Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Lindsey Lanquist
Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?
Photo: Cierra Miller.

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Greetings from the sartorial Upside Down. Once-embarrassing dad trends, like tropical print button-downs and chunky sneakers worn with visible socks, are veritably coveted among fashion’s elite. Sophisticated restraint has been traded for campy maximalism; outfits aren’t complete unless they’ve been adorned with pom-poms, feathers, beads and statement jewelry that looks wholly DIYed. And reader, flip-flops are cute.

This last point is a newer one—for decades, flip-flops have been crafted near-exclusively from foam and plastic, purchased near-exclusively from beach-side tourist shacks, and worn near-exclusively by the ocean, pool or body of water of your choosing. But things have changed. Flip-flops—and cute flip-flops, at that—are now on offer at a swath of go-to retailers. Anthropologie, Topshop and Zara have an abundant array of flip-flops listed; so do designer-heavy spots like Shopbop and Farfetch. Flip-flops have undergone something of a trend-facing makeover, too. These days, flip-flops are as likely to be crafted from semi-luxurious textiles like leather and velvet as they are to be crafted from cheap foam, and they’re liable to be adorned with everything from tassels to crystals, snake prints to layered woven straps. At this point, it’s almost impossible to deny it: Flip-flops are officially experiencing a renaissance.

Though our hearts may have a hard time separating next-generation flip-flops from their inherently tacky origins, our feet and eyes will undoubtedly have an easier one. Flip-flops have never not been comfy—and they’ve never not been comfy, either. Shoes that require any lacing or buckling up are ill-fit for the beach, no matter how cute they look on Instagram. Nothing compares to the delicious convenience of a slip-on, and no slip-on stays put on the foot quite like a flip-flop.

It’s time for us all to, finally, accept the flip-flop. It’s no longer undeniably un-cute. And the perks it offers are, simply, too good to pass up any longer. Flip-flops are making an effort—maybe we should, too.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Flip-flops so chic you could literally get away with wearing them to your friend’s wedding.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

We’re not saying heeled flip-flops are the new block heels, but…

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

A decidedly comfy way to get your summer animal print on.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

The more straps, the merrier. (Because the more straps, the more you’re able to obfuscate the fact that these are flip-flops.)

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

All-neon-everything is one of summer’s favorite palettes, after all.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

The perfect complement to your most bohemian dress—or your lowest-key tee-and-jeans ensemble.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Sure to play well with everything in your closet.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

We weren’t lying when we said velvet iterations were on offer.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

A simple, but definitely sleek, way in.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

You’re already shameless enough to wear flip-flops. Why not go full-force into jelly sandals, too?

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Full of understated appeal.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

OK, don’t act like you wouldn’t enjoy wearing these.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Sure to turn heads no matter where you wear them.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

The structure serves two purposes. One, to render the shoes more interesting. Two, to make them look less flip-floppy.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Tie-dye is still, very much, having a moment.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

A terry cloth flip-flop wedge. (We’ll just let you sit with that for a bit.)

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Neons and neutrals do a match in heaven make.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Veritably shindig-worthy.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Who doesn’t want bedazzled palm trees accompanying them everywhere they go?

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

The clear slipper trend continues to endure.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

A perfect addition to any summer palette.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Surprisingly sexy, for a flip-flop.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Straps near-guaranteed not to leave blisters behind.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

An incredibly comfortable way to get your pop-of-color on.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

The ultimate (probably very comfy) party shoe.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

It was really only a matter of time before the flip-flop trend extended into sporty, striped platform wedges, right? (Right?!!)

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Natural materials sure to leave your feet feeling ~connected~ with ~our earth~.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Cinderella’s glass slipper, done the flip-flop way.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

OK, the chunky take on the movement definitely works.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Because snake print’s reign has yet to expire.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Surprisingly delicate? For…flip-flops?!

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Adorned with crystals in perhaps the least tacky way possible.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Simultaneously retro and future-facing. Is this 2019, encapsulated in a single pair of shoes?

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Flip-flops masquerading as slides.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

A delightful spring color worth integrating into your summer palette.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Perhaps the chicest take on flip-flops imaginable.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

At least the palette is decorum-approved.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Camp, layered on top of camp.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Basically undeniably cute.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Not the kind of statement shoe we imagined stocking up on this summer, but hey—this is our world now.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Throw these on with your favorite maxi, and let your feet revel in the comfort.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Not only have flip-flops gotten cuter, they’ve also gotten more office-appropriate, too.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Fit for your next vacation.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

These TKEES flip-flops are available in every color under the sun—and we don’t mind the variety.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Because three animal prints are better than one.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

The (by all definitions unnecessary) clear vinyl strap leaves these flip-flops feeling surprisingly fresh.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Straps on straps.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Because red isn’t the only way to do a pop of color.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Quite possibly fit for your next night out.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Basically a fluffy slipper that’s socially acceptable to wear outdoors.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

A classic.

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

The second strap definitely keeps these feeling more “strappy block heel” than “obvious flip-flop.”

STYLECASTER | Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Orange is an endlessly underrated summer color, and these flip-flop heels just want to rectify that.

 

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