The new trend this season appears to be gladiator sandals. The Grecian look isn’t completely new. We’ve been seeing stars like Katie Holmes (or is it Kate now?) sporting similar Grecian gowns.
The thing I love about the Grecian gown is that it is extremely feminine. There is just something about the flowing material that just looks very flattering and womanly. Apparently, now that it’s summer, the Grecian trend has spread to our feet. While the gowns are flowing and femine, I find the shoes heavy, and they make your feet look big.
Although I think I am the only person noticing.
I was flipping through my Red Eye the other morning, and there was a whole page of them in different styles (some of which you can see on Mary-Kate Olson, Mischa Barton, and Kate Hudson pictured above). And yes, there are several styles. There’s the metallic diva gladiator sandal, there’s the American Indian beaded gladiator sandal, the jewel studded variety – any variation you can imagine seems to be out there. The one thing they all have in common is that they are unflattering and unfemine.
And still, the more I see them in magazines, the more I see them on the streets. Do people actually like these sandals, or are they slaves to trends?
Right after college, when I was starting the wardrobe for my first job, dressy flats started becoming trendy. This worked out great because I was going through an anti-heels phase. I decided heels were invented by voyeuristic men and I wasn’t wearing them, no matter how feminine and flattering they are. I was taking night classes, and working at a law firm during the day at the time, so I accrued a healthy amount of trendy, dressy flats. It drove my mother crazy.
My mother is not a slave to fashion. No matter how trendy, she will not wear anything she considers unflattering. Her clothing mantra is to always dress to look your best. To her, this means wearing heels as often as you can stand it. She’s no Vicotoria Beckham, who won’t even get on the treadmill because she can’t run in heels, but she owns very few flat shoes – sandals included. I have short athletic legs, and wearing flat shoes isn’t bad, but wearing heels definitely compliments my body in a way that flats simply cannot.
But I didn’t listen. I had my Birkinstock sandals for the summer, and my flat Mary Janes for the winter. Both trendy (at the time). Both unflattering.
Since then I have, well, gotten older, changed jobs, etc. Now I focus on shoes that I can walk comfortably in, are pretty, feminine, and compliment my body type. So needless to say, the Birkenstocks have hit the garbage and I own very few completely flat shoes (everyone needs a good pair of flip flops!), Gladiator sandals included, which are a particular nightmare since most of them have an ankle strap that makes my calves look huge.
It turns out that I personally look better in heels, and more importantly, I feel more confident in them. Basically they look more feminine on me. Now, that’s a chicken or egg statement. Are they actually more feminine, or is that what we have been conditioned to think? I don’t know the answer to that question. What I do know is what I see.
In the end, what is flattering is open to both interpretation, and varies from person to person. There are plenty of people who look great in flat shoes. I am just not one of them. However, what I see when I look at people in gladiator sandals is gladiator sandals. Wearing your shoes instead of letting them wear you, looks great on everyone.