This 90s accessory is a fashion insider favourite

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Grace Cook
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Instagram proves that PVC sandals are here to stay.

At the weekend, model Bella Hadid stepped out in Los Angeles wearing the ultimate 90s shoe – the PVC sandal. And it got us thinking of all the reasons why this nostalgic shoe choice is the summer sandal of dreams. 

Back then, the PVC sandal was a bit risque and not exactly chic — a cross between jelly sandals and Birkenstocks, both of which were equally very much of the era. But in 2019, the sandal has had a chic overhaul. Worn recently by the likes of Margot Robbie and Kirsten Dunst, the simple, understated design and streamlined silhouette mean that the PVC acts almost as an invisible strap, so the shoes can be as statement or as minimalist as you like. It’s no surprise that the fashion pack, too, are loving the style.

Bella’s low-heeled sandals were edged in black, with an iridescent PVC finish that made them look both cute and suitably space-age — they were the perfect accessory for such a summery look. Meanwhile, influencers like Pernille Teisbaek are loving Chanel’s clear mules, that are emblazoned with the logo across the shoes like a Chanel-branded slogan manicure.  Teaming it with a cute white dress that looks very Cecilie Bahnsen-esque, Pernille shows that PVC can be quaint — a sartorial oxymoron if ever there was one. 

But PVC today is undeniably chic — especially when worn with crisp white trousers and a blazing manicure. And best of all, there are a whole host of heeled and flat versions on the market now, so there’s guaranteed to be a style to suit every taste.

Shop our favourite picks here.


ByFar PVC sandals at Harvey Nichols

We can imagine Cher from Clueless sporting these mules. With a chunky heel and a powder blue colourway, these strappy PVC slip-ons are as perfect with mini skirts as they are with chic white trousers. 

ByFar Lola sandals, £325 at Harvey Nichols


Neous PVC sandal

British brand Neous are our go-to for directional footwear silhouettes – the label’s Chost mule in white is virtually invisible, save for the cool toe-post strap and white heel. Wear with simple black dresses for the ultimate monochrome look.

Neous Chost sandal, £455 at Net-a-Porter

Rosetta Getty

Rosetta Getty PVC sandals

Blending a classic bohemian lace-up design with futuristic PVC straps, these Rosetta Getty sandals offer the best of both worlds. Pair with simple shirt dresses and statement sunglasses. 

Leather and PVC sandals, £178, Rosetta Getty

Sophia Webster

Sophia Webster PVC sandals

As glitzy as Paris Hilton in her diamante days, these flat sandals from Sophia Webster are a great choice for a laid-back event where you want to feel a bit dressy. With a silver toe strap and a chunkier PVC one covered in jewels, wear this sandal with mini skirts or cropped trousers. 

Sophia Webster Dina sandal, £250, Matches Fashion

Simon Miller

Simon Miller PVC mule

Name us a more on-trend shoe than this. In a fluro-orange colourway with a retro kitten heel, these sandals are ideal teamed with everything from fun summer dresses to high-waisted jeans. 

Small Tee PVC mules, £370, Simon Miller

Images: courtesy of brands