Sandals are a versatile shoe option that can be styled in many different ways for various outfits and occasions.
Their open-toed design provides breathability and comfort, making them perfect for warm weather, while their strappy construction lends visual interest and style.
With the proper styling techniques, sandals can be integrated into casual daytime looks, dresses and skirts, and even evening outfits.
Learn tips for choosing and wearing sandals to complement your style.
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Why Sandals are a Versatile Shoe Option
Sandals are a versatile shoe option because of their unique comfort, style, and affordability.
Sandals are designed to be open and breathable, keeping your feet cool in warm weather. Their strappy construction avoids closed-in areas that can cause sweatiness and discomfort.
The ability to easily slip them on and off contributes to their relaxed, comfortable feel.
With the array of sandal types and designs available today, there are stylish options for any aesthetic.
Dressy sandal heels or wedges elevate an evening look, while flat, sporty designs work for casual daytime outfits. Straps come in many colors and patterns, allowing you to customize your style.
Sandals are one of the most budget-friendly shoe options since many designs utilize inexpensive materials like rubber, canvas, and basic leather.
Their simple construction also keeps costs down. You can find affordable pairs to stock up on for daily wear and splurge on that perfect dressy pair.
Factors to Consider When Styling Sandals
When choosing how to integrate sandals into an outfit, keep these three factors in mind:
The formality of the event or activity will dictate what style of sandals works best.
Flat, casual designs are great for daytime activities like running errands or enjoying a picnic in the park.
But for a wedding or formal event, only dressy heels or wedges will do.
Outfit Colors and Patterns
Choose sandal colors or patterns that complement the rest of your outfit. Matching tones and textures create a pulled-together, harmonious look.
Contrasting colors or prints can add visual interest if done intentionally. Always avoid clashing combinations.
Sandal Type and Style
Consider both the design and height of the sandal itself. A slender strappy heel offers a dressed-up style, while thick sporty designs feel more laidback.
Wedges add stability and height for evening looks or go flat and minimal for casual daytime style.
Styling Sandals for Different Outfits
Sandals pair perfectly with all kinds of warm-weather outfits. Here are tips for styling them with various looks:
Casual Daytime Outfits
Opt for flat, minimal sandals in leather, wood, or fabric for casual daytime activities.
Try coordinating the color with the color palette of your outfit for a pulled-together look. With jeans or shorts, showcase colorful or embellished straps.
To avoid overdressing, only wear sporty styles like Tevas or casual Birkenstocks. Leave dressy wedge sandals for the evening.
Dresses and Skirts
Feminine dresses and skirts require delicate strappy heels or wedges to add elevation and polish. Match the colors and patterns of the straps to your dress print for a beautiful complement.
To transition into an evening dress for the day, trade the stiletto for a casual but still dressy wedge. Add a straw or wood texture for a summery vibe.
To instantly take a cocktail or evening outfit to the next level, choose a dressy sandal with slim straps, metallic or sparkly accents, an ankle tie closure, or a stiletto heel.
Neutral nude and black shades elongate the leg. Complement bright outfit colors with a shoe in the same bold shade. Only wear flats if the event calls for casual footwear.
Tips and Tricks for Styling Sandals
Use these expert tips for flawlessly integrating sandals into any warm-weather outfit:
Combine smooth leather or suede straps with a textured sole like wood, espadrille, or cork for visual interest. The contrast adds depth and dimension.
Play with proportions
Wear skinny jeans or shorts with flat, wide straps or a chunky sole. The exaggerated sandal balances the slimmer pant leg. For maxi dresses and skirts, attenuate the volume with delicate slim straps.
For a stylish touch, personalize your sandals with decorative ankle straps, toe rings, or foot jewelry. These accents work incredibly well with bare solid-color sandals in leather or suede.
Mind the details
Please pay attention to your outfit’s color palette, patterns, and textures, and choose sandals to complement them. Matching or coordinating every element creates a polished finished look.
Sandals deserve a prime spot in every warm-weather wardrobe. Their versatility allows them to be seamlessly integrated into causal daytime outfits and dressy evening attire.
By considering details like occasion, outfit colors, sandal height, design, and texture, sandals can be the perfect finishing accent to tie an entire look into a thoughtful head-to-toe ensemble.
Experiment with mixing styles, colors, and embellishments to find your perfect sandal pairing for any summer outfit.
Q: What style of sandals looks best with shorts?
A: With shorts, opt for flat sporty sandal styles like Birkenstocks, Tevas, or Chacos in fun, casual colors and patterns. Avoid formal heels or wedges to keep the look simple and laid back.
Q: What sandals work for a cocktail party or wedding?
A: For formal events, choose dressy sandals with slim straps, metallic accents, or sparkle details. Stilettos or high, thin heels will instantly elevate the look. Go for neutral shades like black, gold, silver, or nude.
Q: How can I style sandals with maxi dresses and skirts?
A: Balance the volume of a maxi with delicate, minimal straps or gladiator-style lacing. Nude shades help elongate the leg. Add heels or wedges for proportion. Avoid bulky sporty styles that can overwhelm the look.
Q: What are the best sandals to wear for walking and sightseeing?
A: Prioritize comfort and support by choosing sporty styles with straps across the heel and top of the foot—brands like Teva, Chaco, and Keen offer good traction. Avoid flimsy styles or heels.
Q: Can I wear open-toed sandals in colder weather?
A: Open sandals won’t provide enough warmth for cold weather, but you can transition your favorite pair into fall by adding socks. Ankle socks work well with strappier styles. Pair tall boots and socks with sporty designs for more coverage.