Pimp My Espadrilles (if we’re still allowed to wear them)

What happened to the humble espadrille? Walking through Selfridges shoe department, I was dazzled- nearly blinded, if I’m honest- by the rope-and-canvas bling that now fills this shoe category.

Remember the days when espadrilles came bundled together with an elastic band, merchandised in a straw basket under a table and cost about ten euros a pair?

Perhaps, now we are no longer Europeans, we need a bit of sequin sparkle to jolly us along. In fact, are we even still allowed to wear the espadrille, a shoe of French/ Spanish extraction that’s been worn in Europe since 1322? Someone had better look that up.

I’m not sure I understand the need to pimp-up a shoe that usually got chucked away at the end of a summer due to it smelling of wet dog and rotting seaweed, but I clearly need to catch up fast. Now you can’t move for metallic and pearlised sequins, chunky jute flatforms and an occasional sense of a makeover-step-too-far.

I saw an alarming looking hybrid cross between trainer and espadrille (espadr-ers? train-illes?) and a worryingly attractive cross with a desert boot.


The bling-cheer factor is high at Kurt Geiger, its Milo nautical sequin striped ones and embellished flatform Milos at £110 illustrate the point, perhaps good for beach parties? I prefer the Carvela Lido suede and leather versions, at £89, those reinforced soles look like they’d stop the rope-rot. I do like the black suede version.


Properly posh ones such as Tory Burch’s Rosette below (£205 -not yet in the sale but I’m watching….) are a long way from those bargain baskets of old. Pretty and less blingy, but only if you’re wanting to impress on your summer hols…

thewomensroomblog03 I love Penelope Chilvers deck chair Riviera Picasso stripe pair, at £129, which would add cheerful holiday zing to white linen or washed indigo. The fuchsia velvet, be-ribboned Dali Valeciana pair, with their cut away heel detail, £105,  might be just the uplifting thing to brighten the non-euro days ahead….




  • Jan says:

    I love all of them! They look fun and comfy.Now you could have an everyday pair (the originals) plus a glammed up pair. Not sure I’d want to pay £200 a pair though. Time for some home customising I think.

  • Maeri says:

    Much as I love espadrilles, their rope soles disintegrate in the rain. These shoes look lovely, but I wonder if they wear any longer than the pairs we never expected to last longer than the summer months.

  • Liz Shedden says:

    Zara do some similar to the pink ribbon ones – cream with black ribbon and actually (hate to admit this) but I’ve got quite a passable pair from m and s!! Blue denim or sort of stone colour with black cord ties – look good and comfy too ( I must be getting old after all!!)

  • monix says:

    Now Amanda – you know that the British will always be Europeans, so dry your tears and have another glass of chablis.
    Those decorated espadrilles however, are an abomination and should be cast into the fire of Hades.

  • Sue says:

    I am not entirely convinced by the blingy ones, sorry. Just keep thinking that they will still get a waft of dampness ingrained in them exactly like normal/cheap ones. However, you can never go wrong with Penelope Chilvers in my experience (LOVE her stuff).

  • shopping sophie says:

    is also an awesome site for espedrilles. They have a special comfy insole that moulds to your foot. Worth a look.

  • Janet says:

    You can still buy cheap as chips basic espadrilles in French supermarkets, in several colours and early in the season some stripey ones. French women’s magazines such as Mairie Claire idees are often full of ideas as to how to customise basic espadrilles, too.

  • Amanda says:

    Good to know there are still cheap espadrilles around so thanks womenfolk , Mon, I’m trying to stay strong, Maeri and Sue, I think there would still be rope-rot too. Good we hit the spot for you Jan! A

  • Eddie says:

    Ya learn sonhietmg new everyday. It’s true I guess!

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