How to Wear the #1 Sandal Trend of the Summer

The single most important question you will ask yourself when the weather gets warm enough to envelop your person and let your toes fly free like freak flags on a pole at Man Repeller’s HQ is: “What kind of sandals should I wear?” Because, you know, perspective. Priorities. But also, you’ll need them to leave your house. And when you leave your house is when you do shit. And when you do shit, you invariably endeavor to change shit, too. And all that trying incites the making (of change) and before you know it, you’re handcuffing yourself to a gate, or rejecting another way, or eating a burger and living the fuck out of your truth and it’s all because you answered that important question of: What kind of sandals should I wear?

But, you know, this is such a tough question to answer. What even is an answer to such an existential quandary? There are handcuffs and burgers at stake, so what’s it gonna be? What’s. It. Gonna. Be? To borrow a group of words that have never been compiled in this order, is currently in existence exclusively within the framework of our style advice column: Might I Suggest a pair of flip flops?

Originally, I intended to offer you a definitive guide to the only three sandal styles you should consider acquiring for the summer season. I thought about tevas, I thought about pool slides, I thought about Birkenstocks, and pool slides as Birkenstocks, or vice versa. I thought about flip flops. Then I put three looks together, and as I was trying them on, it occurred to me that maybe you don’t need three sandal style recommendations at all. Just the one should do it.

I’m sure you have a semblance of Birkenstocks anyway. Tevas might well be a flash in the pan: here today, gone tomorrow. And once they’re gone, we’re all going to ask ourselves what the hoot-bonanza we were thinking. I’m not a tour guide in Little Italy, or a tourist at the Grand Canyon. Not today, at least. So I’m going to focus only the shoes that split your big toe from the rest of your toes, sequesters it as leader and enables the subsequent four digitals to operate independently. Talk about fearlessness. But why the flip flop and not another? Well! After I assembled the below outfits, I wanted to pair them all with flip flops, which leads me to believe they are the, yes the optimal style choice for leaving your home (or staying in it!) this summer.

If you need another reason, I offer this: it’s funny to call them thongs, and think about Sisqó’s popular song about thongs in the context of flip flops instead of revealing underwear. Imagine if the art for that music video was actually just, like, b-roll of a line-up of a bunch of women’s feet in flip flops.

My feet are especially striking because my pinky toe layers over my penultimate toe, and you really don’t get to reap the optical benefits of that arrangement if I’m wearing any other kind of shoe. But this is getting weird. Let’s just talk about the outfits.

1. Wear your thongs with presentable comfy clothes

Note: they’re presentable because I elected to wear a tweed jacket over my T-shirt and added a hat so as to suggest to an onlooker that I know I’m outside, not at home — why else would I have brought with me a straw hat, dum dum! You can also wear more formal thongs in place of Havaianas for an interesting contrast (these from Gianvito Rossi are $545, which is dramatic, but they also make Tkees seem like a really smart choice), and to that note, to strike the same tension but in the reverse direction, the Havaianas would have probably been better in the example of the following photographic directive:

2. Wear your thongs with basic clothes

Like jeans and a T-shirt; but not just any jeans — I’m really advocating for low-ish rise, medium wash, straight-but-not-wide leg jeans. These ones are from Tibi, they’re called the Carpenter Pant and look great with a henley. You know what else looks great with a henley? A bathing suit bottom. But we can get into it another time. This henley is Adam Lippes, it’s for men, but what does that even mean anymore? I seem to have a lot of questions today. The great thing about wearing such basics is that you can add your spunk, and even just say spunk, with accessories like sunglasses and $38 pearl earrings from Amazon and a similarly inexpensive black cord, which I bought to string two pendants through. Do you like my tote? Do you like my scarf? We made them! You can have them! Not today, but pretty soon.

3. Wear your thongs with a capital-L-Look

A sequined belt. A wrap top. A skirt with so many gaping holes in it, you’d never trust it as a reliable story. Good thing that’s not the value proposition here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I HAVE A BURGER TO HANDCUFF MYSELF TO. And because you’re never supposed to end a sentence, let alone story with a preposition, that’s Burger, not Berger.

Photos by Edith Young. 

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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