How Do I Wear Birkenstocks and Look Fashionable?

Birkenstock Arizona White faux leather sandal. Nordstrom. $89.95. 

Birkenstock Arizona White faux leather sandal. Nordstrom. $89.95. 

Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed patent leather sandal. Nordstrom. $129.95.

Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed patent leather sandal. Nordstrom. $129.95.

I thought we'd start today's post with the most popular topic of conversations at my recent happy hours, Birkenstocks. 

Apparently, it's a very big deal that I purchased a pair. Let me be clear. Happy feet make for a happy life. But, ugly shoes don't make for a happy life. So the key is to find shoes that are both comfortable and fashionable. That, Dear Reader, is totally possible. And, not just with Birkenstocks.

Three years ago I would not have suggested your run out and get yourself the mother of all comfort brands. But, Birks have jumped straight from the feet of hippies to runways on their journey to your local Nordstrom. If you aren't already, you'll likely be jumping on this trend soon. 

How Do I Wear the new hip Birkenstocks?

Birkenstock Gizeh Birko flor thong. Available in multiple colors. Nordstrom. $89.95.

Birkenstock Gizeh Birko flor thong. Available in multiple colors. Nordstrom. $89.95.

1. Are you or aren't you a hippie?

Long patterned dress. H&M. $49.95.

Long patterned dress. H&M. $49.95.

Once you know the answer, coordinating your outfits just got a whole lot easier. If yes, then feel free to embrace flowy skirts, earth tones, natural fabrics, batik, etc. If not, you'll want to go another direction, let's think of it as the "anti hippie." No offense to hippies:) Balance each component that would normally be considered earthy or hippie with something edgy, urban, polished, sophisticated, classic. You get the idea. Fashion is about balancing competing views and trends and making them your own. Birks are a great way to start.

2. Know your body and your style.

Heritage textured stripe belted sheath. Banana Republic. $130.

Heritage textured stripe belted sheath. Banana Republic. $130.

If you have a triangle shaped body, take a look at more subdued options. Black patent leather, or metallics are great for you as you want to draw attention to your top half while still showing off some exciting shoes. If you have an inverted triangle, rectangle or hourglass figure the white Birks can work for you. I said it, white. White shoes are back front and center. If you feel you can, jump in with both feet. If not, recognize that we haven't been wearing white shoes for a decade or more so baby steps are just fine.

3. Use them to elevate your outfits while keeping things casual.

ASOS Soft blazer with clean lapel. ASOS. $66.69. 

ASOS Soft blazer with clean lapel. ASOS. $66.69. 

Mesh paneled jumpsuit. Forever 21. $22.80. 

Mesh paneled jumpsuit. Forever 21. $22.80. 

Chimala grey distressed ankle pants. Madewell. $483.

Chimala grey distressed ankle pants. Madewell. $483.

Every time I wear my black patent leather pair, I get comments. Once, at the car wash, a woman kept looking at me then at her phone. After a few minutes she revealed that upon seeing my shoes she just went online and ordered them. Right there. At the car wash. This is why I say it's possible you'll be getting a pair. After all, they are comfortable and hip. 

Here are three ways to do this:

Georgia faux leather short. Club Monaco. Was: $129.95. Now: $89.

Georgia faux leather short. Club Monaco. Was: $129.95. Now: $89.

a) Pair them with something that normally looks perfect with heels. Office attire: a silk shift dress, a tailored sheath, a structured button up are all options. Think of a great outfit for the office, then, remove the heels and perhaps even the jewelry and replace with Birkenstocks. Now you are ready for a summer happy hour and a walk home or to the bus. Easy and still very put together. If you are wearing pants, it is important to keep length in mind. If your pants are too long, they'll brush on the ground and all sophistication is lost. I vote for the skirt option.

b) Try them with something casual that you'd like to elevate. Distressed boyfriend jeans are perfect for this. A white tee, boyfriend jeans and patent Birks and a piece of jewelry like a simple gold bracelet is on another level from the same shirt, jeans and flip flops. These are also perfect with the current shorts trend. Prefer a preppier style? Keep things current with fashionable comfort shoes and a button down shirt, cardigan and jeans.

c) Smile, you've found your summer go-to with pleather and leather. If you have high waisted leather or pleather shorts, leggings or joggers, these are the ideal pairing. It's not easy to coordinate a summer shoe with a cold weather fabric. Living in the Northwest, we spend a good deal of time in the land of in between, so these are just right.

One last thing, keep in mind that not all Birks are created equally. If the pair is lower priced, it might have a fashion footbed rather than the much thicker comfort footbed. You may be happier trying them on first if you are considering the thinner sole. Plus, there is the vegan leather option to keep in mind.

And there you have it. Go from the office to a walk around Seward Park or head off to Happy Hour or a play date in something that makes you look and feel sophisticated, put together and very comfortable. 

Enjoy!

 

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