Review of the K. Jacques Epicure Sandals
After a seemingly endless scrolling session through Pinterest’s boards full of ridiculously short summer dresses and expensive leather sandals, I have finally invested in a pair of sandals that have graced my wishlist for the longest time: a pair of tan K. Jacques Epicure sandals. With the heat of summer in the south of France, wearing as little as possible while still looking elegant can be a tough job. However, when it comes to footwear, less is always more, and quality should always go before style. K. Jacques is the epitome of the French summer sandal, and the brand knows how to bring out a sandal that is consistent in both style and comfort.
This review of the K.Jacques sandals deals with the price, quality and fit of the shoe. If you have any questions or remarks, feel free to leave a comment.
The K. Jacques sandal comes from a brand with a history. The label was founded in the 1930s in St. Tropez in France by Armenian refugee Jacques Keklikian and his wife Elise. The leather sandals were made-to-measure for each customer and the shop often made sandals for the glamorous and famous holidaying in and around St. Tropez. Many of the styles of today haven’t changed a bit since they first came out, and the brand is known for their craftmanship and their artisanal family-owned business.
In France, the K. Jacques brand has been intrinsically linked to a handful of celebrities. Due to the clean lines and unchanging design, the sandals have graced the feet of many of the French it-crowd of painters, writers, and filmmakers (which we would now mockingly name les bobos). Birgitte Bardot, Cocteau, Picasso, Colette, Paul Géraldy and Oliver Hardy are among those who incorporated the K. Jacques sandal into their summer look. For those interested in visiting their stores in St. Tropez, there are two stores in total, located at 39 rue Allard and 28 rue Seillon. I have personally never been, but the brand has apparently been owning the shop at rue Allard since 1933. Which is, in my opinion, worth a visit by itself.
To call the sandals a splurge would be a bit of an understatement. The K. Jacques Epicure model is currently sold for around 220 euros. During the sale period, I have seen the Epicure model get sold for about 145 euros (such as here), but that is about as good as it gets. Regardless of quality and craftsmanship, I would normally never pay this price for a pair of sandals. However, I consider myself lucky to have found the Epicure model heavily discounted on Yoox. I think they were from an old stock (the back strap is slightly different from the newer Epicure sandal), and I bought them for 90 euros including shipping. So if you are not willing to pay full price, keep an eye on outlet sites such as Yoox and The Outnet for a good deal. Secondhand sites such as Vestiaire Collective and The Real Real seem to have some pre-loved pairs for a more generous price as well.
The K. Jacques sandals come in standard European sizing. I have a European size 37 in almost everything (Isabel Marant, Kooples, Topshop etcetera) and ordered these sandals in a size 37 as well. Even though they the footbed is the right size, the straps are rather snug and sit around my feet tightly. I have very small feet, so this hardly even happens. Were I able to order these sandals again, I would have probably sized up one size and would have taken the 38. However, since the footbed is the right size, I am hoping for the leather straps to loosen up a little bit over time. The straps don’t hurt though, it’s just that I personally prefer a little bit more space.
There are two things I adore about these sandals, and that is their sheer simplicity and the quality of the leather. The colour and quality of the leather of the sandals looks impeccable and was the first thing that caught my eye when opening the box. Given the fact that normally my sandals (even the good quality leather ones) give up after one season of intense wear, my main reason for investing in a high-quality leather pair of sandals is that I want to wear them for longer than one mere season. The leather of the sandals is thick, difficult to bend and does not crease or wrinkle at all after a couple of wears. The stitching is incredibly sturdy, and the sole is thick with a comfortable and perfectly fitting footbed. With a price tag of over 200 euros quality is expected, but in my opinion K. Jacques is on top of the list when it comes to leather and sturdiness. I have heard that the leather will age like fine wine, and that the shoe will get a beautiful worn-in look after a couple of months.
Current verdict: do the sandals look like good quality? Definitely. I have yet to come across another pair of sandals with such thick and beautiful leather, and with such detailed stitching and refined cut. Are they worth the money? This is completely relative and depending on your personal point of view. Frankly, in my case, they clearly look more expensive than the 90 euros I paid for them.
However, it should be noted that I have only owned the K. Jacques sandals for one month now. To keep this review fair, honest and detailed, I will report back after wearing them intensively in the south of France and Hong Kong this summer. The biggest question I have regarding these sandals is whether their quality really holds up after a season of intensive wear. I am tired of throwing away sandals at the end of every summer, and hope that these will last me a couple of years. Since I am moving to a warmer climate, I am hoping for these sandals to become my go-to pair. Time will tell, and I will tell and update this review at the end of summer with my final verdict.
While the quality of the sandals is outstanding, and the footbed is comfortable and fits tight but well, I have yet to see how the sandals hold up over the years. The little wear they received so far hardly shows, though, and I have been advised to wipe the footbed every now and then with a warm cloth to keep the surface clean. As for sizing, I am happy with my regular size, but could have taken one size up as well if I wanted the straps to be a little looser. Their price tag is relatively high, and even though you pay for craftsmanship and the family name, the fame of the sandals did slightly inflate the price. However, during sales the prices might drop about forty percent. If not, there are always secondhand options.
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