Several sources have identified Spain as the originating country but I was introduced to them in the Basque area of France, which of course adjoins the Basque area of Spain. And Basque is Basque with its own language irrespective of the national boundaries. Here espadrilles are a summer basic and there is no thought of "tendance" or trend. When I visit Arcachon, a seaside resort, I always buy myself a pair or two. Against my better judgement this year's purchase was a white pair.
In Arcachon or anywhere in the South-West, it is not a matter of in-fashion or out-of-fashion. In the same way as we in North America buy those cheap rubbery flip flops, the espadrille is a summer footwear option in Spain and France. Of course you can pay $5.00 for them or $500.00. These particular ones were made in France and cost me 18 Euro, about $24.25 Canadian; $25.05 Australian; $23.06 American and 15.48 British Pound Sterling.
NICE: Espadrilles are not so much a fashion item but a summer basic. Wearing an inexpensive pair, gives you the laissez-faire attitude required for hot summer days. Last week I was visiting in the south-east of France and saw a great pair of red espadrilles on a young woman. They were perfect for her foot, the heel fit well and did not look at all sloppy. In fact she looked rather polished and cool on a 40ish day in the Rhone.
NO THANKS: Many have abandoned wearing them because "they keep falling off my feet!" Bien sur. However this NO THANKS can become an UN-NECESSARY. And of course the more expensive ones fit the heel better than the ones in the grocery store bins.
|Espadrilles with "squashed heel". Photo by JoyD, France, 2013.|
|Striped Espadrilles in St. Emilion. Photo by JoyD.|
Buying and Caring for Espadrilles:
Visit Soludos for contemporary innovations of the espadrille.
One sales associate suggested to buy them really tight and they will loosen and mold around your foot. I received that information after buying a pair that was actually a size bigger than what I usually wear. I'll try that with the next pair I buy.
If they stretch out and are too big, someone online (I forgot to take the address down) advised to soak the top cotton upper in hot water - don't immerse the jute soles. I can't imagine doing this. You would have to hold them in that position for five minutes . . . hmm, I think I'll just wear them as "smashed down heel flip flops". I'm speculating that if the jute is secured with glue, it will come apart if they are submerged in water. I suppose it depends where they were made. The more traditionally made ones should stand up to a 5 minute soak. I don't think I am willing to take that chance.