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Shock news: sandals, the footwear of choice for tourists and bearded biblical men, are officially something you want to be caught wearing. As menswear has got more relaxed and more practical – hence the rise of utility jackets and chunky, comfy trainers – utilitarian pieces have gone so mainstream status that it’s now deemed acceptable (and stylish) to wear sandals even when you're not on the beach. Pubs? Yes. Parks? Definitely. Your office? Well, maybe.

First, know that by 'sandals' we definitively do not mean 'flip-flops'. They remain suitable only when you're surrounded by either sand or in your gym shower. Instead, look to brands like Birkenstock, Camper, and Teva, which are designing pairs that make an accessible statement. Even styles you’d once find on hiking trails are now sported proudly by style-conscious men, with everything from jeans to – sometimes – suits.

So should you get in on the trend? Most definitely. In addition to being oh-so-comfortable, sandals are the epitome of laid-back cool and a welcome excuse to give your toes some Vitamin D – following a little quality time with some toenail clippers. But before you give them a shot, keep in mind that the trend is not entirely immune to errors. There is still a wrong place and time for sandals. If you work in a tie, sandals are not appropriate. If your office is one of those lofted industrial spaces where your CEO skateboards to the conference room, by all means, slip on some sandals.

Other places sandals don’t belong: anywhere vows are being exchanged (unless the nuptials happen to be on the beach, and even then, be mindful of the dress code). If it’s smart-casual, pair your suit with sandals in neutral colours and solids, such as Birkenstocks or Grenson's gladitatorial take. You’ll be surprised how handsome a light beige linen suit looks with leather sandals, as long as you leave the tie at home – less is more when it comes to accessorising this look.

If you feel the urge to go bolder, experiment in off-duty environments where you can really commit. Many of the most recent iterations even feature technical detailing, which provide as much of a fashion statement as they do support and traction. Pair them with tapered trousers, loose shorts, and athletic wear generally – but pause when you get to athletic socks (or any socks for that matter). That one is still just for tourists.


Words: Allison Pavlick
Photography: Andras Hari
Styling: Brooke Phillips