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Ask Avery: Born to romp

Photo courtesy of Flickr / ...love Maegan

blog by Avery Hartmans  • 

Dear Avery,
I saw a pair of jelly sandals the other day and really wanted them, but wasn’t sure if they were acceptable so left them behind. I’m 19 so I lived through the jellies craze of the 90s, so that’s why I’m hesitating. Are jellies OK? I really want to buy them but I’m afraid.

Aw, the 90s. It truly was such a bad decade for fashion, but if there’s one wonderful thing that came out all those years of awful hair, terrible clothes and even worse shoes, it would have to be jelly sandals.

My first pair of jellies were red and sparkly and it was a sad day when I grew out of them. While those 90s-style jelly sandals aren’t really in anymore (I remember them having some sort of basket weave upper and an ankle strap), I don’t think anyone can really let go of the wonder that is plastic shoes quite yet.

I’ve had my eye on a pair of Marc Jacobs jelly sandals for a while at Lord & Taylor but, being on a college student budget, would feel way too guilty about spending nearly $80 on plastic shoes. As usual, though, Marc did things exactly right: his bright, gladiator-style jelly sandal is the perfect way to update the classic shoe.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Rubber Thong Sandals, $76.99

If you like your jellies a little more conservative, opt for a ballet flat style instead. Although they’re ridiculously expensive, Salvatore Ferragamo’s jelly flats are so adorable, it’s hard not to drool. With an open toe and super-sweet bow, they would be great paired with a sundress for a hot summer night. They also just so happen to come in my favorite color, just in case anyone would like to buy me a present. Hint, hint.

Salvatore Ferragamo Barbados flat, $132.99

If you’re looking for something a little more badass, no need to pray to the jelly sandals gods — I’ve already found you the perfect shoe. These jellies are totally weird, but they’ve got that certain something that says, “Put me on your feet right now.” It might be the combination of magenta and electric blue, or the fact that they’re entirely covered in spikes, but I like ‘em. I bet it would be very hard to find anyone out there who agrees with me, but I will not apologize for my bizarre taste in shoes. 

Nasty Gal Puffer Spike Sandal, $125

If you have more normal taste than I do, you might prefer the super-preppy (but still fun) Owenn sandal from BCBG. The mint green makes them summer-y and on-trend, while the brown leather ankle strap adds a touch of class. These would look great paired with a seersucker dress or perfectly pressed khakis, but have no fear if you’re not a prep star: ripped jean shorts and a loose tank would make even these jellies boho-chic.

BCBG Owenn Jelly Sandal, $29

Even though it’s not toga party season, you don’t have to abandon the Grecian look. Lace-up jellies will go great with your toga come fall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rock them right now. These sandals could be worn with anything from maxi dresses to skinny jeans to high-waisted shorts and are interesting without being strange. Take your die-hard dedication to Greek life one step further and lace up.

Chinese Laundry Loop-O-Rama, $34.99

What are your thoughts on rompers? I see them everywhere so I guess they’re still “in,” but I don’t know if I can pull one off. I’m reasonably fit and in my late 20s, by the way.

I have a love-hate relationship with rompers, beginning with their name. It conjures up all sorts of weird, giant baby mental images and I wish someone would re-name them. And don’t remind me they’re also called playsuits, because that’s even worse.

Name aside, there are also all sorts of problems with maneuverability when wearing a romper. It’s all one piece, so going to the bathroom is nearly impossible unless you’re willing to get totally naked. There’s the constant danger of over-exposure if your romper is too short and trust me, not everyone looks good in booty shorts. And though you should be able to, well, romp in your romper, I’ve never found them particularly comfortable. They tend to ride up or slip down and just generally aggravate me.

Besides that long list of problems I have with rompers, however, I won’t be mad at you for buying one. They’re perfect for summer and can look really cute when styled correctly. The most important thing to remember is to not use your romper as an excuse for not accessorizing. Just because you’re wearing a one piece ensemble doesn’t mean you’re done getting dressed. Add a skinny belt around the waist, statement earrings or necklace, a clutch and some wedges for a night out. If you’re doing for a more casual look, wear your romper with gladiator sandals, a wide belt, bangles and an across-the-body bag. You can pull this off, I promise.

Photo courtesy of Flickr / ...love Maegan

TAGGED: ask avery, jellies, jelly sandals, playsuits, rompers, sandals, shoes

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