Mandals. MAN-DALS. MAN SANDALS. Whatever you call them, these babies are the wunderkind of the shoe industry in my humble and comfort-oriented opinion. They’re comfortable, versatile and pretty. Okay, it might not be pretty to everyone but it’s a subjective opinion and I think it’s pretty so that’s that I guess.
I was delighted enough when normcore and atheleisure blasted onto the scene, guns ablazing. Imagine my ecstasy when Birkenstocks and ugly shoes were trendy again.
There’s nothing to hate about these mandals. I have a pair and I’ve tried them with everything. Literally, everything. Shorts, skirts, culottes, bermudas, jeans, trousers, dresses. PERFECT MATCH WITH EVERY ONE OF THEM. The mandal started off with the Birkenstock but even I, the self-proclaimed sloppy dresser, have to admit that you can’t wear Birkenstocks with a fancier dress to a fancier place. I know my limits.
Thank god, the fashion industry, being forward and efficient, took no time at all in creating upscaled, more formal versions of the mandal. Bejeweled, python-skinned and the like. Take a look below:
Ohh, the classic Alexander Wang. I have an insatiable thirst for this man’s clothing. Every piece is so excruciatingly simple it always takes me a while to figure out exactly what I love so much about it. The answer? Its simplicity. Think of something this doesn’t go with. Go on, I dare you.
This is, reasonably, a lot more casual. Somehow, there’s something about straps that define a mandal’s formality factor. Practically, the pristine whiteness of this sandal would make me wear this out of the house with plastic bags wrapped around the sandals before I wear it. So beautiful, tho’.
Ahhh, the multitasking babies of the mandal world. Imagine them with denim cutoffs. They work. Now imagine them with a short dress. THEY ALSO WORK. Intricate stuff.
I imagine these would be great for Singapore (or Vancouver)’s rainy weather where plastic shoes are literally your best bet against wet feet in class. I’d love these, especially since they come in pink which is the go to colour for anything, but the thought that my mom got a pair of these look-a-likes from Rubi for $5 a pair makes me calculate how many cups of boba I could buy with the remaining $290. The answer? many. Very many.
These are pricey kicks, I’ll grant you that. They also don’t LOOK pricey. They do, however, look awfully comfortable. That foamy flatform looks like it was made of hours of walking and I love the inconspicuous black, matte jewels on the top.
I’d personally find this hard to wear, primarily because I make it a motto of mine to never ever wear florals (or lace, for that matter). I’m not too girly, so I literally feel uncomfortable when I put on anything with lace or florals. For someone with a love for florals, I imagine this would look amazing.
Psychedelic mandals? Nuff’ said, add them to my basket and check out.
Updated classics have a tendency to go both ways. They either turn out amazingly pretty and boost the popularity of the classic ( Stan Smith is a perfect example; adding exotic prints and suede to the shoe really did wonders). They could also, be updated so much so that it’s virtually unrecognisable from the original, causing it to lose its fan base.
With exotic prints, Birkenstock did a good job of retaining its shape and basic structure without being too boring. Python print in an electric blue? Sounds flashy but it’s surprisingly understated and elegant.
As you see, mandals are versatile, pretty and most of all, comfortable. Comfort really is key for me, which explains why at any given time, I am either in mandals, or sneakers. I’ve had friends who found mandas daunting because she was in dresses 24/7. It’s never been much of an issue for me because my dressing has always been super boyish. Tees, boyfriend jeans, sneakers, you get the drift.
Give mandals a shot, they’ll surprise you.