Flashback Fashion — How to Wear Clogs

Runway model wearing clogs and spotlights
collage of four outfits with clogs

In 2009, Lindsey wrote in to us to ask: Here’s a challenge. Could you do an article on how to wear Dansko clogs with some pictures? I have recently acquired plantar fasciitis and I hear these shoes can help. I have a pair, but I’m not sure how to style them. Help! 

Our 2009 Answer: Lindsey, here’s the short answer to your question. The key to staying fashionable while rockin’ clogs is to maintain balance. Clogs add bulk to the bottom half of your body, so you want to balance your upper half with a cool jacket or statement necklace.

Another key style tip is to pair your clogs with tights (please, for the sake of all that is good in the world, DO NOT wear them with nylons or bare legged), and you can even go a little bold with the color or pattern. Just keep in mind that if you go too extreme with color or pattern, you might end up with a kindergartener vibe.

Fast forward to 2017, and we stand by our 8-year-old advice. But we’d like to add a little more depth to the clog conversation. And the first point to tackle is this: how the heck did clogs become a fashion statement anyway?

Short History of Clogs in Fashion

The dictionary defines a clog as a shoe with a thick wooden sole. In practice, a clog is usually backless and has a platform-type sole. The style traces back to 14th century Scandinavia — for centuries thereafter, peasants and the working class chose clogs for comfort and protection.

The clunky wooden shoe didn’t become a fashion piece, though, until the 20th century. Wikipedia reports that clogs began their rise in the ’70s and ’80s, when both men and women starting wearing them — thanks to the wildly popular Swedish pop group ABBA.

2007 Viktor & Rolf Ready-to-Wear

Clogs stepped into the fashion spotlight when they appeared in Viktor & Rolf’s 2007 Ready-to-Wear collection. These designs featured bright colors and intricate patterns. My guess is they would have stolen the show, if the models had not also been wearing metal frames and spotlights.

Chanel SS 2010

The quirky shoe got another prominent designer endorsement in 2010. Chanel’s 2010 SS designers were anchored by modern clogs with platform heels, thick buckles and metal stud details. This style has since been copied by the masses, to the point where you can find cheap versions at Payless every spring.

Styling Clogs Today

Clogs today have two types of groupies. First are the people like Lindsey who need to show their feet some love. Second are fashion superfans who dream of all the different pieces they can wear with a pair of those 2010 Chanels.

When this post originally went live in 2009, we gave Lindsey two outfit options. Both consisted of skirts, tights, cute jackets and, of course, the clogs.

Today, we’ll go another step. I scoured the web for the best clog outfits I could find and organized them all in a Pinterest board for you.

As you can see, there’s no real magic to wearing clogs. You could…

  • Pair them with a simple summer dress to play down their edgy quality.
  • Combine a sandal style clog with a  looser top if they feel too clunky.
  • Go retro and put a scarf in your hair and cuff your jeans.
  • Grab the clogs on a lazy day and use them to style up a basic jeans-and-t outfit.

Our Fav Clog Picks

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a few budget clogs picks, so you can experiment without breaking the bank!

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    Catherine Brock

    As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine, DrLaura.com, Refinery29, Wellness.com and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.

    Blog Comments

    there is only one way to wear clogs… don’t.

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