Sandals, Flip Flops, Birkenstocks for Men: Should You Wear Mandals

Sandals, Flip Flops, Birkenstocks for Men: Should You Wear Mandals

Welcome back to the Gentleman's Gazette!
Today's video is all about sandals for men; we'll discuss whether you should
wear them, the history about it, how they are defined, and how to wear them if you
decide it's necessary. Sandals for men are one of those weird things in menswear
that are on the one hand, very old but on the other hand, not really present in the
classical Western men's wardrobe. Just think about the Romans and the ancient
Greeks, they all wore sandals yet wearing a pair of sandals with a suit is not
something you'd wear today. Sandals for men are sometimes also referred to as
mandals and subject of an ongoing debate especially when worn with socks.
So without further ado, should you wear sandals as a man or not?Let us start by
saying you can wear whatever you want, whenever you want in this day and age. So
the real question is would a dapper gentleman consider sandals to be in
good taste? If you're a fan of the Gentleman's Gazette, chances are you have
a slight bias towards the classic realm of things. That being said, let's take a
look at the history of the sandals and how they came to be. The word originates
from the Greek word sandalon or sandalion. Sandals are defined as shoes that
leave most of your foot exposed but beyond that, there's no universal
definition for the word. Going back, the earliest known pair of men's sandals in
the world are over 10,000 years old. They were made from sagebrush bark .Greek
and Roman soldiers were known to fight in sandals known as Buskins.
Going back hundreds or thousands of years in history, many men wore sandals,
however, in a more recent history, sandals have pretty much fallen out of favor for
the classic well-dressed man. So how did that change come about? Well on the one
hand, shoe making got a lot more sophisticated than just slapping certain
pieces of leather onto your foot. Probably, the climate in Europe
also contributes to the fact that a closed toed shoe has been the standard
for men for over a hundred in Europe and the Western Hemisphere. Of
course, each country and culture will have their own standards and there is no
universal truth. Also, if you think about it, most places that experience
temperatures below 50 degrees in the winter or 10 degrees Celsius will
probably not want to wear sandals all year round. Looking back the 1930s and 1940s,
which are often considered to be the golden era of classic menswear, you will
have a very hard time finding men wearing sandals. All the illustrations
and photos from magazines usually show men either barefoot on the beach,
sometimes they wear espadrilles, or if you look at Cary Grant in this photo, he
wore socks but not sandals. It was really much more common to see men wearing
loafers sometimes with socks even when they wore shorts or espadrilles which
have fallen somewhat out of favor especially in the US. Even though in
places like Spain or Italy, they're more prevalent. Today, probably the most
popular sandals are flip-flops. In the US, they didn't really become popular
until the 1960s but these days, you can see men wearing them all over the place.
Now, as a side note, I'm a citizen of the United States, Germany, and Brazil and the
flip-flops known in Brazil as Chinelos are something like the unofficial
footwear of Brazil. People there will wear it everywhere but it's a hot
tropical climate and it's something that is very casual. Back in the day, even in
Brazil, men wore hats, full suits, and shorts were only something that you'd
wear by the beach or when you were playing tennis or for other kind of
sport activities. As soon as you were done at the beach, you changed back into
street clothes, however, with the catalyzation of fashion and menswear in
particular, things have changed quite a bit.
So a lesson we learned from back then was that every garment had a
specific purpose. So should you wear sandals today or not? Now, just think
about it this way, have you ever seen an outfit that you thought looked better
that was based around sandals than if it would if it had regular shoes? Well, I
haven't. So maybe you come up with something, if you do, please share in the
comments below. At the end of the day, if you care about style and you want to
achieve the classy look, I strongly suggest you stay clear of sandals in most
situations. Why do I say most? Well, there are always exceptions. For example, you're
at the beach, you're at the pool, or a spa area, of course,
that's when you wear sandals such as flip-flops. When it's practical and it
makes sense and the climate around you commands it, absolutely. What about a
cruise ship? In a tropical climate, yes, wear sandals, it's okay. Now on the other
hand, there are 68 reasons why men shouldn't wear sandals. Just kidding! I'm
just listing six here even though I think there may be more. First of all,
don't wear sandals because most of them look really cheap.
Just think of Tevas, Birkenstocks, or flip-flops. Most of them are made out of
cheap materials and that's what they look like, cheap. Even if you upgrade and
you invest a few hundred dollars in Salvatore Ferragamo flip-flops, they're
still just that, flip-flops. When I grew up in Germany in the 80s and 90s,
Birkenstocks were a traditional house shoe and nothing else. No one would ever
dare to wear it on the street until they became more popular in the US. Models and
stars like Heidi Klum would wear them in public and so it became more and more
acceptable to wear these shoes in public. Back in the day, people would have been
ashamed to be seen in the street like that. Because most sandals lack the structure,
they're oftentimes glued and use very inexpensive materials such as plastic
heel caps, maybe rubber, and just materials that are
not high-end. Of course, there are exceptions and we found some really nice
high-end sandals and I'll talk about them later.
The second reason sandals are not ideal for men is that most men don't have
pretty feet. Now, most women I know really take good care of their feet, it's just
something they know they want to pay attention to because often times they
wear sandals that expose their feet and they literally want to put their best
foot forward. Now, the same isn't true for men. Hairy toes, ungroomed toenails,
calluses, warts, and other stuff is just not pretty to look at. Of course, you can
do some nice toe nail grooming with our manicure pedicure kit which you can find
on our website here or you can go and have a pedicure which is not
unusual anymore in 2019. At the same time, it's a lot of work to keep up with it
and it's still not very classy look even if you have a high-end pair of
sandals. The third reason is no one really wants to see your feet unless, of
course, you're a foot fetishist. Just think of the person behind you on the plane
or on the bus taking off their shoes and putting them right next to you, I mean
isn't that ugly? The fourth reason sandals are not a good option for gentlemen
is that they're a fashion faux pas, more often than not. Just think of country
clubs, weddings, nice restaurants, or cities, in general. These are all not good
places to wear sandals. Why? Well, they weren't made for that environment. Of
course, if you're at the beach, if you are anything where it's wet, if it's really
hot outside, then sandals can be a better option even
as a man. Which brings us to the next point number five, sandals will make you
look like you didn't put much care and effort into your outfit. Sandals are a
convenient casual look that you can just slip onto your shoes but it's nothing
you'd ever want to show up to for interview, for example. Now, if comfort and
convenience is very high up on your priority list, how much longer does it
take to put on a comfortable pair of boat shoes or maybe espadrilles? Not much,
really. Yes, as I mentioned, sandals do have their
place, pools, spas, and so forth, that's the right place for them. Other than that,
skip them. Also last but not least, sandals can be bad for your feet in the
long term especially if you walk a lot. The lack of structure is just not
conducive and the foot bed is usually quite flat. You are also more likely to
end up with splinters or dirt on your feet so all good reasons to skip the
sandals unless it's really necessary to wear them. Obviously, we're not big fans
of sandals at the Gentleman's Gazette but sometimes, they are necessary. In
those cases, we came up with two different models that even I would wear
if the circumstances call for it. The first ones are Huarache sandals. They're
popular in Mexico, they are made out of woven leather that look distinctly
casual. Oftentimes, you can find them with a leather sole or a rubber sole. This model
here came from Etsy, it cost $56.00 shipped to the US. It has a crepe
sole and it's a very nice casual summer shoe that covers most of your foot but
because the leather is woven and unlined, you still get the airflow you would get
with sandals. In my opinion, this is a much better option than most men's
sandals out there especially flip-flops Tevas and Birkenstocks.
Another classic look are fisherman sandals. If you look at this model here from
Church's which retails for four hundred and ninety five dollars you can see the
similarity to a men's dress shoe. It's Goodyear welted, it has a slight heel,
it's made out of good quality leather, lining is nice, overall, it's a quality
pair of footwear that rivals that of regular dress shoes. It also has a closed
toe so people don't necessarily see any toes or toe hair, you have big air
pockets and you can wear them all day long. That being said for $495 are an awful
lot of money to spend on sandals and personally, I'd rather invest my money
in let's say a woven leather penny loafer for example. I think they're just
better summer shoes that look better and the Huarache sandals, I can see me
wearing them they're a shoe for $56 that you can easily wear they don't break the
bank and it's just perfect for those one or two occasions when you need them per year
or season. Of course, if you live in an area directly by the beach then yes, you
need more sandals, you wear them all day long but at the Gentleman's Gazette, we
don't really focus on beach wear style. So last but not least, if you decide
to wear sandals how should you wear them? I think they look best when worn with
shorts, maybe a polo shirt, maybe it's so hot at the beach that you don't even
need them, that's okay too. If you get those fisherman sandals, you can maybe
even get away with wearing them with a pair of linen pants or let's say a pair
of seersucker pants or slacks that are longer, it just has to be a distinct
summer fabric, otherwise, it just looks out of place.
One thing you should always avoid is to wear your sandals with socks and yes, I
know many of my countrymen do that but it's just an awful look
that should just never ever happen even if you don't care much about style. In today's video I am
wearing brown fisherman sandals from Church's paired with a pair of
seersucker shorts that is checked in red and white from Polo Ralph Lauren and
a no-name polo shirt without any logos in pale gray

22 Replies to “Sandals, Flip Flops, Birkenstocks for Men: Should You Wear Mandals”

  1. You covered the topics a lot better than most of YouTubers out there who will just full blown hating on sandals so hard it should be flagged as hate-speech.

    Also, I think cultural background plays quite a lot. There are countries which formal traditional wears would be look as good even if it worn with leather sandals.

  2. Fun fact: Ancient Rome soldiers wore sandals with socks! (socks was made out of wool using one knitting needle way of knitting. Have a pair from reenactors, it is VERY durable, no holes for almost 2.5 years)

  3. Oh Raphael , If you ever visit Australia you will have a heart attack , LOL Flipflops , and sandals are the normal . It must be the climate I guess . They are however useless against snake bite . Actually now that I think about it you may not want to visit Australia ,LOL

  4. Have you looked at mohinders shoes? I have a pair of the original water buffalo woven set which are great going on holiday in warmer climate for casual events (wither it be the beach or walking along the seaside on a pair of jeans/linen trousers), agree on no socks with them or if you have to the dark ankle socks

  5. If you live in Tropical countries, you would know why Sandals are the big deal. People in the middle east, whole of Asia, Hawaii, Pacific, Africa, etc wear sandals. Off course we know when to wear them…

  6. I wear sandals occasionally because I live in a tropical island in Japan so it’s a common look out here. But nonetheless, I saw someone the other day with a button up, gold watch, dark blue jeans and….. sandals. Way to just throw your entire look away lol

  7. 4:47 M/S Star Pisces, originally M/S Viking Kalypso built in Finland 😁 it was a regular here on Åland until 1991

  8. I live half the time in Hawaii and California and it’s cringe when grown men wear cheap slippers. They remind me of summer… no class.

  9. Sandals and flip flops are perfectly fine, but like anything else need to be worn appropriately. However, if you want to wear them you need to take care of your feel. Moisturize, remove callouses, pedicure your nails etc. They should never be worn with socks and only with shorts or swimwear. Nobody should wear Birkenstocks. LOL.

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