Monday, April 03, 2006

Espadrilles: How to wear them

The Dork writes:

Ok: I'm not normally one to find a pair of shoes and then buy an outfit to match, but I have fallen in shoe-love with these espadrilles
from Old Navy. But what sort of clothes (particularly in the pants/skirts department) does one wear with the whole wrap-around ribbon shoe thing? Thoughts? Thanks!

Welcome, Dork, to the proud legions of women who've accepted the ultimate shopping challenge: buying an outfit simply to match a prized pair of shoes.

Espadrilles are a great spring and summer item. They're feminine without being too girly, casual without looking sloppy, and chic without killing your tootsies. Just remember a few simple rules of thumb and you're in business, girl!

The main thing to remember is that espadrilles aren't replacements for dress sandals. They are probably not the shoes to wear to an evening wedding awash in champagne. They are, however, appropriate for that beach barbeque or patio party. The straw and hemp give away their true identity as in-between shoes--not as casual as flip-flops, but not quite as fancy as other shoes you might select.

Since espadrilles do wrap around your legs, you want your legs to show! This is the perfect time to show off the gorgeous gams you've been encasing in fabric for the past six months. Skirts and capris are great.

In addition, because espadrilles are color shoes, you need to make sure that whatever you wear with them coordinates with the shoes. This is even more important with espadrilles than with other shoes you wear. This makes them a little more limiting than your run-of-the-mill summer wedges, but the cuteness factor is totally worth it.

So, what should you wear with them? Here are a couple of ideas:
The Casual Look: These denim cutoffs (also from Old Navy) and a Tiny Tee to match. Finish it all off with a killer pair of shades and you're ready for the beach!

Note: if you've bought an item in a specific color at one store, chances are fairly high that you'll find other items to match at the same store. Places like Old Navy, Gap, Ann Taylor and the like tend to work from a set color palette for a given season. So navy blue at Gap may look completely different from navy blue at Ann Taylor.

Other casual possibilities: a demin skirt . I tried to find a skirt like this in a medium length (right below the knees), but I couldn't find one.

What about a fun patio party or luau? Some other ideas:

A Gap cami and a pintuck skirt. The fabrics are still light and cool, perfect for those hot July nights. The colors are crisp--and best of all? They match your shoes. Good luck!