Stella McCartney, Chloe, Bottega Veneta, and Bruno Cucinelli will cost you hundreds for a pair of clogs this season. Too bad your shoe purchase doesn’t come with a manual on how to wear clogs. While the clog trend is hot, the clunky shoe style isn’t easy to wear.
The main wearability issue is that clogs add bulk to your lower half. To wear them successfully, you need to balance that amount — which may require more thought than reaching for a garment on top of a pile of clean laundry.
But this is a fashion challenge that you can handle. Read on for a guide to styling clogs, along with seven clog outfit ideas and clog style FAQs. And, just for fun, I’ll also share how clogs first became a fashion statement.
Guide: How to wear clogs
Before clogs were a trend, there were two types of clog wearers:
- First there were people who needed comfortable shoes due to plantar fasciitis and other foot problems. Dansko clogs in particular are gentle on the feet, so you’ll see nurses wearing them.
- Second were the fashion superfans who remember the 2010 Chanels that catapulted the clog style to stardom (more on that below).
Now that clogs are making their way into mainstream fashion, it’s easy for more moderate fashionistas to experiment with the style. But, as mentioned, there are challenges in balancing shoe bulk. Miss the mark there and you might feel like an extra That 70s Show.
So how do you achieve that balance? There are three steps here:
- Choose other pieces that are visually bold or have a flared shape.
- Emphasize your waistline.
- Bare your ankles.
Let’s talk about each of these.
Tip 1: Choose another piece that is visually bold or has a flared shape
Here are some nifty ideas:
- Statement Necklace
- Colorful scarf
- Bold earrings and an updo
- Play up your best feature with dramatic makeup like a smokey eye or a fire engine red lip
- A-line skirt or dress. Keep the hemline on the short side.
- Cropped jacket or blazer with stylish embellishments
- Long sleeve crop top
- Drapey or bright top
Tip 2: Emphasize your waistline
Highlighting your waist helps you avoid the problem of being bulky all over. A baggy top and wide-leg pants with chunky shoes create the shape of a large oak tree. Not a great look on anyone. fixed? Add a belt to the mix and you’re suddenly an hourglass.
Waist strengthening techniques include:
- Wear a belt. Experiment with thick and thin styles to see which works best for you. Do the same with patterned belts and solid colors.
- Wear pieces with a hemline that falls at your waist — cropped tops and jackets. Team with high-waisted bottoms.
Tip 3. Bare your ankles
Leathering the top of your shoes is another shape-defining technique. Also, the separation between your clothes and shoes will show your stylish shoes. If you’re going to wear a trendy leather boot, you want the audience to see it, right?
Achieve bare ankles with cropped pants, rolled cuffs or (more precisely) mid-length or short hemlines.
Note that longer hemlines often work well with sandal-style or heeled clogs. If your clog is classic or too chunky, you’ll want to show more leg.
7 clog outfit ideas
1. A flowy blouse and clogs with distressed denim
Distressed jeans look great with clogs. You can get a boyfriend jean with a frayed hemline, cropped jean or rolled cuffs. Any of these options look amazing with mule clogs. Try your skinny jeans with clog sandals.
@kasirae shows us how it’s done. Her top may be neutral in color, but it has style in all the right places. To keep her waist from disappearing, she uses a short bob in the front.
2. Clogs with a floral midi dress
An easy way to clog style is a light, floral midi dress. The breeziness of the dress is a nice contrast to the weighty, sharp clogs.
3. An ankle boot instead of clogs
Try subbing the outfits you normally wear with ankle boots On a lazy day, for example, pair with jeans and a cute t-shirt. If it’s chilly, top it off with your favorite moto jacket.
That outfit could end up being your street style ensemble. Add big sunglasses and messy hair and someone might think you’re an off-duty model — especially if you opt for a bold shoe like bright red clogs or platform clogs.
4. Clogs with cropped trousers
When you need a more sophisticated outfit, wear your clogs with cropped, straight-leg trousers. Finish the look with a simple, tucked-in top and belt.
5. An A-line skirt and clogs with tights
On days when you’re feeling playful, add a pair of clogs to an A-line skirt, tights, and blouse. With this outfit, darker colors have a more youthful vibe. If you want to tone down the schoolgirl feel, choose dark, neutral colors like gray, brown and navy blue.
6. Clogs with shorts
Shorts and clogs are one thing! It’s also good news for us low-maintenance fashionistas. Clogs with shorts make a comfortable and easy outfit that is very stylish.
Start with black clogs, add denim shorts and a neat t-shirt or button-down top. Complete the outfit with a structured, waist-length blazer or leather jacket.
7. Clogs with a sweater dress
Here’s another casual weekend outfit that’s also quite polished – anchor your favorite brown-toned sweater dress with a pair of classic clogs. The soft knit of the sweater contrasts nicely with the wood and weight of the shoes.
Clog style FAQs
Still wondering how to wear clogs? All right. You are not alone. There are a few questions that pop up regularly about styling clogs. Here’s what I hear most often.
1. Should I wear socks with clogs?
You can wear socks with clogs. This is a high risk, high reward fashion strategy though. The look can either catapult you to fashion queen status in your social circle. Or, clogs with socks can look simply sloppy. To achieve the fashion-queen status effect, keep the rest of your outfit neat and structured. Go for cropped blazers, belts, tucked-in tops, etc. Avoid long cardigans or oversized silhouettes.
2. Can I wear sandals in summer?
Yes, you can wear sandals in summer. A sandal style will be more comfortable than a classic wooden clog. Pair your clog sandals with shorts or a cute floral skirt.
3. How to wear clogs to work?
Mule clogs paired with cropped trousers, belts and tucked-in, soft knit sweaters make for a polished work outfit.
4. Can I wear clogs without socks?
You can wear sandals without socks, especially mules and sandals. You can invest in some deodorant powder to keep your trendy shoes fresh.
5. Can you wear clogs with leggings?
A modern clog can look amazing with leggings. Try black clogs paired with black leggings as your starting point.
For fun: How clogs became a fashion statement
The dictionary defines a clog as a shoe with a thick wooden sole. In practice, a clog is usually backless and has a platform-type sole. The style dates back to 14th-century Scandinavia – for centuries thereafter, peasants and the working class chose clogs for comfort and protection.
It wasn’t until the 20th century that clunky wooden shoes became fashionable. Wikipedia reports that clogs began their rise in the 70s and 80s, when both men and women began wearing them — thanks to the popular Swedish pop group ABBA.
2007 Viktor & Rolf Ready-to-Wear
Clogs stepped into the fashion spotlight when they appeared in Viktor & Rolf’s 2007 ready-to-wear collection. These designs have bright colors and intricate patterns. My guess is they would have stolen the show, if the models weren’t also wearing metal frames and spotlights.
Chanel SS 2010
The quirky shoe received another prominent designer endorsement in 2010. Chanel’s 2010 SS designers were anchored by modern clogs with platform heels, thick straps and metal stud details. The style has since been copied by the masses, with cheaper versions being found at Payless every spring.