It's In My Closet, Now How Do I Wear It?: The Kicky Espadrilles

For Audrey and her espadrilles, nothing seems quite right. Is it possible that they're not meant to be?
Publish date:
June 13, 2011
shoppables, it's in my closet now how do i wear it, espadrilles

I bought these (2 pairs no less! The other ones are emerald green and white stripes with pink ties) a few years ago when Gap brought them back. I love them...but am totally clueless about how to wear them.

I've tried them wit my white boot leg jeans. Nope. I've tried them with skinny high fashion blue jeans from Mango. Ugh. I wore them a few times with a flouncy white peasant skirt. Meh. Nothing has seemed quite right...but yet they make it through every closet purge cause they are so damn kicky.

Thanks in advance for any expert advice!


Thank you for writing in Audrey! These are really cute so I can definitely see how you felt the need to buy them in different colors.

Espadrilles look better when you can show off the whole shoe without the hem of anything else interfering, which is probably why they didn't look so good with bootcut jeans. They always look cute with dresses and skirts, but by your reaction to wearing them with a peasant skirt I get the feeling that it's the look that bothered you and not the actual combination of the shoes with the skirt. This is totally fine, not everyone is cut out for the bohemian look.

But then you tell me that you didn't like the way they looked with skinny jeans and I start to wonder if this story can have a happy ending. A narrow, cropped leg (to show off the ankles) would've been my first suggestion.

No problem. Let's move on without it. I'm thinking your next experiments might be directed towards cute shorts, in a seersucker or floral print. I would also look to items with a more utilitarian feel, like a military green or bold plaid shirtdress or a denim skirt. Espadrilles are easy, casual shoes and should be thought of accordingly. Anything that is in your "omg it's so hot" pile of clothes should in theory, work with these.

It's entirely possible though, that you and espadrilles aren't really compatible. And this is really no one's fault! A few years ago I fell in love with a pair of Liberty-print Nike Dunks. I splurged on them and every morning I got dressed and put them on and then took them off because they didn't work. I tried them with dresses and I tried them with jeans and with skirts but the truth is that they were just not me. I loved them and thought they were the coolest ever but no matter how hard I tried I just wasn't going to be the one to stomp around the city in them. I sold them on eBay soon thereafter.

Go ahead and give your espadrilles another try, but if at the end of the day nothing's winning you over it might be that you aren't meant to be together. And that's ok!

The result?

Hi Laia:

So I paired the espadrilles with a Boden tissue t shirt and cropped J Crew toothpick jeans. I felt weird when I put it all on (tall, block-footed), but then my 18-year-old nanny arrived and the first thing she said was "Love your shoes!"

But I decided to pull on my Mango skinny jeans to see if they looked better... but they just seemed too long. I remember you talked about having the whole ankle visible, and my skinny jeans definitely covered the tops of the ties. My husband thought the cropped jeans looked better.

So I put the cropped jeans back on...and nearly made it out the door. And then chickened out and put on silver Boden ballet flats with faux diamonds on the top. The only reason I can offer why is that perhaps now I have a mental block toward the espadrilles. I can't really see myself wearing them with shorts (I'm 5"10 WITHOUT the 2+ inch heels... and will all that leg exposed.... yeah no.)

Maaaaybe I'll try them again with the jeans.Audrey

Both of these look like great alternatives for your espadrille conundrums. The cropped ones definitely look better, but you can wear your longer skinny jeans if you just cuff 'em or do a tight little roll that shows the ankle. As for your feelings of uncomfortable-ness about being too tall in them, well, I can't really help you there but you should know that there's nothing awesomer than seeing a tall woman who's not afraid to wear heels. Who cares that you're taller than everyone else? Most people will be probably looking at you in awe for how you're "owning it." Good luck!