I've always associated espadrilles with a European who would wear a pencil thin moustache and an ascot. Or, a Frenchman who paired espadrilles with a boat neck, navy stripe shirt and white capri pants. Images of Sonny Crockett's espadrilles with unstructured pastel linen jackets are as hysterical as a cop in Florida with a yacht and a Ferrari. But never say never and like all things sartorial -- the slippery slope, at least for me, almost always starts with an image.
Granted, I wasn't thinking of espadrilles when I first saw this photo of, and taken by, Alice Olive (her blog here). I wasn't thinking of how well the photo was composed or how she nailed the exposure or how she set the shot up. But as the image burned into my brain -- her navy espadrilles must've followed. Still, my issue with espadrilles isn't about women wearing them.
How does a man pull off the espadrille without looking like...Well, what Tom Waits called, "...a spent piece of used jet trash." I think Alice's photo helped soften my aversion and made way for these Souleiado espadrilles I saw yesterday afternoon.
With vintage J McLaughlin GTH pants they certainly make a statement, but it's one of humor, wisdom and experience. This is not the parvue of a 20-something college kid whose idea of cutting edge is Vineyard Vines and Tucker Blair. This is for the grown ups.
The more I look at these the more I'm drawn in. Maybe that's why the older man can pull off brighter "Off TheReservation" colors. The style is very traditional. What Alan Flusser called, "king of the hill party clothes" in Style and the Man. I like my description better. OTR. It has a ring to it. I'll have to call the lawyers.
Anyway, here are some examples of interesting espadrilles. $12 a pair (or less) and available here. Granted, I've never dealt with the company and it is in Argentina (thanks, Charlie G.) but like I said, We're going O.T.R. here.