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Friday Shoegasm: Sexy, heart-stealing summer espadrilles

Esp10 I've long had a love affair with espadrilles. I'd had others growing up, flats and slip-ons and even some that raised me up just the a bit to wear one summer when I was a teen, but it was the pair from Italy that first truly wooed me.

I was traveling with my best friend on a clockwise route around Europe, carefully choosing souvenirs along the way that I was certain I could stuff into the bottom of my backpack and would survive trains and hostels and other gross post-college stuff I'd never put up with now. As soon as I stepped foot, in clogs or hiking boots or something far too practical, I knew that a pair of Italian shoes would be the exception to all that souvenir strategy. I had to have a pair I loved and could wear immediately, THAT NIGHT, preferably while sitting outside drinking copious amounts of wine and eating more pasta than I could handle and with some divinely handsome Roman gentleman from the business district.

(Not the originals, but these do capture their spirit. Seychelles Arden, $90)


I wasn't even inside the store when I knew that the shoes would be espadrilles. They were made of ivory linen and tied with long ivory ribbons. They were terribly impractical for the streets of Roma and hauling a backpack on and off trains and pretty much every single place I'd ever visit in the entire world. I did not care. I loved wrapping the ties up my calves, I loved winding them only around my ankles.

(These are screaming to me so loudly, I cannot believe I do not have them upon my feet this very moment. Nine West Lazar, $89)


I loved how they looked with my peasant skirts (please, spare the comments, as it was the 90s), I loved how they made my tan legs look tanner. I wore them across Italy, into Prague, through Germany, in Amsterdam, and back home to Chicago.

(Fun, flirty, frugal. Yep, these are from Payless and are only $19.99)

I wore them after I moved to Oregon. I wore them even when I returned to Chicago years later.

Esp8 (No. I won't even link to where you can get these. That's how much I believe these espa-insults should not be worn.)

Those espadrilles were my mistress until they broke down completely (and isn't that how it always is?).

Esp4 (I do love my red espadrilles, but these I would wear nearly every day, all summer long. Lands End, $68)

I bought a new pair from (I shudder to admit this) Payless. They were tan canvas with pink and tan ribbons. They were cute but could not compare. I threw away the Italian espadrilles. Yes, I cried.

(I adore these sleek Burberried-up babies. But since they really are Burberry and really cost $395, I will be wearing them...never.)

I hunted through my two underbed boxes, hanging door organizer and eleven shoe boxes of footwear last summer, looking for those espadrilles, somehow convincing myself I rescued them from the trash and might be able to restore them to their Roman glory after all the travels I've done since I purchased them. Of course, they were long gone. The only espadrilles remaining were the inadequate replacements from Payless. Without a tear, I threw those away.

Esp5 (If you must wear flats, wouldn't these be easy in the airport and adorable at a picnic? Steve Madden, $50)

I have a few new pairs of espadrilles in my shoe collection now. Even though the Not Boyfriend referred to this style as "rattan chairs made into shoes," I will continue to delight in how the ties peek out flirtatiously when I wear them with my favorite white flared pants.How they hike me up a few inches when I'm courageous enough to wear shorts. How much better they make a simple sundress look. 

Esp1 (OK, these really do look like a beach chair on a rental condo lanai in Florida. BCBG Max Azria, $185)

I really do love every single pair -- even the plaid Ralph Lauren numbers that pinch my heels and require 12 blister-busting BandAids.

But they will never, ever outshine or outwear the first espadrilles to steal my shoe-whore heart.


Are you wearing espadrilles this summer? What shoes did you first give your heart to?



More Shoegasms for your Friday fun:

« Cherry Ames: single, sultry, do-gooder working lady | Main | Sassy Single Mom Serenity: The keyword here is "generous" »

Reader Comments (2)

I do not tell you enough that I love you.for reals.
June 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMizFit
I had the BEST pair of espadrilles. Steve madden. Bought on sale at nordstrom. Gold with lovely ribbons.

My sister stole them.

I have not decided wether to forgive her or not. But I might if I find something cuter in her closet;)

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