Fabulous Flats for Every Outfit

We polled, you told: you’re not always feelin’ heels. These lovely low shoes will add wow to your wardrobe.

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Just like the Sisters readers we polled on Facebook who said flats were their favorite, I hardly wear heels anymore. When I’m stepping out to a business meeting, a date with my husband or an evening reception, a high-heeled pump is no longer my go-to shoe. My collection of flats makes me feel just as elegant, evening-appropriate and, dare I say, sexy, as high-heels used to – without the achy insteps and cramped toes.

Today’s flats don’t require sacrificing swagger for comfort – just ask Oprah, who rocks Vionic espadrilles and sneakers, many of which are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). They take us effortlessly from the gym to the grocery store. In many offices, they’re as appropriate for client presentations as they are for casual Friday. And now that winter’s here and your commuting might require snow boots or galoshes, flats are the perfect office shoe to slip into at your desk. We’ve found styles that are flat-out fabulous:

Best Wardrobe-Stretcher: Ballet Flats

Equally appropriate with skinny jeans, cigarette pants, a full skirt or a sheath dress, the ballet flat is a versatile go-to that’s widely available at all price points. Newcomer Lissom’s stretch-fabric black pair goes with everything. The leopard print on this pair from Aldo elevates an everyday outfit.

Best with Jeans: Loafers

For a slip-on with more coverage, look to the loafer. The Gucci loafer with its signature metal horse bit is a high-end classic, but you don’t have to drop hundreds of dollars to get the look. These ASOS loafers are a fraction of the cost and look great paired with boyfriend jeans for casual-luxe style.

Best for When You’re Feeling Girly: Modern Mary Janes

You may have last worn a pair of these classic round- or square-toed flats in grade school, but they can work for the grown and sexy, too. If you have a wider foot, consider a pair with a strap placed on the diagonal, such as this pointed-toe pair. And since this style can appear juvenile, look for grown-up fabrications, such as this elegant velvet shoe from France Valentine.

Best with Dress Pants: Lace-ups

If you’re into borrowed-from-the-boys style, a pair of lace-ups will complete your look. Oxfords are plain lace-ups; brogues are oxfords with detailing (usually perforations or stitching) across the toe and/or sides.  We love the sporty stripes on these multi-tone platform brogues, while metallic leather make these oxfords shine – literally!

Best Leg Lengtheners: Pointed-toe Flats

Flats, especially in a nude that matches your skin tone, can lengthen the leg line and also make you appear taller. And when it comes to this style, you’ve got plenty of options, from splurge-worthy red-bottoms by Christian Louboutin to cute, affordable and machine-washable Rothy’s (made from recycled plastic bottles), a go-to shoe for mom-to-be Meghan Markle.

Best For Travel: Mules

There’s nothing easier to slip in and out of than an open-back mule, so they’re an excellent pick for travel days and TSA checkpoints. But even if you’re only going from the couch to the fridge, the mule and its cousins, the slide and slipper, do the trick. Available in blue and yellow, these double-strap slides are vacation ready. Birdies' indoor/outdoor hybrids are designed to have the support of a sneaker, softness of a slipper and style of a designer flat. And the crystal embellishments make them perfect for entertaining at home – or just glamorous trips to the trash.


Photo Credits: Aldo; Lissom; Frances Valentine

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