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What to wear with your chunky summer sandals

It’s almost June, which means we can officially cast our clouts and get those summer sandals out. Boots are going to the bottom of the shoe wardrobe and the open (and closed) toe options are coming out on top. Out of interest, where do you keep your shoes? I mentioned the ‘coat closet’ on last week’s post, but in reality our cupboard under the stairs is an absolute disaster. It’s known as the ‘cupboard of doom’ and once shoes go in there, you’d be hard pressed to find them as a pair ever again.

I refuse to have my shoes in there. I am fairly anal in that respect and I keep them all in their original boxes stacked up in my (very small) dressing room. One friend said, ‘It looks like the stockroom at Dolcis.’ She’s not wrong, but I like to think I’m a smidge more upmarket than Dolcis. Also, I only have finite space in that room, so once the boxes start to overwhelm I know I need to get rid of a few pairs. One-in-one-out was my plan but it doesn’t always work that well.

This season, summer sandals are very much on the chunky side. Don’t be afraid of a thick sole and a wide strap. They tend to be way more comfortable than a flimsy flip flop for everyday wear. Let’s have a look at some of my favourite styles and ideas on what to wear with them…


White dress, khaki jacket and chunky sandals. A classic summer look that I love. I know it can be dangerous leaving the house for the day wearing a white dress – just be careful with your coffee, use a napkin at lunch and don’t get stuck into the red wine if you’re around a bunch of clumsy oafs. I love these chunky-sole tan leather sandals from Whistles. I can’t tell you how comfy they are yet, but they are reminiscent of the Celine ones at a fraction of the price. That will do me.

1. Sea New York cotton midi dress (30% off with code WMM30)

2. Gucci square tortoiseshell sunglasses

3. Boden khaki patch pocket chore jacket 

4. Whistles Khari caged tan leather sandals 

5. Sezane raffia Farrow bucket bag


While we are on white, how about pairing your summer sandals with a good pair of white jeans? The key is not to buy the skinny variety: skinny white jeans are where it can all go wrong. Stick with a straight leg, a wide leg or a boyfriend style. Something that’s going to be flattering and not show the outline of your knickers or your cellulite to the world. Talking of knickers, even with the best white jeans, you will need some unattractive flesh-coloured underpants. You can’t wear colours, they will show. Get your big flesh-coloured granny pants from Amazon at the ready.

I bought the Arizona Love sandals from a few years ago and I can confirm they are supremely comfortable, even after really long walks on hot days. Size up a whole size in these, and if you’re thinking of a purchase you can still use code KATE15 for 15% off the brand at Coggles. Check Revolve who have a sale on their range too, or have a look on The Outnet for last season styles at a great discount.

1. H&M cotton Sunshine T Shirt 

2. Belissima mini leather crossbody bag 

3. Lolly’s Laundry washed black Ulla jacket 

4. M&S white Mom jeans 

5. Arizona Love red bandana & leopard sandals 


In the same way that it’s good to ‘butch up’ a winter dress with chunky boots, you can do it in the summer with some thick-soled sandals. I’ve been eyeing up this Ganni dress since I saw it in Liberty the other week. I don’t know that I can justify yet another floral dress, but to be honest that’s never stopped me in the past. Size down with Ganni; they tend to come up big, especially if you have small boobs. Those with larger jubblies can probably stick to your usual size. I can confirm these Esska sandals are comfortable and also true to size.

1. Ganni recycled polyester floral dress (use code WMM30 for 30% off) 

2. Matalan black gingham midi dress 

3. Esska Kobe rust suede sandals 

4. Boden flatform espadrilles 


There are a lot of patchwork quilted jackets doing the rounds right now, so I just wanted to do a little big-up to the Wild Folk studio who were the first brand I saw doing this. You can also give them your own quilt and they can make it into a coat for you. How cool is that? Pair with your classic Birkenstock two-strap Arizona sandals. I like the updated big buckle versions the best. I also size up on these, because they seem to have EU 39 as a UK 5.5, so I go for 40 in Birkenstocks.

1. La Veste Liberty print school shirt 

2. H&M cotton canvas bag 

3. Wildfolk Studio gathered sleeve Love Is A Flower coat 

4. Albaray light blue denim boyfriend jeans 

5. Birkenstock big buckle Arizona sandals 


Can you wear a shorts ‘suit’ to work? I guess that all depends on what you do for a living and how much you like your knees on show in the boardroom. But I do like the idea of a linen shorts and blazer combo for the summer, especially in one colour. That colour in this instance being black. I’d pair this with some ‘fisherman’ style sandals. Once a fond favourite of geography teachers (worn with socks, of course, which personally I have no issue with at all), your grandpa and toddlers. Now, this half strappy-sandal, half cut-out shoe is this summer’s footwear of choice. I love them.

1. Weekday Nova linen blazer

2. Jones the Bootmaker Mandi leather bag 

3. The White Company embroidered detail square neck blouse 

4. Cos elasticated waist linen shorts 

5. Anthropologie flat fishermans sandals 


Finally, a few more closed-toe sandals – there are so many to choose from that I had to add an extra section. Why not try a pair in white, worn with denim and another (pricier) example of the patchwork quilted jacket? I haven’t tried this Monsoon jumpsuit but it’s basically their excellent, and almost universally flattering, Dolly dress but with legs!

1. Monsoon Dolly crop cotton jumpsuit 

2. H&M Straw shopper bag 

3. Dôen patchwork print quilted jacket

4. Hudson Arabella closed toe sandals 

I’m undecided on next week’s theme just yet. I’m going to a London wedding this weekend and I went to the Chelsea Flower Show this week so I might do some sort of event-dressing article, or floral dresses. We’ll see.

K x

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