Frankly, espadrilles aren’t the hot news of summer 2020.
A few years ago, Castaner ankle bow espadrilles were high in fashion cards. But if you’re looking for trendy shoes this summer, that’s a variation on the two-strap Birkenstock.
But did you say that, did you see the Duchess of Cambridge the week before at a public appointment in Norwich?
She wore a Faithfull The Brand floral print crepe midi dress (just the right side of pretty) and, on her feet, espadrilles with a nude leather toe, a burlap heel and a leather ankle strap (£ 135, russellandbromley.co.uk).
Shane Watson shared advice for embracing the summer trend for espadrilles, as seen on the Duchess of Cambridge (photo)
She looked perfect – at the height of the heat wave – and a third of the reason for that fashion bullseye was the espadrilles.
Remember Kate walking around at that charity polo match in 2018 (in the same Russell and Bromley espadrilles)? Or during the royal tour of India, when she stood on the cricket wicket in a flowy dress and canvas espadrilles and hit the ball for six?
Or last year’s Chelsea Flower Show, when she wore a long floral high-necked Erdem dress and light brown lace-up shoes?
Over the years, Kate has made espadrilles her trademark, not least because she can be asked to participate in a race with eggs and spoons at any time.
But who doesn’t want to wear espadrilles in the summer? If there is a better all-round shoe for this season, I would like to know.
No footwear works better on the sidewalk, cobblestones, sand, grass, or slippery dance floor unless it’s a FitFlop, which may have the edge if you’re sightseeing all day, but aesthetically, there’s no competition.
Shane said Kate (photo) wears the Carina Castaners with the suede nose, if she wants to make a neat dress less stiff
Espadrilles – especially the ankle straps – are very flattering. You can get them in any color and most heights. The Spanish label Castaner has an assortment of four.
For those of us who worry about getting stuck in sneakers or slippers for the rest of our lives, they are the easy route back to feminine footwear and, because they are wedges, leg extension without the inconvenience of a heel.
Then there’s the way they soften formal clothes and make it more summery and youthful. So if Kate is wearing long and neat dresses but doesn’t want to look too stiff, head to the Carina Castaners with the suede toe (£ 120, netaporter.com).
WEDGES: NEW RULES
- A leather nose and ankle strap make the look more beautiful.
- Avoid ankle straps unless in an ankle-length midi.
- A 60mm wedge is the most versatile.
- Cream or nude styles go with everything.
Stuck for what to wear with a wedding dress? Do as Lady Amelia Windsor did last May (it must be said that espadrilles are very popular with the royals) and add a white pair with an ankle strap (£ 149, penelope chilvers.com). Meghan prefers black canvas Castaners (£ 120, netaporter.com).
The best espadrille style for this dress up, dress up is one with a leather nose – skip the canvas squeaky toes and slingbacks – and an ankle strap (Hobbs does a suede style called Julie in red or navy suede, £ 89, hobbs.com ) or ties. But beware, tires can look picky and heavy.
Speaking as a fan of all espadrilles, I keep my ankle straps for holidays and wear them with an ankle grazing skirt so it’s not just about the ribbons.
Also, in my experience, you wear espadrille much more often if it’s a wedge of 60mm or less. The best of the bunch are Castaner’s Carina 60mm canvas espadrilles (£ 85, equivalent to fashion.com), the original wedge style created in 1970 for Yves Saint Laurent.
Don’t be afraid to get them in cream (it goes with everything). If you want to run in it, try the Carina 30mm.
My favorites are from Penelope Chilvers (not cheap, but luckily on sale). The pewter leather Mary Jane (£ 89, penelopechilvers.com) is at the top of my wish list, along with the (too-high-but-nevermind), apple green leather sandals (£ 199, penelopechilvers.com).
Can you go wrong? Well, yes. Heavy learning styles can look overwhelming. A thick rubber sole will kill the atmosphere of the Pyrenees, and a leather court can look clunky. Otherwise, you can wear espadrilles from now until October – and I recommend doing that.
Shane explained that cream or nude espadrille styles can go with any outfit. In the photo: the Duchess of Cambridge