Your Style Overview:
Sandal Season 2012
By Krystle Wright
I don’t know about you, but as soon as the temperature starts creeping above the 60-degree mark, I can’t wait to ditch my sneakers, boots and flats – my “winter shoes” – for sandals. I’ll wear them from May until November if Mother Nature lets me get away with it. So I want to make sure the sandals I buy are comfortable, durable and, of course, stylish. Whether you’re just starting your hunt for the perfect summer footwear or you’ve been browsing for weeks, now’s a great time to check out what’s in style this season.
One thing you can say for sure is that 2012 will not be the summer of the quiet, unremarkable sandal. Summer footwear this year is all about eye-catching details, colors, textures and designs. If you like a heel or a wedge sandal, expect to find a lot of texture – wood, woven or crocheted – on the heel or wedge. Don’t let the neutral shades of these textures fool you – color is definitely in this season, and just because the heel or wedge is an earth tone doesn’t mean the rest of the shoe can’t be melon, teal or fuchsia, in tie-dye, stripes, solid or color-block. And it’s not just sandals. Even boat shoes and canvas sneakers are showing their colors in primary hues and plaids. The 2012 summer will be a season of accessories trying to steal the show.
The only thing more striking than the colors and textures of current sandal style is the design. Embellishments are big this year. Look for sandals with buckled ankle straps, with and without heels. Details make the shoes this season, so look for embellishments of every type and style, from delicate chains to outrageous feathers. You’ll find sandals that are rhinestone-studded, ruffled and sequined.
If it sounds a little overwhelming, you may be wondering how to wear the embellished sandal style. First, don’t worry. Not every sandal in the store will look like part of a Cleopatra Halloween costume. The style ranges from outlandish to sophisticated and elegant. If you fall on the less adventurous side, keep an eye out for classy details like buckles and braided straps. Some of the cutest sandals this year have cutouts in the straps, so that the shoe and the patches of bare skin make patterns on your feet. Naturalizer has several of these, but it’s not the only company to encourage the trend.
If you’re a little more adventurous, go for the flashier styles, but pare it down by pairing dramatic sandals with an outfit that doesn’t scream “Halloween costume.” The louder your shoes are, the quieter your outfit should be to create a look that is balanced and stylish, not laughable. Or choose a sandal that’s somewhere in between modest and showy. My personal favorite find during my “field research” at DSW was a pair of wedge sandals by Italian Shoemakers featuring small cloth flowers with tiny rhinestones.
Finally, a few tips on general shoe and sandal shopping: For the best comfort, you should always try shoes on before you buy them – or, if you’re buying online, make sure you can return the shoes if they don’t fit comfortably. Budget-conscious shoppers should take advantage of coupons and rewards programs whenever possible, and make sure the shoes you buy aren’t so trendy that you won’t still want to wear them once a new fad takes over next year. Invest in a pair of shoes with a few complimenting (but not clashing) colors, like the “specimens” I collected during my research, where the flowers are a mix of jewel, pastel and neutral tones. That way, you’ll get more chances to wear your new pair. When wearing shoes that bare your toenails, keep your toenails presentable – get a professional pedicure, or save some cash by picking out a bottle of nail polish and painting your nails yourself. It’s a simple way to spend some “me” time, or even socialize with your girlfriends (who said nail polish parties were only for junior high school students, anyway?).
Krystle L. Wright graduated
from Rowan University in May 2011
with her M.A. in Writing
and her B.A. in Writing Arts.
Krystle just took on her first client as a freelance public relations writer. She loves all kinds of writing but especially fiction, and she’s working on her first novel. When she’s not writing (and even when she is), she’s probably listening to music or shopping.