Like Pimms and lemonade, or strawberries and cream, there are certain combinations that are synonymous with summer—espadrilles and bare legs being another. Better suited to the city than flip-flops or thong sandals, and a million times lighter than a closed ankle boot or trainer, there’s nothing more satisfying than transitioning from the aforementioned to a rugged rope sole.
We have brands like Soludos to thank for closed pumps with playful embroideries that’ll bring a smile to your face, to classic manufacturers like Spain-based Castañer, whose ankle-tie styles are enough to tempt us out of strappy sandals any day of the week. Espadrilles certainly err on the side of casual but are by no means a second-grade shoe—even Yves Saint Laurent was famously into them as a high-fashion item. So while they are ideal for beach and sun-soaked holidays, you can also weave them into your urban wardrobe by considering a few simple styling tricks.
Scroll through the gallery below for inspired ways to sport espadrilles and to shop our current favourites.
Style notes: Of course, espadrilles are at home on the coast, where it looks chicer and is more hard-working than rubber flip-flops. Take inspiration from Julie Sariñana for dress-and-shoe combinations.
Style Notes: Low-heeled expadrilles like Jeanne Damas’s are great for adding a little height to a ladylike look.
Style Notes: Think grey skies and rope soles don’t mix? With covered toes and the blue in Lizzy Hadfield’s footwear recalling the colour of her jeans, this is how you sport espadrilles in unpredictable weather.
Style Notes: Own a frock that’s almost too pretty to actually wear? Temper it with a pair of ankle-strap espadrilles to take it down a notch. Katherine Ormerod’s Next dress and Sezane shoes would just look as suitable for a wedding as they do on holiday.