From Ines de la Fressange, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Coppola and Olivia Palermo, these stylish women’s footwear are reminders that comfort and style can exist in tandem.
Oddly enough, it took me until my twenties to discover ballet flats as for some reason I only thought heels were a feminine choice. Perhaps that was because I lived on a small ranch in the country and wearing heels or anything that might get dirty probably wasn’t a great investment especially for kids and teenagers. Thus, I didn’t wear much more than tennis shoes and boots.
Either way, flats have become my favorite shoe of choice for a variety of reasons, and except for in very rare instances, I doubt there is one any lifestyle that a woman’s wardrobe wouldn’t benefit from at least one pair.
Just like any shoe, there are endless styles and options, but I always try to have at least three different types of flats in my closet – black, nude and a print or one of color. Here are a few other reasons to consider adding a few quality pairs of flats to your wardrobe.
Each designer will make their flat with with different soles, but simply not having to wear a heel to work and be assured you still look chic, feminine and professional is a wonderful plus. One of the most comfortable pairs of flats I have discovered was from Ecco, but so long as you keep in mind your true shoe size and choose quality materials, you have a long list of options. Here are a few of my favorite comfort options: French Sole, Lanvin, Tory Burch.
From classic matte leather, patent leather, quilted, pointed toe, smoking slippers, loafers, espadrilles, all sorts of colors, toe decals (love Roger Vivier, and French Sole has one similar here), d’orsay or ankle strap, the options seem to never end. Certain styles compete a more casual look (rounded toe, slippers and espadrilles), while others convey a more refined finish (pointed toe, d’orsay, quilted and certain rounded toe styles). While most flats use cow’s leather, more unique expensive flats can be found in ostrich, snakeskin , or other exotic leathers. Regardless, it is the clothing that it is paired with and the woman who wears them that will determine their presentation and translation.
Another lovely quality of the flat is that no matter what your age, from a young girl to matured years, flats look absolutely appropriate and impressive. I can’t help but think of Audrey Hepburn as she became the iconic image of the simple, yet chic style in her youth, but reminded us throughout her life, why the flat spans all generations.
If spending more than $100 on a pair of shoes makes you uncomfortable, I completely understand. But when you consider that with better quality comes a longer life (for the shoe), and that the style is timeless and will always be en vogue, purchasing a $200 pair and maybe someday a $400 pair of Lanvin classic scrunched ballet flats, is something to consider. Take your time considering which style, color, and material would be best for your lifestyle (see below for a few helpful guidelines and tips), and then invest wisely. I am confident you will be glad you did.
Wear with dresses, wear with ankle pants, wear with skirts – there really are very few occasions that don’t welcome the choice of the flat.
Easy to Pack
With some flats being able to be rolled up to conserve space in suitcases, the mere fact that there is no heel or tall shaft (boots) to contend with allows one to pack a few more favorite items.
Things to consider when purchasing a pair of flats:
- Soles – while leather is lighter, rubber does offer more traction.
- Synthetic – while both inexpensive and expensive brands use it, it is primarily understood that economical brands use synthetic soles which is durable, but may not be as flexible as other options. Synthetic uppers do not allow the foot to breathe, so be sure to use liners to prevent sweating.
- Leather soles – rarely used, but mark the sign of most top designer shoes. Leather soles wear out quickly, so must be cared for properly (soles can be replace or a protective sole can be placed on the bottom).
- Patent leather – gives the shoe the shine and helps protect the shoe from water damage (but by no means so it mean it should be worn through water like a wellie).
- Silk or Satin uppers – fabric often used on evening flats
- For work and everyday – choose a leather upper with synthetic soles
- For formal evening attire – go ahead and splurge on leather soles and silk or satin uppers
- French Soles sizes run 1/2 size large
- Lanvin sizes run 1/2 small
Brands to take a look at:
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And a few more examples for your extra style inspiration. Enjoy!
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