An Ode to Espadrilles

I bought my first pair of espadrilles from J.Crew when I was a sophomore or junior in high school. I don’t remember a lot about them, except they were definitely flats, they didn’t have ankle laces, and it took me a minute to get used to walking on a stiff, jute platform. But fall in love with them I did, and I wore them non-stop one summer until they basically fell apart (or maybe I’d gotten them wet too many times at the neighborhood pool; who can really say at this point?).

A girlfriend of mine texted me the other day to ask for advice on what to wear to a summer wedding in Hawaii, where heels have been strongly discouraged due to grass-based festivities. She sent me a link to a pair of espadrilles that she was meh on; I replied with a “Have you ever checked out Soludos? I think they have a ton of styles right now.” I hadn’t actually looked at their site in forever, but two pairs of leather Soludos sandals acquired over successive summers via Shopbop have held up perfectly, and become my summertime faves. When I went to the actual Soludos mothership, I was blown away by how many espadrilles they had. And how much I wanted all of them. And how affordable they all were! So that’s what inspired this post. I’ve probably been living under a rock, because subsequent excited texts about these shoes to other style-loving friends yielded a few “Yeah dude…I know” replies. But just in case you’ve been under the rock with me…

It feels like espadrilles are bigger than ever this spring, and I’m not complaining. I’m really into the styles that have hybridized the mule trend; even better if you add the tassel trend too (seriously, THESE SHOES!). In putting this post together, I also found out that well-known espadrille manufacturer Castañer has been around the block when it comes to these babies, and they were directly responsible for helping Yves Saint Laurent put the wedge espadrille on the map. Isn’t that cool? So if you buy a pair of Castañers, do it with the knowledge that you’re also getting a little piece of style history (I’d say you can’t go wrong with these).

Shop Espadrilles:

Espadrille history found via Wikipedia.

Little Luxuries: 8 Things Under $50 I Can’t Live Without

We’re kickin’ it old school today in two ways: for one, you might recall the Little Luxuries column I used to do all the time back in the day. And second (and even more fun!), I’m participating in a Link Up! This one is being hosted by <em>press, the WordPress themes shop I run with Lisa. You might not know this, but not only are we selling WordPress themes and plugins, we’ve also regularly been publishing content over on our blog there. Our goal is to build a community specifically for bloggers! Several years back, when I ran The B Bar, we hosted Link Ups similar to this, and it was one of my favorite aspects of that shop. I thought I’d bring it back with <em>press, and today is our first link up!

Basically: we published an open prompt, and anyone who wished to join in was invited to answer it! This month’s Link Up prompt is:

What are 5 things under $50 you can’t live without?

I couldn’t keep mine to just 5, so hooray, you’re getting my top 8. Read on to find out what they are, and be sure to check out the other blog participants in this month’s Link Up to see what they selected too! You can find their links at the end of this post.
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Lead photography by Chuttersnap via Unsplash. Graphics created by Victoria McGinley Studio.

Ugly Delicious

quick thing.

You really, really need to watch the entire Ugly Delicious series on Netflix, if you haven’t started it already. Any devoted Netflix-ee will tell you that it feels like the network has been overrun with questionable programming in the last six to twelve months (this joke from South Park still comes up in our household and makes us laugh). But Ugly Delicious is one of the best docuseries I’ve seen as of late, if not the last couple of years. Dare I say it rivals Chef’s Table in its scope, and bests it in its commentary?

Made by chef David Chang (of Momofuku fame) and documentary director Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom and many others), each episode of Ugly Delicious focuses on a particular dish, and examines its cultural impact, historical context, and who’s making delicious versions of it worldwide. It’s a travel and food show, but not like any you’ve seen before. There’s not a ton of food porn montaging; instead, I think some of the most fascinating scenes are round table discussions between chefs, celebrities, and authors discussing what the dish means to them and their home culture.

For example.

The fried chicken episode explores a dish that can be found in nearly every culture in the world, but deeper still, how politically and racially charged it can be here in the States (while abroad, there’s no connotation with it at all other than it being delicious). Growing up in Texas, the barbecue episode was another favorite. The team explores how barbecue is viewed regionally in the states (where I grew up, it meant brisket and really good quality sausage; rarely pork and never simply grilling stuff outside), but makes the interesting point that while Americans probably wouldn’t consider something like Peking duck barbecue…it is.

thoughts on ugly delicious docuseries

There’s SO much more to these topics than what I could possibly write in a short little Wednesday post for you, but all I can say is I strongly recommend you add this show to your queue! I got Joe to watch an episode with me and he was hooked too. We blew through all of the episodes in the last couple of weeks, and enjoyed them all (his fave was the “Stuffed” episode). You don’t need to watch the episodes in order; pick your favorite food and dig in!

You can get more info on Ugly Delicious here , and read up on it here, here, and here.