Relish the embellished: Sandals make a glitzy statement

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, June 12, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Sandals make bold statements this season.

Studs, zippers, gems or rhinestones turn ho-hum sandals into eye-catching accessories.

“It can be fun to use what kind of embellishment you choose to show off your personal style,” says Amber Herring, accessories editor for Self magazine.

“Studs imply edgy, sparkly rhinestones are for the girly girl, turquoise and coral stones are for the earthy girl, fringe and beading for the Bohemian individual, clean metals and piping for the minimalist and animals for the whimsical girl,” Herring says.

The embellished sandal is not new, but this season offers a more sporty, casual take on the trend, says Laurel Pantin, style editor for Lucky magazine. Embellished sandals used to be delicate, she says, but now they are more tomboyish.

And the “flatform,” a hybrid shoe that offers the height of a platform with the comfort of a flat, offers the best of both worlds, Pantin says.

Metallic stones are fun details on the embellished sandal, says Marissa Rubin, senior market editor for People StyleWatch. But you don't have to go in that direction.

“They are perfect for summer because they are the type of footwear that can be both dressed up and dressed down,” Rubin says. “And, it's OK to wear other embellished accessories, such as a piece of jewelry or handbag. But keep most of the outfit basic, and let the sandals make the statement.”

Women love sandal season because this footwear gives feet more room to breathe and are a perfect opportunity to show off your newly polished toes, Rubin says.

“Sandals are also great for traveling because they are super-light,” Rubin says. “And, if they have some detail on them, they can be worn in the day with your swimsuit and cover-up to the beach and will also complement your sundress at night.”

The embellished sandal is a classic for summer so it will never go out of style, Herring says.

“We are used to seeing multicolored jewels or bright colors on flat sandals for summer, but the metallic rivets, bars, studs, chains are a more modern look,” Herring says. “Silver and gold are both big colorways. I personally like gold because it's more flattering with a tan — faux, of course. You can find them in all colorways, but the cleanest look is in white, black and tan.”

The latest embellishments on sandals feature a global artisan look, says Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom fashion director.

“We are also seeing a lot of gold, silver and bronze mixed together,” Andrews says. “A lot of them look hand-done from another culture.”

The size or amount of embellishments depends on how bold a statement you want to make, Andrews says. They can often replace jewelry in your outfit.

“And the jewels or other accents aren't always perfectly placed, so they have that imperfect style which creates interest,” Andrews says. “And with all of the technological precision we live with everyday, having something that is, or even looks, hand-done by an artist becomes more and more important to us.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7889.

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