Espadrilles: How to Wear Them

Espadrilles are timeless footwear that effortlessly blend comfort and style. Originating from the Pyrenees centuries ago, these shoes have evolved into a fashion staple loved worldwide. Whether you're strolling on sandy beaches or navigating city streets, espadrilles offer a laid-back yet chic vibe to any outfit. In this guide, we'll explore the various types of espadrilles and provide expert tips on how to wear them with flair.

Introduction to Espadrilles

Espadrilles are casual shoes characterized by their rope or jute soles and canvas or fabric uppers. The name "espadrille" is derived from the Catalan word "espardenya," referring to the esparto rope traditionally used in their construction. Originally worn by peasants and soldiers in the Pyrenees, espadrilles have since become a fashion statement embraced by people of all backgrounds.

Types of Espadrilles

Traditional Espadrilles

Traditional espadrilles feature flat soles made of jute or rope, with canvas uppers stitched onto the sole. These classic designs are lightweight and breathable, perfect for warm weather.

Platform Espadrilles

Platform espadrilles elevate the traditional design with a thicker sole, providing added height and comfort. They offer a modern twist to the timeless silhouette and are versatile enough to be worn with various outfits.

Wedge Espadrilles

Wedge espadrilles combine the classic espadrille sole with a wedge heel, offering both style and support. They are ideal for those seeking extra lift without compromising on comfort, making them a popular choice for summer outings.

Lace-up Espadrilles

Lace-up espadrilles feature ties that wrap around the ankle or leg, adding a playful touch to the traditional design. These shoes are perfect for those who want to make a statement with their footwear.

Choosing the Right Espadrilles

When selecting espadrilles, consider factors such as material, comfort, and style. Canvas espadrilles are ideal for casual outings, while leather options offer durability and sophistication. Ensure the shoes provide adequate support and cushioning for extended wear.

Styling Tips for Espadrilles

Espadrilles are incredibly versatile and can be styled in numerous ways to suit different occasions. Here are some styling tips to elevate your espadrille game:

  • Casual Summer Outfits: Pair traditional espadrilles with denim shorts and a breezy blouse for a laid-back summer look.
  • Beachwear Ensembles: Slide into platform espadrilles with a flowy maxi dress for effortless beach chic.
  • Dressing Up with Espadrilles: Elevate your evening attire by opting for wedge espadrilles paired with a stylish sundress or jumpsuit.

How to Wear Traditional Espadrilles

Traditional espadrilles exude effortless charm and can be styled in various ways:

  • Pairing with Shorts and Skirts: Team your espadrilles with high-waisted shorts or a flirty skirt for a casual yet chic ensemble.
  • Combining with Jeans or Trousers: Roll up the cuffs of your jeans or trousers to showcase your espadrilles while maintaining a relaxed vibe.
  • Accessorizing Appropriately: Complete your look with a straw hat and oversized sunglasses for a touch of glamour.

Rocking Platform Espadrilles

Platform espadrilles offer a trendy spin on the classic silhouette:

  • Creating Height and Drama: Opt for platform espadrilles to add inches to your height while making a bold fashion statement.
  • Styling with Maxi Dresses: Pair platform espadrilles with a flowy maxi dress for a bohemian-inspired ensemble that's perfect for summer festivals.
  • Incorporating into Streetwear Looks: Combine platform espadrilles with denim cutoffs and a graphic tee for an effortlessly cool street style vibe.

Elevating Your Look with Wedge Espadrilles

Wedge espadrilles strike the perfect balance between style and comfort:

  • Enhancing Summer Dresses: Pair wedge espadrilles with a floral sundress for a romantic summer look that's ideal for garden parties or brunch dates.
  • Elevating Office Attire: Swap your heels for wedge espadrilles to add a summery touch to your office attire without sacrificing professionalism.
  • Balancing Comfort and Style: Enjoy all-day comfort without compromising on style by opting for wedge espadrilles with cushioned footbeds and adjustable straps.

Adding Flair with Lace-up Espadrilles

Lace-up espadrilles offer a playful twist

on the traditional design, allowing for endless styling possibilities:

  • Styling with Bohemian Flair: Embrace your inner free spirit by pairing lace-up espadrilles with a flowy maxi skirt and a crochet top for a bohemian-inspired look that's perfect for music festivals or summer picnics.
  • Pairing with Cropped Pants or Capris: Show off the intricate lace-up detailing of your espadrilles by wearing them with cropped pants or capris. This effortlessly chic ensemble is ideal for casual outings with friends or a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk.
  • Transitioning from Day to Night: Take your lace-up espadrilles from day to night by swapping your daytime attire for a sleek jumpsuit or a little black dress. Add statement jewelry and a bold lip color to elevate your look for evening events or dinner dates.

Maintenance Tips for Espadrilles

To keep your espadrilles looking fresh and new, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Cleaning Canvas Espadrilles: Remove dirt and stains from canvas espadrilles by gently scrubbing them with a soft brush and mild soap. Allow them to air dry away from direct sunlight.
  • Caring for Leather Espadrilles: Use a leather conditioner to moisturize and protect leather espadrilles from drying out or cracking. Avoid getting them wet, and store them in a cool, dry place when not in use.
  • Storage Recommendations: Keep your espadrilles in shape by stuffing them with tissue paper or shoe trees when not wearing them. Store them in a breathable shoe bag or box to protect them from dust and moisture.

Breaking in New Espadrilles

New espadrilles may feel stiff initially, but with these tips, you can break them in comfortably:

  • Tips for Comfort During Initial Wear: Wear thick socks with your new espadrilles to stretch them out gradually. Alternatively, use a hairdryer to heat up tight spots and then walk around in them to help them conform to your feet.
  • Preventing Blisters and Discomfort: Apply moleskin or blister pads to areas where you feel rubbing or discomfort to prevent blisters from forming. Wear your espadrilles for short periods initially to allow your feet to adjust.

Combining Espadrilles with Accessories

Accessorize your espadrilles with complementary items to complete your look:

  • Choosing the Right Bag: Opt for a straw or woven tote bag to complement the casual vibe of your espadrilles. Alternatively, a structured crossbody bag adds sophistication to your ensemble.
  • Selecting Jewelry and Sunglasses: Keep your accessories simple and understated to let your espadrilles take center stage. Layer delicate necklaces or stack bracelets for a touch of elegance, and don't forget to shield your eyes with stylish sunglasses.

Seasonal Considerations

Espadrilles are versatile enough to be worn throughout the year:

  • Wearing Espadrilles in Spring: Pair pastel-colored espadrilles with floral dresses or light denim for a fresh spring look that's perfect for picnics or outdoor brunches.
  • Transitioning to Summer Styles: Embrace the laid-back summer vibe by wearing espadrilles with breezy sundresses, shorts, and tank tops. Add a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen for added protection.
  • Fall and Winter Adaptations: Extend the lifespan of your espadrilles into the colder months by pairing them with opaque tights, cozy sweaters, and wool skirts or trousers. Choose darker hues and richer textures for a seasonal-appropriate ensemble.

Celebrity Style Inspiration

Celebrities often showcase their love for espadrilles in various stylish ways:

  • Iconic Espadrille Moments: From Audrey Hepburn's classic elegance to Kate Middleton's modern sophistication, celebrities have long embraced the timeless appeal of espadrilles.
  • How Celebrities Wear Espadrilles: Take cues from style icons like Meghan Markle and Alexa Chung, who effortlessly incorporate espadrilles into their everyday looks. Whether running errands or attending red carpet events, these fashion-forward stars prove that espadrilles are a must-have wardrobe staple.

The Versatility of Espadrilles

In conclusion, espadrilles are more than just footwear—they're a fashion statement that transcends seasons and trends. Whether you prefer traditional flats, platform styles, wedge heels, or lace-up designs, there's an espadrille for every occasion. Experiment with different outfits and accessories to discover how you can rock this iconic shoe with confidence and flair.


Espadrilles offer a perfect blend of comfort, style, and versatility, making them a wardrobe essential for any fashion enthusiast. With their timeless appeal and endless styling possibilities, espadrilles are sure to elevate your look no matter the season or occasion.


  1. Can I wear espadrilles with socks?

    • While espadrilles are traditionally worn without socks, you can experiment with no-show or ankle socks for added comfort, especially with lace-up styles.
  2. Are espadrilles suitable for formal occasions?

    • While espadrilles are inherently casual, wedge or platform styles can be dressed up with the right attire for semi-formal events. Stick to neutral colors and elegant silhouettes for a polished look.
  3. How do I clean my espadrilles?

    • Canvas espadrilles can be spot-cleaned with a soft brush and mild soap, while leather espadrilles may require special leather cleaner. Always check the manufacturer's instructions for specific care guidelines.
  4. Can men wear espadrilles?

    • Absolutely! There are plenty of espadrille styles designed specifically for men, ranging from classic slip-ons to lace-up variations. Pair them with shorts, chinos, or linen trousers for a laid-back yet stylish look.
  5. What's the difference between espadrilles and sandals?

    • While both espadrilles and sandals are summer footwear staples, espadrilles typically feature a closed-toe design with a jute or rope sole, whereas sandals have open-toe construction with various strap configurations.

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