Welcome to The Essentials, our weekly series highlighting a must-have classic, key to building a timeless, pulled-together closet.
Espadrilles are the ultimate summer shoe. Worn flat or with a heel, these woven sandals are all about sophisticated ease. For proof, just look to classic Hollywood films—think Lauren Bacall in Key Largo and Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief—that gave espadrilles the gold stamp of approval. These past few seasons, we've seen the espadrille trend expand, but it was Salvatore Ferragamo who originally put them on the map. In the '30s and '40s, the Italian shoe designer made use of materials such as raffia and cork, according to the MoMA's Items: Is Fashion Modern?. Then, in the '70s, Yves Saint Laurent released his own take on the shoe, turning the traditional flat into a wedge, and a modern trend was born. Today, designers send this woven shoe down the runway in many iterations. Shop our favorites, below.
Want espadrille wedges that go with every outfit? Opt for an ivory pair like this sweet and feminine style from Castañer. Fun fact: Kate Middleton owns a pair of espadrilles from this label.
Your basic ballet flats just got a stylish upgrade. This flat is hand-stitched by local artisans in Alicante, Spain and has removable ankle straps for a quick little design change.
Try this canary yellow pair for a sunny pep in your step.
The two-inch heel will give you a boost in height without forcing you to stand precariously on tiptoes. This is the perfect all-occasion shoe, suitable for those summer 2021 weddings or future resort vacations.
The black and white coloring makes the footwear feel less summery, so you can rock it well into fall when the temperatures dip.
This timeless wedge espadrille from Soludos will remain in your shoe rotation for seasons to come. It comes in four different colors, though our favorite hue is this midnight blue hue.
This logo lace-up pair from Chloé is perfect for the city girl.
A pair a step above the rest. This jeweled pair from Roger Vivier is sure to be a showstopper.
Your slip-on-and-go kind of shoe. For mornings, or days, when you're in a rush and can't be bothered to think about your footwear, this espadrille sandal will come in handy. It can be worn with your summer dresses, then just as easily with your fall denim bottoms.
Pair with a red sundress for a monochromatic springtime look.