There was a time, believe it or not, when a ballet flat was a throwback to the chic style of Audrey Hepburn, circa 1950s and 60s. After a major resurgence in the last decade, modern women everywhere can rejoice; this wardrobe staple is a classic brought back to life that will never be out of style. Why? It does one of the rarest things in the world of fashion: provides a pleasing aesthetic while delivering functionality.
These days, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the choices available for flats. At every price point, in virtually any and every store that sells shoes, you'll find a number of styles of flats. From the round toe to the bowed-top to bejeweled sandals, it's just not always easy to tell what's really going to make or break your outfit. Trust us, shoes are that important. So take a few tips on different styles that work perfectly with day and night style. Use high-end versions as must-have inspiration and then find what works for your budget in any one of a number of locations. Here's an extra tip: it's worth it to invest in at least one pair of flats made of high quality materials that will last you throughout the season. Think of it as an investment that can dress up even the most rugged Saturday-morning-coffee-run outfit.
A Touch of Animal
Leopard is here to stay, whether it's a belt, scarf, cardigan, or pair of flats. That extra touch, without going overboard, adds edge.
Leoffler Randall Quinnie, $295 at footcandyshoes.com
There's no reason not to have fun with your shoe collection. A touch of lace, a hint or splash of neon is very of-the-moment cool and will add panache to a neutral toned outfit.
Guiseppe Zanotti Neon Lace-Covered Metallic Flats, $550 at net-a-porter.com
The pointed toe flat adds a touch of sophistication for your night looks. Again, patent is the way to add a little bit of dress-up to take the place of a heel.
Sam Edelman Harper Pointed Patent Flat Slingbacks, $223.81 at asos.com
If you buy only one pair of flats for spring and summer, let them be nude. They'll lengthen your gams, allowing you to wear short shorts and sweet skirts with confidence. A patent leather pair will add a touch of shine and polish to ultra-casual day looks.
Kors Michael Kors Odette Flats, $150 at bloomingdales.com
Even the most rock star wardrobe could use a touch of girly simplicity. It's the mix up of style that denotes a true fashion savvy girl. Pair the sweet ballet flat, topped with a little bow, with faded or torn boyfriend jeans and a Breton striped top. Add a candy-apple-red blazer for personality.
Chloe Ballerina Flat, $485 at kirnazabete.com
A metallic sandal is imperative for summer and spring. Wear it under your maxi skirts and dresses, with dressy shorts and basic tops. Use it to "dress up" on nights when you know you'll be outdoors with your feet on the ground.
Havana Metallic T-Bar Sandals, $32 at topshop.com