In my not-too-humble opinion, flip-flops in general are straight up ugly. I’m sorry, I’m not sorry. Come on, ladies. We can do better than flip-flops. It’s summertime. It’s hot. But you can still tan those toes without looking like, as my granny would put it, “the girl at the car wash.”

There are so many classy options out there for summer footwear with a more sophisticated feel, it seems a shame to me to settle for those blah, uninteresting flip-flops. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some flops that are totally tolerable-looking, but I want to encourage you all to break free from the cliché king of summer slip-ons, and strive for something better.

Shopping with my 5-year-old last night, he pulled me into the Crocs store in the mall. Needless to say, the fashionista in me cringed a bit as I stepped through the door, but I was more than pleasantly surprised by some of the styles that awaited me inside. Who knew that Crocs could be acceptable for more than serving jobs and gardening?! The buy one get one half off sale was all the enticement I needed to start trying things on, and it mere minutes, I was smitten with a lovely little pair of sling back peep-toe wedges. Real leather upper. Cork sole. Amazingly comfortable. Yeah, you guessed it. I took advantage of said sale, and my son and I sauntered home each with a new pair of summertime kicks.

This experience got me thinking…It really pays to be open-minded in all things, but namely when it comes to dressing ourselves. If I hadn’t been dragged into that store yesterday, I would’ve surely missed out on what may very well turn out to be my favorite pair of shoes this season.

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Leather cut-out flats from Forever 21

Strappy red sandals from Target

Brown strappy platforms from Target

Zipper-heeled two-tone sandals from Target

Croc Wedges

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So over the next couple months, find better ways to show your toes. Go for wedges, strappy sandals, anything but the dreaded foam flip-flops, I beg you! Even go for a close-toed flat with fun cut-outs. Add interest to any summer swag by daring to wear something unconventional. Take advantage of the opportunity to showcase your personal style even in something as simple as footwear. And most importantly, wear what makes you happy!

Happy toe tanning!