How To Make The Ugly Sandal Trend Actually Look Cute

One brave editor gave it a whirl. Disaster or darling? Click through to find out.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Yes, the “ugly” shoe trend is really happening. Celine may have started the movement with the revival of their Birkenstock-like sandal, but Isabel Marant sealed the deal with its spring debut of the thick-soled, chunky leather-strapped Holden Sandals ($510). I like the unappealing sandal in theory—the excuse to forsake a heel is tempting enough—but in actuality? Well, I had to test it to really see. Click through to see if I pulled off the impossible: making an uncomely shoe look stylish...

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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Pepe Leon
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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    There’s a look Phoebe Philo has championed at Celine that I like to call the polished slouch. It’s minimal, tailored, and so relaxed it can border on baggy. Clearly, the look lends itself seamlessly to the “I don’t care” vibe of the ugly sandal.

    ​What I Wore: Steven Alan Oversized Trench Coat ($645) in Off White; Mango Waistcoat ($70) in Black; Mango Open Back Striped Top ($50, 866.666.4664); Loeffler Randall Junior Work Tote ($395) in Natural/Black; Isabel Marant Holden Sandals ($510); Lookmatic Austin Eyeglasses ($72) in Tortoise; Jennifer Fisher x Stop It Right Now Choker ($375) in Yellow Gold; Ettika Lady of Leisure Necklace ($105).

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    When wearing an oversized or covered-up ensemble, I like to roll up the sleeves to show a little bit of skin. It’s a simple styling trick that makes a world of difference.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Ankle-grazing pants show off the shoes in all their ugly glory.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    A slim-fitting silhouette is crucial to keep the look smart. The Juicy trousers I’m wearing are delightfully flattering, which wards off any sloppy vibes.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Confession: I don’t need to wear glasses. But these frames totally fit quirky-cool feel of my outfit

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Balance out a slouchy ensemble by adding polished accessories like this sleek Loeffler Randall bag.

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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Pepe Leon
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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    The ultimate ugly shoe test? Making the trend work in an evening ensemble. The key is to find a cocktail dress that’s relaxed enough to feel compatible with the casual sandal. In other words: bandage dresses need not apply. My red lace dress works because it has an easy silhouette, but still feels completely appropriate for after-hours.

    ​What I Wore: Rachel Comey Lucid Dress ($644); Hanro Satin Body Dress ($128) in Black; Isabel Marant Holden Sandals ($510); Anya Hindmarch Giorgiana Tassel Clutch ($750) in White; Dior Glisten Cat Eye Sunglasses ($310) in Ivory/Orange/Pink.

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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    I find that when wearing a daring item, in my case the Holden shoe, adding a sprinkling of statement accessories takes some of pressure off that bolder piece. I added a pair dramatic cat-eye sunglasses and an ear cuff so there was more to my outfit than just a funky pair of shoes.

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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    As you can imagine, a chunky sandal doesn’t exactly work the same leg-lengthening magic as a stiletto. Accordingly, a dress that shoes some skin or gives a semblance of your figure is ideal, as it balances the anti-allure of the sandal.

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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    A word to the wise: if you’re going to try the trend yourself, get thee to the nail salon first. Pedicured feet are paramount to making sure the look is more stylish and less slovenly.

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    EXPLORE: Street Style
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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Camille Over the Rainbow

    Image courtesy of Camille Over the Rainbow

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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Lella Victoria

    Image courtesy of Lella Victoria

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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Le Fashion

    Image courtesy of Le Fashion

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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Girl A La Mode

    Image courtesy of Girl A La Mode

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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: The Native Fox

    Image courtesy of The Native Fox

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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Fashion Vibe

    Image courtesy of Fashion Vibe

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    EXPLORE: Street Style
    PHOTO: Fash N Chips

    Image courtesy of Fash N Chips

    Would you try the trend? Let us know in the comments below!

Shop this Story
Holden Sandals

Holden Sandals

Isabel Marant, $510
SHOP
Lady of Leisure Necklace

Lady of Leisure Necklace

Ettika, $105
SHOP
Waistcoat

Waistcoat

Mango, $70
SHOP
Oversized Trench Coat

Oversized Trench Coat

Steven Alan, $645
SHOP
Choker

Choker

Jennifer Fisher x Stop It Right Now, $375
SHOP
Junior Work Tote

Junior Work Tote

Loeffler Randall, $395
SHOP
Ponte Crop Pant

Ponte Crop Pant

Juicy Couture, $88
SHOP
Austin Eyeglasses

Austin Eyeglasses

Lookmatic, $72
SHOP
Satin Body Dress

Satin Body Dress

Hanro, $128
SHOP
Lucid Dress

Lucid Dress

Rachel Comey, $644
SHOP
Giorgiana Tassel Clutch

Giorgiana Tassel Clutch

Anya Hindmarch, $750
SHOP
Glisten Cat Eye Sunglasses

Glisten Cat Eye Sunglasses

Dior, $310
SHOP
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