The Virtues of Red Sandals

As the summer winds down, perhaps it is time for a post-mortem. To think about what went well this summer and what could be done better next year.

To be clear, I’m not talking about how effectively you managed your dockets or met publication deadlines . . . or organized your children’s school/camp/childcare coverage. Non, non. You’ve come here for a break from all that. I’m just asking: Did you enjoy getting dressed this summer? Do you feel like you had the right things in your closet? Did you wear brightly colored sandals like I told you to?
I ask these questions to help, not hurt
I ask these questions to help, not hurt

If the answer to that third question was no (or non), let me take another run at this.
For the reason that you need pair of red shoes for fall and winter, you need a pair of red sandals for summer.
Red sandals are the perfect thing to wear with a simple white, denim, or khaki dress. Or, with a white blouse and white pants or a white top and jeans or khakis. Insta-chic. And as you can see here, they look pretty good with a black and white striped dress, too.
Big red platforms

I bought these sandals at least a dozen years ago. They’ve lasted so long because I don’t wear them frequently.
But I do wear them regularly — at least once a fortnight during the summer — and always enjoy looking down at my feet when I do.
You brighten my day, fiesta sandals

The only thing I woldn;t waI ask these questions to help, not hurt
The only thing I wouldn’t wear them with is a red dress
And I am even
And I am open to persuasion even on that point

Now may be a good time to buy a pair of red sandals on sale to lay in for next summer . . .
L'Amour des Pieds Brenn Ankle Strap Sandal
L’Amour des Pieds Brenn Ankle Strap Sandal

Aquatalia Wanette Sandal
Aquatalia Wanette Sandal
Pedro Garcia Fiona Wedge Sandal
Pedro Garcia Fiona Wedge Sandal

My work is done. Your feet are in your hands now.*
Dress: JCrew Cap-sleeve Dress in Shirting Stripe; Sandals: Circa by Joan & David; Bag: Kate Spade; Sunglasses: Illesteva Leonard
* This is a little nod to Dorothy Sayers, who offered this gem in Gaudy Night: “As she got into bed she recalled the extempore prayer of a well-meaning but incoherent curate, heard once and never forgotten: Lord, teach us to take our hearts and look them in the face, however difficult it may be.

13 thoughts on “The Virtues of Red Sandals”

  1. You’re right, so right. I have yet to buy my red shoes for Fall, though they are top of my must-buy list, thanks largely to that November post (which I bookmarked under Good Fashion Advice). Deep burgundy, oh yes. Thanks for the reminder to haunt the summer sales for possible red sandals. I have red slip on sneakers I adore. Sandals would be a great addition. Feet do tend to look happy in cheerily colored sandals.

  2. If I didn’t already find your writing style divine, you definitely would have had me at your quoting Dorothy Sayers, and *Gaudy Night* — my all-time favorite of hers — to boot! Brilliant.

    • I love mysteries, but mysteries with a small amount of chaste romance are my favorite. You may want to check out Deanna Raybourn’s Silent in the Grave. It’s different from Sayers, but smart and engaging. Don’t judge it by the cover.

  3. In my quest to build out my wardrobe of flat shoes, I just purchased a pair of Cole Haan red penny loafers (although they aren’t a true blue red, they are more of an orange red), a green pair of loafers (a Spanish brand off of Yoox) and a light blue pair of suede loafers. Like you are demonstrating today, I like the way a brightly colored shoe can be the statement part of a summer neutral, or the darker hued fall/winter outfits.

    At the moment, I’m tempted by a pair of lavender chukka boots to wear with jeans, but alas, my clothing budget is maxed out for the time-being.

  4. The sandal choices were nifty and I definitely enjoyed a pair of Alcudia Piccolinos in a reddish wine color this summer. I loved them for lots of reasons but color was first and foremost. I have read Dorothy Sayers for years but I need to look up “Gaudy Night” because I don’t know if I have read it or not. You always surprise and delight! Kate

  5. This is definitely not a blog for those who want to limit their closets to 33 items 🙂

    My bright shoe color is orange or a yellowy green. They go with lots of things. This year I got some orange crushed velvet Birkenstocks. They aren’t for wearing in rainstorms or if it might be muddy, I have older ones that I sacrifice for the weather, but they never fail to add some pop to an outfit.

    For Fall or Winter I’m more likely to go with Cordovan/Burgundy than red.

  6. Directrice – I, who don’t even like red (because I am a redhead and I think it clashes with my hair – unlike pink, which somehow works), love all these shoes. I wonder if you have ever considered the virtues of yellow shoes? The writer Caitlin Moran believes that a grown, modern woman must be in possession of four things to survive: “a pair of yellow shoes (they unexpectedly go with everything), a friend who will come and post bail at 4 a.m., a fail-safe pie recipe and [redacted for a polite audience, but if you want to read more, check out Moran’s book “How To Be a Woman”].” These are very casual, but check out: and and

    • Love all, MGT! One of my colleagues has a different pair of yellow Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn sandals and I love them. Fly London also made some really cool ones. I do think of yellow as a summer color, but perhaps I need to expand my mind.

  7. If anything, I’m obedient to the Directrice’s orders 😉

    For the summer, I purchased a pair of ankle-strap-closed-toe-terra-cotta red shoes that make my heart sing. I thought I would keep them for “special” and yet I reach for them time and time again. That pop of color is keeping my navy, my grey, my denim bottom half from feeling mundane!

    GingerR – I tried the 33 item rule for about 5 minutes. I tried….

  8. Very nice. I can’t help but notice also your toenail polish, which is always a cool gold metallic. This colour no doubt enhances any outfit and any shoe colour. I have searched for and yesterday bought a similar shade for myself. So it’s not only the topics and things to which our Directrice directs our attention, which we observe and learn from…Your posts are a generous idea-fest!

  9. I’m sold on the virtues of red shoes and the Fly London Buku platforms are lovely — Fly London is one of my go-to brands. But please somebody help me see the light! What exactly do yellow shoes go with? I have yellow pair of Flys that hardly get any use.


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