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Slip into Summer with the Best Espadrilles for Men

Soludos

Summer is not kind to men’s feet, nor is toe cleavage on men a pretty sight. In fact, except on the beach, we’d be fine if we never spotted another male toe. And the seasonal footwear options? Don’t get us started, but suffice it to say: Meh, at best. Enter the espadrille, that rope sole  unisex style favored by creative luminaries such as Picasso and Hemingway. In Europe, the style is as common as the flip flop is here in America, and now it’s gaining popularity with regular guy folk stateside. With a slew of old and new brands offering more and more styles for guys, it’s time to ditch the flip flop and throw on a pair of espadrilles for a dose of Riviera cool.

Soludos for Opening Ceremony

Nick Brown, founder of Soludos

Back in 2010, NY-based brand Soludos quietly launched with a small line of unisex espadrilles. Nick Brown, the brand’s founder, made a shoe based on the espadrilles that he wore growing up in Spain. Like traditional espadrilles, Soludos have a jute sole and stitched detailing, but Brown added a few features such as a padded sole to make the shoes more comfortable. Bringing together tradition and more modern fabrication, the shoes became a hit with Brown’s friends and family. Eventually, he began to sell his creations in small boutiques in the Soho neighborhood of NY, and today, he’s expanded his distribution to include online sales and stores on both coasts.

Soludos (which combines “sol,” meaning “sun” in Spanish, with “salud,” Spanish for “cheers!”) even caught the eye of a few big name retailers. J. Crew is carrying specific colorways in their collab and uber-trendy boutique Opening Ceremony commissioned Brown for unique creations using materials such seersucker, raffia and linen and patterns inspired by Morocco, Liberty prints for the ladies and a cork model that’s sure to earn a wait list of its own.

Toms Cordones

For more straight-laced guys, charitable label TOMS also integrates the traditional jute details of the espadrille in their Cordones model ($74).

Like all their shoes, the brand will  donate a pair to a child for every pair sold, so every time you slip into these espadrille- inspired shoes, you can feel good about your summer purchase. Available in multiple colors, they’ve added a comfortable cushion to their traditional suede insoles (seaside adventures call for all-day comfort) and even engineered the style to work with or without laces. A hidden elastic gore holds the shoe on if you want to go casual and opt out of lacing.

Ralph Lauren Bowsworth Espadrille

American mainstay Ralph Lauren isn’t just about boat shoes and schooners. Ralph’s released a bright option for good ol’ American boys who want to add a bit of Riviera flavor to their clambake staples. The Bosworth Espadrille ($225) is one of the most practical of our picks because Lauren’s model opts out of the ropey jute sole and slaps on a rubber one, making this slip-on slip-resistant. He’s also swapped out fabric uppers for a more hardy suede, which ups the luxe factor (and the price tag). But unlike Saludos, which are designed to be like summertime, — fleeting and temporary — the Ralph espadrilles are lined with leather and made to last.

Rivieras Leisure Shoes

 

If roped soles are too rustic, but you don’t want to lose the resort-wear look, French brand Rivieras is an upgrade from flip-flops and skater-staple Vans. The slip-on style adds a dose of sartorial cred and post-war cool. Modeled after shoes worn in the ’50s in the Costa Blanca region of Spain, the French label kept all the Midcentury details in their updates but upgraded the materials to let feet breathe and make the shoes more comfortable on sand, boardwalks and cobblestones alike. Available in a rainbow of colors and a few different material options — woven and solids –, they go vintage without being completely out of date. They’ve also entered the collaboration game, producing a special edition with hip French hipster brand Surface to Air.

We say, make like Hemingway and go grab a pair. (Absinthe not included.)

Photos courtesy Soludos, Saks Fifth Avenue and Rivieras

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Save Steal Splurge: the Red Crossbody Bag

When you’re looking to add a new handbag to your collection, the natural inclination is probably to go black or neutral. But take a look at the bags you’re using: they’re probably black or brown. So instead of adding another one to your closet, go bold and choose a bright red bag. We’ve gathered together three of our favorites, which are small enough to swing around on your errands (or to take to a theme park — the ultimate test for any crossbody) and still chic enough to wear when you’re grabbing a drink or two.

After all, that’s what you want those hands free for, right?

Save: Marc by Marc Jacobs Sally Crossbody ($198)

Steal: Tory Burch Robinson Mini Bag ($325)

Splurge: Valentino Embossed Oval Leather Crossbody ($1,975)

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It Takes Two: Our Favorite Fall Cape Jackets

When you hear about hybrids, you’re probably thinking about Priuses, not ponchos. But the fashion world is obsessed with an outerwear mashup that brings together your run-of-the-mill coat with something pretty extraordinary: a cape. No, we’re not talking Frozen-style floor-sweeping princess capes, think more along the lines of Goop at the Oscars, only a little more wearable.

Championed by street-style stars, fashion designers like Rachel Roy and Diane von Furstenberg and more, the cape jacket is an easy way to amp up your style and stay warm. Plus, you’ve got access to your hands €” which most capes and ponchos are sorely laking in. So cozy up to your favorite holiday latte, check those names off your list and get yourself one of these stunners.

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Monday Muse: Saint Laurent’s L.A. Groupies go Gaga for Parisian Couture

Saint Laurent Spring 2015

Whatever your thoughts on Saint Laurent’s direction under the leadership of Hedi Slimane, there’s no denying two things: street style stars love the designer’s glittery Mary Janes and chelsea boots and the cash registers are ringing loud and clear. There’s one more thing that’s undeniable — Slimane’s obsessed with L.A. culture and every collection that he’s shown (for both the label’s menswear collections and women’s collections) has drawn from the rock ‘n roll culture that developed here during the ’70s. But now with the disco decade pinging all over the fashion world, Slimane’s Saint Laurent moved the trend forward. The Spring 2015 collection brought glam rock to the forefront with plenty of luxe detailing, metallic finishes and platform shoes that’ll have those sparkling Mary Janes green with envy.

Saint Laurent Spring 2015

Past Saint Laurent collections have been inspired by the ladies of Laurel Canyon and the rock stars that frequented the stage at the Viper Room, but this season, Slimane honed in on disco dancing and the over-the-top style of singers and their groupies. There were plenty of the brand’s new signatures, including leggy models wearing black stockings, truncated shapes that meant short shorts and cropped jackets and the long lean lines that Slimane carried over from his time at the helm of Dior Homme. But the L.A. girl, dressed in her up-to-there shorts and her tiny leather jacket never tries too hard, so while it might look like some of the items Slimane showed could have been picked up at the Goodwill or Salvation Army, they were embellished to the nines.

There were embroidered velvet capes that drew on the house’s couture roots and the mixed-media platform boots, which combined leather, metallic skins and velvet, definitely looked expensive (and are sure to be when they hit shelves).

Saint Laurent Spring 2015

The Sunset Strip came together with the Rive Gauche with prints of cherries, abstracted flowers and stars pulled right from Hollywood Boulevard. Suede patchwork jackets and fluttery dresses stood out against all-black outfits and flashes of sequins made even the most weary fashion editor (Saint Laurent shows in Paris, the last stop of Fashion Month), seemed to get a glint in their eye when a micro mini or shrunken blazer passed with a hint of crimson. It was those details that reminded everyone that they weren’t at a rock concert, but at the presentation of a label with access to the best embroiderers, fabric printers and more. The girls looked ready to rock, their couture-level embroideries and studded platforms looked like they’d survive even the pushiest mosh pits.

The finale shined in true (new) Saint Laurent style, with allover metallic mini dresses, a few fashion turbans — this was the ’70s, after all — short leather outfits and not a single gown to be seen. It seems that the Saint Laurent groupie isn’t into red carpets, but she’s sure to be the center of attention at all of the afterparties.

Images courtesy and

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Save Steal Splurge: the Riding Boot

You know the drill. Even if you’ve got a pair of boots that you love one fall, when next fall comes around, you get the itch to update. We get it, because although the beloved Stuart Weitzman 50/50 is an investment, sometimes you’ve just got to get something shiny and new. So this season, we’ve picked out some of our favorite tall boots — all with a little bit of equestrian edge. And as a bonus, two of our picks, the Chinese Laundry boot and the Cynthia Vincent option are great for those with a little more of an athletic calf.

So as the weather cools down, slide into these great boots for an instant seasonal update.

Save: Chinese Laundry Fallout ($89.95)

Steal: Steve Madden Ryperr ($170)

Splurge: Cynthia Vincent Hamilton ($495)

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Save Steal Splurge: Cool Jewels €” Our Favorite Statement Rings

After a few seasons playing second fiddle to arm parties and big bib necklaces, the ring is coming back to take its place at the forefront of your bling brigade. Yes, the big cocktail ring is back €” and bigger than ever. Whether you’re into geometric pieces, vintage-inspired baubles or all-out glam, there’s a style for you at every price point. So if grandma wasn’t the type to pile it on or you’re not one to rifle through vintage shops, these bold rings will give you an all-access pass to the front of the accessories pack.

So go ahead and talk with your hands, because these rings are made to be noticed.

Save: Rebecca Minkoff Caged Ring ($58)

Steal: Rachel Zoe Hale Ring ($95)

Splurge: Michael Kors Cushion Cut Statement Ring ($125)

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The Best Denim Jackets for Under $80

Denim doesn’t just come in skinny and boyfriend. If you’ve reached jean exhaustion, try getting fresh with a new denim jacket. It’s a California staple, especially in the summer when they look great paired with sundresses and boho staples. But even if you’re not a flower child, a clean jean jacket is a great piece to pair with even your most business-leaning go-tos to make them a little more casual and cool.

But best of all, it’s a piece you don’t have to baby — beat it up and it’ll look better for all the wear. We’ve got great ones (in more shapes than just the traditional trucker) that won’t cut into your vacation budget.