No matter when you were born, you remember platform flip flops.
70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and even in the 00’s, you remember, know, and maybe even liked platform flip flops.
These days, wearing platform flip flops can be tough.
You don’t necessarily want to look like a Spice Girl (dibs on being Baby Spice though — sorry, schoolyard habit).
And you also don’t really want to look like Gwen Stefani on the MTV red carpet (ok, yeah, I still do).
Basically, you want to straddle Kat Stratford’s style (10 Things I Hate About You, 1999), but with a modern touch.
In the roaring 2020’s, how do we do this?
How to Wear Platform Flip Flops
Platform flip flops are a statement in and of themselves.
So, be careful when adding other trends to your outfits.
When styling platform flip flops, the main thing to keep in mind is balance — a balance of trends and physical proportions.
However, like everything to do with personal style, it’s all a matter of preference.
When it comes to platform flip flops, I prefer keeping my outfits simple and largely monochrome — especially because these sandals can look clunky and are an obviously trendy pair of shoes.
If your style is more adventurous and you feel confident rocking them with a healthy dose of heavy 90’s-esque trendy items (like a bucket hat or one of those tops that have random strings for no reason), then go for it!
Personal style always comes down to your confidence.
There is no right or wrong way to wear these shoes — or anything.
What Shirts To Wear with Platform Flip Flops
Considering how boat-like these shoes are, a tighter top generally looks better with platform flip flop sandals.
… but, it mostly depends on what sort of bottom you’re wearing…
If your trousers are looser, then go for a tighter top to make the outfit look tighter.
If your bottoms are tighter, then go for a looser top.
Me? When it comes to platform flip flops, I prefer how a tight solid colour top looks with whatever bottom I’m wearing.
What Bottoms To Wear with Platform Flip Flops
Similar to tops & platform flip flops, any bottom looks good with platform flip flop sandals.
Skinny jeans, flared trousers, maxi skirts, midi skirts, you get where I’m going…
Aside from like, sweatpants (sorry, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), practically any bottom looks good with these shoes.
However, a tiered & ruffled mini skirt looks inordinately 90’s with platform flip flops — that could be a good thing or a bad thing, but that’s up to you to decide.
Kat Stratford may have looked like an indie riot grrrl day dream wearing them with her lavender printed bias cut skirt at the book store, however most folks (read: me) don’t have her wit or grace to pull that off…
Again, if you do, then wear that lavender printed maxi bias-cut skirt!
Just make sure to pick a top that complements the look and shape of your bottoms — that’s such a weirdly written sentence, but I hope you know what I mean. If not, then scroll up and refer to the “what tops to wear” section.
What Bottoms Look Best with Platform Flip Flops
Trousers, high-waisted anything, and flared anything look “best” with these sandals.
That’s not to say that low-rise bottoms look bad, but a high-rise adds a more modern touch than a low-rise.
Really, any pant length works, but showing your ankles or hiding them completely with a longer pair looks best.
Curious how mom jeans and skinny jeans look with platform flip flops? I was.
Here’s an example of how they look, since the outfits I’m going to show you later won’t feature them…
What Dresses To Wear With Platform Flip Flops
Similar to everything else we’ve just discussed, basically any dress works well with platform flip flops.
Personally, I prefer to skew towards dresses that do not have prints.
While your floral frocks are particularly 90’s, I still prefer how platform flip flops against a solid colour.
It’s more subtle and less obvious.
What Accessories To Wear with Platform Flip Flops
Hoop earrings, beaded bracelets, anything that’s slightly retro will enhance your platform flip flops outfits, but not make them look over the top.
Remember what I said before, about balance?
That also applies to your accessories, so…
If you want to carry a logo-laden designer handbag, then opt for subtle jewelry with your subtle outfit.
If you want to wear statement/flashier jewelry, then go with a more subtle handbag.
What To Wear With Platform Flip Flops With…
So, let’s put these theories into practice with some platform flip flops outfits.
If your platform flip flops are not black, you can still adapt these outfits to suit them…
Platform Flip Flops with Trousers/Denim/Shorts
Left to Right: J. Crew Slouchy Boyfriend chino pants with a Susana Monaco Very V Top, Jennifer Fisher x Goop hoops, Isabel Marant Zap belt, and Olympia Le Tan Catcher In The Rye clutch; Re/Done 70’s Bootcut in SAF with a Rockins t-shirt, In God We Trust NYC necklace, Jennifer Fisher x Goop hoops, my own beaded bracelets, Jennifer Fisher bangle, my high school graduation ring, and a Celine Small Trio; AGOLDE Parker shorts with a Susana Monaco Very V Top, Reformation Tille cardigan, my own beaded bracelet, and a Prada Nylon East West tote; Erin Wasson x RVCA trousers with a Cotton Citizen tank top, Jennifer Fisher x Goop hoops, my own beaded bracelets, Aurelie Bidermann bracelets, Jennifer Fisher bangle, and a Prada Nylon East West tote; Everlane Chino pants with a Goldie Ribbed Cami, Jennifer Fisher x Goop hoops, my high school graduation ring, and a Prada Nylon East West tote.
If this assortment of outfits doesn’t make you realise how versatile platform flip flop sandals are, I don’t know what will.
As you can see, I definitely favour a tighter top when it comes to my platform flip flop outfits.
… however, the looser t-shirt with the blue jeans works because it’s more casual and the jeans are slightly tighter.
The Prada nylon tote bag is definitely a call to the 90’s, but unlike some other trends from
our my favourite decade, it’s not too “in your face.”
Platform Flip Flops with Dresses & Skirts
Left to Right: G. Label Yu denim skirt with a Goldie Ribbed Cami, Goop x Jennifer Fisher hoops, Aurelie Bidermann bracelet, Jennifer Fisher bracelet, my high school graduation ring, and a vintage handbag; Dôen Earhart dress with a Tory Burch Apple Watch band, my own beaded bracelets, Jennifer Fisher x Goop hoops, and a tote bag; What Goes Around Comes Around’s vintage Levi’s denim skirt with a Goldie Ribbed Cami, my own beaded bracelets, Aurelie Bidermann bracelet, Jennifer Fisher bracelet, my Nalgene water bottle, and a Prada Nylon East West tote; Marc Jacobs Grunge Collection slip dress with an In God We Trust NYC necklace and a Prada Nylon East West tote; RAEY slipdress with ALEXACHUNG earrings and a Marc Jacobs clutch.
Again, a tight tank top with the skirts. A regular t-shirt or band t-shirt could also totally work, but I prefer the balance that a tight black tank top gives these outfits.
The beaded bracelets (by me, made from a kit on Amazon lol, it’s the 4mm if you’re curious) are reminiscent of slumber parties with your best friends when you watched Two Of A Kind and stuffed your face with pizza from Viviry’s (or whoever your local pizza place was).
They’re totally 90’s, but still only a subtle call-back — not a full *69 dial on your landline.
Yes, I broke the “no printed dresses” rule, but rules are meant to be broken… especially when it’s for plaid.
“I don’t like to do what people expect.
Why should I live up to other people’s expectations instead of my own?”
-Kat Stratford, 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Do I sound like a broken record when I keep saying to wear what makes you feel good in these “How to Style Whatever” articles?
That record broke for a reason though and as you’d remember the dialogue in your favourite movie, you should also remember to dress for you.
Not for other people.
Not for Instagram likes.
Not for the boy with the “big dumb combat boots.”
I’ve said it once and I’ll happily say it again — when you wear what makes you feel like you, you will look great.
So play with proportions, trends, and just have fun with styling your platform flip flop sandals.
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