Gladiator stylesA few years ago, I got rid of a prized pair of flat gladiator sandals – you know, the perfect fit, color, style,…, thinking that surely, gladiators were on their way out. Well, every summer since then, I have longed for those perfect sandals. And I’ve learned a hard lesson: gladiators aren’t actually a trend; they are a summer staple.

This summer I confirmed that in New York and L.A., gladiators are not going anywhere (well actually, they’re walking down the street!) And there’s a grecian-inspired something for everyone! If you’ve wondered if you might be able to pull them off, check out these 8 ideas I’ve gathered on how to do it.

1) Cuffed, destroyed jeans cry out for interesting footwear. It’s a perfect match for the low-key flat gladiator sandal with straps up to the ankle.
Styling gladiators with jeans
New York
2) For those who prefer the bolder tall gladiator, short shorts or a denim mini skirt with frayed hem – most anything with a short hem, really – are definitely in order.
Styling gladiators in L.A.

Of course, that isn’t to say that short gladiators don’t also go well with shorts – love this black and white combination!

Styling short gladiator sandals
New York
3) I know, I’ve claimed that gladiators aren’t so much a trend anymore, but it’s a good idea to combine them with a few classic pieces for a more individual look. 

I’d prefer the look to the left (below), for example, if the choker, frayed cut-offs, or fringe, were replaced by something timeless. The look to the right of this, in contrast, suggests more of a personal/authentic style.

Styling gladiators in LA and NYC
A recent Stylecaster article features additional ways of styling high gladiators. /  L.A. – New York

Shorter gladiators worn with interesting color choices make up an outfit that is trendy and unique.

styling gladiators with a mini skirt
4) For something softer, gladiators can be worn with a shift dress.

A high-low version and tall gladiators allow for some fun with proportions, while a more classic shift is a lovely match for an ankle-high pair (so very much like the one I chucked!)

styling gladiators with a dress
New York – L.A.
5) I am in love with the block heel of this laced-up, gladiator-inspired sandal and the way it’s styled here.

Yes, the stripes of the dress are very different from those in the shoe, but I actually like it. To me, the shoes resemble a partially melted version of the dress’s stripes – sort of like the Prada Spring/Summer 2017 show for men full of whimsical, rule-breaking pattern mixes.

gladiator-inspired sandals
6) And here is my more matchy-matchy boho maxi dress look with high-heeled gladiators.

If the dress were a few inches shorter, it would also work well with a flat version.

Styling gladiators with a maxi dress
My boho style, Seattle
7) If you prefer a sophisticated, sexy look, a gladiator-inspired lace-up heel pairs perfectly with a body-con sheath dress.
gladiator heels
8) My fave gladiator look was modeled by this woman who I – not surprisingly – encountered in front of The Broad (modern art museum) in L.A.

She shared with me that her gladiators are vintage and that she bought the two-toned (yellow and light blue) metallic-y shift dress to go with them. Check out her sculptural bracelet! ?

vintage gladiators

I have to say that those grecians were definitely on to something when they came up with this style. When you find the right pair for you, it’s something that can be savored for many, many summers! ?

Which is your favorite look?

XO, Janea


Psst! Thinking of getting some gladiator sandals? Here’s some link love for



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9 Comments on 8 Ideas for Pulling Off Gladiator Sandals

  1. David
    June 27, 2016 at 5:06 pm (10 months ago)

    Woo! Nice looks.

    • Janea
      June 28, 2016 at 11:32 am (10 months ago)

      Thank you, David! 🙂

    • Janea
      June 29, 2016 at 8:57 pm (10 months ago)

      So glad you liked them, Doreen! Janea XO

    • Janea
      June 30, 2016 at 4:20 pm (10 months ago)

      Glad you were inspired! Janea XO

    • Janea
      July 1, 2016 at 7:12 am (10 months ago)

      Thanks, Hadasah! Janea XO


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