Nothing communicates European sophistication more than a pair of classic espadrilles. If you have been to France or Spain, you’ll have seen countless stylish women wearing flat and wedged espadrilles with anything from a pair of shorts to a flowy sundress. And if you have been following the same tumblrs as us you’ll have seen Chanel’s upscale version of the espadrille that we’ve been dying to get our hands on for quite some time.

This style of shoe has had a long standing history and has shown that throughout the ages it will still remain an essential item to the stylish individual’s summer wardrobe. Originally from Spain, espadrilles, made of woven jute and cotton, were worn since the 1700s by Basque soldiers and clergy. It then became popular among the rest of northern Spain and south western France’s populations because of its versatility, breathability, and comfort. By the 1950s however, espadrille makers (or alpargateros in Spanish) decided to transform the shoe into a more modern and stylish version for women to wear. This prompted the visionary Yves Saint Laurent to commission a pair for his runway show that had a slight heel to it, beginning a new craze for wedged espadrilles.

It doesn’t take YSL and Chanel to convince us that a good pair of flat and wedged espadrilles are a summer sartorial must-have. We’ve already been snagging up a few new pairs for every day wear. While we believe that espadrilles are versatile and can be worn with all sorts of outfits, here are the pairings that we prefer: for an edgy and relaxed look, we love a pair of cutoff denim shorts with flat espadrilles. If you want to look ultra feminine, pair a skirted sundress with a ribbon wedged version.

We did some preliminary shopping for you to get on your way to get that southern European sophisticated look.

Shop Rue: 1. Leather Wedges // 2. Navy and White Striped Wedges // 3. Leopard Print Flats // 4. Navy and Tan Flats // 6. Thin Striped Flat Sandals // 7. Red Blue and White Striped Lace Up Flats // 8. Pink Tan and Gold Wedges