Give me the smooth, buttery leather of a knee-high boot or some wool socks and suede ankle booties any day — any day from mid-September to late-April. But as soon as the slightest warm breeze blows through my city (OK, some years, that’s in March, other years it is in late June), I am delighted to stash the boots away in under-bed boxes and pull out the summer shoes.
From my flip-flops to my rocker-girl dancing heels, the summer shoes I love best are wedges. That little bit of boost makes fake-tanned bare legs look great and wedge heels, even at five inches high, feel better from toes to heels than spiky styles. Lucky for me and other shoe whores who swear by them, this season is full of wedge styles.
Espadrilles are everywhere, cork continues to pop, and trendy colors, florals and stripes show up on straps, ties and even the heels. And if you’re not a high-heel lover? No worries. Lower-height and nearly flat wedges will work beautifully with your favorite little dresses, swimsuits with cute cover-ups and rompers.
From my closet to my online shopping cart to already-on-my-feet, here are the wedges I’m wooing this summer. And get this — every pair here is less than $150, most under $70 and even a few under $40.
Which ones do you love best?
1. Pink lady. These are my shoes of the summer, which means that they are so fabulous on my feet that I will plan outfits around them so I can wear them every single day. Topped with a rosy-pink leather twist and a heel with vibrant what looks like a watercolor painting of a bird of paradise, these gorgeous ladies have already gotten me dozens of compliments. Love them with my bright-colored skinnies as well as my simple shift dresses. Nine West, $66.99
2. Sweet and snakey. The 2-1/2-inch-high sssilvery snakeskin sandals with pastel coral detail prove that you don’t have to slip on towering heels to pull off the look. Perfect for work, perhaps with a pencil skirt and sheer-ish blouse, these wedges are also fine for the wallet. By Sam & Libby, find them at Target for $34.99.
3. Dots! Love the polka-dot trend but want to cover your body in spotty denim or dresses? These girly espadrilles capture the fun in a simple style that is perfect for a lady who is headed to the beach, out on vacation or just to school pick-up. Seychelles, $74.99.
4. To a t(-strap). Pair these navy and grass-green t-strap Jessica Simpson wedges with your favorite vintage summer dress, buttoned-up nautical shorts or prim tied blouse for retro flair from head to toe. $89.
5. Eco-dorable. I love the Melissa brand’s dedication to vegan-friendly recyclable fashion that never sacrifices style. These, by sister line Mel by Melissa, are made of PVC with a plush insole. A slight wedge elevates the ballerina shoe to make it a little flirtier, animal prints make them a little fiercer. You will want to slip on the nude-and-black combo, but do consider the magenta and black, too! $39.
6. Sky-high and super-sexy. Show off your rocker chic style with these 5-1/2-inch high platform heels lined with gold metal studs and zipper detail. Wear them to turn up the volume on any backyard barbecue, night out on the town or event where Pat Benetar might be in attendance.
7. Jaded (in the best way). UGG no longer stands for schlumpadinka sheepskin boots. Thankfully, the brand has branched out, adding the classic squishy-delicious insoles of the boots to new lines of heels. These emerald green ribbon-tie espadrilles get major points for comfort and girly-girl style. Heading to a beach wedding where you’ll be dancing all night or an outdoor cocktail party? Wear these with a simple, flirty dress. Also in bright orange, hot pink, camel and black. $150.
8. Red hot. You can never, ever go wrong buying a pair of red patent shoes — trust me and the four pairs I have run into the ground wearing them day after day, summer after summer. These simple t-strap fabric-heeled sandals will compliment the dozens of stripey tees you own, stand out against dark denim and white linen, and add a bit of a kick to all the black maxis you still have from last year. $63.
9. Simple, strappy. These Lucky wonder wedges might be the perfect weekend sandal. The straps are stretchy enough to hold the foot snug to avoid too much flipping with the flop, the corky heels are comfy and the grommet detailing and many colors are so cute. The gold canvas is an easier match to everything you wear, but the orange, leopard, lipstick red and blue and white nautical stripe are pretty tough to resist. $79.
10. Yellow wow! These goring-strapped super-high stackers with zipper detail by Jessica Simpson will add a burst of sunshine and bit of tangerine to the summer wardrobe you already have. I’d wear them with a tight white tee and khaki shorts. $80.99.
11. Whoah!ven. Don’t let the pastel uppers fool you in to thinking these Seychelles are demure. The rosy leather straps are light enough to elongate the leg and coordinate with all kinds of closet favorites. It’s the contrasting whispstiching at the edges and the divine zig-zag woven pattern on the heels, which as hot as the weather this summer, are to-die. Class act from work to play. $99.
12. Flip-fab. All those cheapy flip-flops you got for a dollar a piece? They are going to get a lot less love this summer. These structured, shock-absorbant, highly-cushioned, podiatrist-designed sandals feel so incredibly good that you won’t mind whispering to your admiring friends that they are made by Orthaheel. The silver with rhinestone starfish detailing are perf for the beach, farmers market and running out to yoga class. $49.99
Read more of Jessica’s adventures as a single mom in the city at Sassafrass.
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