The jelly sandals from my childhood are back In Summer and Fall.

July 9, 2020

As a child, I used to wear Jelly sandals to escalate rocks at the beach without slipping or hurting my feet. The fun plastic sandals were a summertime must for children in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, the brighter they were, the better. I still remember the fantastic glitter-infused shimmering ones that were the most sought after.

So I can’t wait to start going around in my childhood sandals again, because, yes, the jelly sandals are back big time. Get ready to see fashion enthusiasts wearing colourful rubber sandals all over the world this year.

model wearing a Méduse Original jelly sandals in red.
@ méduseoriginal

Where do Jelly sandals come from?

There’s a bit of a dispute here. Some say the Méduse (jellyfish) sandals were created in France in 1946 when leather was in shortage after the war. Others say they appeared only in the late ‘50s with the plastic boom. But the fun sandals really became popular in the bold ‘80s. Forty years later, they’re trendier than ever, and this time, not only for children!

model wearing a Méduse Original jelly sandals in yellow.
via @méduseoriginal

Who’s wearing them?

We cannot talk about Jelly sandals without mentioning Alexa Chung! The stylish Brit has been wearing them for a while now and even has her own line of jellies, which she also wears in fall, with socks. Alexa Chung sandals are made in collaboration with Juju and come embellished with sparkling crystals. Among the celebrities that love jelly sandals are Anne Hathaway and photographer Melodie Jeng. Tylynn Nguyen is also a fan of the quirky footwear.

Alexa Chung in the woods, wearing a jelly sandals from her Alexa Chung fashion brand.
via @alexachung

Luxury jelly sandals 

High fashion houses have upgraded our childhood shoes to sophisticated models. Hedi Slimane created for Céline the luxury version of the Méduse sandals while Gucci gave some bling to the beach footwear adding a golden logo and crystals. Valentino, Doên, Simone Rocha and The Row are some of the design labels that making the sandals in rubber or PVC. Some are even bringing the cage model in leather, like Marni

Why we like Jelly or plastic sandals

First of all, the child-like shoes are very comfortable, which is something we’ve gotten used to during this period working from home because of coronavirus. Second, the flat plastic sandals are that kind of ugly shoes we just love to wear. Finally, they’re so versatile you can wear them not only at the beach but also to the office or to go for lunch with your friends. Pair them with little dresses and shorts in summer or wear them with sock and jeans in autumn. The retro sandals are joyful and fun but also a bit ironic, as fashion should be.  

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Photos courtesy of Méduse