They have been around for many seasons now, but for spring, gladiator sandals are more than just a holiday purchase, they are a day-to-day staple. Whether flat or with a wedge heel (cue Chloé's lace-up suede wedge sandals), laced up to the ankle or knee high, a pair of gladiator sandals needs a place in your wardrobe. They are the shoe that fits with this season's free-spirited boho vibe. They also make a super stylish alternative to the dreary flip-flop or preppy ballet flat. Wear Valentino's Aphrodite knee-highs with everything from floaty chiffon minis to denim maxis.
You could be forgiven for thinking we are living in the seventies right now what with all the flares, denim, fringing and general haute hippie fashion fever in filtrating the style scene. And when it comes to footwear, the seventies influence is making a strong stride and the disco ready heel to step out in... the platform. Perfect under flared jeans, or any jeans for that matter, with minis, maxis or midis - a party-ready platform is sure to add a Studio 54 boogie to your step. Brian Atwood's fabulous floral 'Madison' sandals complete with 45mm platform offer the classic platform shape but with a contemporary finish.
The tan sandal
If ever there was a shoe that could stand the test of time it is the tan sandal. And why, because tan works with everything including new season staples Victorian and peasant whites, vibrant colour and print, barely there pastels and black and white. A tan sandal is uncompromisingly versatile. And this season the latest model has some seriously sophisticated additions. Top up your tan with a chunky platform, a power heel and lots of straps. We love Saint Laurent's killer stiletto for the ultimate in sophistication.
As soon as the sun creeps out so do the wedges. They are the sunny day answer to winter's chunky heeled ankle boots, adding height and a little sophistication, without being too glam before the sun goes down. And as a fully-fledged member of the new season hippy gang, wedges evoke an air of laidback luxe. For the ultimate in wearability go with tan or neutral shades, but for a little more va va voom, these ankle tied orange suede espadrille style wedges from Gucci are a chic and colourful option.
As the perfect antidote to feminine heels and girly ballet flats, mannish flats are a refreshing alternative. And this season take one step on from your brogues and try a pair of loafers out for size. As the perfect pairing for trousers of all sorts including culottes, billowing wide legged pants and skinny jeans and a flattering footwear choice for high hemlines and calf grazing skirts, they could become your go to flat on and off duty. Jimmy Choo's animal print loafers are a great example of how these formal shoes needn't be stiff, but can add a cool and nonchalant character into the mix.