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There’s not much I can’t justify to myself when it comes to shopping - if I try really hard to ignore all of the price tags - but when it comes to purchasing yet another pair of Birkenstocks, even I struggle to rationalise the expense.
The original ‘ugly sandal’, Birkenstocks have been a staple in my wardrobe - and the wardrobes of many, much more fashion-forward others - for years now, and I have more pairs than I care to admit.
So, I knew that if I wanted a new pair then I’d have to get clever. And get clever I did.
I scoured the internet for a look-alike pair that would do the ugly sandal justice, but didn’t cause quite as big a financial impact, and after several hours of searching, I found them.
The Marks & Spencer Flatform Espadrilles come in black, silver and white, and feature chunky buckle straps and soft inner lining similar to much-loved Birkenstocks.
So I bought a pair - just one - to try them out.
And reader, I have worn them all summer.
The vegan - yep, that’s vegan leather - sandals offer immediate softness, bounce and surprising support, with a shaped footbed for comfortable and supported wear.
Buy them: Flatform Espadrilles | £29.50 from Marks & Spencer
The rattan-effect two-tone sole upgrades the slider immeasurably and makes it look much more high-end than it is, as well as playing into the style and texture that’s been everywhere this summer.
The M&S website makes the bold claim that the sandals “elevate every look” and in my opinion, they aren’t wrong.
Due to the flatform heel these sandals feel smart and so can be worn out to dinner with a pair of jeans and a floral blouse for the ultimate effortless smart casual look, but they can also just as easily be worn to the supermarket to get more milk (read: chocolate).
I’ve worn them with dresses, I’ve worn them with shorts, I’ve worn them with trousers and - one fateful day - I even wore them with a dressing gown, albeit only to the recycling bin.
Needless to say, the white and silver colourways are currently winging their way to me as we speak.