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Espadrilles become an elevated summer staple Add to ...

When it comes to casual footwear, espadrilles - the jute-soled shoes so beloved by Europeans - are a step above flip-flops. But this season, the historically humble canvas flats, having advanced upon high-end runways, proved they could be an elevated staple in any creatively minded business guy's wardrobe. With some fancy footwork, even you can take them from Riviera to cubicle.

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1. Remember that you're neither at the beach nor the park. In a professional environment, you want to keep it polished. To this end, opt for casual suiting in linen or cotton or take a cue from Hermès (above left) and pair with a pair of crisp khakis (cuffed, if you prefer) and a leather jacket.

2. Wool suiting or anything too formal will look too out of place with such an informal shoe. Instead, work in sharp business attire in the form of a button-up shirt and, if you're feeling brave, a cotton or knit tie.

3. Keep in mind that, if your workplace is super-corporate, this look may not work for you. If you're in a creative field that doesn't demand stuffy suiting, however, espadrilles make a great alternative to desert boots or boat shoes. Likewise if you're looking to impress on casual Friday.

 

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