Friday, 16 August 2013

Jelly Babies


A trend I've noticed recently on Tumblr and particularly on Polyvore is jelly shoes, or jelly sandals. For me they're a complete flashback to about 1999, as I have lots of photos of me toddling around the beach near my grandparents's house wearing a glittery pink pair.

I did some quick research, and found out that they were huge in the 80s and 90s, especially in the mid-80s when you could buy a pair for less than $1 - which makes the prices in shops these days seem ridiculous, as you're often talking more like $30 for good-quality ones. But what is it that's turned jelly shoes from a retro throwback to a cute fashion essential this summer?

In my opinion, it's the same thing that got dungarees back in style - the desire to feel like a kid again, bringing back childhood memories of paddling in the waves in summer, eating ice cream while the van plays its tinny tune, and digging elaborate sandcastles on the beach.

I have to admit that when I first saw photos of people wearing jelly shoes on Polyvore, my initial reaction was "Good God no, what are they wearing?" - but I had time to think, reflect, and create a Tumblr based around all things cute and glittery, and since then I've come to the conclusion that they are some of the most adorable footwear around. Although I'd associate them first and foremost with wearing on the beach and in water (as they're plastic and therefore waterproof), they can also be worn with socks, to fabulous effect:

After seeing so many quirky ways of wearing them, I decided I definitely wanted to get my hands on some - which was when I remembered that there was a lilac pair somewhere downstairs, shoved under the coats several years ago and since then forgotten. But not for much longer, because after a quick root through a heap of gym kit bags and too-small wellies, I found what I think must be a pair of my mum's from about 1993, which I tried on with white knee socks:

I love them, but I've realised that I don't have much in my wardrobe that goes with purple, and for that reason I'm planning on buying a black pair next time I go shopping, as they'll hopefully go with more things and work well with more autumnal clothing. Something I probably ought to mention is that so far I haven't actually seen anyone wearing them in real life, only on Tumblr and Polyvore - which is interesting in itself.

I've been looking into where to buy jelly sandals, and apparently New Look do some for around £10, which is where I'm planning on looking. A popular brand that makes them is JuJu, which sells them in lots of different colours and styles. JuJu claims to be the creator of the 'original British jelly shoe', and stockists for the brand include Topshop, asos, Office, Nasty Gal, River Island and American Apparel. If you live in Australia or the US, you can buy jelly shoes from JellyBeans for around $35.

What do you think of this fashion revival? Would you wear them?



  1. This reminds me of the time my mom went all happy and crazy when she found out espadrilles where back in style. I hope to get a pair of those and these pretty jelly shoes soon :) Here's to comfy retro footwear!