I’ll start this off by stating that I do not own a pair of espadrilles. I have never gravitated toward them. They simply do not speak to me and my boots forever wardrobe. This doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t think about them often. It is summer, after all.
My biggest conflict is whether or not I find them to be classic or boring. While I can look back at a picture of Bianca Jagger wearing them on the beach and think, “wow, classic,” I try them on myself and conclude that yawn, they’re boring. And my conflict continues.
Before we get to the verdict, let’s rewind back to how the woven shoe style came to take over our summers in the first place. “Espadrilles” actually have a very interesting history despite being now known as the easiest shoe to pair with a light color party outfit. According to a report in Esquire, the shoes were originally worn by the working class and poor people in Europe, but after the civil war in Spain, many of the Basque and Catalana people had to flee. Through the diaspora, they were brought around the world and designed into what we see today.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming: are espadrilles still the shoe of summer or are they completely tired? To answer this question, we need to look through some imagery.
The 1950-1970 woman with a decent sized bank account who spends time on the beach look is iconic. But to me, this is a hard vibe to achieve. There is a certain je ne sais quoi about Bianca Jagger in a white dress or Jane Birkin in shorts that is difficult to replicate.
So what is the verdict on my ever ending conflict with espadrilles? Well, there isn’t one. If Jane Birkin and Jeanne Damas are your style icons, then I say go off. But if the rich, chic person by a beach isn’t your aesthetic, there are plenty of other summer shoes just waiting for your wardrobe.