Amal Clooney Is Making a Case for This Hotly Contested Summer Shoe Trend

 She’s actually been wearing it for years.

Amal Clooney wedge trend
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I think I donated all my old cork wedge sandals when I turned old enough to drink. The trend was far from over by then, and the pair of gold Michael Kors ones I bought because Blair Waldorf owned them on Gossip Girl reminded me too much of trying to open up an old bottle of Albariño.

I think that has to do with why exactly the cork wedge fell out of favor. They remind too many people of too many things. Ask someone to play word association with the trend and you're likely to hear it all: Sticky nights at Liv in Miami with men whose hair is just too slicked back! Snooki tripping in Jersey Shore, only to get up, trip again, and find her way escorted out of a club! A really bad night with an even worse prom date! I've never heard anyone describe a perfectly normal evening or outfit or setting featuring a cork wedge. (Then again, maybe that's more of an issue with the 2010s than it is with the shoe itself.) But then someone mentioned Amal Clooney's most recent date night.

While in the south of France with George Clooney, Amal wore a sold-out Emilio Pucci mini dress with cut-outs, an oversized straw hat, and big, round Max Mara sunglasses. The look reminded me of one of the very first music videos I saw on MTV: Jennifer Lopez in "I'm Going to Be Alright." I was a hispanic girl from the outer boroughs, and Lopez was my queen. Her summer looked like mine: beach chairs on the sidewalk and baseball games in the street.

wedge platform sandals
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Shop now: $90; nordstrom.com

She was dressed not unlike Clooney just the other week, in a look that actually pulled inspiration from Jodie Foster's iconic outfit in Taxi Driver. Both Foster and Lopez wore large, floppy hats, micro-shorts, and wrap tops with tall cork wedges. Maybe Clooney had been listening to "Jenny From the Block" while getting ready, or maybe she is just better at remembering all the good times we've had with cork wedges, too.

Wedges date back to the days of plays in ancient Greece. While acting out comedies, tragedies, and satyr stories, the most important actors were differentiated by wedges. The shoes were a status symbol, a way to tower over the ensemble and show you were the main character. In the 1940s, Ferragamo experimented with Sardinian cork as a material for the first time thanks to sanctions against Italy. In other words, cork wedges have a rich history and a starring role in Jennifer Lopez's iconic 2000s music video career, yet we have the audacity to suggest they're not 'It'? Even Kate Middleton, actual royalty, has worn them recently.

From what I remember, cork wedges are definitely less controversial than sneaker wedges but for the most part, they're nearly as comfortable. They're also affordable. Even when I was in high school, designer cork wedges were one of the only things I saw on Gossip Girl that I could afford. Now you can buy a simple pair by Toms for $90 or a luxe, $754 (currently on sale for under $400!) option by Casadei with dainty, bright yellow scalloped details. So maybe let's try another round of word association. When I hear cork wedges, I'm going to think "sandals of the summer" (and admittedly, about drinking lots of glasses of Albariño).

Shop the controversial trend Amal Clooney is definitely bringing back, below.

See By Chloe 'Glyn' Espadrille Wedge Sandal

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Shop now: $255; nordstrom.com

Soludos Wedge Lace-Up Espadrille Sandal

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Shop now: $115; nordstrom.com

Toms Marisol Espadrille Wedge Sandal

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Shop now: $80; nordstrom.com

Jeffrey Campbell Channel Wedge Platform Sandal

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Shop now: $200; nordstrom.com

Paige Taylor Platform Wedge Sandal

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Shop now: $298; nordstrom.com

Veronica Beard Dali Platform Wedge Sandal

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Shop now: $300; nordstrom.com

Stuart Weitzman Wedge Sandal

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Shop now: $225 (Originally $375); nordstrom.com

Chloe Woody Logo Espadrille Platform Wedge Sandal

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Shop now: $293 (Originally $650); nordstrom.com

Gucci Aitana Espadrille Wedge Sandal

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Shop now: $670; nordstrom.com

Saint Laurent Tribute Espadrille Wedge

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Shop now: $745; nordstrom.com

Casadei Cork Wedged Sandals

Amal Clooney Wedge Trend
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Shop now: $1,072 (Originally $1,128); farfetch.com

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