If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don’t Want to Be Right

Lindsey Lanquist
If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don’t Want to Be Right
Photo: Alyssa Crane.

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The first time I laid eyes on jelly sandals, I ignored them. Because they seemed like one of those ‘90s relics that could only ever skew juvenile. But jelly sandals—in all their seemingly elementary glory—have managed to endure, only growing in pervasion since they first trickled into the zeitgeist in 2016. And now, I’ve gotta say, I kind of love them.

I feel about jelly sandals the same way I feel about many of the early aughts trends that have seen a resurrection in 2019: They’re so ugly, so tacky, so inherently cringe-worthy that they’re actually kind of delightful. Since we can all agree the aughts were a regrettable time as far as clothing goes, we can now pull from the era’s fashions without fear of being judged. Because everyone surely knows that we’re being ironic, that we’re self-aware enough to understand that whatever heinous thing we’ve put on is genuinely ugly, and that we’re only wearing it because we’re fun enough to treat fashion as a realm for play, not for self-seriousness.

Jelly sandals—like tiny sunglasses, and lettuce hems, and fuzzy shoes, and so many other retro revivals—are just another trend we love to hate-wear. Because we know they’re not particularly chic or hip or cool, but sometimes, being chic or hip or cool isn’t the point. Sometimes, we want to play dress up the way we used to as children. Sometimes, we want to adorn our bodies with mesh tops and bejeweled jeans and semi-transparent, clunky AF, colorful shoes. Because it’s just a fun thing to do. And really, couldn’t we all use a little more fun in our lives?

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

1. Time Travel Jelly Sandal, $85 at Free People

The most stunning jelly sandal specimen I’ve ever laid eyes on.

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

2. Flax Jelly Flat Sandals, $18 at ASOS

If you were averse to last year’s slide trend, maybe seeing them in super-fun jelly form will change your mind.

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

3. Caged Jelly Sandals, $14.90 at Forever 21

Definitely would’ve worn these as a 5-year-old. Definitely would still wear them as a 24-year-old.

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

4. Wide-Fit Fern Jelly Sliders, $16 at ASOS

Why shouldn’t your go-to slides be as comfy as your favorite leggings?

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

5. Gem Embellished Jelly Slides, $11.99 at Forever 21

I mean. They’re literally covered in glitter and fake gems. How much more delightful can you get?

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

6. Kelly Jelly Flat, $38 at Free People

More into flats than sandals? Don’t you worry—the jelly shoe movement has your back, too.

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

7. Glitter Jelly Thong Sandals, $8.99 at Forever 21

Slides that won’t fly off your feet the moment you get a little sweaty. (You know that’s a real concern you have.)

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

8. Veronica Jelly Strap Sandal, $39 at Urban Outfitters

A touch of jelly for the person who wants to have fun—but not too much fun.

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

9. Strappy Jelly Sandals, $12.90 at Forever 21

Wear these to the bar this weekend—I dare you.

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

10. Jeffrey Campbell Mini Heel Thong, $50 at Revolve

Someone looked at flip-flops and thought adding a kitten heel and rendering them in clear jelly would make them better. And I’m honestly not convinced they were wrong.

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

11. BC Footwear for You Sandal, $45 at Urban Outfitters

A still-totally-extra way to do the jelly shoe thing without doing the all-over jelly shoe thing.

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

12. River Island Stud-Detail Jelly Sandals, $40 at ASOS

Because the only thing that could make jelly sandals more fun is iridescent studs.

STYLECASTER | If Jelly Sandals Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

13. Lunar Jelly Ballet Flats, $19 at ASOS

Probably the comfiest, sparkliest sandal on the market right now.

 

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale. 

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