If you live in a part of the world like Southern California, sandals are likely a part of your wardrobe.
And, with more relaxed work environments becoming the norm ever since tech companies started doing it, knowing when to use sandals has never been more confusing.
Sandals are not simply a single level of fashion anymore. They aren’t just for beach bums, dad’s on weekends, or lazy folk. But, you have to know the 3 levels of sandal fashion.
The bottom rung of sandal fashion: Crocs and any sandals with socks
If you wear crocs, or any kind of sock + sandal combination, you are automatically going to be socially dinged if you leave the house.
This is the foot equivalent of that one dirty undershirt that has the stains and a slight tear and doesn’t fit quite right, but you know, eh whatever, I’m just staying inside and this is comfortable.
God help you if you wear both and are out and about:
Middle rung: thongs, flip flops, and pretty much anything composed of rubber and/or fabric:
These are your casual level of sandals. Are you just hanging out with friends and family? Doing some chores or errands for the weekend?
Great. If you are not dressing up fancy, and you want to be comfortable, wear these.
However, even if you have a laid back work environment, you are really pushing it if you try to wear these.
These sandals are the equivalent of a hoodie or sweatpants.
Top Shelf: Either leather or other high quality uppers, and a quality composite base
These are the equivalents of polo shirts, and are about as high as you can go on the “fancy” hierarchy for sandals.
If your company is cool with a laidback dress code, these are fine.
Warm weather and you are decently dressed and going to a restaurant without a strict dress code? This works.
Throw them on with jeans, khakis, polos, or rolled up sleeved shirts and you are set.
And other kinds of sandals?
You may be thinking that we are missing a whole lot of sandal types and that you are still mystified about a particular pair of sandals that you have.
Welp, stay away from multiple straps and crazy designs unless you have been told that you have a keen fashion sense.
If you think that you have a good sense of fashion but have not been told so numerous times, then you need to put the ego aside and burn those flip flops, or relegate them to the bottom rung/Croc category.
This includes, but is not limited to:
Again, unless you are clearly fashionable, stay to the pictures above.
Even fashionable sandals recommended to you by your fashionable friend will not work. When super trendy sandals worn with the rest of an outfit by a guy who is clearly not coordinating amazingly well, gets dangerous. So, unless you are set in that department, just do not even start.
Got it? Good.
Now get out there and look remarkable!