Flip-flops are among fashion’s most polarizing shoes, once associated mostly with the irritating rubber clacking sound you hear walking down the boardwalk at the beach. But more recently, luxury brands have introduced a slew of trendy iterations (see: early 2000s-inspired thong sandals, leather and suede fabrics, funky prints) that are putting the footwear back at the forefront. Styling flip-flops in an elevated way is now fairly simple — it’s all about choosing the right separates and accessories.
“Oddly enough, [I] used to detest flip-flops — [I] think it was the rubber casualness,” Brie Welch, an editorial stylist based in New York, tells TZR. “I realized I prefer a hard-soled leather style with a slim footbed, which feels like a proper shoe, [and] more elevated,” she says of her renewed interest. Her must-have style is A.EMERY’s thong sandals which Welch suggests pairing it with a tailored trouser. “[For instance, a pant that’s] overly slouchy with good drape, or a more fitted straight pant that hits just above the ankle bone — something [with] a good texture!”
Accessorizing is also key when it comes to sprucing up your flip-flop ensemble. For stylist Mickey Freeman, this means utilizing anklets. “Whether they be bedazzled or folk-inspired (depending on the outfit), minimal effort is needed while achieving the maximum effect,” he tells TZR. Another recommendation from the expert is to add on a pair of attention-grabbing sunglasses, which he says also takes little effort.
Of course, picking the right flip-flops is half the battle. Fortunately, you have a range of cool options. If you love the beachy, laid-back vibe of the classic rubber sandal, there’s no need to give that up. In fact, labels like Gucci and Christian Louboutin are releasing chic rubber options. And for those looking to test drive a heeled style, turn to brands like Brother Vellies and Totême for luxe iterations.
Now that you have your flip-flops ready to go, below, find 11 influencer-approved ways to elevate them. You’ll be cozy and stylish all summer long.
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Like Welch notes, tailored trousers and casual flip-flops make for a cool juxtaposition. Above, influencer Aimee Song proves this theory with her all-white ensemble.
When you’re not quite sure what to wear in-between seasons, consider styling your flip-flops with bike shorts, a trench coat, and a sweater wrapped around your shoulders. You’ll be good no matter what the weather decides to do.
Upgrade Your Loungewear
It’s understandable if you don’t want to break up with your loungewear this summer. Luckily, there are tons of ribbed sets on the market that are equal parts snug and stylish. Finish off with a kitten heel flip-flop to give the outfit a chic touch.
If you’re planning on sporting a printed flip-flop this summer, let the shoe stand out by pairing it with a monochromatic ensemble. Whether you choose an all-black look or something more vibrant, your sandals won’t be missed.
Sneak A Peek
Your flip-flops don’t necessarily have to be on full display. If you’d rather reveal them more subtly, opt for long jeans with a cool slit on the bottom.
Lots Of Colors
Summer is the time to play with multiple colors in your looks — and the beach is the perfect place to do this. Style a vivid bikini top and contrasting trousers with a bright pair of flip-flops.
If you’re in search of ways to make a fancy floral dress feel more pared-back, rubber flip-flops will do the trick. Opt for a colorful style that coordinates with your printed piece.
Soft Color Palette
Yes, you can still wear your go-to neutrals throughout the summer. Choose a soft color palette and finish off with black flip-flops for a look that can be worn almost anywhere.
Instead of a sleek flip-flop, try out a fun plushy silhouette. Since the style is eye-catching on its own, consider skipping additional statement accessories.
Make your sandal look intriguing by playing with summery textures in your attire, like a relaxed terry top. For extra pizazz, try a leather Bermuda short on the bottom.
Sometimes, all you need to create an elevated outfit are eye-catching accessories. For instance, try a bag and flip-flop in exaggerated, chunky silhouettes.