Long before we were Instagram stalking French cool-girls’ summer style, Lauren Bacall was starring in The Key Largo and inadvertently making espadrilles an it-item.
Then Yves Saint Laurent met Castañer in the 70’s and the modern wedge espadrille was created. To this day Castañer produces both their own espadrilles AND espadrilles for houses like Saint Laurent and Hermés.
And you know who loves the 1970s? Alexa Chung.
So are we surprised that in mid-2007 she started wearing espadrilles all over a sunny summery London?
Are we surprised that they are a summer essential?
Of course not!
It must be the braided jute that makes up the sole… Down to earth and unassuming, like the French style. Like Jeanne Damas‘ style.
Or maybe it’s the fact that the classic espadrille looks best in navy blue, cream, or black — the only colours in a French girl’s closet…
Perhaps it’s how the espadrille elongates your leg so much — gives the boys more to look at while you sip your Sancerre at the café, totally unassuming.
Some kind of mixture of all these things makes the espadrille the perfect summer shoe.
Day, night, mid-afternoon, early-morning… A pair of wedge espadrilles will look good with any outfit. It doesn’t matter where you are, the bodega, the bank, the beach… Espadrilles are always appropriate footwear.
What Do The Best Espadrilles Have In Common?
- They are below 3 inches
You need to be able to walk without triping
- The ties around the ankle don’t pill
- The canvas toe shouldn’t be too loose and also not too stiff
It should have enough give to mould to your foot
- No sore ankles because of the natural sole it is the most comfortable heel you’ll wear
There should be enough cushion so that your feet never get sore.
- The jute should hold up — any loose braiding, steer clear!
While a Parisienne prefers a wedge espadrille, a Parisien (boy) will wear the flat espadrille in the summer. But since the greatest French dressers steal from their boyfriends (oversized Isabel Marant pea coats, boyfriend t-shirts…), the Parisienne (and non-Parisienne) also wears flat espadrilles (although not her boyfriend’s exact pair).
Flat or heeled, either way the espadrille makes for a dreamy summer shoe.