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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Flip-Flopping on Sandals? A Lori's Primer.

The time (and weather) is ripe for a review of our favorite fair weather footwear: the humble flip-flop. The pawn on our chessboard of footwear, the flip-flop may seem lowly, but it has the power to make or break your outfit. It's so easy and so comfortable we often forget it is also quite versatile. Herewith, a primer on some of our favorite brands and where to wear them.

YELLOW BOX: The Quirky
The Gist: Yellow Box puts great emphasis on it's straps, be they silver thongs or woven fabric over platform foam. This keeps them fun, engaging and an active part of your outfit, so consider your co-ordination and let them do their job.

Our Pick: The Jewel in green. The foam cushion footbed supports a black upper bedecked with turquoise and aquamarine stones. It's quirky and beguiling.

Wear It To: Saturday's Mermaids on Parade.

FIT FLOPS: The Prep Sport
The Gist: Touted as a revolution in fitness footwear, the Fit Flop stakes its claims on a tripartite sole that works in reaction to your stride to tone muscles from the waist down. They made the cut for Oprah's Favorite Things for Summer and, fitness aside, they are incredibly comfortable. It's our choice for your athletic flip-flop.

Our Pick: The Walkstar II in bronze. A 1-1/2" platform footbed exercises your legs as you walk (in addition to the workout provided by, uh, the walking ... ) and, regardless, are ultra-comfy and have a prep-sport, René Lacoste-era styling.

Wear It To: The Four Seasons in Dallas or tennis in any tony part of town.

FABIO RUSCONI: The Sophisticate
The Gist: Like any good Italian dish, the simplicity of this shoe belies its sophistication. The result is a seemingly unassuming sandal that speaks volumes about your good taste.

Our Pick: The D567 in natural. A 1" cork sole supports a leather footbed and same-color straps with a hidden, patent leather underside. A graceful curve to the strap turns it 180 degrees from footbed to toe. The result is fluid movement in a sophisticated dye. It signals you know it's so easy only someone of discerning tastes would recognize it.

Wear It To: any High Street shopping session or an outdoor sporting event with blueblood pretensions.

JESSICA BENNETT: The Ageless Trend
The Gist: Jessica Bennett shoes have a savvy hook into current trends. The collection consistently weaves in and out of the current style, picking up bits and pieces and transforming them into a shoe that reflects the moment but lives in its own aesthetic.

Our Pick: The Jayleen in bronze. This slim leather flip with micro heel is dominated by a wide bronzed-and-bejeweled medallion at the front foot. It references '80s glam and gladiator trends without being completely either.

Wear It To: a trendy nightspot under dark jeans or a simple and sexy skirt or dress. Don't mix and match too much: these shoes will carry a lot on their own.

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