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Let’s start off with Lucky Magazine’s Spring Shoe Guide (March 2011) as an intro. They list these shoes to add to your warmer weather wardrobe: wood platforms, jeweled slingbacks, bold loafers (as in bold colors), platform pumps, flat espadrilles, sliver-wedge sandals, pointy-toe slingbacks and cork wedges, followed by 2 strap sandals (on strap around the ankle and one over the toes) as their shoe-of-the-month in the April 2011 issue.

My thoughts: The wood platforms, cork wedges and flat espadrilles are pretty standard, every-spring-they’re-for-sale shoes (although I realize there’s a 70s vibe going around which is making shoe stores a little extra wood heavy). And I’m going to skeptically say I’ll stay on the lookout for someone wearing jeweled slingbacks as daywear in NYC. I also doubt you’ll see many people in bright loafers this spring/summer, especially with wide-leg trousers and maxi skirts trending now (can’t really wear loafers with those). But, I think the pointy-toe slingbacks, sliver-wedge sandals and 2 strap sandals are all spot-on. The sliver-wedge sandals are a nice progression of winter’s version popularized by Loeffler Randall’s sliver-boots. And I think pointy-toes will become more and more plentiful as the year progresses.

But I’ve also spotted a few other (more?) interesting spring shoe trends popping up and they actually all involve espadrilles!

First, I’ve noticed espadrilles with frayed straps. These are definitely more for your casual days but hey, if you already have a pair of strappy canvas wedges, don’t be afraid to dip into D.I.Y and rough them up a bit ;). And if you prefer the new versions, below Steve Madden, Coconuts and others have done the distressing for you.

Second, I’m seeing a lot of espadrille heels that continue up the ankle to form the heel cup; I’m calling them endless espadrilles. These shoes are AMAZING because when they’re on, at first glance you look like you might be wearing impossibly tall heels.Ā  They’re also especially nice because the style could hide a much lower heel like the 2.5 inch (I know!) version by Sam Edelman. And as a side note – yep, that brand in row 5 is Hunter of rainboot fame, apparently making some leather heels now.

Honorable mention goes to espadrilles that do not have covered ankles but instead feature an extra tall side portion or “cut-out” ankle strap that creates a similar illusion. Surprisingly, I found a nice example of these shoes at Old Navy which are a great option if you’re on a budget.

I still have one more trend for you further below, but for now, some picture proof!

FRAYED EDGES

Coconuts Avery

Bettye Muller Saffron

Steve Madden Fraid

ENDLESS ESPADRILLE HEELS

Matisse Asher

BCBGMAXAZRIA Malaga

Sam Edelman Leroy

Enzo Angiolini Ramie

Enzo Angiolini Romario

Hunter Anegada

HONORABLE MENTION

Old Navy Espadrille Wedges

Corso Como Decoy

Boutique 9 Illy

Not Too Coy Lydia

And last I’ve collected some irregular espadrille combos. Brands like Tory Burch and 3.1 Phillip Lim are marrying espadrille soles with a chukka or desert boot upper. This is probably best with a canvas boot and an excellent option when we’ve got those New York days where it’s warm for just a few hours in the afternoon sunshine and then you’ve got to put your jacket back on (like today!).

A few other brands, like Jeffrey Campbell and Prada, decided to add in an espadrille layer to a shoe that normally wouldn’t have it. This might technically shorten the seasonally appropriate lifespan of the shoes, but fashion rules are made to be broken. However, I’m not sure we should even call them espadrilles, and at the same time, I don’t think we can leave that out – it’s pretty distinctive. How about Espamaybelles? (I’ll break that down: espa-maybe-lles…? ok, well, I love it, haha).

Anyway, that’s it for now. Happy shopping all! And if you spot any other crazy espadrille hybrids, let me know.

Tory Burch Desert Bootie Espadrille

3.1 Phillip Lim lace up espadrille

Prada Lace-Up Cutout Wedge

Jeffrey Campbell Mary ESP

Mark & James Magnolia

Chinese Laundry Dragonfly

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Quick Trend Note – So I’ve noticed that rain boots are being updated in awesome ways lately. Do the rain boots currently in your closet have nothing but a quirky pattern? Ditch them! A solid and not too brightly colored boot is the easiest way to update your look this season. And with these new low-key colors, you won’t feel ridiculous wearing your rain boots all day when the weather forecasters turn out to be wrong (again). But to be really on trend, make sure that your rubber boots are spruced up with zippers, wedges, strap details, laces, trompe l’oeil designs or a sole that’s anything but flat! Rain boots can now come out and play even on the sunniest fall and winter days!

See By Chloe Classic

Hunter Boots Regent Savoy

The pocket design and faux quilting above are both fabulous examples of trompe l’oeil designs. Jimmy Choo came out with a great faux crocodile rubber boot that works too. The See by Chloe pair also has another of this season’s great rain boot accessories: laces! Whether they’re half laces up the front, full laces or back laces, everyone is using real strings to adorn their rubber wear right now (see below for more).

Loeffler Randall LR

Hunter Verbier

Kate Spade Randi

Melissa Ashanti

Long gone are the days when rain boots are simply flat and chunky. Today’s rain boots are trim, sleek and have heels in all shapes and heights. You can find rain boots with mini wedges or full 3 inch wedges, tall and low chunky heels, smooth riding boot heels and stilettos. Honestly I can find a reason to “need” one of every type.

Steve Madden Tsunamii

Cougar Regal

Tory Burch buckled rubber

Chooka London Town

I’ve also been seeing tons of motorcycle inspired rain boots with tons of straps and buckles topping rubber styles (KORS Michael Kors has another version). This style looks great with something a girly on top (a floaty, open cardigan sweater? a winter coat with a bit of ruffle?) to balance the toughness.

And below is one random standout – an OTK (over the knee) rainboot by Calvin Klein. If you’ve got long model legs, go for it! But if you’re a shortly like me, sadly it’s best to just pass on these. You’ll have a hard time walking up steps gracefully (and probably doing other common things like sitting) since rubber doesn’t bend as nicely as leather or fabric.

Now go shopping! šŸ˜‰

Calvin Klein Ava

On a related topic, as I posted on my Facebook and Twitter, I’m wondering about wellie socks. Do they work in all types and brands of rainboots? Look out for a new blog with what I find coming up soon!

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