Espadrilles are an iconic classic, which gives them a high longevity factor (much like Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers). Some seasons though, espadrilles gain momentum and become more fashionable, like they are doing for Spring and Summer 2015. This was not a trend that I forecasted or expected to see, so it’s been fun being caught by surprise.
There is a vast assortment of espadrille styles this season, taking the classic to a new level. The original espadrille was flat with a cotton or canvas upper and jute rope sole and heel. The classic style is still widely available, but there are many variations on the theme. The uppers can be made of leather, pleather or plastic. They can also be colour blocked, patterned, embroidered and perforated. Some flat styles have been cut into sandal silhouettes with ankle straps, or cut away like d’Orsay styles. Hybrid espadrilles with flat platforms and Birkenstock or sneaker uppers make for interesting combinations.
Espadrilles with jute rope wedge heels are also popular, and have become another classic. Heel heights vary, as does the style, material, colour and pattern of the upper. Vamps are both high and low. Elastic inserts make for an extra comfortable fit. To my eye, the options in colours and patterns are just as great as the ones in neutrals.
Espadrilles have their fab and not so fab qualities. First, the fab:
- They are a very wearable and familiar style of footwear, which makes them easy to combine in outfits.
- They provide a strictly casual integrity, which dresses down an outfit despite the fabric of the upper and heel height of the shoe. Espadrilles are an effective way to wear casual heels.
- Wedge heels are stable heels.
- They can be very comfortable.
Then the not so fab:
- They can be unsupportive.
- The jute rope footbed can be scratchy if it’s exposed, which is the case with some of the styles.
- They are a bad choice of footwear for wet Summer weather because the jute rope heel is not weatherproof.
- The jute rope heel can look tatty after one season, especially when you’re hard on your shoes and make them wardrobe workhorses.
The outfits below provide great inspiration for flat and heeled espadrilles. The flat style is much like wearing a casual loafer whereas the heeled rendition is more like wearing a casual wedge sandal. The flats look great with shorts outfits because the bare exposure of the leg elongates the leg line which offsets the stumpy integrity of the flat and high-vamped ped. Heeled espadrilles are a great way to dress down a dress, skirt or culottes without resorting to flats. I also like the bit of boho chic the heeled espadrille adds to the crisp combination of white jeans and tucked denim shirt. The boho bag works well with the espadrilles too.
I wore classic flat white canvas espadrilles as a teen in the ‘80s and had multiple pairs of them. I loved them because they were casual and comfy. Today, I am less drawn to their casual integrity, but I do enjoy the look on others. Over to you. What’s your take on the espadrille trend?