The Arizona style Birkenstock went fashionably mainstream last season, and the trend continues this year. Apparently Nordstrom ran out of Birkenstocks last Summer and won’t be making the same mistake again. They’ve called the Birkenstock look, which includes variations on the original Arizona style, the “Footbed Sandal Trend”, and regard it as a Modern Essential for the season. This in itself is quite extreme, and a major nod to designers recognizing the need for comfortable and modern fashion. 

Birkenstocks continue to be worn in casual outfit combinations with jeans, shorts, cropped pants, dresses and skirts, like the examples I attached below. In some instances Birkenstocks are combined with dressier pieces, which is a more jarring and fashion forward juxtaposition. These street style shots showcase a few more interesting and very wearable ways to sport the look. The outfits exude a good dose of fashionable intention, which, to my eye, offsets the frump factor:

Although I do not wear Birkenstocks, and actually find them uncomfortable, I’m thrilled to see that the trend is still going strong. I do not have a poison eye for the style. Many of my clients have enjoyed incorporating fashionable Birkies into their warm weather outfits.

I don’t fancy all Birkenstock styles though. I like the Arizona style best in white, black and metallics because it gives the silhouette a more futuristic integrity. Less earthy and more graphic. The floral renditions, which Givenchy brought out last year, are growing on me too. Copies at a fraction of the price are available this season, and might attract a younger audience because they look more playful and less severe. 

An interesting aspect of the Birkenstocks trend is the way it has revolutionized footwear with the same design sensibility from brands like Naot and Mephisto. It has also encouraged other fashionable brands to make footwear that is “Birkenstock-esque”. Zara’s new Spring collections have moved on from the Arizona style Birkie that they did last year to similar looks with thong detailing and heel straps. It seems that there is no stopping the chunky flat sandal with comfy footbed trend. It just goes to show that items can be frumpy right up to the point that they become fashionable. 

There was a lot of passion in the comments section when I talked about trendy Birkenstocks last year. Many rejoiced at the practical slip-on becoming a deliberate fashion statement, while others could not see past their poison eye for the look. Now that we are one year in, has your perception of the ped changed? Do you like wearing Birkenstocks, or have you gone off the look? Have Birkenstocks grown on you if they were once not your cup of tea? Will you wear them with skirts and dresses?

Eileen Fisher Open Stitch Pullover, Camisole & Slouchy Ankle PantsMadewell Silk Slipdress & Accessories

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