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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.

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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