I remember the first pair of shoes I loved. They weren't even newly bought — the kind I went with my mother to pick out from big-box discount stores in the mall that came with cheap white tissue paper stuffed in the toes. They didn't have my favorite cartoon character on them (Michelangelo), weren't a copy of my mom's (those pinched), nor were they shoes that my best friend at the time owned first. They were a pair of hand-me-down plastic jelly shoes that had been clear at some point, but by the time they got to me, were closer to the color of a weak tea, and came adorned with two yellow Gerbera daisies — one for the top of each of my child-size-4.5 feet.
Here's what I loved about them: They felt more like toys than clothes, and everyone had something nice to say about them when I wanted to show them off. They made the thrift-store clothes that I sometimes still felt embarrassed for wearing feel a little more shiny and new. They weren't as serious as grown-up shoes, but they weren't kid shoes, either. They were shoes that were, for lack of a better term, fashion shoes. I had my first taste, and I've been hooked ever since.
Today, a plastic rosette or 3-D floral embellishment will still give me pause when I'm shopping — call it Carrie fever or perpetual nostalgia, but every summer, without fail, I'll find myself ogling petal-covered sandals. And I must not be alone because brands and retailers consistently put out flowers shoes each year. For my fellow flower girls out there, here are six different pairs that are worth checking out.
What's the shoe equivalent of the best dance party you've ever been to? Oh, this.
This is the much more sophisticated version of the jellies I remember so fondly.
Most heeled espadrilles end up looking like country-club fodder. The separated heel (and ditsy print) keep these from feeling stuffy.
For when you want to have a day by the pool, but not actually go into the pool.
This is a shoe so !!! that you could get away with wearing nothing (or at least, your most normal pants and most normal shirt), and people would still think you just walked off a fashion shoot.