The Uncomplicated Sandals Every Chic Person I Know Is Shopping for Summer

Claire Rose wears Toteme flip-flops and a striped sweater

(Image credit: @clairerose)

These days, controversial trends are a dime a dozen. We see them so often that we don't even blink an eye anymore at items that were once eye-widening (ahem, sheer skirts, capri pants, Bermuda shorts, to name a few), and the same is true for the latest shoe trend that's emerging: flip-flops. The previously "boring," even downright unstylish sandals are undergoing a major renaissance this season, and they're poised to become one of the most-worn trends by the summer's end.

Make no mistake, though. These are far from the rubber thong sandals you might be thinking of. Instead, the current pairs feature luxe materials like leather, suede, satin, and velvet and come in sleek, logo-less silhouettes. They also largely feature more substantial shapes so they're not as flimsy as those rubber pairs you wore to the beach as a kid. The style set is also wearing them in inventive new ways, styling them alongside chic outfits where flip-flops would normally seem out of place, like with A-line dresses, tailored trousers, and billowy maxi skirts. This kind of styling has the effect of making the humble thongs a cool, of-the-moment pick—it's precisely because they don't quite "work" that they actually do work, if you know what I mean.

The standout pairs defining this new flip-flop wave include The Row's leather-finished City Sandals, Chanel's velvet and shimmery pairs, and Toteme's croc-embossed version. Once boring, now ultra elevated, simple thong sandals unquestionably are having a moment, and we've sourced the best buys on the market. Just ahead, peruse all the elevated pairs on offer and get inspiration for how to style them.

The Row spring 2023 runway

(Image credit: The Row)

You may know The Row's platformed Ginza sandals as the reigning It thongs of the past several years, but designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen debuted a new flip-flop silhouette that's even simpler and sleeker. The City sandals, as seen in the S/S 23 collection, feature a thinner but still substantial sole that, as the name suggests, is ideal for city life.

Shop The Row City Sandals

a Chanel model walks the spring 2024 runway wearing flip-flops

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Chanel)

@clairerose chanel flip flops

(Image credit: @clairerose)

Even Chanel put its spin on the humble flip-flop this season, which has only further cemented the sandals as high fashion. Unsurprisingly, the two velvet and shimmer iterations have already skyrocketed to the tippy top of insider wish lists.

Shop the Chanel Thongs

Claire Rose wears Toteme thong sandals

(Image credit: @clairerose)

Another standout pair comes with Toteme's glossy croc embossing. The luxe finish does wonders to elevate the sandals here, and it proves that with this style, it's all in the details: a square toe, nutty-brown hue, and croc print all work in tandem to create one of the fanciest flip-flops on the market. They're so elevated you just might find yourself keeping them on for the post-sunset hour.

Shop the Toteme Flip-Flop Flat

Shop More Elevated Thong Sandals

Neelam Gill wears The Row City Sandals

(Image credit: @neelam.ahooja)

a photo of a woman wearing a white dress outfit with black flip-flops and raffia bag

(Image credit: @monikh)

Amalie Moosgaard wearing a black slip dress and black flip-flops

(Image credit: @amaliemoosgaard)

Influencer wears flip-flops with denim shorts.

(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Tylynn Nguyen wears The Row jelly flip flops

(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)
Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.