Know Your Terms: Espadrille

Because dropping the lingo is half the fun of dressing well.
Photo: Street Etiquette

Street Etiquette's Travis Gumbs (left) and friend demonstrate the espadrille's versatility for spring and summer.

We have a belief that—in the world of style, anyway—a man only fears what he doesn’t know. And if espadrilles happen to fall into that category, we’re here to dispel any mystery. First made in the Middle Ages in the same Spanish region whence comes your favorite Rioja (where they are still largely manufactured today), espadrilles (from the Catalan espart, a tough local grass) are casual shoes whose identifying characteristic are their thick, woven rope soles. Usually featuring a whole-cut canvas upper on a braided jute (translation: natural fiber) sole, these slip-ons—the predecessors of the ever-popular Vans slide—are timeless classics, and still rightfully popular today.

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