Sometimes I’m just kind of dim.
(BTW this pause is for you to vehemently disagree, take your time. Keep going. Little more. Liiiittle more. There. Now stop.)
No, no. It’s true.
A few years ago at Style Spy’s suggestion, I picked up a fab pair of espadrille wedges with burnished gold leather uppers and I spent the bulk of that summer going “Why don’t I wear more espadrilles? I should wear more espadrilles!” but there was an ill-fated design flaw with my dear ‘drillies and I only got one season out of them.
Then in early March I found a pair of ridiculously un-me Lacroix espadrilles on slapyermomma sale and I’ve been tromping around in them asking myself the same question ever since. They’re comfortable, super padded, and since they lace all the way up, they’re molded to my feet.
Plus –and I don’t think we can underestimate the value of this– The Carolina Royal and I got to have the following conversation:
“Your espadrilles. They’re fabulous.”
“I like them even better now!”
At its most basic, an espadrille is a rope-braided fiber –usually jute– with a heel and a toe sewn on in two pieces, como eso:
UNIONBAY Women’s Pipper Espadrille
Which, okay, is not exactly an exciting fashion statement (although I do love men in these plain types) but the concept is a good one. It just needs a bit of mustard.
Even though espadrilles originated in the Pyrenees, they have a very coastal feel to me, which is why I generally prefer my ‘drillies to have a rustic, woven look, and one of the very few instances where I prefer fabric to leather. When I picture the inspiration for espadrilles, I’m imagining craggy-eyed men and old women in big black skirts who mend nets in some sleepiy Spanish fishing village applying their handicraft to the local footwear.
Which isn’t to say there aren’t good drillies with leather uppers, these mid wedges from Eric Michaels are nice –with the added bonus of the t-strap keeping the slingback from slipping off your foot– and these Donald J. Pliners:
Are woven nubuck leather, which is the best of both worlds. They’re also the only ones actually made in Spain.
For a more Betty Grable take on things –without veering into cutesy vintage– you can’t beat Delman. Doing a black ‘drille is harder than you might think, and this is the best example I’ve found. Plus it’s Delman, so you can pretend you’re Maggie Prescott making over Hepburn The Lesser and shout “CALL DELMAN’S!”
Of course you could always take a more boho, road to Marrakesh spin, which would be fun and a good way to anchor a dress that needed a fairly solid shoe to balance out the look. These also come in a sort oxblood which I might like even more.
But what if you don’t want to futz with the tying and the buckling and whatnot? I mean it’s a long way down for some of us…
I love slubby fabric treatments with jute, always have. They just seem to go together so well, and you don’t see shantung (although these are almost certainly not silk) very often on shoes anymore except for those horrible slapslapslapping mules. These are available in a whole mess of colors and I bet look great on the leg with rolled up trousers on a casual summer day. Is it THE most exciting shoe you’ll ever own? No. But you’ll wear them comfortably until your feet fall off and look classic while you do it.
The internet swears to me these are navy. An interesting take on the ‘drille because it actually has a defined heel. Still, I like them and they would make for easy wearing for picnics or other outdoorsy want-to-look-cute-but-don’t-want-to-sink-into-the-ground events.