I’m on a mission. To buy sandals. And the ugliness that greets me every time I walk into a shoe store lately is really getting in the way of the success of my mission! Have shoe designers run out of new ideas? Or did they decide retro as the way to go this year? Did they pull out the shoe archives from 25-30 years ago and pick and choose the most blatantly 80s looks to produce and put out there for the world?
I started noticing about a month ago that many women were wearing shoes that I remembered seeing a lot in the 80s. Personally, I’m no style maven and generally I don’t notice what people wear much unless it strikes me as either really nice or really awful. The straight-out-of-the-eighties sandals I see all over the place have me cringing. And I’m sorry if you like them - we’ll just agree that our tastes are different. But I have a few thoughts about why these “retro” shoes are just not doin’ it for me.
They are a trend. By its very nature, a trend is something that can last for varying lengths of time, but when it comes to fashion - here today, gone tomorrow is the rule. (Right? I got that right, didn’t I? Because I’m no expert.) So, if these little blasts from the past are going to be the it thing to wear for this season alone, they aren’t worth taking even a first look at in my opinion. Why?
Because I want classic, elegant looks - something that will carry over to next season since the shoe (shouldn’t) isn’t going to fall apart before then. I have conservative taste in what I wear and conservative taste in what I choose to open my wallet to buy. But I digress. Let me explain where all this is coming from:
Friday night, I came home, excited to get ready and go out with some girlfriends for dinner and drinks. We were all getting dolled up and meeting in the Byward Market to gab away the night. When I took off my cute little mules that I’d been wearing all day, I realized one of the soles had separated. Apparently the ball part of the sole broke up with the heel. It was a clean break, but I was sort of heartbroken because I’d been dragging these sandals out of my closet off and on for about 11 years. (Okay, it was time for a new pair. I get it. And also, I wasn’t all that heartbroken since I didn’t like them THAT much. They only lasted as long as they did because I hardly ever wore them!) They also probably only cost me about $20 at T.J.Maxx back in Tallahassee.
Friday afternoon, I had been out shopping - never noticing the condition of my sandal. I was already looking for some sandals and started seeing an overabundance of sandals I’d never buy for even a second.
I have a couple of priorities when I buy shoes. The first is comfort. I’m not all about pinched toes, rubbing ankles or toe bones. If I can avoid blisters or fractured foot bones, that’s a good sign the shoe has a chance. I’ve mentioned before that I’m practical person and I like my shoes to work with my life - and I do a decent amount of walking around/standing during the day. Uncomfortable shoes can make me fairly miserable.
My second priority is that a shoe be at least moderately attractive. I’ll probably never wear a pair of stilettos with pointy toes, but shoes don’t have to be the height of fashion to look nice.
Okay, so clearly there were some duds out there. What about good shoes? Well, I searched high and low and I found a couple pair that have an 80s vibe that’s been updated for the here and now - and I like them. (Okay, I actually want to buy one of them.)
This first pair has all the strappy heaven of an 80s sandal without the zipper hell. Oh, and without looking like a shredded boot (see first picture above for an example of the shredded boot look). I’m not totally in love with this shoe - in fact, I couldn’t imagine liking it on me, but I can see it being very attractive on someone else. It’s got a classic look that will last for more than just this season - long after the shredded boots are still rotting away in someone’s closet, the woman who buys this sandal can keep wearing it until it breaks up on her.
Last, but not least, is my personal favorite sandal that I saw on the site I used to research all these shoes and I won’t lie - it’s because I always wanted a pair of sandals like these in the 80s. But this one is actually cuter! It has the wedge heel so it can be worn as business casual on occasion and also looks comfortable, so it can dress up a casual weekend ensemble as well. They aren’t quite as dressy as I was looking to get, but I’m not done looking yet.
And now I’m done ranting about my shoe issues. If you are interested in any of these…ahem…fine shoes. Just click on the picture and it will take you to the Globo Shoes site where I found them. Not that I’m doing this post for Globo or anything - I just happened to spend more time at their store than at the others, so I’m actually sort of picking on them because of it.