If there’s one timeless pair of summer shoes that you can have in your wardrobe and rely on forever, it’s a pair of espadrilles. The rope-soled canvas shoe that began as practical summer footwear for 14th-century peasants in the Spanish Pyrenees has come a long way.
Worn by stars of the silver screen such as Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall and Audrey Hepburn and still worn by celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé today, it’s worth investing in a quality pair of women’s espadrilles.
A sustainable choice
The fact that espadrilles are still popular today and have never gone out of fashion is a reflection upon their design genius. If you’re conscious about sustainability and often filter your fashion app searches as such, you’ll know that if you buy a pair of espadrilles they’ll be in your wardrobe for years; you won’t be replacing them frequently. It’s also worth looking out for espadrilles which are made from recycled materials.
So why hasn’t this footwear champion dated at all? Well, it’s all down to style and versatility. Good design must serve a purpose and inspire beautiful craftsmanship — and this is the essence of the espadrille. They’re multipurpose, seeing you through every summer occasion. You can wear them to countless events.
The office summer party
One of the reasons that espadrilles are so loved is that they’re stylish, but comfortable. Office parties might involve moving on to a venue straight from the office. Or you could be walking between venues in a city centre. Flat espadrilles look good with a skirt, dress or wide-leg trousers and you can dress them up or down, the perfect choice for day-to-night office wear.
The classic espadrille style — is ideal for wearing with a maxi skirt for a day in the office, but this also offers a dramatic look for the evening. Simply add some statement jewellery or a biker jacket if the summer night air is cool. The Y2K mini is also stylish again and flat espadrilles offer the perfect way to make a mini comfortable for work.
Flat espadrille ankle-strap sandals are the perfect choice for walking on a sandy beach as the sand won’t become trapped in the shoe and you won’t sink as you walk. And pair them up with a raffia bag for the perfect beach look.
Flat espadrille sandals look preppy when paired with shorts or a pleated skirt. Or you can create a bohemian look, with a long flowing beach dress, elements of tie-dye or crochet and lots of accessories. If you’re going on a boat trip, the slip-on, closed-toe espadrille is ideal for getting on and off the boat with ease and keeping your feet steady while on board.
And with these flat espadrilles your feet will still be comfortable if you take a walk away from the beach or go for a bike ride (whereas beach flip-flops… not so much).
The summer social calendar
Whether it’s the races, a regatta, polo or a garden party, summer events often involve dressing up and walking on grass. A classic flat espadrille can be worn at any of these events.
Espadrilles are incredibly comfortable and will allow you to walk with ease for long periods of time.
City breaks involve eating, drinking, shopping and culture galore. They also involve lots and lots (and lots) of walking. In summer, you’re more likely to get some warm weather, which is perfect for sitting outside a street café sipping a cool drink, but isn’t so great for hot feet.
Casual slip-on espadrilles are the best footwear for a city break. They’ll keep your feet cool and comfortable and will be quick to dry out if you experience a surprise rain shower. These relaxed espadrilles can be worn with jeans, shorts or a sundress: they’re super-versatile. Team them up with some Ray-Ban Wayfarers for an insouciant, cool look as you explore the city.
Cocktail party wear is more glam than smart casual, but not as dressy as black tie. A cocktail dress was clearly made for the event. The cocktail dress usually stops at the knee (not mini or maxi). Jumpsuits or wide-legged trousers and a blazer also work well.
Pair the cocktail dress, trousers or jumpsuit with some espadrille sandals. These platforms are comfortable for wearing all evening when you won’t be walking far and they will give you the comfort that you seek later in the evenings. Celebrities like Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga and Doja Cat have been championing the platform recently, and if you want to stand out, it’s the choice for you.
Whether you choose glamorous and classy espadrilles or classic espadrille flats, there really is an espadrille style for everyone — this summer, and the summers which follow.