By Patty Soltis, Guest Columnist
Who doesn’t feel a little melancholy when you think about the long, hot days of summer? Remember when school let out for the summer followed by hours spent doing literally nothing. When the summer heat goes up, there are many tricks to stay cool as the temperature rises.
One of these is a great pair of sandals, and we have an abundance of choices! Pick your heel height, style and color. (Men, keep on reading, there is information here for you too. And by reading about women’s sandals, you will have more empathy and understanding for that special woman in your life. Surprise her with some of this knowledge!)
But there are some rules when it comes to sandals. First and foremost, do not even think about slipping your foot into a sandal without a pedicure. Pick a polish for your toes that makes you smile; add a little color or a metallic sparkle — talk about adding a spring to your step!
Secondly, know what type of sandal is best for your foot. Far too often, women complain the most about the fit and comfort of this type of shoe. Watch where the straps are on your foot, the way it secures to your foot and the heel height. The pitch of the sandal will make a difference too. The pitch is the angle of the shoe the entire length of your arch. A steeper pitch is going to require the skill of a ballerina to walk on for any length of time.
Ankle straps can bring a little lift to your stride or they can shorten it by making your leg appear less lengthy than it is. For those blessed with long legs, wear any ankle strap, and wrap that gladiator up your calf and shin. For those with shorter legs or with a muscular calf, look for an open ankle area. This will add glorious length to your leg; this is not about height, it is about leg length in proportion to your body.
A sandal wardrobe will include the basic colors. Think neutrals of black, grey, brown shades and even metallics. Metallics add wonderful flair to your look which will vary based on how shiny bright the metallic is. Add in a few doses of color, which will brighten up any look. Like brilliant shades of red, pink, blue and green, and why not add a dash of orange?
Heel height varies and is up to you. There is a variety of choices. This season heel heights are coming down, are lower, and the single sole shoe is the trend. Because the platform and wedge were not as popular on the runway, that does mean to put yours away.
As always with shoes, wear a heel height that gets you where you need to go with ease and does not make your feet throb for hours or days afterward.
You hear stories and old wives tales that the heel must be higher for evening wear and formal wear. This is not the case. The sandal should have a little lift, but it can be as much as 50mm (translation is 2”), but the fabrication of the sandal is more important. Here you do want a nice peau de soie, a silk satin fabric, or a metallic.
What happens when the sky breaks loose, and the rain falls to the pavement? Switch your sandals to your rain boots to keep your feet dry and your sandals gorgeous. When skies clear up moments later, switch back with ease to your sandals.
For men, there are a variety of options, but men also need to consider the pedicure, which is not an option; take care of the feet. Most men’s sandals are in neutral colors like black, brown, cordovan and many others. Wear them with cotton poplin shorts and a short sleeve polo or woven shirt. Put a cuff in the hem of your jeans or make sure the hem of your cotton trousers is a little higher when wearing sandals.
The days of men wearing socks with their sandals have happily passed, so now it is about the right look. A pair of sandals for a man is saved only for weekend wear. For business casual, think about a great driver shoe or loafer in a soft, pliable leather. Sandals with velcro are saved for water activity and have no business being worn out to dinner unless you are at the beach and plan to go wading on the shoreline after dinner.
Memorial Day will soon arrive, and we are then in full swing of summer! So pack up your sandals for vacation, wear them on the weekends and pair them with just the right outfit.
For women, read more from me about fashion in my new book, “First Impressions Last”, available on Amazon. Men, your book is coming soon — in time for the holiday season — fingers crossed!
Patty Soltis/Photo courtesy of STYLEdge®
Patty Soltis has spent the last three years as a frequently sought-after image consultant who specializes in working with alpha business leaders to match their brand with a credible and professional image. She worked in retail for 27 years and was the general manager at the prominent retailers Lord & Taylor and Marshall Fields. Patty worked for nearly 14 years at Neiman Marcus, mainly as their vice president. She has worked with thousands of professionals over decades of change on their timeless image. Patty can be seen on television and heard on radio and podcast shows. She has been in media in print and online regularly as an expert. She is the author of First Impressions Last, a book for the professional woman to exude confidence, power and skill with her attire.
Her Five Modes of Professional Attire give the client an impression to start the journey to competence, power and success. Most of all, her clients make an impression that exudes leadership, achievement and results as an industry leader. As a professional speaker, Patty communicates how to dress for success in a candid and interactive manner. She educates and trains her audience how to put the Five Modes of Professional Attire into their life with ease and simplicity. Patty points out items to invest in for a “cost per wear” return and how to shop on a budget.
Be powerful, be impressive, be memorable.