Nothing really speaks summer quite like raffia shoes and when they come in a timeless platform like this Saint Laurent ‘Bianca’ pair, we can’t but embrace this hot August month. This evergreen style has been around for a few years, however never has those 5 inches looked so appealing. Here we go again dreaming of nights on the Riviera, but these platforms works just as well at backyard barbecues, and for some summery social distancing drinks in the city. A simple white cotton dresses will be your best friend paired with these sandals, layering optional.
Less is more with naked sandals and ultra-fine straps that never go out of style.
Barely-there sandals are as naked as you (and your feet) can get while wearing shoes. Minimalist styles that work with every piece of clothing you’ve ever owned, they’ll take you from work to play without breaking a sweat. You might miss their whisper-thin straps and delicate details entirely, did they not have so much WOW factor. Few other pieces in your wardrobe can be relied upon so readily to bring an outfit together, with such little effort. A calling card of ‘90s fashion, ultra-fine straps and modern silhouettes were a defining feature the decade, and were (thankfully) rediscovered a few years back. Timeless and elegant, in the dawn of eco-conscious fashion, a barely-there sandal will never go out of style. From Prada, By Far and The Row, this is an edit dedicated to lovers of all things minimal.
BARELY-THERE HEELS No barely-there edit would be complete without referencing Miuccia Prada, the designer who defined the ‘90s with her minimalist vision and uber-chic accessories. Now, The Row is putting their own spin on the clean-and-sexy look with the cult ‘Bare’ sandal. For evening, look to Jimmy Choo for subtle metallic stilettos and Aquazurra for delicate diamanté heels. Team with a spaghetti strap slip dress or figure-hugging mini shift for ultimate ‘90s vibes.
MINIMAL MULES Mules have a magic power. With nothing around your ankle, they give the illusion of endless legs, and these barely-there styles are a cool-girl favourite. Understated and on-trend, Neous’ square-toed, ultra-fine strappy mules are an ode to all things minimal, while Gianvito Rossi’s fine-braided straps tap into the season’s trend for woven footwear. Less is more.
SHOP MINIMAL MULES
TOE THONGS A ‘00s throwback we thought had run its course, barely-there thong shoes are one of 2020’s most surprising revivals. They’re also incredibly chic. LA-based label Staud specialises in minimal shoes with cool-girl appeal, and Magda Butrym’s glamorous reedition takes them from beach staple to elegant evening shoe. They’re unrecognisable. Forget what you know about flip-flops, this is a completely new ballgame.
SHOP MINIMAL THONG HEELS
DELICATE FLATS Sometimes, only a flat will do. When the dress-code is non-existent and the mood relaxed, take things back to basics with holiday-ready flats by Gianvito Rossi, Jil Sander and The Row. Bottega Veneta’s wrap-around sandals are fashion editor approved, but if you can’t bare the thought of a completely flat shoe, Prada and Ancient Greek’s combination of chunky soles and ultra-fine straps will give you a little boost.
From a trip to the professional cleaner, to styling outside the box, here’s how to give your old favourites a new lease of life this summer.
As our personal style evolves, it’s natural that we fall in and out of love with our shoes. Different pairs appeal to us on different days and at different stages in our lives, depending on who we want to be at any given moment. Bottega Veneta mules when we’re feeling flirty but sophisticated, glamorous Louboutin stilettos when we’re feeling sexy, chunky Balenciaga trainers when we’re channeling ‘fashion’ but craving comfort. Of course, as trends change and our style matures, we get tired of our most-worn pairs. Not to mention the fact that they get worn out themselves – leather scuffs, heels wear away. Ultimately, they lose their appeal. But before you reach for the donation bag, we’ve got a few practical tips for giving old shoes a new lease of life. Don’t give up just yet.
A CLEAN SLATE Make well-worn favourites feel like new by the simple expedient of giving them a good clean. From polishing leather to brushing suede, a simple DIY job works wonders. Check out our in-depth guides to cleaning trainers, looking after party shoes and taking care of boots. We probably sound like your mum telling you to clean your bedroom, but looking after your shoes really is good for your wardrobe and the planet. It’s surprising what a bit of elbow grease can do.
BE BOLD Shoe ennui is a real thing. Wear one pair too many times, and you get bored. It’s a by-product of the trend cycle and, whilst it’s not something we’re proud of, it’s a fact. Fed up of a pair of shoes? You loved them once, and you can love them again – with a little imagination. Give old favourites a new lease of life by styling them in new ways. Have an embarrassing bedroom fashion show – take a look at what’s in your wardrobe and experiment with new and unexpected combinations, socks with sandals perhaps? Make mistakes while you’re in the comfort of your own home. Bold choices might surprise you.
FIX UP Even the most worn-out shoes can be resuscitated with a bit of professional help. Send your shoes to designer specialists like The Restory or Shoe Spa London, and Louboutin soles return vibrantly red, Manolo Blahnik satin is magically restored, and Jimmy Choo crystals are sourced and replaced. They come back shining like new.
DARE TO WEAR Dare to wear shoes that might not be ‘appropriate’ to different occasions – it’s a fashion statement that doubles as a tactic for keeping things fresh. Old shoes can be thrilling when worn someplace they’ve never been before. Step over the threshold of your favourite coffee shop in a pair of well-loved Manolo Blahnik mules. Worn your fave Saint Laurent party shoes one too many times? Pair with jeans and take them to lunch with the in-laws. Make it an occasion.
GIVE THEM A BREAK Give your most-worn shoes a well-deserved time-out. When you are *obsessed* with a pair of shoes to the point of over-wearing them, make sure you rotate them with other styles, and maybe sit them out for a season or two. Classic shoes will always come back into fashion (see: western boots, sock boots, barely-there sandals). Even if you’re tired of them now, investment pieces are worth holding onto. You loved them once, and you can love them again. After a little break. A bit like Ross and Rachel, but without the recriminations.
The Riviera might have to wait, while we gear up for staycations and something we never thought would feel to appealing – Glamping. We admit that you might need to pack a pair of Hunter’s alongside these brand new Bottega Veneta boots (a future favourite), but the glam take on hiking might be influencing our way of dressing more than we think. The chunky soles and buy-now-wear-forever anoraks that made their way to our closets have proven to be a lot more useful that those glitters pumps lately, as we get ready to approach a whole new minimal way of dressing.
Styling hacks for making your shoes the (well deserved) star of the show.
It comes with the territory – shoe lovers build their outfits around what’s on their feet. For us, footwear is never an afterthought. Our natural enthusiasm for shoes means they’re the obvious starting point for every look. Statement heels, centrepiece mules, a pair of head-turning boots. The design of a shoe determines the rest of our outfit – be it the clean, minimalist lines of a pair of Wandler heels, Manu Atelier’s retro-inspired boots, or a pair of chunky New Balance sneakers softened with a floaty summer dress (all the better to show off our pins and do the supermarket run). Here are a few styling hacks for building an outfit around your shoes.
DESIGN Amplify the silhouette and style of your shoes with an outfit that compliments their design DNA. From the Scandi cool-girl aesthetic of Ganni to the minimalist silhouettes of By Far, the unapologetic glamour of Amina Muaddi and the classic elegance of Gianvito Rossi, an outfit that follows a similar code will accentuate their features.
COLOUR When a pair of Fenty’s neon sandals are so fabulous, it really is worth building an outfit around them. Don’t be shy. Make them pop with a neutral palette, or experiment with tonal blocking and clashing colours. When clashing, own it. A silk orange slip dress would look great with these baby blue Bottega mules. Statement footwear draws the eye, so whatever you wear, bright coloured shoes will always be the star of the show.
HEMLINES Show your shoes off with a striking hemline. Short hemlines are the obvious route, but pointed toes peeking from beneath swathes of fabric (think: palazzo pants and full-length skirts), chunky sandals with a cuffed jogging bottom, and split-hem, tailored trousers with square-toe mules, all focus the attention on your shoes. Sometimes, it’s worth throwing out the rulebook. Try tucking your trousers into your sandals – a styling trick popularised by Bottega Veneta that never goes unnoticed.
ALL DAY GLAMOUR Let your evening shoes see the light of day. It’s a common mistake to save party heels and glittery mules for the dance floor. They’re stylish worn 24/7 – dressed down with denim, Tees and statement jackets. Start with a pair of pink satin kitten heels and team with your favourite jeans. Instant glamour with a laid-back vibe.
This week we’ve been dreaming of some summer traveling, although we know it looks quite different this year. Backyard barbecues and staycations might be as far as we’ll go this summer, which is why we are embracing the minimal approach to everything from packing to dressing up at home. We would not mind spending rest of the summer in Jil Sander’s leather slides, that works just as well in the city as they do on the beach. The kind of classy comfort we look forward to wearing way beyond quarantine.
Come rain or shine, these are the pretty and practical shoes to take with you on this Summer’s unforgettable staycations.
Holidays are going to look a little different this year. Long-haul flights and boutique hotels on paradise islands are not on most people’s radar. Instead? We’re looking closer to home for our dose of carefree holiday fun. Staycations are the new vacations, don’t you know? Celebrate the freedom of not having a fixed departure time with easy, stylish shoes that look as good as they feel. Wherever you are in the world, here are some suggestions for the best staycation shoes to see you through a summer without a boarding pass (or guaranteed sun).
ROAD TRIP The open road and the thrill of the unknown – you never know what you’ll encounter on a road trip, so you need to be prepared. Take your ride-or-die trainers with you on the journey, and pack a pair of easy-to-wear sandals for exploring on sunny days. Cue the most appropriate occasion for the ‘dad’ shoe. Take Instagram photo-op stops in New Balance 990V5s and hiking-inspired Suicoke sandals with chunky socks for extra fashion-tourist credentials
SHOPFORM & FUNCTION SNEAKERS
COUNTRY PURSUITS Charming countryside villages, secluded mountain retreats, and cabins by the lake. You might be missing duty free, but you can’t put a (tax exempted) price on discovering picture-postcard villages and wild beauty spots on your doorstop. Embrace the romance in Loewe’s traditionalist sandals and artisan shoes by Ancient Greek. Team with billowing, white-cotton dresses for riverside strolls and picnics in the meadow.
SHOP SUMMER COUNTRY SHOES
SUMMER IN THE CITY Kick up your heels on sun-drenched city pavements this summer in contemporary sandals and laid-back evening shoes for dining at (socially distanced) pavement cafés. We’re tapping The Row, Wandler and By Far for all of our urban al fresco adventures this season.
SHOP CONTEMPORARY FLATS
PARED-BACK EVENING SHOES
COASTAL ESCAPE As anyone living in north-western Europe knows, beach holidays in this part of the world can’t always be relied upon for sun. There is a great British tradition of going to the beach whatever the weather – in which case, pack wellies and an anorak. If, however, the sun does shine (or you’re lucky enough to live somewhere it’s constant), you’ll want a pair of these seaside-striped Shekudo sandals or straw Manebi sliders to wear when you’re heading to the ice cream kiosk. Sandy toes FTW.
SHOP SEASIDE SANDALS
GLAMPING It might not be for everyone, but camping has to be the most liberating form of travel known to womankind. Whether you’re braving DIY canvas (cue: arguments over erection), or opt for a boutique yurt experience, you need practical shoes that can take on the outdoors in style. Match the tent in canvas sneakers by Prada, or look to Ganni and By Far for hiking-inspired boots that don’t sacrifice style for function. Pray for sun.
An effortless approach to packing smart for a summer like no other.
Some of us travel for adventure, some for blissed-out R&R. Whatever your reasons might be, one thing’s for sure – at this time of year, we all need a break. No overflowing inbox, no notification overload, and, hopefully, no wardrobe disasters. It’s this last point we want to tackle (we can’t help with you with your IG addiction, sorry). Increasingly, we’re taking a no-nonsense approach to packing. After witnessing the fallout of a global pandemic, we’re grateful just to get away. The best route to carefree holiday-mode? A capsule shoe wardrobe of considered and stylish footwear that won’t let you down. Borders are tentatively being opened, but for many, this year’s holidays mean exploring beautiful landscapes and overlooked locations closer to home. Take a break from the pressures of real life and simplify your holiday wardrobe this year, starting from the feet up. Here’s how.
THINK AHEAD Packing is the root cause of holiday stress. It starts here, between the need to plan and the desire to be spontaneous. In our experience, it’s always better to plan, even if it does dilute your happy-go-lucky holiday vibes a bit. Consider your destination and a loose itinerary. If you’re road tripping on the coast with a BFF, some comfortable sandals and a pair of versatile sneakers might be all you need. Chanel sandals and pair of New Balance perhaps? If you plan to lie in bed ordering room service 24/7, Malone Souliers woven-leather mules for shuffling about on the hotel carpet. Socially-distanced gastronomic adventure? With restaurants and bars re-opening, take the opportunity to road-test your new princess shoes now.
TAKE YOUR FAVOURITES There’s always a weird sense when you go away, that now might be the time you finally decide you actually love the orange-feathered sandals you wore once three years ago and never again. Don’t be fooled. Pack tried-and-tested shoes you’ve styled a million times and always look and feel good in. Don’t overcomplicate things by deliberating wildcards. Sure, this is going to be your biggest Instagram opportunity in a while, but a holiday should be effortless.
TAKE A CAPSULE SHOE WARDROBE A capsule wardrobe of versatile shoes that can be worn any number of ways is the secret to packing like a pro. Take styles that work for day or night – that you’re as comfortable in on a long car journey as you are at a pavement cafe. Smart-ish trainers that can be dressed up or down, minimalist sandals to pair with cut-off denim or a silky slip dresses and perhaps one pair of barely-there heels, for a special holiday treat.
CONSIDER YOUR COLOUR PALETTE Try to stick to a couple of shades throughout your holiday wardrobe. Neutral coloured shoes work with everything, or pare it all back to black and white. Is now the time to take the lime green Amina Muaddi sandals for a spin? If the rest of your packing is neutral, sure. Think about your shoes in the context of everything else you’re taking and go from there.
ACTUAL PACKING TIPS It’s tempting to shove every pair of shoes you own in a suitcase and chuck it in the boot of the car to be dealt with on arrival. Don’t. Pack shoes in dust bags at the bottom of your case, and stuff them with tissue paper or shoe trees to prevent them being damaged. Of course, don’t be overly precious – holidays are meant to be fun. And, if it all goes rogue, at least staycations mean we don’t have to contend with a baggage allowance.
In the sea of online sales and final reductions of a season we never really got to fully live through, the ‘new in’ section is starting to look promising. Magda Butrym’s brand new zebra print sandals might just be the perfect late summer shoe, we are dreaming of pairing it with dark denim and Fenty silky separates. But, we aren’t ready to think about a fall wardrobe just yet, although knit dresses and straight cut blazers are the perfect seasonless staples that we cherish all year around.
WORDS BY FLORENCE TROTT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANYA SANDUL
Summer sandals and playful platforms to put you in a really good mood.
In need of a pick-me-up? This season’s candy-coloured heels and bold sandals are the spirit-lifting indulgence we could all use right now. While paradise islands and far-flung beaches might be out of reach this year, these woven-soled dopamine hits are not. Fashion is a fun-loving form of self-expression – show your sunny side at the next (socially distanced) picnic in the park with a pair of rainbow-hued espadrilles or summer-ready clogs. From Miu Miu’s playful sandals to colourful Jacquemus and Gucci platforms that’ll make you smile, these are shoes to put you in a holiday mood wherever you might be.
PLAYFUL PLATFORMS We’ve been on our best behaviour for a long time. Let loose (whilst following government guidelines, ofc), in Amina Muaddi’s geometric-heeled black leather platforms and ‘70s-inspired heels from Gucci. The disco might be closed for now, but Miu Miu’s crystal-studded stacked soles will boost your mood regardless. No mirror ball required.
SHOP PLAYFUL PLATFORM SHOES
RAINBOW SHOES Colour is scientifically proven to affect mood. Brighten yours with editor-approved sandals in every colour of the rainbow. Lemon-yellow Bottega Veneta mules, anyone? These Proenza Schouler X Birkenstock slides and Arizona Love sports sandals are destined for the sunshine, whilst sky-blue Porte and Paire heels and baby pink Cult Gaias are perfect for summer evenings spent sipping an ice cold Aperol with friends.
SHOP CANDY COLOURED SANDALS
SUNSHINE-READY SANDALS Cork sandals and espadrilles are a summer staple with serious fashion pedigree and a style that is guaranteed to never date. Channel your inner Brigitte Bardot (even if you’re stuck in the city) with classic, tan-leather, woven sandals by Prada and Loewe. Feeling fun? Look to Miu Miu for pink shearling and colourful platforms with a sense of humour, or Aquazzura for some serious garden party glamour.
SHOP CORK SANDALS AND ESPADRILLES
TOE THONGS Oh yes. Flip flops are back. Letting your toes fly free in elegant thong sandals is it’s simplicity the most effortless choice for a hot summer day. This season’s version are a much more refined take on the classic Havaianas – not a foam sole in sight. Check out Gianvito Rossi for elegant leather mules, and Cult Gaia for artfully detailed shoes that are crying out to be worn in the sun. Chic and practical – definitely a feel good factor in our books.
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