Towering espadrilles spring forth

With the arrival of pointed-toe shoes in this past fall's collections, it looked as if chunky platforms and towering wedges were on their way out the door.

But along with feminine flats and kitten heels, one of the prettiest looks for spring and summer are towering espadrilles in vibrant hues and in basic tans, blacks and whites.

Espadrilles have been worn in Spain for centuries as flat everyday work shoes. But their earthy fabrics of linen and jute have for years made them summer staples for the fashion crowd too.

And you'll find a great selection of this style in flats — Ralph Lauren's crocheted lace-ups and Jimmy Choo pink-stitched suede to name a few — but there are loads of espadrilles for those searching for a little more height.

Designer Silvia Tcherassi Gia's wedge for Payless features a four-inch heel and wrap-around rope ankle ties with frayed tassels and bead accents. The Bertie label's Catalina tapestry wedge features a tribal-inspired pattern.

Even Toms Shoes, which donates a pair of shoes to children in need for every pair it sells, has added wedges to its selection of no-frills flat-soled espadrilles. The company's Corbel style features a lively floral print of blues and pinks, $69 at