As I sit writing this, I’m surrounded by mountains of holiday clothes, ready to pack into an indestructible Globe-Trotter suitcase. As per usual, our family holiday to Mauritius has been nothing short of a military exercise, co-ordinating all the clobber that goes into a 10-day escape. I know I’ll end up wearing the same Orlebar Brown swim shorts, a Lock & Co sun hat and little else in that time, but as I survey several shortlisted piles of outfits, there’s a gaping hole to fill.
Despite the pile of rubber sliders, espadrilles and boat shoes, I don’t have any leather sandals, an oversight, because they’re in vogue this summer. Now, of course, I like a leather sandal as much as the next disciple, but an unfortunate incident from my past has led to a slight phobia.
Some years ago, in my infinite fashion wisdom, I decided to catch a flight to LA in a pair of rather chic navy Pierre Hardy crossover sandals – in my head, I was already on Malibu beach. As I ran for the gate, having skated across Heathrow’s shiny tiled floors the entire way, my sandal-shod feet hit a stretch of carpet. It was like someone had slammed on an emergency stop button. I didn’t quite hit the corporate carpet, but my feet were ripped clean-out of my crossovers. I hobbled back to retrieve my ex-sandals, uttering expletives, acutely aware of my fellow passengers – bemused and amused – and spent the entire flight squirming bare-foot in my seat.
So, today, while I’m packing my pool sliders from Kurt Geiger, my striped Castañer espadrilles and leather Sperry topsiders, I’m also looking at a cool pair of leather sandals from Álvaro on Matches Fashion, as well as some securely fastened Saint Laurents on Mr Porter. My travel incident was five years ago, and I think I’ll use this holiday to face up to my sandal fear. After all, they’re in, so it’s time to experiment. I’ll be wearing mine with pleated cotton shorts and striped T-shirts, but they go just as well with breezy linen shirts and wide-leg tailored chinos. Just be sure to match the leather of your sandals to your belt and watch strap for a clean look.
If you do treat yourself, keep them for a leisurely walk along the beach, or a lazy Sunday about town. But whatever you do, don’t run in them, and don’t wear them on the flight home – no matter how tanned your feet might be.