To say life looked different this time last year would be, well, a huge understatement. In February 2020, I was in full-on planning mode for lots of spring and summer fun: Festivals, a trip to Hawaii, weekend escapes, all excuses to bask in wearing my favorite warm-weather outfits and show off a fresh pedicure. (Two things that never fail to put me in a good mood.) While I’m not in a hurry to rediscover how to cram a week’s worth of outfits into my carry-on, I do miss gearing up for easy-breezy vacation dressing, and Who What Wear senior editor Allyson Payer is on the same page. She’s been telling me that from her home in North Carolina, where she works remotely and it’s currently a not-so-balmy 35 degrees, she’s been tapping into her stylish staycation wardrobe to stay positive while our usual escapes evade us a while longer.
While Allyson admits to wistfully scrolling through photos of the hotel where she and her husband honeymooned in Mexico while she sips on homemade margaritas, she tells me that she's been relying on her outfits to set her daily mood. Her aesthetic is modern, relaxed, and trend-driven, which makes her the perfect person to suggest fashion-forward pieces that conjure up a sense of vacation style. Right now, Allyson’s on the hunt for fashion-forward pieces that she can wear while chilling around the house, and as a long-time Birkenstock fan—like most fashion people, TBH—she’s naturally already jumped on the new Gizeh Big Buckle Sandal, which is available to snag exclusively on Zappos. The comfort levels and casual energy are making it a key player in Allyson’s wardrobe before spring's even hit, giving her WFH 'fits a taste of a staycation south of her ankles on the daily. Keep scrolling to see her stylish spring looks, featuring this season's must-have sandal and lots of feel-good vibes for weekends and weekdays alike.
Though tie-dye and cozy pieces had their moment over winter (my overstuffed drawers are proof), Allyson is ready to make room for something new. "I'm looking forward to swapping my sweats for more elevated matching sets in neutral colors," she says. And it makes sense. A chic neutral matching set is something that fashion people always pack in their capsule vacation wardrobe—it's comfortable, effortless, great to mix and match, and is super polished.
And paired with Birkenstocks? It's the perfect look. Oversize statement gold hardware was on every editor's must-have list last season, and they're not going anywhere. "My feet love them, but I also just love the way they make any casual outfit feel a bit cooler," Allyson says.
Allyson's second outfit has that major French-girl-on-staycation-look and I am here for it. And while some may fear wearing denim at home, she makes an effort to do so. "It puts me in productivity mode," she says. "I've probably worn this outfit combination thousands of times, but it makes it even more fun to play up my accessories."
And truthfully, I still can't get over how much I love this specific Birkenstock colorway. (Just check my shopping cart right now!) It's definitely a good neutral but the yellow gives off just the right amount of happy, good vibes for spring
Another fun trend Allyson is embracing for spring is adding in more relaxed trousers to her wardrobe in lieu of shorts. "This is such a good home outfit as it’s very nonrestrictive but makes me feel much more productive than a sweatsuit does."
And if you're going to invest in just one shoe for the season, let's be honest: it's most likely going to be a black pair. "The black Birkenstocks are the perfect casual-polished compliment,” Allyson explains. And with that, I'm sold.