Jun 30, 2014

Birkenstocks and Beyond

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 [1] ISABEL MARANT Holden $510, available in brown; [2] MATIKO May Multi Band Sandals $120; [3] DONALD J PLINER Fifi  $198; [4] JEFFREY CAMPBELL Aurelia $100; [5] KATE SPADE NEW YORK Attitude $198; [6] ZARA Sandals with Straps $60 $40; [7] BIRKENSTOCK Arizona $130; [8] LOEFFLER RANDALL Paz Two Band $150, available in gold/zebra


So, Birkenstocks, yeah?

Well, they're back. Or, have been since last year, see Vogue. With J.Crew claiming the comeback for themselves in this year's spring "style guide," though they've been a bit of a regular on the runways ever since Céline's Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear show which featured Birkenstock-esque fur-lined sandals on models' feet. Seems I overlooked this particular 90's revival (I had a few Birkenstock knock-offs growing up!). How remiss of me, especially given my fixation with ugly sweaters.

"Ugly" seems to be the buzzword when it comes to Birkenstocks and their ilk. Yes, they're minimalistic, and those two thick buckled straps have free-spirited 1960's roots. A bit clunky, yet charmingly so [the level of granola varies, see the original Birkenstock (7) compared to a sleeker version (2)], with a solidity felt by all ten toes that have (so much!) room to spread out. Keep those toes well-manicured, says Vogue, and I'd agree. It's all about opposites when it comes to styling something "ugly." Keep it neat, stick to a neutral color palette (white and black being quite popular). And show them off! Skinny ankle pants or denim (shorts, skirts, etc.), roll them up (a longer hem paired with these shoes looks messy and is too reminiscent of a grungy 90's look).

Onto jelly shoes, next?

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