How To Style Your Favorite Pair Of Strappy Sandals This Summer

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If you were to do a Google search for strappy sandals, you'd get a dizzying array of styles from flats to heels. Arguably one of the largest categories of shoes, strappy sandals are generally considered warm-weather shoes with more of an open design and straps across the top of the foot or the ankle. So, of course, they're a go-to style for any warm season scenario — from everyday spring and summer fits to vacay vibes.

Their seasonal appropriateness aside, we're just over the moon for strappy sandals because they usually take up less space in our closets and carry-on bags. So, if you're anything like us, you likely have a storage bin chock full of Birkenstocks, gladiator-style sandals, and platform sandals for summer. Or — if you're lucky — it might be a walk-in closet with a section dedicated to strappy sandals just waiting to be paired with your favorite shorts and summer dresses. Either way, here are the best ways to style your favorite pair of strappy sandals this summer.

Create a classic summer look with Birkenstocks

At the beginning of each summer, it's best to take a warm weather inventory; check to be sure you have these essentials. First, make sure you have a pair of distressed hem jean shorts and a cute white tee. This, combined with a pair of classic wide-strap Birkenstocks, can be the foundation for a number of summer looks. As @jeantherapy demonstrates, your Birkenstocks can be paired with a colorful natural fiber tote bag and a string of pearls. Alternatively, you can style the jeans shorts and Birkenstock combination with a tank and light blazer.

This sandal is a summer staple

It's always a good idea to have a simple, low-heel sandal on hand for summer looks. This particular pair — from French brand Bobbies — has a clean, three-strap design, which makes styling a breeze. Wear them with a mini skirt, a la @emiliasilberg, or switch it up and wear them with a cute pair of linen capris. The versatility here is unmatched, and we love the width on the heel which adds stability for after-dinner walks along the pier or dancing the night away under the stars.

Pair your strappy sandal with a bit of nostalgia

There's just something about the soft glow of the summer sun that makes us crave all the feels of nostalgia. We're here to validate those feelings and suggest strapping on a pair of classic '70s shoes from @Farmlore. Not only are they cute AF, but these sandals have a unique ergonomic design that inspired elements of Nike footwear. The platform sole is perfect for casual summer looks. So, grab a cute sunhat and go for a long drive in search of the perfect roadside shanty to grab some lunch.

Remember: modesty can be edgy too

@imjoanasosa showcased a gorgeous lineup of warm weather looks with one central theme — modesty. Here, she pairs a soft, neutral-hued look with gold-rivet sandals with wide straps. It's a great tutorial on how to mix flowy, feminine fabrics with contrasting elements like metal buckles and gold accents. With a modest aesthetic, you can pair your sandals with midi or maxi skirts either with micro-pleats, crochet, or denim. These sandals work well with a monochromatic outfit. 

A strappy wedge adds glam to gingham

One of the all-time classic spring and summer styles is gingham. The pattern's classic checker-box symmetry gives all the warm weather picnic vibes and then some. One way to enhance that summertime style is by pairing your favorite gingham wardrobe pieces with a pair of strappy, cork-soled wedges. Cork is a fun riff on summer's trendy natural fibers. Plus, this pink pair looks cute with the complementary skirt but would also work well with green if you want to lean into the summery watermelon look.

Summertime shenanigans are best in waterproof sandals

If you didn't partake in any water shenanigans, did you even summer? The short answer is no, so to be prepared to maximize your summertime fun, be sure to have a pair of waterproof sandals in your regular rotation. Water enthusiast and ecofeminist @theseakin likes to pair her Velcro strap Sanuk sandals with waves, but we think they'd be cute with a pair of paper bag shorts too. Or — if you play your cards right — maybe your day will include both. The point is these strappy sandals are ready for adventure.

The toe ring sandal is super trendy this season

First of all, we're big fans of the minimalist elegance this strappy sandal is giving, making it an easy match for any summer shorts. The sandal has five black straps but then adds a metallic toe-ring style strap to finish the look. It's also in line with the '90s toe-ring sandal shoe trend that is coming back in 2023, so now we want a pair in both black and nude. These Moroccan-born Palma Sandals, available at MERSEA, are the perfect trendy sandal to keep in your summer tote.

Embrace the season and keep it colorful

Of course, you should be sure you have at least one pair of super versatile strappy sandals. But once you've checked that box, it's on to the sassy summertime fun, like these bold-striped Penelope Chilvers sandals. Of course, if you're old enough to know Fruit Stripe Gum and its colorful Zebra mascot, you already have your muse. But, as @hetre.alresford reminded us that a pair of tattered white jeans are also a perfect match for these cute summer sandals.

A chunky sandal is versatile and comfy

There are 25 ways to wear classic Doc Martens, no matter your personal style, so it's no surprise you can rock them all summer. But, depending on where you live, you might want to switch to the brand's summer alternative — a chunky black sandal, like this Famous Footwear find. These wide-strap sandals have a supportive lug-style sole for extra all-day comfort. In addition, the shoe includes a wrap-around ankle strap and a toe-hugging front strap to ensure your foot stays put. That and its thick sole make it the perfect sandal for festival season.

A little hippie bling gives big summer sunshine

Now, we're not saying that these summer sandals inspired Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine production company . . . but who knows? Because our first thought when we saw them was, "Well, hello there, summer sunshine!" Knowing that '70s glam is having a moment due to Amazon Prime's show "Daisy Jones & the Six," styling these blingy sandals is easy. Just pair these with your favorite jean shorts, a cute summery tank, and a flowy Daisy Jones-style duster. For breezy summer nights, these @giannibiniofficial sandals also look great with wide-leg pants.

Look for strappy sandals in natural fabrics

You can't go wrong with natural fibers in the summer. Fabrics and materials like cotton, seersucker, straw, and hemp tend to be cooler since they're more breathable. So, these platform sandals by Toms are great to pair with summery looks like the breezy railroad stripe linen pants shown here. As another styling option, you can pair these neutral sandals with a boho maxi skirt or dress. The best part about these strappy sandals is that the stacked sole incorporates a thick rubbery material for comfort and woven straw to stay on trend.

Bring on the summer blooms

Don't be shy about channeling your inner Zooey Deschanel this summer. These cute mod-style sandals are built on a wooden clog base and have a sweet little flower embellishment. We love the pop of color with the jade green but also the low heel, which is cute but sturdy. We love this look for brunch with a flowy skirt or cute paper bag shorts. Finish the look with a white manicure and head scarf and just let that jade color have all the spotlight.

Pair strappy gladiator sandals with a dress or shorts

Throughout this collection, we've featured strappy summer sandals in styles ranging from nostalgic, waterproof, and all-day comfort. But the list wouldn't be complete without a pair of sexy gladiator-style sandals. @the_esoteric_allure shared a look that shows a strappy stiletto-style sandal where the straps crisscross their way up each leg. It's a classic strappy look that lends itself to summery styles. The thin straps and slim heels complement bodycon dresses, flowy maxis, or even a slim midi. So if you're looking for a sexy summer look, opt for a strappy gladiator heel.