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Flipping For Summer Footwear

Originally Posted: July 03, 2008

Kelly Krieger

Havaianas "Tropical Fruit", $60

Flip-flops (also known as Japanese sandals, jandals, or zori) were believed to have originated in Japan and New Zealand in the 1950s. However, some researchers claim that in ancient Egyptian times people wore similar footwear. Today, flip-flops are internationally worn by men, women, and children of all ages. They are a huge part of our culture and have made a big splash in the fashion arena.

Stylish flip-flops can range in price from several dollars to several hundred dollars. Havaianas flip-flops offer 250 different styles and colors. Check out www.havaianasus.com for a full catalog of options that include offerings for men, women, and children, prices start at $16. This season Havaianas are also offering a selection of limited edition styles such as: Tropical Fruit (a charm bracelet adorned sandal available in red, navy, white, and lime green - retails for $60), Tribal (available in silver moon, black, and golden sun - retails for $90), and Top Crystal (available in white, indigo blue, silver moon, graphite, golden sun, dark green, rose, dark brown, nude, and acai - retails for $45), to name a few.

Jack Rogers "Navajo Platinum", $92

Flip-flops offer a unique casual way to view footwear and certainly stand out from a sea of many other summer shoes options. They have become so popular that virtually everyone has jumped on board and created their own version of the flip-flop. From Chanel and Prada to Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton and Tory Burch, there are styles that range from the simple to the extravagant. Dressier styles can be made from leather, suede, patent, fabric and others that include metallic and jewels. There are styles that are adorned with Swarovski crytsals, jewelry, fringes, flowers, medallions, shells, and beading.

According to www.most-expensive.net, some of the most luxurious flip-flops designed by Electric Couture are priced at a mere $1,800 (I'll take several pair) sure! Styles include rock and roll themes like "Walk This Way" and "Wild Thing" that are decorated in crystals that resemble winged hearts and guitars. The website also reported that H. Stern sold a pair of flip-flops for $17,000 in 2004. Wow!

Tory Burch "3T Flip Flop", $45

When in Southampton, stop by Jildor's for a wide assortment of flip-flop sandals by Jack Rogers. Rogers has become quite popular over the past few years and can be found at some department stores and higher end boutiques. Prices vary, but start usually at about $80. There are some retailers who run sales on certain colors. I'm a firm believer in these dressier style flip-flops. The quality and comfort is amazing. I own at least six pairs and they hold up well. Keep in mind that they may run big. I'm usually a 7 1/2 but I downsized to a 7 in this brand.

It's important to try on as many styles as possible. Footwear is something where fit is very important. Summer offers us the option to wear fun shoes like flip-flops. When making your selection, make sure you pick the best style for your feet.

Jimmy Choo "Choi", $685

Other moderately priced flip-flops include such brands like Reef and Roxy. These collections and others can be found at any surf shop or local sporting good store. Locally check out Air and Speed Surf Shop (Main Street, Montauk, 631-668-0356) and J. Crew in East Hampton (631-324-5034). In Sag Harbor on Main Street, stop by Flying Point Surf Shop (69 Main Street, Southampton, 631-287-0075 and 394 County Road 39A, Southampton, 631-287-7832). Also check-out Amagansett Beach & Bicycle (624 Montauk Highway, 631-267-6325), Equilibrium Surf Shop (160 Main Street, Amagansett, 631-267-6289), Espo's Surf Shop (57 Main Street, East Hampton, 631-329-9100), and Island Surf (Shopping Cove, Westhampton Beach, 631-288-4155). Locally, our very own Kai Kai sandals designed by Kai Costanzo of Montauk have grown in popularity and can be found at 771 Main Street in Montauk as well as locations as far as Key West. Check out www.kaikaisandals.com for more details.

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