Gotta Have That…Shopping Finds!

This week, in the head-to-toe scheme of things, it’s all about the footwear. Your summer sandal choice can make or break any day or nighttime look. We’re here to present this season’s footwear trend winners, from the heeled to flat and the clear to colored.

1. Braided

Braided detailing adds a feminine, flirty touch to any basic sandal shape. And trendsetters everywhere have gone braid-crazy. From braided flip flop straps to braided strappy wedges and espadrilles, there are tons of ways to sport this trend. Braided gladiators are the perfect choice for both daytime and nighttime looks. American Eagle features several style of simple braided flip flops plus a few braided gladiator choices. Designers such as Frye and Steve Madden also offer a variety of braided summer footwear. Our absolute summer favorites are the “Flat Leather Braided Sandals” from the always affordable Orna brand and available in three different color schemes. Kona Sports of Wildwood offers a comfortable, flip flop take on the braided trend with their Scott Hawaii Uluwehe Womens Sandals.

2. Transparent

The clear strappy heel made numerous appearances on the Spring/Summer 2012 Fashion Week runways in big-name designers’ shows including Philip Lim, Manish Arora, and Richard Nlcoll. And while we respect high fashion, we prefer this look dressed down for everyday practicality. Transparent sandals are a fun must-have this summer season. The best part about the clear she trend? The triumphant return of the jelly sandal! My childhood summer memories of the Cape May County beaches are defined by how many of my favorite pink jelly sandals were lost to the sea. At last, I can sport my jellies again. Our affordable favorites include Lilly Pulitzer’s clear “Shelly Jelly”, River Island’s “Clear Pearl and Diamante Jelly”, and Steven by Steve Madden’s “Jellys” flats. For a more dressed up, runway take on this trend, check out the Marc Jacobs wooden heeled and transparent strappy platform sandals.

3. Platforms

When I say “platform”, do you think “groovy”? This shoe trend is no longer stuck in the 70s. Chunky platform sandals are a comfortable way to dress up a full length sundress or shorts and your favorite top. The thick heel and sole add mega support and virtually eliminate the dreaded difficulty of walking in heels. Renowned and daring shoe designer Jeffrey Campbell has played a major role in restoring the reign of the platform. Our shockingly comfortable Campbell summer favorite is the floral “X UO Foxy T-Strap Heel”, available at Urban Outfitters. We also love Urban’s more affordable Deena & Ozzy Knotted-Up Wood Sandal. For only $45, the Pink & Pepper Laura “Snake Sandal” platform is a steal that can instantly add animal-skin edge to any summer look.

4. Pastel vs. Bright – Color War

Shoe color trends this summer season have come to a face-off – pastel or bright and bold? Both muted pastels and brights made big showings on Fashion Week runways and in stores near you. I am here to play peacemaker. There is a time and a place for BOTH of these color trends. Pastels by nature make a much more subtle fashion statement. But nonetheless, they add a touch of whimsical femininity to any look. Nude reigns supreme as most popular pastel of the spring/summer 2012 seasons, but rose, light yellow, pale green, and aqua should not be forgotten. Grab your bright, bold summer sandals when in need of an accent. Understated, neutral attire can be instantly transformed into a high fashion statement with a bright, bold shoe. When sporting white, black, tan, or gray on top, a primary colored or color blocked sandal can take your look from bore to score.

5. Netted Sneakers

No Cape May County summer is complete without a run on the beach. Every runner seeks the “perfect” pair of lightweight, breathable sneakers for the hotter months. And this year’s netted options have answered these prayers. The flexible, lightweight sole weighs practically nothing and allows for that barefoot beach run feel while providing necessary support. The netted exterior allows for ventilation and keeps hard-working feet cool. Be sure to check out Kona Sports for their selection of netted Nike Free Men’s and Women’s Running Shoes and Reebok Realflex Scream Men’s and Women’s Running Shoes, available in fun color schemes.

By Megan Kummer