Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dear Thumbelina: Glad about Gladiators?

Dear Thumbelina Fashionista,

I love reading your blog, and actually was wondering if you could share some advice for a fashionista in trouble. I just recently bought a pair of white gladiator sandals, but am having trouble deciding on what to wear them with. They're glamorous on their own, but seem to clash with flowy summer dresses. They only seem to look good with shorts. I was wondering if you had any other ideas for ways in which I could wear them? Thank you!


Unsure How to be GLADiator


Dear Unsure How to be GLADiator,

Gladiators are surprisingly versatile, and as we can see from the Resort 2009 lines, they're not going away anytime soon. While gladiators have a somewhat casual quality about them, they're much like ballet flats, which can easily be worn with dressy or casual outfits: the key is in the combination.

If we look at some runway examples, Alberta Ferretti combined gladiators with

1. FLOWY and SIMPLE GRECIAN DRESSES: The key to not looking like a Roman extra in a bad remake of Spartacus is to tone down the Grecian details. This particular dress is casual but elegant.

Zac Posen utilized gladiators with a number of his looks, from beautiful day dresses to evening wear. Wear them with

2. GEOMETRIC SHIFT DRESSES with or without JACKETS: The gladiators soften the dressed-up look here. She doesn't look like she tried too hard (pumps would make the look more formal).

In another look from Zac Posen, he combined gladiators with

3. A PRETTY FLORAL DRESS: The key is using a subdued pattern that doesn't compete with the shoes. Make sure your shoes complement the dress in hue (wear a floral dress with specks of white, for example, if you have white gladiators).

Another option is to go ultra boho luxe, like this example from Net-a-porter, which combined gladiators with

4. LONG, BOHO TUNICS: If you're not sea-side, you may want to wear them with short shorts. Emphasize the look by choosing ethnic extras, like wood beading, large bangles, and long, chunky necklaces.

You can, of course, do a more hard-edged look, as seen here in another example from Net-a-porter:

5. PENCIL SKIRT WITH LEATHER JACKET: While this look is a little unconventional, it works if you're a little more Downtown than Uptown in your aesthetics. Wear silver jewelry with it and don't be afraid of dramatic details like a large collar.

LASTLY, you can always wear gladiators with

6. PANTS /SHORTS and a BLOUSE: For a casual but put-together look, choose tailored pants/shorts and a feminine blouse to off-set the masculine bottom.

Enjoy your gladiators!



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