I have been wanting a pair of minimalist sandals for a while now, but haven’t been able to find exactly what I was looking for. Not thong-style flip flops, but real sandals that could be worn to a somewhat dressy occasion; I wanted a neutral color, preferably in the brown / tan / beige family; dainty, minimal straps, but enough of them to keep my foot secure; and I didn’t want a big toe loop or a true ankle strap (these can often be uncomfortable and unflattering). Quite a tall order, right? 🤦🏼♀️
I found the perfect shoe in the Emme Parsons Hope sandal. I love the way the three delicate straps criss-cross the foot at the best locations and angles, the caramel “wheat” color is great (not crazy about the embossed reptile print, but it’s subtle so I would be willing to overlook it 😉), and the slightly squared toe plus the added buckle detail make them a polished, elevated-yet-casual, and versatile option for summertime.
My only problems are: (1) the price tag (yikes! 😬) and (2) the neutral wheat colored pairs are currently sold out everywhere. While I couldn’t find a dupe in the exact style of the Hope sandal, I found two very similar options:
The first one that I found is by SHEIN and while it was a pretty close replica, I refuse to purchase anything from that retailer so I’m not even going to link it. I think that they sell extremely poor quality products and as a brand they are creating a ton of waste which is adding mass amounts of textiles to landfills. It’s just not worth shopping at SHEIN to save a few dollars… I’d prefer to save up a bit and get a better quality product that will last. Please don’t contribute to polluting the Earth in this very avoidable way!
Anyway, back to the minimalist sandals 😜
The other option I discovered is the Menorca slingback sandals by J.Crew. They’re not an exact dupe, but they hit all of my aforementioned requirements so they can totally do the job.
They’re obviously made of matte padded leather as compared to the shiny embossed leather of the Emme Parsons pair, but I still think that they look polished enough to be worn in a dressy casual situation.
The Parsons pair has a tiny metal buckle which is another design element of these minimalist shoes that creates a more elevated look, but I think that the J.Crew pair are a bit more versatile for your wardrobe because the lack of buckle makes them a touch more casual. I also think the very slight heel makes both styles dressier than, say a completely flat slide or thong style of sandal.
The strap design on the Hope sandals is perfectly chic, but the design of the Menorca version is sturdy enough to keep the shoe on while still being flattering on the foot. The Menorca currently comes in three colors: Black, Dark Nutmeg, and Sandy Beach which is another reason that they’re ultra versatile — I may need every color!
I started with the Sandy Beach color because I thought it would be perfect to pair with more of my wardrobe for summer, but the black would be sooo chic and you can’t go wrong with a cognac brown, especially if that’s the color of the majority of your other accessories (handbags, belts, etc).
I absolutely love them and they’re exactly the style I was searching for. They’re so comfortable (love the strap placement and padded insole!) — I’ve already worn them a handful of times even after just receiving them!
I hate that I had to pay full price because J.Crew is always running sales, but I wanted to make sure I was able to snag my size because every time I wait for a sale, my size is sold out by the time I get to my cart.
I did notice that a lot of sizes were already out in all three colors, and I don’t know if J.Crew is planning to restock so if you’re thinking about buying a pair, I wouldn’t wait (especially if you happen to live in a warmer climate where you can wear sandals longer than 4 months out of the year — you’ll really get more bang for your buck).
I love that these shoes can be worn with shorts, dresses (long and short!), pants, jumpsuits… you name it! A very pretty, classic, minimalist sandal that’s perfect for summer! If you’re looking for ideas, here are just a few ways I plan to style them:
I hope this review helps you in making the best decision for your wardrobe!
Happy shopping, friends!
Sending hugs —