Summer is in full swing, and that probably means that your closet is bursting at the seams with skater dresses, floral skirts, and chic shorts galore. Accordingly, it's time to start thinking about what you're going to slip that pretty pedicure into and how you're going to polish off your nearly perfect high-season look. After all, your sandal of choice can seriously alter your entire ensemble¬--toughening it up with some much-needed edge or heightening it with a directional, runway-inspired detail¬--upgrading your outfit from nearly there to photo-worthy finish. Take for example, fashion favorite Kate Bosworth who recently paired her Celine Natural Calfskin Sandals ($630) with Topshop's Faux Denim Bodysuit ($24) and Printed Flippy Skirt ($70) and Mulberry's Leah Shoulder Bag ($895) in Mushroom when out and about in New York City. The lace-up style adds intrigue to her outfit by providing contrast to her girly skirt, while the neutral color is right on par with this season's khaki craze, resulting in a stellar summer-in-the-city ensemble we're eager to recreate.
However, while the S/S 10 collections are a-run with lovely neutral sandals like Bosworth's covetable pair, you don't have to spend too much on summer footwear¬--that would be a legit faux pas! After all, the warm weather will probably have you cavorting out of doors and strolling through tall grasses, sandy beaches, or just hitting the sidewalk more than usual, assuring your airy footwear will get lots of wear and tear. That's why we've rounded up the best wallet-friendly versions of this summer staple for this month's installment of Under $100 Neutral Sandals!
Aldo Cromie Sandals ($90) in Black
One of our dressier sandal choices for today, Aldo's Cromie is a perfect pick when it comes to accentuating your summer workwear. While the wood bottom nods to the clog craze that has gripped the fashion community in its Chanel-minded throes, the bandage-inspired ankle straps bring to mind the tough-girl styles seen on Balmain's S/S 10 runway. While you can opt to pair them with leather shorts and gilded blouses √† la Balmain for a sizzling girls' night out, you can also use them to complement a sweet summer dress for a fashion-forward day of staff meetings and conference calls!
Boutique 9 Gilla Sandal ($99) in Light Brown Leather
When we first saw these Boutique 9 flats, we absolutely flipped for the rich, camel hue reminiscent of Bosworth's caramel gladiator pair. Likewise, we'd take a page from this sartorial star's impeccable lookbook and use them to complete a daytime top-and-skirt or dress ensemble for a spot-on day-out-of-doors running errands outfit.
Zara Chap Sandals ($30)
Here at Who What Wear, we always love a great high-street find, so we were thrilled when we discovered these Zara shoes that take direct inspiration from the neutral utilitarian trend seen on Chloe's S/S 10 runway. The slouchy ankle fabric and double wrap buckle invoke a warrior vibe that we find perfect for pounding the pavement in summer. Accordingly, we'd style the sandals with our urban uniform of olive trouser shorts, a crisp button up, and a stack of tribal bangles.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race Boat Tote Sandals ($100)
Perhaps the most minimalist of our footwear choices today, this cr√®me colored sandal channels a chic simplicity that conjures up images of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, while the canvas material makes them decidedly modern. Try pairing them with a mid-calf A-line skirt¬--a silhouette that's on-trend for summer and huge next season too¬--and a short-sleeve button-up for a day of sightseeing, then watch as the Princess Anne-inspired adventures unfold!
Lucky Brand Lesh Sandals ($99)
Nearly identical to wedges seen in Celine's current collection, these wood-and leather sandals are a truly versatile pair. Take a note from Phoebe Philo's more minimalist approach and wear them with khaki pieces and all-weather-leather for truly chic, streamlined look. Or, contrarily, embrace their clog-like appeal and pair them with wide leg jeans and a diaphanous blouse to channel your inner gypset.
Forever 21 Jonas Strappy Wedge Sandals ($19.80)
Sleek strappy sandals are among our favorite summer accessories and when we saw this pair from Forever 21, we had to get our hands on them. Not only do the crisscross straps echo a more refined version of the gladiator, but they also offer some seriously stylish bang for the buck! The slight wedge heel gives you a smidgen of height, while still being comfortable, something we highly value in a sandal we can envision wearing all summer long.
Jeffrey Campbell So Smart Wedge Sandals ($98) in Khaki
While much of our job at Who What Wear requires some in-house quality time researching designer collections on Style.com and the like, a large part is dedicated to off-grounds field work¬--i.e. fashion events¬--where lately we've seen our favorite ladies turned out in a uniform of flirty skirts and ankle boots, like Jeffrey Campbell's lace-up and cutout version. This particular wedge is a great choice because not only does it elongate your leg when it comes to opting for shorter hemlines, but it also bridges the gap between flat, casual footwear and heels, which is perfect for achieving an effortless, summer look.¬--Liza Kaplan