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Move Over, Birkenstocks; We're Currently Obsessing Over '90s-Style Chunky Sandals

Mar 24 2020 - 4:43pm

As evidenced by much of our recent fashion content, we're extremely here for '90s fashion trends [1]. Also appealing to us? "Ugly" shoe trends [2] from hefty combat boots to ultrathick platforms [3]. With Summer dressing on the brain, we're transitioning our shopping strategy to keep toe-baring shoes in mind. And though we love ourselves a good pair of Birkenstocks, chunky sandals are the latest shoe trend to pique our interest.

Chunky sandals are rooted in nostalgia and a total '90s mood, ranging from cage silhouettes with wide straps to thick platform soles and weighty slides. Then there are the details like big buckles, grommets, lug soles, fisherman silhouettes, and velcro straps, all of which set various styles apart to appeal to a range of aesthetics from minimal to sporty.

While any pair of chunky sandals will set a '90s tone, certain pieces really channel the mood like plaid skirts รก la Cher Horowitz, cutesy socks, slip dresses, and tube tops [4]. We even love them with low-rise leather pants (a favorite of Jennifer Aniston [5]'s Friends character, Rachel Green [6]) or tailored linen separates (not unlike the superchic shorts suit worn by Vivian Ward at the end of Pretty Woman [7]).

For more of a visual guide, keep scrolling for 16 chunky sandal outfits we love, as styled by fashion insiders and influencers. Plus, shop our edit, from under-$50 options to designer styles.

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

Channel a Clueless vibe by styling a pair of chunky sandals with a plaid skirt and mesh top.

Truffle Collection Chunky Flatform Heeled Sandals

Truffle Collection Chunky Flatform Heeled Sandals [9] ($42, originally $64)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

Chunky sandals are a cool offset to a pretty puff-sleeve dress. Bonus points for a bright plaid print.

Zara Lug Sole Buckle Platform Sandals

Zara Lug Sole Buckle Platform Sandals [10] ($60)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

Breezy and chic, we love the look of chunky sandals with a linen suit and crop top.

Steve Madden Salty Sandals

Steve Madden Salty Sandals [11] ($101)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

For a modern take on '90s grunge, try pairing chunky sandals with a coordinating top-and-trouser set.

Labucq Boomer Cream Sandals

Labucq Boomer Cream Sandals [12] ($350)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

It doesn't get more '90s grunge than a silky slip dress with chunky sandals and socks.

Eytys Athena Leather Black Sandals

Eytys Athena Leather Black Sandals [13] ($360)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

The minimalist's take on '90s style? Chunky sandals, silk pants, a crewneck sweater, and mini accessories.

Skechers Jammers Heritage Sandal

Skechers Jammers Heritage Sandal [14] ($55)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

Working Girl, but make it modern with a short pinstripe suit, chunky sandals, and socks.

Rachel Comey Adams Sandals

Rachel Comey Adams Sandals [15] ($435)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

Chunky sandals perfectly ground a quirky-chic combo of a graphic tee, printed sip skirt, and striped tote.

Topshop Phoebe Black Chunky Sandals

Topshop Phoebe Black Chunky Sandals [16] ($51, originally $68)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

A romantic take on nostalgic style, we love this feminine top, colorful pant, and chunky sandal combo.

Urban Outfitters Solar Caged Sandal

Urban Outfitters Solar Caged Sandal [17] ($49)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

A bold dress feels effortless and cool with a pair of chunky leather sandals.

3.1 Phillip Lim Yasmine Espadrille Platform Sandals

3.1 Phillip Lim Yasmine Espadrille Platform Sandals [18] ($595)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

Give an LBD the chunky sandal treatment and finish with a colorful mini bag.

ASOS DESIGN Wide Fit Wait Chunky Platform Heeled Sandals

ASOS DESIGN Wide Fit Wait Chunky Platform Heeled Sandals [19] ($48)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

Does it get more '90s than a body-skimming top, colorful high-rise pants, chunky sandals, a baguette bag, a micro-sunnies? We think not.

Ganni Sporty Logo-Embossed Distressed Buckled Leather Sandals

Ganni Sporty Logo-Embossed Distressed Buckled Leather Sandals [20] ($340)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

For an off-duty outfit, chunky sandals are surfer girl chic with a tie-dye tee, Bermuda shorts, chunky sandals, and a bucket hat.

Nasty Gal Faux Leather Black Platform

Nasty Gal Faux Leather Black Platform [21] ($25, originally $50)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

Nineties, but make it cozy in low-rise leather pants, an oversized sweatshirt, and chunky sandals (preferably in a fun color!).

Dr. Martens Clarissa II Platform Sandal

Dr. Martens Clarissa II Platform Sandal [22] ($140)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

Comfy and cute, we love the look of chunky sandals with a tie-dye tee and pleated miniskirt.

Basso Veltura Sandals

Basso Veltura Sandals [23] ($59, originally $150)

How to Wear Chunky Sandals

Chunky sandals take a pretty white dress in an edgy direction.

Rag & Bone Fallon Sandals

Rag & Bone Fallon Sandals [24] ($319, originally $425)


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