Growing up in Arizona, I believed that summer should be spent in sandals. From May to September, my sock drawer gathered dust as I wore a neverending parade of flip-flops, flip-flops, and more flip-flops. Maybe I would throw on some sneakers for a trip to the gym, but why bother when you can splash around in the backyard pool?
But then I came to New York and realized that, sometimes, summer means unexpected afternoon rain storms and cloudy, muggy days. But does that mean I'm going to be wearing rain boots all the time, just to be safe? Of course not! I'm going to wear cute, impractical sandals, weather be damned.
Few fabrics are more impractical than suede, which makes them that much more attractive on shoes. I first heard of Marais USA on the Lucky Magazines Shopgirl blog, and quickly fell in love with their color-saturated shoes. The Crosby T-strap in eggplant, $68, is definitely my favorite. To the left, you can see the orange version on a model (while I question the background of a forest for suede open-toed sandals, I appreciate that Marais shows you both what their shoes look like on their own and what they look like on a foot. I think a lot of shoe sites avoid the latter because they don't want to attract foot fetishists, but I firmly believe that you need to see a shoe being worn before knowing if its actually cute). I like how this shoes has a little more coverage; with the panel on top and covering on the back of the heel, you could take these shoes to a fairly nice restaurant without feeling like a bum.
So, in case you've never been to Paris (and what are you waiting for? Go! It really is all it's cracked up to be), Le Marais is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the whole city. Historically, it's a center of Jewish life, and it also has a reputation for attracting the bourgeois. When I visited a friend who was studying abroad in Paris, I wandered around to all the cool vintage shops and bought a real army jacket and an incredibly cool belt, and then she showed me where to get the best falafel in the world.
I think, since I was living out of a backpack at the time, I wore jeans and sneakers and looked horribly American. If I could do it again, I would wear these Prince Wedges, $72, also from Marais USA. The low heel and ankle strap ensures that you won't be hobbling over cobblestones after a few hours of sightseeing, but the fabulous suede ensures that you won't stand out from the preternaturally fabulous citizens of Le Marais. While the black is undeniably classic, and looks incredibly chic on the model below, I think I prefer the cobalt blue version. What can I say? I'm a sucker for those blue suede shoes.