The Fashion Memo

Everybody’s Wearing Ballet Flats

Easy, effortless and eminently wearable, ballet flats are this season’s footwear favorite – from classic silhouettes to contemporary versions. By CHLOE STREET and GEORGIE LUCAS

Fashion assistant Nell Turner
Ballet flats are the most versatile of footwear staples – whatever your style or look

The answer to most of this season’s sartorial footwear dilemmas? Ballet flats. Some time in the ’40s, the design made the transition from exclusively for dancing to a polished daywear option – and has never been far from the style radar since. Synonymous with Parisian Left Bank elegance, ballet flats have graced the stylish feet of Hollywood stars from Audrey Hepburn to Brigitte Bardot – and, more recently, were a footwear favorite of the 2000s, worn on repeat by Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. For the past few seasons, ballet flats’ soaring popularity has been steadily transitioning the style from a goes-around-comes-around trend to a firm closet staple.

Beyond the ballet flat’s aesthetic appeal, the beauty of the design lies in both its versatility and its comfort – crafted in supple leather, it fits like a glove and will go with everything, from denim midi skirts to louche summer tailoring. Purists should start with The Row, whose ‘Boheme’ leather flats lean towards practical over pretty and are the perfect partner for classic denim or breezy summer dresses. For something more playful, opt for Valentino Garavani’s ‘Toile Iconographe’ satin flats or Khaite’s ‘Marcy’ mesh style, both of which feature twinkling crystal embellishment.

Numerous brands have turned their hand to fresh iterations of the style – see Ferragamo’s ‘Siwar’ flats, which see the silhouette reworked in leopard-print calf hair with the brand’s signature ‘Vara’ bows at the front; or Mach & Mach’s black satin ballet flats, which come decorated with crystal-embellished double bows, making them an excellent choice for events or after-dark dressing.

Elsewhere in the lineup, look to fresh white flats that will go with everything in your closet: Alexander McQueen’s white leather flats come with a punky metal-capped toe, while Magda Butrym’s crystal-embellished satin style work equally well with diaphanous party dresses as they do straight-leg denim and a crisp white T-shirt. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something to pep up pared-back pieces, Aeyde’s silver design and Manolo Blahnik’s glamorous ‘Veralli’ flats in shimmering gold also answer the brief.


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