Like most female fashion trends making their way into the Greek Market, Lace-up Gladiator Sandals have been yet another victim of abuse. I will put aside the fact that Greek women tend to mimic magazine covers, making a trend repetitive and eventually dull, and instead will try to focus on the fact that a trend is a mere suggestion, not a law. This means that some women will be suited to it, but some not . And that's where it all goes horribly wrong in Greece. Greek women naturally assume that the power of an outfit lies in the "in" or "out" label that comes with it, and often forget that their specific body type may make or break an otherwise beautiful outfit. It was mid summer, when I took a drive to the beach, and while watching the calm water go back and forth, three young ladies in their early 20s found a free spot 4m away from me. One of them, with a beautiful face, but barely 5 ft 3 inches tall (158 cm), was wearing a nice pair of mask like Dior sunglasses, a beautiful long white kimono, and what appeared to be gold lace flip-flops. Then, the kimono comes off. What first appeared to be gold laced leather flip-flops, turns out to be knee-high gold laced gladiator sandals. Let's ignore the fact that there was no point in wearing them in the first place, since the kimono covered the whole body down to the ankles anyway.The girl's legs, although proportional to the rest of her body, were very short, making the lace take up about 70% of the leg length. I couldn't help but think that the girls legs looked like thread tied chicken rolls ready to go into the oven. I'm not trying to be mean here, but some things just don't work on certain body types. I am only 1.73cm myself, and a massive fan of street style. I love hipster low hanging jeans, but unfortunately they will never look good on me no matter how much i tweak my outfit. When I look at my self in the mirror, my legs and body are just not long or slim enough to support it. I want to see more legs, and it's just not there. So where is the mistake with the gold lace up gladiator sandals?
a) If they are knee high, your legs need to be long enough, so that the lace part doesn't take up more than 50-55% max. of your leg. The denim hot pants you are likely to be wearing with it, the shorter the better. The Sandals, the exposed thigh part and the hot-pants divide your legs in three segments. Lace segment cannot be longer than the other two together. The hot pants segment needs to be as short as possible compared to the exposed thighs. This way, which ever segment one might look at, the effect on the eye is that of elongation. This in general means, that girls over 5'8 or 5'9 and relatively skinny can support the the gladiator lace up sandals well.
b) Shorter than 5'8 (1.74 cm) slim, but with long legs compared to the rest of your body? Yes it works, but since your legs are already disproportionally long compared to your upper body, you don't need the extra bling. Meaning, Lace up yes, but keep it simple. No wide gold or rose gold lacing. The length alone does the trick, but the extra bling of gold may make it too much. Remember, the more proportional you are, the better most outfits will look on you.
c) Tall but size 12 or 14 ? Ok you are tall, but you are not skinny, and your legs are probably long. You stand out regardless and making your self look smaller is a herculean task. Instead of working against it, try to work with it. What do I mean? If you are big, but your legs are long, your likely problem area is your thighs and hips. Try to cover that with a plain color blouse, ideally one ending just over your half thigh line. Chose black or off-white and make sure it is loose on the waist area. It can be a short dress or you can wear shorts underneath the blouse. Now you can wear the sandals like with b) and since you have the size that will make you stand out anyway, you can go for gold or rose gold. But if you go for bling bling, make sure you keep simple upper body make up, hair style and very subtle jewelry. The gold laced sandals on a big girl, is already a big attention drawer. So it's your choice. Simple leather lace and knee high and a bit of bling bling on the upper body , or gold lace up and go plain on the top.
d) petite (<1.65 cm) Avoid the style altogether or if you sport it don't go higher than the ankles. If you go higher for gold, chances are you will draw attention to the wrong parts of your body and make it look disproportional by length or by size. Instead play with the best proportions you can, strong make up, and draw the attention where you want it. Men love petite, but they love it for the eyes, and the small elegant bottle it comes in. It usually carries sufficient details on the face the hair color the body lines , that it does not require much external intervention.
Remember, style is ultimately about what works for you, not what works on the cover of a magazine. Work with your strengths tone down the weaknesses and 9/10 time you should get it right