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. Whether flat or with a heel, these woven sandals lend themselves a sophisticated ease. You can find inspiration from classic Hollywood films—on the likes of Lauren Bacall in Key Largo and Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief—these stars gave espadrilles their gold stamp of approval.
These past few seasons we have seen the espadrille trend grow, 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. Today, designers send this woven shoe down the runway in many iterations.
So this summer, grab yourself a pair of this beachy style. I personally will be getting one of the lace-ups (favored by Salvador Dalí). Shop some of our best picks below.
If you want espadrille wedges that go with every outfit, opt for an ivory pair like this sweet and feminine style from Castañer. Fun fact for those obsessed with royals: 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 2-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 stay 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 Chloe is perfect for the city girl.
For 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.