It seems the only thing that you need to call a shoe an espadrille is a jute sole – after that, everything’s up for grabs. You can have uppers made from leather, lace, suede, aertex, ponyskin and goodness knows what else and they can be flat, lace-up, sandal-style, have a ridiculously high wedge or even, I kid you not, a flatform (shudder).
But I’m a purist and prefer my espadrilles to have a simple cotton canvas upper, a low wedge and ribbon ties that wrap prettily around the ankle. Like these from Toni's Got Sole.
Actually, that’s not strictly true; I once had an insatiable desire for a pair of cherry red wedge espadrilles with an ankle strap and I scoured the internet until I eventually found a company in the US that was selling them via eBay. They light up my life, they really do.
I’ve also got a foolhardy but fabulous navy and white striped pair from H&M which I can barely stand in, let alone walk in. They’re great too.
Let’s take a look at the designers first...
Crazy and amazing floral-print wedges from Charlotte Olympia. If you're planning on posing in Positano this summer, these are the shoes you want to be wearing.
Pretty and utterly ridiculous red lace espadrilles from Valentino. Oh go on then...
There is always room for a little more leopard in one's wardrobe, I feel.
I am a little bit obsessed with Prism London - the brand founded by Anna Laub and beloved by my blogger crush Garance Dore. Prism started with unbelievably cool sunglasses and spectacles, then added hip swimwear and the espadrilles are the newest addition to the label's offering. I want to buy into this world so much it's tragic.
And some slightly more affordable options...
Pretty gingham wedges with a bow on the front from Boden - like Dorothy would have worn in Oz had she been wearing her spring/summer wardrobe.
There's something so sweet and simple about this striped canvas pair from H&M - just the sort I could imagine Brigitte Bardot prancing provocatively about the sands in.
Desert boot meets candy stripe meets espadrille? It's weird, but it works.
I really, really love the cheery painterly pattern on these Gap espadrilles - they'd look great with a denim skirt or cut-off jeans.
And a lovely mint-green pair from & Other Stories to wrap things up. These have an adorable, retro feel and I can even tolerate the slight flatform...