My partner does not fall neatly into the gender binary. She despises both suits and dresses, but still loves to look fashion-forward, which doesn’t leave her with many options. (Though, newer, gender-neutral urban Goth and normcore trends have been helping.) And, let’s not even get started on shoes; Few things are as “this-or-that binary” as shoes in the fashion world. Nothing in “menswear” shoe departments fit her women’s size 6.5 feet – not that she’d want too many clunky, ultra masculine items from the “menswear” shoe department anyway. (As a European, she cringes at American menswear sandals that have so much tread on them that they can support a climb up Mount Everest.) “Women’s” flats tend to either be smaller versions of masculine shoes, but with a bigger heel (nope!) or really dainty with bows and flowers (nope, nope!). Then, there’s stilettos and pumps (nope, nope, nope!).
Luckily, with the exception of a few job interviews, my partner has been able to get away with rocking sneakers to work and dressy functions, a la Ellen DeGeneres.
My gal recently hit the jackpot again because androgynous slip-on sneakers are trending this season and are available at a number of retailers in a wide range of styles that actually fit her feet. As a fashion blogger, I get sent free copies of traditional “menswear” and “womenswear” glossies; I sift through all the misogyny and binary bull-crap to identify style trends relevant to our readers. This month, both GQ and InStyle magazines featured a piece on slip-ons, and it appears that these comfy, practical shoes have gotten a makeover, so they’re not just for the Vans’ skateboarder scene anymore.
Just doin’ my research in GQ and InStyle.
Nowadays, slip-ons come in round and pointed toes, as well as in bold colors, graphic patterns, and dressier woven leather. My partner loves these upgraded slip-ons as a non-lace, office shoe option to pair with tapered legged dress slacks.
Not my girlfriend, but we love this blogger’s outfit, which, BTW, came almost ENTIRELY from Target! Via Fashion Fairy Dust.
Another great example of how to pair slip-ons with dressier pants. Via Visual Therapy.
So, now that you got the gist of how to rock these gems, here are some of my partner’s picks for best slip-ons. First up is BucketFeet, a shoe company that offers limited edition sneakers (including slip-ons) created by artists around the globe. BucketFeet has an open platform approach where anyone can submit a design. Currently, they work with over 20,000 artists from 100 countries. Their network includes artists in every medium: painters, graphic designers, graffiti writers, street artists, photographers, and the list goes on. Everyone is welcome to join them in their mission to connect people through art.
We’re also loving J/Slide sneakers, a New York based company that creates timeless, fashion-forward slip-ons. Sneaker styles come in classic woven leather with a standard size sole, to more modern, normcore inspired designs with a thicker sole, like the ones pictured below. J/Slide footwear is a proud contributor to the American Cancer Society, Planned Parenthood, and other charities that promote tolerance and empower women.
Then, there’s also the go-to Vans, which have also recently been upgraded to include a wider range of styles in a variety of materials and patterns.
via EU Kicks
If none of these really inspire you, check out GQ’s picks (link above) or try a style search engine, like ShopStyle, and enter “slip-on sneakers” in the search terms. Strike while the iron is hot; The slip-on sneaker trend has resulted in brands offering endless styles, from leopard print to woven leather. Stock up now! And, let us know in the comments below your favorite slip-on sneaker styles.