I love a trend, especially a ’90s shoe trend. When Steve Madden brought back their legendary Slinky Black Sandals I squealed with delight and was immediately transported back to boy band wars, Trapper Keepers, and trips to Claire’s to see how far my $20 in babysitting coin could take me.
Unfortunately, nostalgia did not supersede reality and the sandals of my youth went Bye, Bye, Bye. Fisherman sandals, on the other hand, was a ’90s staple that rubbed me the right way (OK that pop lyric didn’t work as well. Did you know “Genie in a Bottle” was written by a middle-aged man? Gah). I purchased these BC Footwear Never Ends Fisherman Sandals during my recent Anthropologie Mini Try-On Sesh and appreciate their comfort, versatility, and (of course) that chunky heel.
But, as we know, the most comfortable things aren’t always the most stylish. Making these fisherman sandals work, IRL, was another story.
Are Fisherman Sandals A Wearable Summer Trend?
Fisherman sandals in theory and fisherman sandals in practice are two different things. I’m pretty open with the fact that I am a writer first with fashionista tendencies. I had some fails playing around with these bad boys. Let me start by showing you what didn’t work and why.
Here is my styling vs. Anthropologie’s. I tried to mimic the styling on the website by wearing my BC Footwear Never Ends Fisherman Sandals to pick up the black dots in the dress. Why doesn’t this work? My black sandals are heavier than the model’s, and I didn’t use a piece of black jewelry or hair accessory to balance it out. The model also has darker hair than I do and somehow the black in the dress just pops more than it does on me. A delicate heel or natural leather sandal would have done the trick. The chunkier fisherman sandal just doesn’t work.
Fit: The BC Footwear Never Ends Fisherman Sandals are TTS (I’m wearing an 8). The buckle allows you to adjust the fit, so if you have smaller ankles, make them tighter, etc., The 2.5′ heel gives you just enough height to make your legs look really good, but not so much that your feet are killing you after an hour or that you can’t quickly run a 5-yard dash to stop your baby from knocking down the fake tree in your mom’s house (just me?). The Farm Rio Marbella Wrap Mini Dress is TTS (I’m wearing a large).
How I Style Fisherman Sandals So They Work
Now that we’ve seen a #fail, let’s talk about how to make fisherman sandals work. I believe it is a wearable trend; the key is making sure there is some balance between what you’re wearing and the dark, chunkiness of the shoe.
1| Balance Out The Heaviness
I went for a neutral palate with my beloved MOTHER Denim Tomcat jeans, a khaki-colored, cropped ribbed cardigan from The Loft and black fisherman sandals, then let my Sephora lipstick do the talking. The darker buttons and texture of the cardigan help balance out the heaviness of the shoe. It’s a little dressier than my usual waterproof Birks pairing (which I love, but there’s a time and a place).
Fit: I am 33 years old, 5’7 with an inverted triangle/straight body shape. I’m wearing the MOTHER The Tomcat jeans in size 30 (TTS), my cardigan is a large (TTS), and again the fisherman sandals are TTS (8).
2| Pick Up The Black
Unlike the Farm Rio dress, this outfit has way more black in it from the cami, duster (similar 1, 2) and sunglasses. The print on the duster and the little bit of lip color keeps it from being boring. But this all flows together effortlessly and not like two pieces that were randomly thrown together by Cher’s wardrobe computer in Clueless (As if! Seriously I wanted one of those so badly as a kid).
Fit: The denim shorts run big, consider sizing down (I’m wearing a 29). The cami is TTS (I’m wearing a large).
3| Support With Accessories
This James Perse Tee, Everlane Denim Short and fisherman sandals probably could have worked on its own, but it would have felt a tad incomplete. This statement necklace I’ve had for eons and my Clare V. Midi Purse (similar) in Walnut Python picks up the black in the sandals. It’s worth it when you feel like your shoes and outfit aren’t jiving to play around with your accessories. It might just take the right necklace, earrings, hat, or scarf to pull it together.
Fit: The tee is TTS (I’m wearing a 3, which is a Large).
Shop More Fisherman Sandals
Fisherman Sandals are a ’90s staple that, unlike the Madden slides, stand the test of time. This is not a trend I rocked, so maybe, like ’70s flares, it feels fresh and not tinged with middle school embarrassment, and that’s why I like them so much. Fisherman sandals: not just cool in theory.