May 17, 2017 - I Feel Pretty, Style, Style Challenges, Trend Watch

Summer Sandals: Comfort is the New Cool!

My husband thinks they’re hideous and my teen daughter thinks they’re cool. What am I talking about? This summer’s “it sandals”, of course.  Turns out these “hideous” looking yet comfortable sandals are the new cool!

A few months ago my 18 year old daughter Aubrey asked for a pair of Chaco’s. I had no idea what she was talking about so she pulled them up online and I thought it was some kind of joke!  Nope, it’s not. Turns out these super ugly shoes are a thing among her age group.

Actually they’re kind of cute when she pairs them up with jeans and even with her Nike athletic shorts. I have to admit, they’re growing on me!

Today I’m sharing five pairs of “comfort is the new cool” sandals for summer – including the pair that I broke down and got myself.

Five Pairs of Comfortable Summer Sandals

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 1. Blowfish Granola Gladiator Sandal

This is the pair that I bought and have been LOVING.  They came in really handy for our recent trip to Disney World. Prepare to be overwhelmed – they come in 23 different colors! I got them in whiskey because I didn’t have a pair that color yet but plan to order them in more colors.

 2. Teva Cabrillo Crossover Sandal

Teva sandals have long been associated with comfort.  But this pair get some style points too! This taupe color goes with everything.

3. Clark’s Caslynn Shae Wedge Sandal

If you’re looking for a wedge that’s high on comfort, this one from Clark’s has you covered. It also comes in eight different colors including coral, fuchsia and metallics.

4. Chaco ZX2 Classic Athletic Sandal (aka Aubrey’s ugly sandals)

Ok, I should really stop calling these sandals ugly.  They aren’t so bad and Aubrey claims they are the comfiest shoes ever.

5. Birkenstock Yara Ankle Strap Sandal

And if you’re wondering what else her age group is wearing, it’s these sandals.  Birkenstock’s are back BIG TIME and not just for the granola crowd like they used to be. This ankle strap version with a toe loop is actually pretty cute.

It’s Your Turn:  What are your favorite comfortable, yet stylish sandal brands and styles?  Share them in the comments!

Summer Challenge News and Giveaway


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I’ve recently gotten a lot of new subscribers so figured it’s about time that I give out a detailed overview of exactly what the GYPO Style Challenge is all about.  The Summer 2017 GYPO Style Challenges opens this Friday, May 19th.

I started the first challenge in Spring of 2014 based upon feedback from a reader survey. You asked me to give you a shopping list of classic basics and seasonal trends that you could shop for on your own.  After putting together that first list, I took it one step further to create mix and match outfit ideas from the pieces on that list.  And the first capsule wardrobe was born!

Since then, nearly 10,000 women in 20 different countries have participated in a Style Challenge.

What it Is:

You’ve probably seen a lot of capsule wardrobe programs popping up lately but the GYPO Style Challenge is the first and original style challenge. You may be asking why pay for something you can find online for free. Well, I have the answer to that, none of those free programs provide you with as much support, detailed instructions and bonuses as the Style Challenge.

It’s called a challenge only because it “challenges” you to get out of your comfort zone to try new styles – there’s no competition!

Step 1: You get a shopping list of classic basics and seasonal trends with everything you need to create a mix and match capsule wardrobe. You have 10 days to get all of the pieces on the list. You’re free to spend as much or as little as you want but most women shop their closets first! I also provide you with a robust directory of online shopping links from stores you love.

Step 2: After those pieces are in place, you’ll get a daily outfit e-mail each day for three weeks showing you how to pair your pieces up into on-trend spring looks that work for your daily life. Imagine waking up every day and knowing EXACTLY what to wear! It makes getting dressed a no-brainer.

Step 3: Show off your new style in our private Facebook group. This is honestly the best part of the challenge! Thousands of women have made new real life friends and explored style in this safe, supportive community of like minded women. We share shopping tips, fit advice and our own unique takes on the daily outfits. You will get SO much inspiration just from being in this group.

More Benefits:

Style Challenge Members Only Site – The original Style Challenge is the only one that includes access to the Style Challenges membership site. It’s a handy directory of resources and every Style Challenge you’ve ever purchased all in one place!

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Recommended Items Directory – Inside the membership site is an online evergreen catalog of updated shopping links at a variety of price points to the stores you love most. This challenge’s Recommended Items Directory has more trend options than ever before. You’ll be able to shop more classic “basics” or substitute the trendier item for each piece on the list. These links are updated throughout the season so you always have resources for items to buy.

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Daily Style Tips – Included with each outfit is a daily style tip to give you easy to implement tips on your style journey.

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New for this Challenge!

If you’ve done the GYPO Style Challenge in the past, here are some new features you can expect this time around.

Lower Price Point – I’ve decided to offer the summer challenge at a lower price point in order to provide accessible style to all, the seasonal challenges are now available for just $39! The private Facebook group alone is worth the price of admission. (Don’t Worry – if you enrolled during the annual membership period, you still got the best deal around!)

An Extra Week to Shop – You asked for it so I’ve built in an extra week to get all of your shopping list in items in place.

The GYPO Quarterly Closet Clean Up – A handy printable to make sorting your closet a breeze. Follow these instructions each season and you’ll always have a curated closet of pieces you LOVE and wear.

New Shopping List – Redesigned shopping list to make it easier than ever to shop your closet and fill in the blanks at the store. You’ll have the option of shopping more classic basic pieces OR more daring trend items. It’s totally up to where you are in the style journey!

Bonus – Access thirteen outfits immediately! You’ll be able to see the first 7 days of outfit plus six bonus outfits as soon as you sign up.

Dress it Up/Dress it Down Options – Each outfit includes tweaks to make it office appropriate or super casual for every day so you can get double the use.

Double the Outfits – You’ll also get access to Summer 2016’s outfits doubling your total to 45 summer outfits!

Bonuses for Summer 2017:

  • Weekly Gift Card Giveaways in our Facebook Group
  • 6 Bonus Outfits – Bringing your total to 13 outfits you get immediately
  • Access to the Summer 2016 GYPO Style Challenge– Bringing your outfit total to 45 spring outfits!
  • Dress it Up/Dress it Down Options
  • Hanger Tag Printable – Print out each day’s outfit and place it over your hanger so you can plan your outfits in advance

Everything You Get:

  • The shopping list of basics and on trend items. Start where you are. You don’t have to be a fashionista or have a closet full of clothes.
  • A daily outfit idea sent in your email every day for twenty-four days.
  • Daily style tips to go along with your outfits.
  • The supportive Facebook group of women just like you on the style journey. Some are ahead and some are just starting out. The beauty is in the advice and friendships shared!
  • Weekly clothing gift card giveaways to some of your favorite stores.
  • A complete mix and match capsule wardrobe that you can build upon each season!

Who It’s For:

  • Anyone stuck in a style rut who’s ready to rediscover confidence through easy style
  • Women looking for “ease” in their days and done for them outfit ideas.
  • Anyone willing to try new things and get out of the style comfort zone.

How Much is It:

If you’ve ever looked into a personal style service, you know they start at upwards of $150 for just one hour of advice! Because I believe in my heart that every women deserves access to great style and to feel pretty, I founded the GYPO Style Challenge on the concept that it should be affordable to all. All of the tools and resources in the program are just $39.

What are the important dates?:

Registration opens this Friday, May 19th. We start to style our first outfit on June 5th. You’ll have ten days to get everything on the shopping list so I highly recommend signing up as soon as registration opens!

You’ll have between May 19th and June 4th to get everything in place from your shopping list. If you don’t have all of your items by then, don’t sweat it! You can always sit back and watch and curate the pieces as you find items you love.

The live portion of the challenge is from June 5th – June 28th. We’ll be styling our daily outfits each day during this time.

It’s Risk Free!

The best part?  You get to try it risk free!  If you sign up and decide it’s just not for you, you’ll have until June 10th to request a refund.  As a gift, you can keep the first 10 days of outfit ideas just for trying it.


How Much Will I Need to Spend on the Shopping List Items?

That’s totally up to you.  Most women shop their closets first and find that they have quite a few items on the list already.  Some are starting from scratch.  I recommend that you set a budget to work within and find the pieces you absolutely love.  I also recommend that you take your time to curate the items on the list.  It’s better to wait for a piece that you’ll continue to wear and love than to rush to get all of them at once.

Will this Work for My Weather?

Yes!  Women from all over the U.S., Canada and even Europe participate in the challenge and make it work for their climate. You’ll get so much inspiration just from joining the Facebook group.

What Style are the Outfits?

There’s a good mix of casual every day and dressy casual looks.  Every outfit includes a dress it up/dress it down option so that you can make your own tweaks to make it work for everything from a day at home to office appropriate.

Do I Have to Style them Every Day?

Nope!  You’re welcome to skip when you want to.  These outfits are just styling suggestions.  Some women choose to participate every day in the Facebook group while others prefer to sit back, watch and learn.  You’re also welcome to substitute some of your favorite pieces from your closet to avoid repetition.  The point of the challenge is to show you how to pair up your pieces in multiple ways.

If you have any other questions about the GYPO Style Challenge, feel free to e-mail me and ask away!

Summer Challenge Membership Giveaway

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Three lucky ladies will win a complimentary membership to the Summer 2017 GYPO Style Challenge.  Winners will be drawn and notified on Friday, May 19th.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I Feel Pretty Link Up

It’s the day of the week at GYPO where we celebrate what makes us feel pretty. Whether it’s a new outfit, hairstyle, or makeup, the I Feel Pretty link up is about anything and everything that makes your life prettier. Even if you’re not a blogger, you can still play along. Just tell me what made you feel pretty this week in the comments.

Getting my pretty on with Style Elixir and  Jo Lynne Shane.

There are just a few simple rules:

1. Follow GYPO. (Bloglovin‘, FacebookInstagram or Pinterest)

2. Link up your pretty post.

3. Link back to GYPO (using the button above or your own link).

4. Visit other pretties.


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Get your free Closet Staples Casual Capsule Wardrobe shopping list + four free outfit ideas!

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  • Debbie Stinedurf

    I just got my second pair of Birk’s for Mother’s Day…they’re blush/mauve pink and I love them! My daughter got her first pair too. They weren’t a big hit with the middle school crowd, but fortunately she has enough self-confidence that she’s rocking them anyway. 🙂

  • LoriM

    I love my Clark’s sandals. I have several different styles.

  • I rarely wore sandals until now so I don’t have a favorite yet. #1 in your list looks pretty cute!

    Thanks for the chance to win a summer challenge membership. I learned a lot from the spring challenge!

  • Courtney Taylor

    Growing up in So OR all I wore as a kid was Birkenstocks! I received my first pair as an adult two years ago for Mother’s Day. This is my 3rd season wearing them! I LOVE them so much! The Yara are on my bday wishlist in just a few days! Fingers crossed!

    • You were on trend as a child and now! 🙂 Happy early birthday and I hope you get everything on your wish list! 🙂

  • Stephanie

    Sketchers Reggae sandals are my go-to for summer. Because they are not pretty, I mainly wear them around home, but they have arch support and are very comfy.

  • Becky Zimmerman

    Loving the gladiator style sandals by Old Navy.

  • Kate

    I’ve never commented before, but when you mentioned Chacos I couldn’t help myself. I got my first pair when I graduated college (many many years ago). I got married in them (why spend $$ on shoes I wouldn’t wear again – and no one would see), hiked the Maine mountains in them (honeymoon), and now hike around Michigan in them with our family of 6. Two years ago I broke my foot while pregnant, and when the bones had healed my physician said they were great sandals to wear because they had such good support. Obviously I love them, but the best part is Chacos sustainability practices. The sandals are expensive but last a VERY long time and when the webbing (straps), foodbed, or bottom wear out, for a reasonable fee you send your sandal into the company and they replace the worn out/broken components. LOVE LOVE my chacos!

    • Peggy Witter

      Thank you, Kate!! I had to laugh because these “ugly” sandals happen to be one of my favorite brands, next to Birkenstock and Dansko! I am sad though as I had to set my Chacos aside as I had foot surgery a year ago and the straps rub against the plate and scar which is painful but we will get it figured out!

  • I’m all for comfort when it comes to sandals. I just bought a pair Adrienne Vittadini Claud Platform Sandals in Rose Gold and the support is amazing!

  • Cheryl Tucker

    I love it when you can take something comfortable and make it stylish too! Peace!
    Cheryl Tucker

  • Laura

    I just got a pair of 4Eursole flat sandals and they are so comfortable! You have to have a good pair in the summer with arch support. It makes such a difference!

  • Judith Painter

    I’ve been a fan of Chacos for 16 years!!! These sandals fit amazingly and are perfect for around town, hiking, and water sports! Definitely give them a go. And the best part – When you need new soles, straps, etc, they are easy to get replaced and not end up in landfills. And if you ever decide you don’t want the sandals – send them to Chaco and they will repurpose and pass them along to homeless and other countries!

  • Lacey

    I am so glad Birkenstocks are back in style! I have been rocking my pair I have had since 2003 and have been made fun of for them just about every time I have worn them for the last oh ten years or so. Now I am silently laughing while all my friends are out spending $100 on a new pair 🙂

    I also really love my rose gold Saltwater sandals this year. My kids wear this brand all the time so I was little worried about matching my six year old but I get sooo many compliments on them every time I wear them. I wouldn’t consider them a “comfort” sandal but they are not as flat and flimsy as some I have tried.

  • Joy Clark

    My daughter still absolutely LOVES her Chaccos after 5 years! They have held up very well through camps and hiking and life. I am itching for the Birks, myself! I also like the feel of Tevas more on my feet than the chunky Chaccos.

    • 5 years! I love it. She was way ahead of the game. I hope you get some new Birks or Tevas, both are comfy! 🙂

  • I’m a big fan of Birkenstocks, and have been wearing them consistently since I was in high school. I have a challenging shoe size (extra-wide, which means most of the cute shoes never fit me). Birks have always fit me well since their sizing is more unisex, and they hold up for ages!

  • Amy Harris Guth

    I have the Blowfish sandals in whiskey and black. I love them, and I always get compliments on them!

  • Allison, they look like Tevas a bit.. I had a pair for walking or camping. hehe… Love the Clarks, and I know that brand to be comfy and stylish. I like some of the espadrille sandals I bought as they have been cushioned and pretty comfy.
    have a great week
    jess xx

  • Shawnda

    My older kids (20 & 18) have been wearing Chacos for a few years & love them! I want something cuter but still need the arch support, so I go with Vionic. Here are my two most recent purchases:
    Wedge Espadrille in caramel
    T-strap sandal in coral — you can see the shape of the footbed in this picture

  • Marla Walkup

    My tween daughter had to have a pair of Chacos last summer. All of her friends wear them! This year, she had to have a pair of Birkenstocks. She found a pair of metallic white ones that really are cute & she’s worn the mess out of them since she got them a couple weeks ago. I might be inclined to buy myself a pair if they weren’t $100!!

  • I won’t lie, I love my Birkenstocks!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  • Angela S.

    Question – I consider myself technical, but have no idea which is the pinned post on your facebook feed 🙂 (per a google search it is the post one puts at the top of their feed – so is it the one about your favorite sandals)? Just thought I’d ask because maybe others are wondering too 🙂 . . .

  • I’ve been laughing that Birkenstock’s are back in style – no one would have been caught dead in those when I was in high school :)!

  • Beth @ Turn2theSimple

    I’ve had pair of Chaco’s for over 10 years! So comfy! They don’t go with everything but are great for more casual and sporty type activities.

  • Funny enough, the pairs you and your daughter picked would be the ones I’d choose myself, if I had to.

    Alex – Funky Jungle

  • Kelli Nichols

    Chacos may be ugly… They are the most comfy pairs (I have 3 pairs) I own. Wonderful for walking all over in.

  • I have an old pair of Tevas I use for camping/hiking near/in water. My teenaged daughter loves her Chacos though. They are quite in with the young crowd!

  • Melissa

    I am laughing my butt of right now because I just had this conversation with my daughter the other day! I still don’t like them but I don’t hate them either. I do though, love the wedge ones 😉
    Thank you for linking up with Weekend Wear


    • The wedge ones are fun. It think it might be a popular conversation between mothers and daughters Melissa. 🙂

  • Tricia in SC

    Any sandal suggestions for those of us who require wide sizes?

    • Hi Tricia! I’d check DSW, they tend to carry a good selection of wide width sandals. Let me know what you find!

  • pharmgal22

    I got some faux Birkenstocks at Target a few weeks ago. I got them in rose gold and they are actually really comfy!

  • M.R.

    I just bought those exact Birkenstocks pictured last summer. They were my “it” sandals that I had to have last year! This year I’m all about slides and I have some white and silver ones (cheap ones from Forever 21) that I love. I still wear my birks but they aren’t not as versatile with all my outfits.

  • holly

    Funny, I just bought a pair of chacos lasts weekend to walk the dog. Who knew!

  • LauriePOP

    Hahaha ugly sandals. I will have to try some. Black may not be that bad. But with a dress it’s so hard! LauriePOP Ideas That POP

  • Taina

    Yara Birks are sooo pretty… I have a pair since ever… but I must be honest: they are the most uncomfortable sandals I´ve ever own. I actually live in the Caribbean, so I´m an “expert” since that is the kind of shoes that I wore everyday even to work as an attorney. Have you ever tried XERO shoes? Those are comfort! If you love to be barefoot no doubts and go for a pair this summer. I even have their new running shoes. They are the best for runners!!!

  • Hi Tracey! The Blowfish sandals are actually great with a dress of skirt as they are a tad bit dressier than the other options. Ahhh, Italy! I’m so jealous. Enjoy for me!

  • Nicole Mölders

    Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style.

  • Athena Monica Hinkhouse

    I love my silver Birkenstocks and new love is my floral Cole Haan Zero Grand sandals! It’s all about girly comfort!