9.21.2011

To Birk Or Not To Birk...

image via clare vivier

image via dullDiamond

While I may not *need* "gold" flatware, it could be argued (and it often is by my husband) that I actually do need (in the true sense of the word) to own some practical shoes. Apparently wedges are not "practical" footwear. Who knew?

Friends, I like some height with my shoe. I do... It just is what it is. I am not a fan of flats (on me), and until last summer, when a sudden urge to exercise necessitated the purchase of some kicks, I didn't own a pair of tennis shoes. (I never, ever wear those tennis shoes though, I'm not gonna lie.)

But all of the sudden, I am seriously considering (wait for it) a pair of black Gizeh Birkenstock sandals.

The Gizehs first entered my subconscious when I was in NYC last month and spotted a supremely chic girl in a long black skirt and a simple tank sporting them. She looked awesome. Then I noticed a few shots of them popping up over on Emily and Jen's fantastic blog for their jewelry line dullDiamond. And finally there were the photos over on Clare's blog of that v. cool girl in the Tucker dress (with the sweet red bike) rocking a pair.

Now I'm a bit obsessed... And to add to the allure, they seem to be on sale everywhere right now, as apparently the rest of the country considers these "summer shoes". Ha! Clearly they do not live in Texas ;-)

So whattya think? Yay or Nay on the Birks?

57 comments:

nichole said...

Hey Joslyn!

Lots of women wear them here in NYC, and they look fantastic! I say go for it (you can certainly pull it off). ;)

Hannah said...

This is a battle I wage with myself. I am still undecided on the Birks for myself, but love them on other people who can carry them off...

Carolyn said...

I have a pair of black Gizehs and wear them almost every day in the summer (which is only a few months of the year here in the north east!). They are easily my favorite sandal. I say yay on the birks!

Melissa said...

Yes to the Birks! I love the Gizehs. I bought some but they were too big. Summer's over here in the NW so I'll probably wait to buy another pair.

Phoebe said...

I think they need to be paired with notably feminine outfits. I think they'd even be too chunky/masculine with shorts. They'd look too granola. But with skirts, or even jeans with a ruffled top, I could see them working.

SuchSmallSteps said...

Hmmm, I wore them in high school but not sure I would again. But they are really comfortable! A little hippie for my current style but cute with the looks above.

Mrs. Habit said...

I have those in light suede and LOVE them! So comfy, and super cute if you ask me :)

I fell for them a couple years ago after spotting them with wide leg jeans on Elizabeth Olsen.

Alyssa said...

Hahah, i have the same problem, i think wedges are appropriate for errands, outdoor events, and any weekend outtings, my bf on the other hand does not!
I had a pair of these a few years back, they last forever and were supremely comfy! I say go for it, esp at the sale prices!

dz_g said...

Yes! I finally bought a pair of black patent Gizeh's at the beginning of the summer and then wondered what took me so long to get them!

Heather said...

I have totally wrangled with this and done a completely amateur survey and believe that it comes down to whether one wore Birks in highschool or not. I did so although I think they are stinkin' cute on some folks they just ain't my thing. How about some Toms or Bensimons? ; )

natalie said...

I say YAY! I've been coveting the silver ones for a while now... might be time to bite the bullet.

chantelle said...

I LOVE my Birks. Do it!

Emma at The Marion House Book said...

I have a pair in white!

Jennifer said...

Going on my third (or 4th?) year with the shiny patent black ones. Love them. Do it.

Kelly and Kelly said...

Other women seem to rock them and can make them look good. I feel like I can't. But maybe it's the style, I've never tried these.

emily said...

i first bought them on our honeymoon in paris 7 years ago. those were blue. gone through every color in between since. i wear them with sequined band pants and cut-offs and everything in between. TO BIRK!

Laura said...

I started wearing Gizehs about five years ago, and now I have three pairs in different colors. They go with everything - dresses, skirts, rolled up jeans. Like anything else in fashion it's all how you rock it.

PS I've been reading your blog for a while and I've noticed that you say "all of the sudden". I've only ever heard or read that as "all of a sudden". Is that a regional thing? Sorry, I'm a bit of a geek about the English language.

jamesAnn said...

I wear a shimmery pearl version of those sandals almost every day! :) They are so comfortable and so versatile. I go from skirts, to dresses, to jeans. I love them.

JMc said...

I never would have worn Birks in high school, but bought these (in matte grey) this year and love them. I think the fact that they are open on the side makes them more flattering, almost like a flip-flop, but with support.

Erin Riley said...

I love my Birks; they're cute and the most comfortable shoes I own.

Nadya Sagner said...

It always amazes me how you tap into my own taste and style! Been debating the same thing. I think they're totally cute. Maybe the onyx color?

The Wizzle said...

I have wanted a pair of Gizehs for, literally, years. Why don't I just get some already? I don't know. I think they would be a step up form my OluKai flip flops, which are not for "real" clothes.

Melissa said...

I have a few pair of Birks I purchased in Germany and they are so comfy and I actually get compliments on them. I say go for it.

molly said...

I got a gold pair of Gizehs early this year when it just started warming up and I love them. I wear them almost every day. They take a bit to break in but become incredibly comfortable. I say "to birk" :) I had no idea they were becoming so popular. Nice to now I was ahead. I not so fashion forward. Do let us know if you end up with the black.

kelli said...

I myself say no to them. I do not like how my foot looks wide and flat (of course I am looking down at them)
You I think can pull these off. Others seem to do really great with them?
If you could find something else that made you skip I would.
Smiles and happy shopping.

Joslyn said...

Laura -- I think you're right...it should actually be "all of a sudden"...sadly, i was an English major so I should know this!

I think "all of the sudden" is a southern thing. at least that's what i'm going with ;-)

Anne Living Life said...

Yay for birks! I also like my simple Sanuk's. I've thrown them in the washing machine twice.

Christian said...

I too, have seen them all over blog land and went to scope them out in person -- I fully intended on buying them, but I just couldn't pull the trigger. They just seem so wide on my feet and also there's the whole lack of height thing. Have you tried the TOMS wedges? I have them in grey and can wear them with just about everything-- plus I think they would carry into Texas late Fall too. If you do get the birks, post pics!

jen shannon said...

I have a pair of gold gizehs that I bought 2 years ago. I love them and wear them with dresses and skirts. I fell in love with the comfort level compared to my wedges.

Leah said...

along with everyone else-i say yes! i love birks & could care less if they appear granola-y. to each his own! i have a pair of mephisto that are really similar to the gizehs. paired with the right thing, i think they can look chic.

jora said...

I noticed that particular style of Birks all over cute girls Italy this summer....so I guess that makes me a "yay." ;-)

celinejn said...

I've been wearing Gizeh's for 8 years now. The only problem is: nothing else will ever feel comfortable again. NOTHING.

Felicity said...

Do it! I've been wearing Birks since high school and I see no reason to stop now. They are amazingly comfortable. I wear my Madrids all the time when the weather is warm. If you end up liking them I should warn you that one color won't be enough.

Caitlin said...

Definitely go for it! Every woman in Paris wears them - love the black patent leather ones. I've been tempted so many times to purchase them. Plus, they are super comfy!

Shannon said...

BIRKS FOREVER!
Go for it!

Heather Taylor said...

say yes to the birks! love

elisabeth said...

I have the metallic goldy-brown ones and I seriously love them.

Angela Lee said...

Birk till the cows come home. Your feet will thank you. As you well know if you style it the right way no one will confuse it as "granola style." My goodness you are one of the most stylish women on the net.

Lori @ Studio Waterstone said...

Hmm...I have four pair. It's a resounding yes.

stephanie duncan said...

based on all the comments, i feel silly for not owning a pair myself! can't wait to see an outfit post featuring your new birks!

colette said...

Love my black patient Gizeh's! It took me a minute to embrace the look as I love heels and as much height as I can walk on but I have to admit I have my Birks on everynight and most weekend days.
I say go for it!!!!!!

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

joslyn,
i'm no fashionista, but i do own a pair of birks and I LOVE THEM! perhaps it is a Marin County thing, but my gosh, they are amazing and i wear them all the time. hippie love, go for it!

bisous,
melissa

leah said...

i own a red pair of 'birkies' and a pair of 'birkie' clogs and i love them both. maybe not uber stylish but definately comfy {after the first week} and good for your feet. i reckon 'to birk'. i just saw the samet dress on your loving list, i just blogged about the ilana kohn's fw:11 collection.... the samet dress was even in a dream i had... i may be obssessed! you can see it here if you like... http://sangthebird.com.au/

Megan Taylor said...

a zillion yays! You go, girl!

Jessica said...

I have a pair in a Pucci-esque print that I love a lot, but then I am a flats girl (heels hurt!). I say go for it. They are versatile, comfortable, and stylish. And if you truly do need a pair of flat sandals....

Sherry said...

I have the same pair and love them. They are perfect for the days my feet need a break. They are pretty fashionable in the birk world. Side note: I can't believe you don't wear tennies. Please tell me that you don't have to work out to stay so fit and slim? Lucky girl!

Cassie said...

This style is not what I consider "Birks" even though made by Birkenstock. They're chic and obviously comfortable/supportive.

tory said...

Absolutely go get yourself a pair of Gizehs. I've had a pair for seven years and love love love them.

My three pieces of advice are:
- Never wear them in the (hopefully eventual) rain or let them get wet.
- No matter where you're on serious sale, because you've never had Birkenstocks before, get yourself to Whole Earth (I'm positive there's one in Dallas, or the next time you're in Austin, pop into the one on Lamar) and try a few pairs on. They're German shoes, and they're built for possibly-wide feet, so you might need to get a narrow width or size down or something. Once you've figured out your size, order away (though maybe they're on sale at Whole Earth, too?)
- Break them in _slowly_. The arch can be super-aggressive and mine still rub blisters on my arch if I've not worn them for months.

All of that said, they're the best. Shorts, jeans, dresses, whatever; they look fabulous (& wind up making everyone's calves look incredible! I don't get how, but they do.)

Stephanie said...

a big fat NO to the birks. sorry, not a fan. now that shirt dress in the photo, i love.

meme said...

wow!
i never would have guessed the question "to birk, or not to..." would elicit such a response.
i assumed a pair of black gizehs were a fashion staple.
living & working in ny taught me value of a comfortable shoe. and more than that, i learned to work a comfort shoe into a girly look. what's more sexy? a happy girl strolling down the avenue in a gizeh, or one hobbling around suffering in the wrong shoe?

jill danyelle said...

i finally bought some silver prada sport sandals. i needed something comfortable with a modicum of style. they are really just like fancy tevas - but sooo comfortable. i live in nyc, where "practical" shoes are often a necessity. ended up wearing the heck out of them the past two summers. but i have always liked the Gizehs. you can rock those.

Theweddingbandcompany said...

These are my favorite sandals.I used to wear them in my college time.These are very comfortable.

Platinum Wedding Bands

melissa loves said...

Well, I am not going to lie...I love mine. They are the exact pair you are talking about and they are my faves. I know everyone has an opinion but, I think they have a certain laid back cool factor, especially with jeans or a pretty dress....just my opinion. :) I think you could rock 'em darlin! ")
xo
Melis

petersenkris said...

Well I am going to date myself with my Gizeh's as they are from Eugene, OR 1989 and still going strong and apparently fashionable now!! Do it, you will love how they make your feet feel and apparently, if you want more color selection purchase them from a UK/German site. I was sorely tempted to replace mine this year..

Nomadic D. said...

Wow, I don't know about this. While it's true that every once in a while I see someone who is truly rocking them and I think to myself "huh, look at that, that actually looks amazing", I think the reality is it's kind of hard to do. It may have to do with leg shape, this is my personal theory. If you have supernaturally gorgeous long lean legs, then these shoes cannot hurt you (no shoes can, for that matter). but if you depend on your footwear to help the line, to actually DO something FOR you, then I don't think these would work. There's something about the wideness and flatness that I think is tricky ground. On the other hand, they're supposed to be mad comfortable, and really, who cares? As you can see, I'm of two minds on this.

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

Allison said...

YES! I have a gold pair of Gizehs that I have to force myself not to wear. I also have a black shiny pair, an ivory pair, and (eBay discovery) a camouflage patterned pair. I used to hate Birkenstocks. Now I love them.

kalanicut said...

Revisiting this post with plans to buy a pair. I'm not sure if anyone mentioned it, but you can buy Gizeh sandals in narrow sizes. The narrow does make a big difference in the fit & visual appearance, that wide clunky feeling you can get with birkenstocks regular cut.