To my surprise, a personable male employee at Lowe’s Home Center on Chapel Hill’s Fordham Boulevard recently took an interest in my shoes as I walked through the Lawn and Garden department.  Who knew?  Matt, the unexpected questioner, commented that my shoes were cool and wondered what the style was called.  Good taste, Matt!  I was more than happy to educate him in the finer art of footwear.  I had on my “sunburst yellow” espadrille wedges with grosgrain ribbon ankle wrap.   
Traditional espadrilles have been around for thousands of years.  As fashion evolved in the 1950s, so did the espadrille to add sophistication and better suit the times.  In fact, celebrated designer Yves St-Laurent requested an espadrille “with a heel” for the Parisian festivities during the 1960s, which had never been done before.  Suddenly it was all the rage! 

Today, according to an official espadrille website, almost all the women who live in the southern regions own a pair of espadrilles with heels and ribbons that tie around the ankle.  That would be me!
Now that summer is here, you may have already whipped that fabulous shoe collection of yours into shape.  But isn’t it a constant work in progress?  For example, got an everyday flat or a super cool wedge?  Make way for some top shoes your closet needs now.
The iconic espadrille – These are my “sunburst yellow” espadrille wedges that Matt at Lowe’s liked.  Lucky me, I also have them in fuchsia.
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A wedge with attitude – A high heel that’s actually comfortable?  Believe it!  Wedges are just that.  Love the look and feel!  Below is a big, bold striped platform wedge on the left and a lower wedge sandal in tangerine tango on the right.

Funky flat sandal – Turquoise takes this sandal to a new level.  Stones and jewels add class and flair to the summer sandal.
Eye-popping evening pump – Going out on the town and need to kick it up a notch?  Add a pop of color and maybe even some animal print like the one below.
Description: Sole Obsession Alisa Sandal
Seasonless boot – There doesn’t seem to be a season without a boot in these parts.  Just check out the fashionistas at Carolina football games in strapless dresses and cowboy boots.  Not my first choice of footwear on a warm day, but a regional favorite in some parts!
Description: Coconuts Lodie Western Boot
Color block cutie – One of my favorite retro looks is back in a variety of fashion and footwear.  (See The Fashion Plate’s last column on Favorite Summer Fashion Trends.)  Color-blocking is vibrant and alive!

Your go-to flat – Everyone needs a neutral little number.  Maybe that’s your go-to flat.  Sensible fashionistas favor flats for function and comfort as a rule or for certain situations like a long day at work.
Description: Jimmy Choo Walsh Flat
Preppy boat shoe – It’s back.  (Wait a minute.  Did the preppy boat shoe ever really go out of style?  Maybe not in Carolina coastal country.)  Regardless, boat shoes seem to have returned to mainstream.
Description: Roxy Skipper Boat Shoe
Flip flop fever – They come in all forms from Reef brand for men with a built-in bottler opener on the sole to stacked and stylish for women.  Flat and functional flip flops serve a universal poolside purpose to the majority.  Flops rule, come summer!
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Thanks for the story idea, Matt!  Share your favorite summer shoes with readers below.
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