!

Summer is by far my favorite fashion season.

Bare legs. Bare arms. Bare feet.

I may not be German enough to bare it all (just yet) but simmering summer days are the perfect occasion to wear less and do little. And that’s just how I like my days.

Spent in front of a fan or under an umbrella at the beach or lounging poolside. Maybe it’s a conditioned response to childhood summers spent in Florida, where the weather was so steamy each morning we’d hop in the pool post-breakfast and pop back into the house just as the humidity reached its peak and the clouds let loose in a riot of rain. Those were the days before air conditioning was ubiquitous, a time when you could feel the heat inside and out and so the uniform of the day meant wearing as little as possible -- bikini tops under tanks, cut-off jeans and flip flops.  

They were also the days before I had to grow up and get a job, days before I sheltered indoors during the heat of the day, dreaming of a post-work five o’clock swim that nearly never came to fruition because there were adult things to do: Like sip sangria at a sidewalk cafe.

There’s a saying in Germany that there’s never bad weather, just the wrong clothing for it and though it’s usually a reference to getting yourself all-weather rain gear, it’s also true of dressing for sweltering weather on days you have to look like an adult. I’ll never forget trying to look the part at my office job in Boston, buying an elbow-length, knee-length denim dress from Diesel that I thought would both look cool and keep me cool (word to the wise: denim doesn’t breathe). That quickly got switched out for a sleeveless cotton jersey and loose khakis that let the air in and hid the sweat brewing in every fold.

Still, that whole while, I could never find the right shoes. Stan Smiths made my feet sweat; flip-flops were a no-no in an office environment.

It wasn’t until I got to Europe that I realized just how cute -- and cool -- sandals could look. Sure, I’d had a pair of Dr. Scholl’s wooden clog slides as a kid. Followed by some ueber-cool jelly sandals when they were all the rage. But I clearly remember the shoes that made me say wow, sandals are really the way to go (and totally worth splurging on a pedicure!). It was a pair of pale pink strappy sandals with gold studs. I bought them from Stefanel, slipped them on and seemingly never took them back off.

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When they started to show their wear, I quickly snatched up a few more pairs of strappy sandals -- the kind that would give you a terrible tan line but since they’re made more for indoor and streetwear than the beach (ugh imagine the grains of sand getting beneath those straps!), that’s no big deal. Black, army green, another pale pink rendition: there was something for everyone.

While going through a black leather phase a few years back, I grabbed these gladiator sandals while on a shopping trip in Copenhagen … the perfect place for patent leather and laces, as it’s never really *that* hot in the Nordics.

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This year, after years of searching, I got my hands on a pair of metallic sandals from Billi Bi that will go well with every dress I slip into. What I love most about these sandals is how they add a bit of sparkle without standing out. They may be flat but they’re also wildly flattering with bare legs.

And though summer in the city can get pretty filthy, these sandals are a sweet way to keep your feet cool when the temps creep up, without sacrificing style. What are you wearing to get through these hot days? 

-- Courtney Tenz