This post could be categorized, “What we wear / France.” Or, “What we wear / Spain,” if I were writing about Spain. But it is, at the moment, what we are wearing in Milan: Espadrilles.
I’ve been wearing them for years. Everything from the first low-wedged versions to the 4-euro grocery-store variety you can buy in France that are reminiscent of the sea and striped-shirted sailors to the new high-wedged variety with ties and bows. I had a Latin teacher who wore them every day of her life in a variety of colors. I can’t remember how to decline “puella” (OK, actually I can), but I remember more vividly her feet in red, blue and apple green canvas, perched atop woven bottoms. She wore pencil skirts and red lipstick, and her blond hair was stiff in a downsized beehive. Sort of glamourous in her own way. But I had a thing about her feet.
When I moved to Europe, I noticed that with the warm weather, shoe-store windows (if you knew where to look) filled up with “her” shoes, except in modern varieties. And I began to wear them myself. Covered toes, uncovered toes. Patterned heels, unpatterned heels. Long laces, short laces. Black, white. Canvas, linen. I would wear them until the bottoms unraveled. Summer would be over by that time, so it didn’t really matter. Espadrilles are strictly a warm-weather love affair.
This year, my heart was seized (it was love at first sight) by a blue-and-white checked pair of Casteners with open toes. If you’re familiar with the “Gilligan’s Island” test, these are definitely Mary Ann, not Ginger. Last year, I bought a cheap pair at Zara with black bows for a combo seaside/evening wear look, and a more expensive pair in a boutique in France. This summer I’ll rotate all three…and when they are threadbare and in need of re-treads, I’ll know that autumn has replaced my favorite season, and it’s time to get down to business again. Until then, it’s free, easy and breezy. And if you want to throw some Latin in there: pulchra. Quite pretty.
We are in the same period of absolutely ideal days here, all the trees in leaf, temperatures in the mid-20’s…and my thoughts immediately turned to an inventory of my espadrilles and plans to acquire a couple of new pairs this week-end. My favorites are olive green silk and linen but I always have the cheaper flat ones in black and/or white. But I’ve got to find those adorable checked ones 🙂
It’s funny to see how this cheapest of Basque inventions has turned into such a fashion statement!
Oh, I didn’t realize they were Basque! That’s a great bit of information.
I am in Spain right now. It has been 34 degrees for the past few days and girls here are still wearing winter boots and clothes. What is wrong with these people?????
LOL!! This is so funny…I have always marveled at the ability of these warm-climate people to cling to the notion of cold weather long after it’s gone. Old, young…you’re so write…you still some crazies in wool suits and Uggs. We’re in flip flops today; that’s how hot it is here.
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