Shoesday Special: Finding the Perfect Pair of Summer Sandals

You just need one.


I have had it up to here (you can’t see me, technically, but I am pointing my left hand at the tippy top of my head to signify the high level of frustration with which I have been plagued) with long lists of perfect summer shoes.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a list just as much as any other self-respecting woman who has read Joan Didion’s Packing List from within Slouching Toward Bethlehem does, but when I say I want the perfect summer shoes, I mean just one pair. I’m not trying to buy or even see the best 265 best as intoned by [insert women’s publication here]. I just want one.

That said, I’ve had the same shoe problem for the last three years and I think I’ve finally figured out how to fix it.

Firstly, it’s important to note that when I get dressed, I really try to look like I let two people dress me. One from the waist up and another from the neck down. Sometimes I isolate body parts (like my feet, face, etc) and have those dressed by third parties, but never do I ever allow myself to look like one, definitive thing.

During the winter, I err on the side of  masculine which lead way to my wearing feminine shoes. Think ballet mid-heels and pumps and dainty boots if there is such a thing. In the summer, however, all I want to do is throw a white poplin mini dress on every single day, or some version of that white linen/lace that Isabel Marant is always rolling out and call it a look.

And that doesn’t work with flimsy feminine shoes, now does it? So what do I do? In the past, I’ve relied on sneakers. As recently as Sunday, I relied on brogues. But you know what I think this all boils down to? A dynamic pair of gladiator sandals that don’t know they’re gladiators. Sure, Stuart Weitzman’s offerings are near impeccable, but there’s something about impeccability that doesn’t quite sit right with me. And those gladiators know they could take on Russell Crowe, know what I’m saying?


This summer, I think I’m going to rely on this pair, by Ancient Greek Sandals (in collaboration with Carven). They’re not too high on the leg, nor are they too low (though if you prefer little guys, here’s a cool foot sandal option). They allow for a prosaic white dress to look cooler but whisper in their tonal nude as opposed to yell the way some of their relatives do.

Also of note: they’re appropriate for trouser shorts, booty shorts, cargo shorts (which, help me God, I think might be on the cusp of A Moment), diarrhea shorts and mini skirts.

And where denim cut-offs are concerned, that’s what last decade’s ballet flats are for. Duh, duh, duh and duh. Sold. To the lady in face paint.

Get more Shopping ?

    • except for that time I was Bindi Irwin for halloween

  • Jen

    I think I’m up to try a high gladiator sandals this summer. I love your choice.

  • Élora

    I was finally done finding sandals for the summer. I’m not anymore. I hate you.

    THAT’S NOT TRUE I LOVE YOU but you make me buy things. Bad.

    • Kate


  • Christina Storm


    The Style Storm
    <3, Christina

  • GapToothedGirl

    I love the Stuart Weitzman , maybe because of her!!
    xox, Gap.

  • Liz

    Those would give me a serious case of the cankles.

  • Zhenya H

    Summer shoes are always a dilemma for me, this year I am going for the Birkenstocks!

  • ee_by_cc

    While my husband tells me it isn’t true, I feel I’m too stumpy legged to pull off a high gladiator sandal. Makes me sad, I think it could make me feel all powerful and Xena Warrior Princess-like.

  • NSR222

    Joan Didion’s packing list is in The White Album.

    • Leandra Medine


      • Yeeee. I could’ve sworn it was in “S.T.B” too! Anyway it’s in both, or is that not a thing?

  • Okay, this piece was fabulous and all but there’s just ONE THING I can’t quite get past: Cargo Shorts?!?!

    Like in their purest, American-Bro-Weekender form, or is there some fashion equivalent that I’m missing?

    • Leandra Medine

      You’ll seeeeee.

  • Amelia Diamond

    Cargo shorts are cool because

  • Amelia Diamond

    Don’t knock it until you try it

    • Kari

      One good kitten pic deserves another 🙂 This is my cat Oscar when he was a wee one, getting his party on, I feel like cargo shorts belong with this picture.

      • Amelia Diamond


  • Dominique

    amazing, i love it!


  • I love ancient greek sandals, I’ve been checking them out since last year. Does anyone know if they are comfortable? The very basic sole concerns my high arch… Other than that I am so with you on ONE good pair of shoes, I have a pair of metallic Sam Edelman gladiators (from three years ago) that do double duty in warm weather. They just might kick the shoe bucket after this season ;(

  • monkeyshines
  • Natalie

    Someone please explain to me what a ‘diarrhea short’ is. I’m scared to google such a term…

  • Katy Mastrantonio

    Summer, Sandals, sooo fresh!!, Love them!!

    buy online diesel watches

  • We love the Balenciaga sandals! That was such an amazing season. We also love all of the flat gladiators, see more at

  • Jacki Huntington

    They look like a collage of many cartoon character hands.

  • Shonima Kaul

    I don’t like the Ancient Greek ones Leandra.. something very odd about them. Yeah they do remind me of Russel Crowe but I love the one on Kate Moss. I guess bcos its Kate Moss wearing them. Would love to try them with a white mini poplin dress if only it was possible to wear them in india without getting stared at like u r from some other planet 🙂

  • psa

    You will love Toga Pulla’s cowboy style gadiators:

  • haapi

    Sorry, no.
    You are too young to have experienced the early years of the Eastern European immigration to Brighton Beach (and believe me, the Jersey shore gals have nothing on them…) These hefty babes all wore gladiator sandals that were so frighteningly OTT (with matching OTT pedicures) that I still shudder whenever I think of them.

  • alicake

    Love the AGS sandals, they are all amazing. I prefer high ones from last year with the fringey bits though. But wait, why wasn’t the Céline man-repelling gladiator from summer 2014 in the running? They are going on sale soon too…

  • john