All I want is a simple pair of sandals - is that too much to ask?

Publish date:
June 6, 2012
shoppables, fashion, summer sandals

When I was small one of my favourite books was New Blue Shoes by Eve Rice. In it, the impressively fussy child protagonist Rebecca (oh hi Rebecca!), goes to a shoe shop with her mother to purchase some new footwear. Despite stipulating specifically that she requires Nice New Blue Shoes, the shop assistant repeatedly presents her with a succession of hideous pairs that are NOT what she asked for - brown, with a T-bar etc.

Before Vogue, there was Eve Rice's New Blue Shoes

I think this book has had more of an influence on me than I care to admit, because to this day I find myself bemused by the fashion world’s complete inability to give me What I Want. Whether it’s a pleated, knee-length skirt in a season where every shop on the high street is flogging frocks, or a simple pair of shorts when I can’t move for garishly-patterned hot-pants, it’s almost enough to persuade me to learn how to make my own clothes. Almost.

This season, all I am asking – ALL I am ASKING – is for a pair of simple leather sandals. Not strappy, studded, Hawaiian-printed affairs with fringing, metallic detailing and fancy fiddly bits that give me blisters just looking at them. No, all I require is two slim straps, made from good quality leather that won’t rub or disintegrate, in brown, black or navy, with a buckle. That’s it. Too much to ask? Apparently so.

The pages and pages of monstrosities I have clicked through online beggar belief. Most are too jazzy or too frumpy. I don’t want to look like an extra in a music video with silver gladiator sandals snaking their way unhelpfully up my calves, nor do I want to resemble a pensioner on a day trip to the seaside.

Once I succumbed to temptation and purchased the ‘must-have’ pair of the season. I now look at these multi-strapped monstrosities lurking in my wardrobe and shudder. It may seem counter intuitive for a fashion editor to shy away from trends like a truculent pony, but I don’t believe on wasting money on things that will look dated in a matter of months, if not weeks. Keep it simple, invest (tedious word) on quality and you’ll be able to wear them for years. Three cheers for stinginess!

So, I have managed to find a few chic, elegant pairs which fit my exacting specifications and here they are:

HOUPLA Leather Strap Sandals, £18,

Any of these styles would work with sundresses, shorts and skirts. You could wear them to the park, to work or on holiday - both on the beach with your bathing suit and in the evening for dinner or drinks. They're simple, elegant and extremely versatile.

Strappy sandals in caramel leather, 210 euros,

Leather T-bar sandals, £13.49,

Ok I admit, this Surface to Air paire are a little bit jazzy, but I think you'll agree they're still utterly chic, and therefore qualify, according to my rules which I can bend and break according to my whim.

Surface to Air spotted leather sandals, £225,

See by Chloe mini wedge leather sandals, £235,

Two-tone sandal, £29.99,

Isabel Marant Merry leather sandals, £245,

Madewell Jasper flat sandals, £40.25,

Is there a fashion holy grail that you are searching for? Let me know and I'll track down some stylish options for you.