Ask my inner preteen to dream up a list of summer trends and jelly sandals would undoubtedly claim the number-one spot. That said, I never actually thought I’d see the return of the best sandal trend in history—not that I’m complaining! As part of Gen Z’s mission to recreate the early aughts fashion they missed out on while still in diapers, they’re bringing back quirky rubber sandals in a big way for 2021.
Jellies are superior sandals for a multitude of reasons. First, they make me feel like a Polly Pocket doll, which is almost always the goal when I’m getting dressed. Second, jellies come in all different colors, so you can play it safe with a wear-with-everything clear pair or opt for sunny yellow, barbie pink or even sky blue. Third, modern-day jellies are comfortable, so rid your mind of any childhood blisters and prepare for some shoes your feet will thank you for.
If you feel like you’re too old for this look, let me stop you right there. Rubber footwear is approved for all ages! You can go full-on kitschy nostalgia with chunky silhouettes by Jessica Simpson and Calvin Klein, but brands like Tory Burch, Coach and SCHUTZ have all debuted thinner, more minimalist jelly slides that are positively chic.
Below, check out my top jelly sandal must-haves for summer 2021. Buy just one pair, buy a few—either way, you won’t regret it. Prepare to garner compliments from every intimidating Gen Z fashionista that spots you on the street this summer.
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Jaylen Jelly Sandal
You can’t go wrong with a pair of clear Birks-inspired sandals for summer. Pair these with absolutely everything.
Natalee Jelly Sandal
Pillow Tabby bags aren’t the only summer essentials you need from Coach! The Natalees are a T-strap sandal with some cute ‘C’ branding.
I’m living for the Citrus Lime shade of these matte jelly sandals! The matte rubber is a little more subtle than its shiny counterpart—and these come in seven fun colors.
Need a rubber jelly sandal for date night? Look no further than this glittery silver rope-inspired style from SHUTZ.
In the name of maximalism, I’m utterly obsessed with these embellished monochrome jelly slides from Jessica Simpson, available in five colorways.
Behold: Your perfect wear-with-everything rubber sandals, also available in opaque white, nude or black.
These chunky platform slides by Marc Fisher are the kind of thing I would’ve died for in my youth. Catch me wearing them now in all five colorways this summer!
Mini Miller Jelly Thong Sandal
Another bougie T-strap option, Tory Burch totally nailed these chic jellies. I think the shade Green Valley is especially luxe, but there are six others if you need options!
Last but in no way least, these Calvin Klein slides have stolen my heart with all their minty jelly goodness.