Review of the Castañer Carina Espadrilles
Damn you, Alexa Chung. Sometimes I wish I had never encountered you on my early days on the internet. You know, back in the good old days when you were still dating Alex Turner and darted around wearing cool oversized shirts and cut-off jeans shorts during rainy festivals somewhere in the United Kingdom. You were – and I also hold you responsible for my teenage obsession with denim shorts and floral print dresses – the reason I started lusting after a perfect pair of dark Castañer espadrilles. Sadly, back in the day I had no idea about Castañer and alas, my search for a pair of wedge espadrilles ended unsuccessfully. However, that certain pair of Castañer espadrilles with a wedge heel never left the back of my mind. And happy I was, when I found out about Castañer and their beautiful espadrilles in all colours and shapes.
Last year I bought a different pair of beige Castañer espadrilles on sale (I talked about them in my Overview of 2015 Purchases post), and although I like them and wear them every now and then, I longed for a darker pair of espadrilles with a small wedge to give an extra dash of chic. After seeing different elegant women wear their Castañer espadrilles I was smitten, and dedicated myself to starting the search again. I simply love how the Castañer espadrilles combine with basic blue jeans, cut-off Levi’s or the A.P.C short denim skirt – proving how the Castañer espadrilles are in fact a classic and versatile piece and are, as you might not imagine, actually very wearable.
To make things a little bit more interesting, I opted for the Carina model in a black and beige colour combination with the 6 centimetres wedge heel. Initially having decided on navy, I figured that the black colour would be easier to match and wear with my other garments. The black colour also proved to give off a bit more of a city chic vibe. Seeing Alexa Chung wearing hers, I absolutely wanted to go for the black pair. I am glad I did, as 90 percent of my closet is already made up out of navy garments… Talking about being a creature of habit. Whelp. Anyway, the black Carina Castañers provided the necessary yet subtle colour change that my uniform needed.
Material and Fit
The espadrilles are made of a natural jute base, with a natural canvas front and a long black string, which can be tied two or three times around the ankle and can be tightened either on the front or the back (or on the side, if you prefer). The jute wedge is sturdy and made out of multiple layers on top of each other. It has a small sole on the bottom for some extra grip, which makes it surprisingly easy to trot around on them the whole day. I slipped right in them after purchasing and found no problem walking a whole day in the espadrilles. The fit is very, very comfortable and your foot does not slip out, but it is important to tightly tie the string around your leg. I normally have a size 37, and bought these espadrilles in my own size as I found that they comfortably hugged my feet. On other blogs I also read that the wedge espadrilles fit true to size, so I would definitely suggest ordering your normal size.
Unlike my beige pair of Castañer espadrilles, which look a little bit faded after wearing them occasionally for about a year, the black canvas stays nice over time. The footbed obviously fades a little after some wear since you wear them without socks or anything, but this does not bother me as it is invisible when wearing them. The jute is not as delicate as it looks like: it is very sturdy and refrains from getting saggy. The espadrilles definitely keep shape over time. I bought the Castañer Carina espadrilles on sale in a small boutique in the south of France for 50 euros, but the regular non-sale price is 85 euros in store or online (but the shipping fee can be quite pricey depending on where you ship them – Europe has a 12 euros shipping fee).
I am delighted to have finally found my pair of wedge espadrilles and have worn them all summer. Their versatility does not seem obvious at first sight, and in combination with their comfort they make a great pair of shoes. For me, the wedge heel is the perfect alternative to a pair of high heels: I normally detest wearing anything with a heel higher than 5 centimetres, but the wedge is extremely easy to walk on. 85 euros for a pair of espadrilles might seem a bit exorbitant, but I was told that the Castañer company also fabricates the espadrilles for Saint Laurent and Valentino, which retail for around 500 euro, which sounds absolutely ludicrous in my opinion. All in all, I am elated with mine and would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a pair of nonchalant, elegant yet comfortable wedge heels.
The Castañer Espadrilles: