Beware, long and navel-gazey.

Yesterday I did a try-on session with the two pairs of black sandals I am evaluating. I think I wore myself out with this session, and feel like I can barely look at these sandals objectively anymore! LOL

In all seriousness, the try-ons made me think about what I really want/need out of a new black sandal:

For one, I realized that I'm unlikely to wear black flat sandals with shorts. If I'm wearing shorts, chances are I will choose footwear that is lower-contrast with my pale skin, such as metallic or the new snake-print sandals. Or, shorts may mean that it's a super casual outfit that requires sportier shoes. So, flat black sandals would be meant for outfits involving my cropped summer pants, dresses, and midi/maxi skirts.

So I pulled out some random pieces to try with the sandals. The whole thing made me feel a little less than enthusiastic about my summer wardrobe, frankly. Last year I relied heavily on these three newer, dark, simple, sleeveless dresses (in Finds below), and those get worn with metallic sandals and a piece of cool jewelry. Boom, done. Simple. I don't know why, but my patterned dresses are not feeling as fab at the moment, and I'm not sure what that means for me. Maybe it's because my weight is up and I'm feeling a bit more self-conscious? Or maybe it's an imminent style shift. I do love a print, but I seem to be getting more selective about them lately, and perhaps wearing them in a big swath like a dress is feeling less like my thing right now. I still like my printed skirts, but I wear them with simple solid-color tops, which seems to make them feel more like *me*.

Anyway, back to the sandals. I'm including a couple of photos of a sample outfit with my current two pairs of black sandals. So you can see where I've been with these. The Cole Haans are seriously old and probably out of date, but I think that cut looks flattering. The Arche sandals are chunkier and more sporty/casual, but I'm kind of feeling meh about them these days too. They are in good enough shape and they are current enough that I could probably sell them if I replaced them.

So, I don't know if it's a great idea to evaluate sandals on the basis of wearing them with dresses I'm not even loving at the moment. Maybe it's a mood thing and I'll feel some of them more this summer, when my weight is more under control and I'm more accustomed to seeing myself in a dress after a winter of hiding in joggers. So, I'll share these pics, which are mostly with my summer skirts, and see what the YLF hive mind has to say. I'll reserve my feelings until later. I will tell you that in terms of comfort, both seem to be acceptable, but the Allsaints are REALLY comfortable -- the leather is real, and soft. The straps are nicely finished so there is no rubbing or seams to scrape my foot. The Franco Sarto are a little more stiff, I don't think they're real leather? The edges are not super soft but don't feel annoying. The Allsaints seem to skew more boho, don't they?

Pic 1 - old Cole Haans
Pic 2 - old Arche sandals

Pics 3-7 Allsaints sandals
Pics 8-14 Franco Sarto sandals

I have also popped a pair of Sorel sandals into my Finds, after LisaP mentioned them in my earlier thread. I really like them, and they kind of fall somewhere in between my two current pairs of black sandals. I'm considering ordering them to try. The thick ankle strap gives me pause (for flattery reasons, I usually avoid high contrast ankle straps because they can emphasize how thick my legs are), but I find that sandals really must be tried on -- they often look totally different on the foot than in stock photos.

I welcome your feedback!

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