Here are five things I love about summer fashion, in no particular order:
1. Kicky little dresses
2. No tights!
3. Putting woolly things in storage
4. Rolled-up denim cutoffs
5. Summer shoes!
Note point five, above: shoes.
I firmly believe that the perfect summer shoe wardrobe can do wonders for your confidence and sartorial self-esteem. After all, when it’s too hot and humid outdoors to load up on a bunch of accessories—see my 10 favorite summer style tips here—the best way to let your style shine is by wearing great key staple pieces, like the perfect dress and shoes.
My personal style is pretty low-key—I try to buy only pieces that work three out of four seasons, and most of the clothes I own are pretty timeless but can be layered and combined to look more on-trend. I’m also not afraid to look exactly the same all the time (I like to tell myself all the fashioniest fashion people—think Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani, Anna Wintour, etc.—always look pretty much the same, right?), so if I find a casual LBD I like, I’ll buy six of them. By the way, true story, I’ve totally done that.
That said, every summer, I get excited about stocking up on inexpensive, colorful printed and striped summer dresses—but how do you curate a shoe collection that’ll go with everything? In the winter and fall, I wear boots almost every day, and I need only about two or three pairs to get me through seven months. But summer shoes tend to wear out faster (what’s up with that), and it’s hot—so I need sandals and shoes that can be worn without tights…and lots of them!
Here are the six pairs of shoes that I’ve been wearing nonstop this summer—I stocked up early in the season and seriously have not felt like I’ve needed to buy any new styles for the past two months! These shoes go with everything in my summer wardrobe.
Clockwise from far left: Last year’s Christian Louboutin’s “Ron Ron” wedges in gray suede (currently available in black patent)—these shoes have taken me through a full year of wear. I have a hard time finding beige/neutral shoes that suit my skin tone, so, for me, gray is the new neutral! Tip: Get your suede shoes professionally treated/sprayed/waterproofed before you ever wear them out and they’ll last for ages!
Avarcas, $75 at AvarcasUSA—I first noticed this style of slingbacks in Barcelona one summer, years ago. Everyone wears them there—moms, dads, kids, teens. I’m obsessed with them now, and I swapped out my Minnetonka moccasins for them this year. They go great with casual dresses and shorts.
Black sandals from COS—Every summer, I look for the perfect pair of not-too-dressy, not-too-casual chunky-heeled sandals but can never find anything that’s not over-embellished or too girly or too hard or high to walk in. But then I found THESE from COS when I was over in Helsinki in May. I live for them, and they go with everything. And even though they have an ankle strap, they don’t make my legs look too short. Ha ha. Unfortunately, they’re no longer available, but you can check out COS’ other shoes right here.
Everlane’s summer sandals, $105—These are my go-to everyday shoe this summer, and whenever I wear them (every day), people stop me and ask where I got them. They’re super simple and ultra comfortable, they stay on my feet, and they’re a great neutral color that goes with everything. Plus, they look like quality shoes, if you know what I mean? They don’t look plasticky or like they were just thrown together. Makes sense, since Everlane is really careful about where it sources and manufactures!
I’m obsessed with my Van Dal faux-snakeskin sandals, about $100 at Marks and Spencer—I’ve been ordering from British department store Marks and Spencer for years, and this year it launched free shipping to the U.S., so now I’m ordering even more. This summer, M&S teamed up with English heritage shoe brand Van Dal to reissue some of their classic styles. These crossover sandals remind me—there’s something about the curve of the low heel and the ladylike slingback—of shoes my mom had in the late ’70s. They’re the perfect sandals for an afternoon wedding or garden party.
I picked these Kurt Geiger “Match” patent T-strap flats, $85 at KurtGeiger.com, at the airport two months ago and I’ve worn them so much—but you’d never be able to tell! That’s what’s so great about patent leather—it looks new forever. Plus, they go with everything, and can even pass for an evening shoe if you don’t feel like popping on heels in the heat!