The espadrille, the quintessential warm-weather shoe, has an intriguing history. From humble to haute, espadrilles date all the way back to the 13th century: The simple roped style was initially considered a shoe for the lower classes. In the '70s, Yves Saint Laurent, along with Spanish manufacturer Castañer, made history by creating the first wedge espadrille, a style that has remained a classic to this day. The shoe has been beloved by some of the most stylish women in history—I'm talking Jane Birkin, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly, among others. Espadrilles evoke a feeling like no other shoe can (trust me, I'm not staring at my sneakers longingly). Espadrilles make you look and feel like you belong on a vacation somewhere special. Even if the furthest place I'll be going this summer is down the street to Washington Square Park, I can look and feel like Jane Birkin in Provence. All you need to add are flare jeans, a striped tank, and a basket bag— that's the power of simple, timeless pieces. Below I've rounded up the chicest espadrilles for summer, no grand plans needed.
Castaner espadrilles are the epitome of classic. In the '70s, along with Yves Saint Laurent, Castaner created the first wedge style espadrille. The shoe has remained an eternal summertime staple.
With its walkable wedge heel, these shoes can be dressed up or down, and the color goes with everything. This is the perfect espadrille.
The Ariel wedge sandal makes sure you don't have to forgo function for fashion. Vionic uses technology that is biomechanically designed to hug the arches of your feet, ensuring maximum comfort. These shoes are perfect for a summertime trip full of sightseeing. Discomfort? We don't know her.
Slides are great for those busy summer days—you just slip them on and run out the door. These slides in particular are just as versatile as they are easy. Made of woven raffia, this shoe will look great with denim, linen, or your favorite floral dress. We all have those days where we can't be bothered, so it's a good thing these shoes are a no-brainer.
The high-fashion take on the classic style, these flat-form sandals are anything but basic. Simone Rocha's updated espadrille features embellished pearls and spikes. Perfect for my girls who are a bit more edgy.
If you're not a fan of the typical cloth espadrilles, give these a try. Michael Kors traded in the casual fabric for this croc embossed leather. The laidback sandal gets a dressed-up touch with its textured leather and gold hardware.
Nobody wants to wear heels that sink into the sand. These wedges are perfect for a wedding on the beach, and the neutral tones and simple style can we paired with many different colors and prints. Bonus points: If you didn't have time to get your dress altered, these sandals lend some serious height.
Keep things simple with these understated sandals. The silver metallic straps will allow you to transition from day to night with ease.
Show off your long legs with these lace up sandals. The cheery floral print is super summery and will add a feminine touch to any look.
Getting dressed in the summer is largely about ease. When it hits a certain temperature, complicated outfits get thrown out the window. A classic slip-on espadrille is the perfect answer for your heat-related woes. Pair these Soludos with cropped white flare jeans and a linen shirt for a great off-duty look.
A perfect compromise if the light and sandy hues aren't for you.
The woven raffia exudes that authentic espadrille texture while the dark color creates a sleeker look. Pair these with a black slip dress for a great nighttime option.
Polka dots are huge this season, and these sweet sandals would look great paired with jeans and a white button down. Or you can rock these with a shirt dress for a more feminine look.
Summer is all about bright hues, so incorporate some color into your wardrobe with your footwear. These orange espadrilles will be sure to pop paired with a white linen dress.
Sneaker lovers rejoice, you can participate as well! The cotton shoe features a platform espadrille sole. Pair these with a floral dress for a casual summertime look.
There's nothing like a pop of red to spice things up. The bold color isn't too overwhelming when combined with the sandy tones. Lace these up your leg for a sexy look, or tie them around your ankle to keep things casual.
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter (subscribe here).