The 13 Looks That Made Me Fall In Love With Birkenstock Clogs
This “ugly” shoe stole my heart.
Bucking the notion that all trends will eventually go through (and repeat) a familiar cycle of rise-peak-decline, a small handful of historic shoes have skipped the rotation altogether and remained relevant decade after decade. Take Converse’s Chuck Taylors — the high-top sneaker that was first released in 1917. There’s also Dr. Martens’ combat boots, a symbol of understated irreverence that’s been around since 1947. Lately, though, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Boston clog style from Birkenstock — aka the perfect slide-on shoe from a brand with a rich, international history.
The footwear powerhouse first popped up in 1774, when Johann Adam Birkenstock was recorded as the “subject and cobbler” in the church archives of Langen-Bergheim, Germany. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the label made its way stateside. A little over a decade later, in 1979, the object of my affection was introduced. This classic Boston clog was originally designed to be worn at work or around the house but shimmied its way into the upper echelons of the fashion world since then (this fall, in particular, stores can barely keep the style in stock). Regardless of which celebrity wears it or which designer unveils a collaboration with the company (ahem, Manolo Blahnik), there’s something impenetrably cool about the OG version of these shoes. They’re affordable, incredibly supportive, and nail an effortless vibe, well, effortlessly.
Though the Arizona slide-on sandal from Birkenstock is arguably the more popular style, Boston comes in as a close second. It looks so cozy (and low-key coastal grandma) during the colder months of the year, especially when styled with a Marl-knit sock (my preferred approach.) Yet, it’s also just the thing for lounging around a campsite in the middle of summer. They look extraordinarily cute with a long, breezy cottagecore-esque dress (the no-nonsense silhouette really grounds the floaty fabric), or even just a pair of track pants while running errands.
In any case, the closed-toe Birks remained a trusty staple in many wardrobes for forty-some-odd years and counting. If you haven’t fallen in love with the shoe already, take a look at the fashion girl-approved ways to style it for virtually any season, below. I dare you not to fall in love, too.
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With A Trench Coat
Trench coats and Birkenstock Bostons are, low-key, a match made in heaven. Both usually come in soft, earthy hues and complement each other beautifully. For an ultimate French girl look, add a pair of mom jeans and a striped marinière top into the mix.
With the gradual drop in temperatures, you’ll likely feel inclined to add one (or a few) additional layers to your autumnal looks. For those who don’t want to bust out their warm jackets and coats just yet, try wearing a longer T-shirt as your base layer and let it peek out from underneath a roomy sweatshirt or sweater. Finish the outfit with a pair of trousers and, of course, your favorite Birks.
Take style cues from Gen Zers and wear your Birkenstock clogs with comfort-forward (or even pajama-like) ensembles. This look, above, is perfect for the weekend and will immediately ward off the dreaded Sunday Scaries.
A Broken-Down Pantsuit
For warm weather days, skip out on the blazer and style a vest with trousers instead. The Birkenstocks will complement the neutral hues in this ensemble beautifully and make it feel more casual.
With A Workout Set
A matching workout set plus blazer combo is a fashion girl classic that’s also beloved by celebs — including Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner. Copy the A-lister-approved look by layering a roomy blazer over your favorite sporty separates, then pop on a pair of Birks to complete the stylish yet cozy ensemble.
The Timeless Button-Down Shirt
Fact: You can’t go wrong with a classic button-down shirt. The timeless wardrobe staple is incredibly versatile and can be styled with virtually anything. For those who want to their OOTD to another level, though, try teaming it with the less expected pieces (think: a long dress and a pair of clunky-chic Birkenstock clogs.)
I prefer glamping over camping — it’s just the nature of being a city girl. If you feel the same way and have such a trip on the calendar, pack your Birkenstocks for a functional and fashionable addition to your outdoorsy wardrobe. (Pro tip: It gets cold at night in the woods, so bring a few pairs of chunky socks to layer in when needed.)
Farm Girl Chic
As summer rolls around, it’s hard to resist the urge to get out of the city and spend some time in the countryside. For your next city escape, make sure to pack a pair of Birkenstock clogs, as they’re equally functional for low-key nature walks and just lounging around the house. And, they go with almost anything ... But how cute is this cropped denim plus flowy blouse combination here?
Never Too Many Neutrals
I live in New York City (aka the land of all-black outfits), so when I spot a fresh take on full-on noir dressing, I bookmark it STAT. This look feels at once professional and sensual; plus, the belt and clogs lend a unique effect that a pair of boots or ballet flats simply couldn’t accomplish.
One of the best parts about clogs is that they translate to the great outdoors pretty seamlessly, which means wearing them with a straw hat, socks, and comfortable separates makes perfect sense (as illustrated above.) Wear this look on your next stroll around the park or weekend adventure to the countryside.
The New Prep
Some might think “granola” when prompted about their opinion on Birkenstock, but that’s simply not the case. The comfort-forward shoes go equally well with minimalist and preppy — as evidenced by this look, above. Paired with a plaid overcoat, a button-down shirt, and slim-fit slacks, the shearling Boston clogs spiced up the look in a way that the more predictable pair of loafers never could.
Sort Of Sporty
When I’m working from home, I like to choose outfits that provide optimal comfort but also differentiate my day from pajama-wearing hours. This sweater, retro leggings, and clog moment nails that vibe.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a maximalist style moment. Day-to-day, though, I gravitate toward outfits that lean on earthy color palettes — like this versatile look above. Plus, a sweater and oversized button-down shirt combo will never go out of style, and it looks particularly cool when paired with white denim bottoms.
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