If ever there was a summer shoe that ticked every box, it would have to be the humble espadrille. A style that never falls out of fashion, it’s possibly the only shoe that makes you feel cute and grown-up at the same time. Whether a wedge or a flat heel, they tend to be comfortable and relaxed, but smart enough to feel dressed and put-together for morning coffee or an al fresco dinner. They’re ideal for city breaks and beach holidays alike because of their versatility, and they look equally as good with jeans as they do with a dress.
I can remember exactly when I fell in love with espadrilles: it was 1994, the summer I turned 12, and I was on holiday in Spain with my mum. Twelve. That awkward age when you’re on the precipice of teenage-dom – you’re still a kid but you something feels entirely foreign, and it wasn’t just the Spanish soil. I wanted to feel more grown up, but I wasn’t yet into make up… it was probably more about experimenting with clothes, though I can’t for the life of me remember what I was wearing at that age. I just remember wanting something that felt like a step way from being childish, a step towards being older, and when I laid eyes on a pair of cream espadrilles in the market outside our hotel I was obsessed. The espadrilles had a wedge of about an inch – nothing more – but they spoke to me in an almost hypnotic manner and I thought hard about how to ask my mum for them because I knew my world would end if she said no. I think the deal was that I paid for them with my own money (Spanish pesetas at that time) and even the smell of the cheap soles has stayed with me whenever I think of them. I wore them all week, my t-shirt and shorts transformed (in my mind, at least), and although they never did feel quite the same when I was back home in Scotland, I loved them and wore them to death.
Fast forward 27 years and I still feel a sense of excitement for the espadrille. This pair is from Jones Bootmaker (they were gifted) and, like very other shoe or boot I’ve tried from this brand, the quality is superb – these will last me for years and they feel great on my somewhat demanding feet which won’t just slip into any old shoe anymore. The heel height is actually wearable, the canvas is supportive without any nipping or rubbing (even after a night out with the girls), and the ribbons are removable which means they can be washed or even swapped with another colour, of which there are four – definitely a reason to get more than one pair, especially because now I don’t have to worry about convincing my mum.
T-shirt, Marks and Spencer
Jeans, Citizens of Humanity (gifted)
Basket, Next (gifted)
Shell necklace, Paper People
Espadrilles, Jones Bootmaker (gifted)
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