It's True: These Affordable Sandals Make Every Summer Outfit Look Expensive


(Image credit: @daniellejinadu)

Not everyone has embraced the Birkenstock Renaissance with open arms. Sure, the divisive slides are a little less refined than a Chanel ballet flat or Castañer espadrille, but there's no denying their presence in many a cool person's wardrobe.

So, why is this basic sandal so beloved? Originally released in 1973, Birkenstock's two-strap Arizona style boasts one thing above all else: comfort. Until you've tried it, you truly can't comprehend the satisfaction of sliding your foot onto that cork bed and feeling it mould to its shape.

But there has to be an aesthetic reason, too—let's face it, if comfort was our only criteria we'd wear slippers to work (although arguably Birkenstocks are comfier)—and I think I've cracked it. It seems that adding these casual slides to an outfit instantly makes it feel effortless. Wearing a dress that feels too formal for a laid-back lunch date? Slip on some Birks. Spent hours curating an outfit but want it to read as relaxed? Only one sandal will do.

Below, you'll find six simple looks that prove just how true this is. If you've been sitting on the fence where Birkenstocks are concerned, we're pretty sure these outfits will convert you.

1. Linen Dress + Birkenstocks


(Image credit: @taffymsipa)

Style Notes: Is it even summer without linen? Our answer is a resounding "no", so we recommend investing in a breezy dress to keep you cool on hot days.

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2. Breton Tee + Straight-Leg Jeans + Birkenstocks


(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Style Notes: Birkenstock sandals might be trending right now, but they can easily be slotted into classic outfit combinations such as a striped tee and blue jeans.

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3. Crop Top + Linen Trousers + Birkenstocks


(Image credit: @bubblyaquarius)

Style Notes: I'll be living in this chic combination all summer long. Birkenstocks are a key ingredient in making it feel as fuss-free and everyday-appropriate as possible.

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4. Waistcoat + Shorts + Birkenstocks


(Image credit: @brittanybathgate)

Style Notes: Fashion people are fully embracing the waistcoat this season, wearing it as a top rather than a companion to suiting. Add slides to give the smart style a down-to-earth spin.

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5. Blazer + Athleisure + Birkenstocks


(Image credit: @daniellejinadu)

Style Notes: This is the perfect running-errands ensemble, in my opinion. It's polished, comfortable and on-trend in equal measure.

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6. Maxi Dress + Birkenstocks


(Image credit: @kimturkington_)

Style Notes: On sunny summer weekends, let your floor-grazing maxi dresses do the talking and keep the footwear simple. Enter Birkenstocks.

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Shop Other Birkenstock Styles:

Next Up: Trust Me—These 5 Sandals Will See You Through the Entire Summer

Freelance Fashion Editor

Bébhinn Campbell is an Edinburgh-based fashion and lifestyle writer and editor. She started her first blog at age 14 and went on to intern at print and digital publications in Berlin and London, including Dazed & Confused and Indie magazine.

A job at a fashion startup took Bébhinn from Ireland to Scotland in 2019, where she now works as a freelance journalist and copywriter covering everything from travel and interiors to styling advice. As a contributor to Who What Wear, Bébhinn always keeps her eyes peeled for emerging trends and looks worth writing about. She prides herself on her ability to cut through the noise and identify solid investment buys, exciting new brands and fresh takes on classic design.

In her spare time, Bébhinn enjoys perusing Edinburgh’s best vintage shops, working through her out-of-control book collection and watching dog reels on Instagram.