Love them or hate them, the Birkenstocks sandal is unlikely to fade from popularity anytime soon. And while this footwear option certainly divides opinions, they have become a firm footwear favourite for a reason.
Like most sandals, their usefulness seemingly dwindles when summer ends, but with some style changes and additions, you can wear these shoes well into autumn. And when it comes to footwear, finding items like womens sandals worth investing in will lessen the hit on your bank balance later on.
A Quick History
Birkenstocks were originally created by a German brand founded way back in 1776. The company’s initial goal was to create a footwear option that supported and contoured the foot, a significant change from the flat shoes that were available at the time. By 1925, Birkenstocks were being sold all over Europe, proving to be a popular choice for many.
In 1966, they were first brought to America, and because they were sold primarily in health shops, they quickly gained massive popularity amongst Hippies. Fast forward to 2012, when Birkenstocks were first spotted on the runway for fashion house Céline during Paris fashion week. Since then, they have appeared in multiple collaborations with various designers.
Styling Birkenstocks for autumn isn’t as challenging as it may sound. Realistically, the weather in autumn is always a strange blend of hotter days, cooler days, and days fitting somewhere in the middle.
For days warm enough to have your feet exposed to the weather, pairing them with tailored pants and a light cardigan or cotton blouse will keep you warm enough to beat any chill in the air but not enough to make you feel like you are overheating. As tailored pants are slightly more formal, if you feel like your feet need an extra layer of warmth, skip the sandals altogether and choose something different.
Matching skirts and sandals is not a new trend, and it is likely something you’ve done a thousand times. But when the temperatures start to dip slightly, it can begin to feel a little too cold to rock this effortless look. In reality, you can keep wearing this style choice in autumn if you swap out your light and flowy summer skirt for something thicker and sturdier, like a wool skirt.
If you typically wear short skirts, pick a slightly longer option that ends just below your knees, or go for a maxi skirt that hits the floor. And unlike tailored trousers, you can include a cosy pair of socks to your look for an extra layer of warmth if needed. The colour of the socks should match the colour of your Birkenstocks to give your outfit a more cohesive look.
Pairing your sandals with a dress offers a speedy and easy choice to throw on in the morning when you have little time or effort to think of something else. When the temperatures begin to drop, you can start to include light cardigans or jerseys in your outfits to keep away the cold. You likely also switch to different footwear like boots or loafers to keep your feet warm.
But you don’t have to make that switch with Birkenstocks just yet. Pairing a cosy wool dress with neutral socks and your favourite Birkenstocks is comfortable, warm, and surprisingly stylish. If wool is still a little heavy for the weather, put a light jersey over your favourite maxi dress instead. If you want to make these looks work, you can’t be scared of the socks-with-sandals trend.
You can never go wrong with styling Birkenstocks with jeans, and they match any style, cut, and wash you might own, all remaining very casual and very comfortable. Of course, you can choose to dress warmer at the top to compensate for your open shoes. But you can also easily incorporate a pair of socks into your look if needed.
When picking socks to match with jeans, always try to choose a pair that is more geared to winter. The thicker material and slouched look around the ankles compliments the jeans better than wearing a pair of regular socks or something more delicate, like lace. Ultimately, these shoes are designed to be slightly more rugged and extremely casual. Anything too feminine or dainty will contradict this appeal instead of complimenting it.
You might be most familiar with the classic Birkenstock style you have seen hundreds of times. It is an open-toed, backless slide-on with a strap going over the foot, with either one or two buckles. And although it is widely accepted in today’s fashion world, it is understandable if this style of shoes just doesn’t flatter your foot or overall wardrobe.
The good news is, however, that the same company has a variation of this style in the form of a clog. The design means the entire top and front part of your foot is covered while keeping the easy slip-on functionality. Additionally, this alternative style makes the shoe slightly more dressy, acting as an excellent option for semi-casual events.