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...
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).
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.
Ankle-grazing pants show off the shoes in all their ugly glory.
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.
Confession: I don’t need to wear glasses. But these frames totally fit quirky-cool feel of my outfit
Balance out a slouchy ensemble by adding polished accessories like this sleek Loeffler Randall bag.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Image courtesy of Camille Over the Rainbow
Image courtesy of Lella Victoria
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Image courtesy of Fash N Chips
Would you try the trend? Let us know in the comments below!