So Jacob’s latest article and Ashley’s personal summer essentials got me thinking about my summer footwear of choice for this year. Last year I picked up a great pair of leather gladiator sandals because I wanted to push my personal style forward and separate myself from the crowd. I am going to be breaking these out for the summer months this year as well but I have the sneaking suspicion that many of the males that read this site (especially the younger ones) have probably never invested in a great pair of leather sandals or flip flops. What backed up this opinion was a stroll around my city last weekend when the weather was beautiful and the flip flop brigade was out in full force. What I noticed was that 95% of males had gone for the “safe” option and I was greeted by an endless sea of the Brazil Havaianas in white, black or brown.
Now I have nothing against Havaianas and in fact own a couple of pairs myself from a couple of years back. They can be thrown on easily, work with most outfits and are very durable. Throw in the fact that they are pretty cheap and you have an easy form of footwear that are appropriate for your sun holidays and right the way through the summer months. Plus you are never going to get any grief off your peer group for wearing flip flops are you?
However, with the progression we have already seen this year within men’s fashion; with clothing such as chinos, deck shoes, tailored shorts, pastel colours and even the brave all white trend being incorporated into our wardrobes, I think now is the time to push your personal style slightly further yet again. One way you can do this is to invest in some quality summer sandals. I am talking beautiful leather sandals in the colour way of your choice, which will normally be black, brown or tan. For me they look infinitely more refined than plastic flip flops and will incorporate easily into the new styles and trends we are seeing this year. Think about matching brown or tan leather sandals with beige chinos or tailored shorts. These two items already have a more formal and refined feel to them, so why would you want to match them with anything other than footwear that has the same quality?
That is not to say leather sandals/flip flops cannot work with jeans, drop crotch or denim shorts either. If you pair slim denim with a great pair of leather sandals or flip flops it brings your whole outfit up a notch but does not have the same formality as if you were wearing a pair of shoes. Take a look through the outfit inspiration at the bottom of the article to see how sandals and flip flops can easily be paired with all forms of shorts, jeans and trousers this year.
Ways to Wear
So some quick and simple outfit ideas in order to get you receptive to the idea of leather summer footwear:
- Pair some beige/stone tailored shorts or chinos with a simple white vest and throw on a lightweight summer knit over the top. Match this with some beautiful brown sandals in order to have a great colour contrast within your bottom half.
- Try some slim dark indigo jeans with a lightweight plain t-shirt or vest and thrown on some tan leather sandals. Match your sandals with a slim tan leather belt in order to ooze style plus show you care about the details.
- Grey chinos or jeans with black leather sandals is an amazing contrast and one that will look great throughout the summer. Go with personal preference for the top half because anything will work; graphic tees, vests, denim shirt, or even relaxed blazers.
- Pair some black drop crotch shorts with some chunky black leather sandals or gladiators in order to produce a really fashion forward look. Again for the top half you may go with a bold coloured plain t-shirt or graphic tee, whilst throwing on a cool summer jacket.
Personally I think that every male should own a pair of leather sandals, a pair of leather flip flops AND a basic plastic pair of flip flops. They all have different uses and are appropriate for different occasions. If you are spending a day at the beach then the simple flip flops will suffice as they will get sandy/dirty and need washing off easily. You can keep your leather versions for the nights out or to create a more refined casual look throughout the summer.
If you are looking to ease your way into these styles then go for a simple leather version that doesn’t add too much bulk in a standard colour like black or brown. These will match with every item of clothing you have in your wardrobe and will never date. For those who are willing to experiment and are going for a slightly more fashion forward look go for a pair of gladiator sandals because these really make you stand out against the crowd. Tan is also a colour to opt for if you want to separate yourself from the population.
New Season Sandals
We featured some high fashion and designer gladiators in Jacob’s article but I want to show you a more varied range in a whole host of price brackets. Just because they are leather doesn’t mean you have to spend the earth. You can get a great pair of sandals or flip flops for under £50 and if you pick a timeless colour and style then they can be broken out year after year and will only look better with age.
Note: Why haven’t All Saints tapped into this market yet? Can you imagine anyone doing distressed gladiator or plain leather sandals better?
Do an amazing range and their ASOS collection definitely will not break the bank. Check them out:
Looking for outfit inspiration? I have even more images courtesy of Lookbook.nu…