How to Wear It: Birkenstock Sandals

by Maria Mentzel

When you hear the word Birkenstock, it likely conjures images of the classic brown clog that seemed to go with every outfit in 7th grade. And, if you are anything like me, you would prefer not to relive the fashion faux pas of these formative years. However, try to remain objective as you consider the Birkenstock sandal. While even I am still a bit skeptical, I believe with the right outfit, these shoes could become a fashionable spring and summer staple.

The key to rocking these sandals without looking frumpy is to pair them with the right bottoms. For an effortlessly chic spring look, wear Birkenstock sandals with a pair of distressed boyfriend jeans and a classic white tee. For a more polished look, choose a structured trouser-style pant or more fitted jean. If you’re wearing your sandals with pants, it’s important for them to be slightly cropped. Showing a bit of ankle offsets the “clunkiness” of these shoes, for an overall more flattering look.

For a boho-inspired look, Birkenstock sandals pair great with flowy summer dresses, layered jewelry, and even a kimono. For chilly summer nights, wear your sandals with a dress or shorts and a comfy oversized sweater. To transition from a beach or casual day-time look, wear your slides with a tailored pant or skirt and a blazer or leather jacket. When determining which pieces to choose, Birkenstock sandals usually look best with solid colors or a simple striped or floral print. To avoid looking overly-hippie, limit busier floral or paisley prints to one element of the outfit when wearing your slides.

Birkenstock sandals come in a variety of colors but the black and white options seem to be the trendiest this spring. While Birkenstocks are traditionally worn with bare-feet, don’t be afraid of wearing them with a pair of cozy ankle socks! Black or white leather slides and heathered gray ankle socks pair great, but feel free to mix and match colors and find what suits your style.   

In terms of accessories, the possibilities are pretty much endless. I would choose leather accent pieces that match the leather of the shoes such as a black or brown cross-body bag or suede hat. Add a long necklace, bracelets, rings, and your favorite pair of sunglasses, and you have a complete look!