Pairing Vintage Denim + Luxe Sandals: Finding the right pair (in both cases)

Since I was old enough to pile in my best friend’s old Astrovan in high school, I have been a devotee of the vintage find. The sheer thrill of searching through a slew of things I don’t want and then. . . there it is: the perfect 80s linen dress, or 90s silk button down, or 70s beaded bag. In some exceptionally rare cases, you might find the holy grail of the vintage hunt: JEANS. You know, that unicorn pair that has just been waiting for you in the thrift store, made of actual raw denim so they look like the real deal (because they are), but also broken-in and comfortable, and happen to fit like a dream? Or so you’ve heard from your friend in Brooklyn, but it hasn’t happened to you. Yet.

I have been fortunate enough to find amazing vintage jeans TWICE, once with Levi’s (featured in a previous post), and another time with this pair:

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These high rise jeans sit just below the waist, and their relaxed straight-leg cut lengthens and narrows the legs. They are actually the best pair of jeans I own, I get complimented every time I wear them, and I found them for $4!

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Here’s how you find your perfect vintage jeans:

  • Don’t focus on Levi’s! There are a ton of other brands that have that perfect cool-girl fit that you’re looking for. Lee jeans are a curvy girl’s best friend, Wranglers are good for those with a smaller booty, and 90s-era Gloria Vanderbuilt and Liz Claiborne have excellent cuts that have a wide range of sizing.
  • If you are a petite like me, go straight to the kids’ section; that’s actually where I found the ones in the picture! If you are between a size 0-4 (even a 6 could possibly swing it), you might find a great pair in kids’ sizes 12-16.
  • Don’t go to thrift stores in trendy neighborhoods. The people who have hung onto their 90s clothes until just now usually live more on the outskirts of town and donate locally.
  • Take friends, treat yourself to your favorite coffee (for local readers, one of my favorite coffee places is actually where I shot this outfit, at Coffee & Tea Collective in North Park!), and make it a fun, life-giving event. It’s okay if you don’t find the perfect jeans right away! Make it about people, not about perfect results.

 

 

Now, let’s talk about luxe sandals.

Essentially, you can put any unique, indie-designed sandals with any pair of vintage jeans, old-skool khakis, or even a neutral midi skirt. It always works.

Why? Because sandals instantly lighten an outfit and give your classic piece a fresh, modern twist.

I have fallen head-over-heels for the sandals made Marais USA, a label based in LA that is run by the retro-chic fashion icon Haley Boyd. Marais USA has a slightly high price-tag, but their shoes are truly one-of-a-kind and just about the most perfect, versatile sandals I own. I’ve worn them with a t-shirt and jeans for weekend coffee runs and with my bridesmaid dress for my friend’s wedding last month!

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Luxe sandals that can go from night to day are, in my opinion, an essential.

When investing, it’s important to be informed about what styles complement your personal style and what you already have in your wardrobe.

I found Marais USA through Instagram. I noticed that they styled their shoes with simple outfit combos that relied heavily on classic denim, high-quality white tees, and the occasional statement dress or midi skirt. The label’s aesthetic let me know that these sandals would streamline into my existing day-to-day outfits, with no extra clothing items required to make them “work”!

When looking for the right pair of statement sandals, look through your closet and assess which of your already-favorite outfits would be enhanced by a fun, luxury accent.

Then comes the exciting part: start searching Instagram for designers that reflect your actual (not aspirational) style.

Shop My Look:

  • Top: Rolla’s (sold out, similar top on Lisa Says Gah)
  • Jeans: Vintage! (If you can’t make the trip out to different thrift stores, try Depop!)
  • Shoes: Marais USA; Bag: Marais USA (sold out, similar sold here)
  • Necklace: Graffiti Beach

What brands do you love? What has been your favorite vintage find? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe and check out my Insta!

Happy Vintage-Hunting!

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