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The Look: Pool Party

As the half way point between green and blue on the color wheel, aqua is an easy compromise for brands on the fence between two of the biggest footwear trends for Spring ’16. The color brings breezy, coolness to the trove of ’70-inspired clogs and sandals landing in the market for spring. Meanwhile, aqua is an energizing pop of newness in the ongoing demand for athletic-inspired designs.

It is also a refreshing and tranquil color designers feel comfortable using, especially after consecutive spring seasons weighed down by the starkness and bleakness of black and white footwear. The color is accepted across categories. It looks sharp in a broad range of materials and it makes sun-kissed skin glow. Aqua offers just enough color to excite without being gauche. It is, after all, the signature color of Tiffany.

Before you dive into aqua head first, here are some “pool rules” to follow for Spring ’16:

1. Think texture. The color naturally evokes a cheerful vibe, so play it up with patents, iridescent leathers, foils and glitter. Take it from Australia Luxe Collective, which paired dandy-esque brogues made of teal canvas with aqua chainmail, and seafoam green lace-ups with insets of fish-like scales. The brand basically made a collection that mermaids would feel right at home in if given the opportunity to have feet.

2. Color block the heck out of aqua because it simply works. Aqua look sharp and sophisticated alongside basics like gray, black, white or navy. Next to cherry red, bright yellow or coral, aqua’s cooling qualities help to make it a calm and unexpected base color.

3. Be a natural. Whether its moss or seafoam, or pistachio or mint, shades of aqua exist everywhere in nature. Embrace its earthy roots with dusty shades of pastel green leather. Cat makes a subtle color statement with cut-out spring boots in mint. The boot is perfect for digging up some dirt at Coachella. Meanwhile, Emu adds a dash of seafoam green to a collection of chic work to weekend sandals that blend into any neutral wardrobe.

4. Keep it cool. Unlike its fellow pastel cohorts pink and lavender, which can teeter the line between sweet and cavity-inducing, aqua is widely accepted in both men’s and women’s, high and low, mass and boutique. It’s an understandable color, which is why it stands strongly on its own as a canvas slip-on sneaker, a classic boat shoe, or as a buttery soft suede lace-up by Sebago.