Can I have a collective cheer?

Flats have finally entered the world of high fashion, in fact, runways the world over have been alight with stylish flats worn in a number of ways.

So, now that flats have become trendy, and possibly even the “it” shoe of the season, there’s lots of style inspiration out there for you to take cues from. Irrespective if you’re petite or full-figured, flats can work wonders for your shape and size. Whether you like more classic, comfy or edgy styles, there’s a pair of flats that can complement and enhance your personal style and preferences.

When fashion and function meet comfort, what more could a girl ask for? Even if you’re a devoted lover of heels, consider this feature proof that it’s time to diversify your shoe game.

Here are 8 ways to make flats work for your figure and increase your style acumen too:

Point toe flats rock

If there’s one takeaway from this article, it’s this: pointed toe shoes rock. Not only are they a classic shoe shape, pointed toe flats are having a major sartorial comeback at the moment. Another added bonus to pointed toe flats is that it’s pretty easy to transition it from day to night. Pointed toe flats elongate your legs, and by extension your legs.

Pointed toe shoes have a reputation for being uncomfortable but following these two suggestions will help.

  • Look for pointed flats with a false front. “A pointy-toe shoe with an area that is much longer than your toes has a false front. It keeps your toes from being squished,
  • Make sure the toe box – the area across the ball of your foot is wide enough to ensure comfort.

Point Toe FlatsSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

Match the details of your shoe with your body type.

Like most styling tips, proportion is key. If you’re petite, flats with daintier detailing such as lace-up details and delicate floral embellishment will suit you best.

If you have a fuller figure, steer clear of slight/delicate details that may make your ankles appear larger and can look disproportionate with your frame. Instead, opt for bold features such as studs.

If your legs are heavy or short avoid ankle straps unless they are flesh colored, not too thick and definitely not too tight. 

Flat Shoes Detailing and WeightSource

Test for comfort – adapt or move on

If a shoe is not wearable for at least several hours what the point – right? It’s important to know how to assess a flat shoe for its wearability.

  • Try to push in the area around the heel. If the heel collapses enough to touch the insole, the shoe will not be supportive.”
  • Hold each end of a shoe and try to twist it. If the shoe bends too much, it won’t be supportive.
  • Look for flats with a little bit of a heel if you have high arches. Heels provide relief from all types of foot pain and I always add into flat shoes an orthaheel insert to improve comfort.
  • Shoes with leather or rubber soles provide maximum shock absorption making walking long distances easier.
  • Shoes with leather or suede insoles are breathable and pliable and help prevent chafing and blistering because they mold to the feet.
  • Avoid slippage and cuts on your heel by finding a shoe with a back that fits snugly and holds your foot securely.

Show off your feet.

To reveal more of your foot is always more flattering since it gives that visual illusion of a longer leg. So sandals, toe posts and D’orsay (image 2 below) styles are always wise choices.

Open FlatsSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Expose your ankle when wearing flats with pants.

Since flats do not give you the height boost of heels, showing off those ankles are a great way to add some sexy into your ensemble. This is especially true when you wear flats with pants. Roll up those cuffs, and flaunt those fashion-forward flats.

expose the ankleSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3 

Pairing hemlines.

The quickest way to tone down an uber sexy LBD or an ultra short mini: wear flats with it. Heels and high hemlines can be a little bit too much, and too much sexy in one outfit does not equal chic. So tip the style scales in your favor when you sport your sexiest pieces with a pair of flats.

On the other hand, flat shoes with longer hemlines give a relaxed vibe that can make any day feel like the weekend.

minis and midis

Source: Top Row: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3
Bottom Row: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Formality and image

Given the comfort of flats, it’s easy to want to wear them all the time and it’s totally possible if you keep a few image guidelines in mind. Many of these work in tandem with each other.

Things that impact a flat’s formality:

  • Upper Material: Leather is the most formal to canvas being the least. Skins such as faux leopard are sexy/exotic, silks are elegant and dressy. Fabric like spots are fun.
  • Upper Structure: the more firm or structured the upper the more formal the look.
  • Sole: The thinner the sole the more formal the image. Thick soles are typically considered fashionable or casual depending on other aspects of the shoe.
  • Surface: Matte is casual, sheen adds polish and shine ups the image to formal. Metallic and sequins add glamor.
  • Toe shape: the more pointy the more dressy and sharp the look down to rounded toes which are seen as casual, comfortable and even a little matronly.
  • Coverage: the more the foot is covered the more formal the shoe tends to be. 
  • Embellishments: studs add a masculine/biker image, bows are feminine, gemstone are fun or add evening glam, pom,poms are fun and youthful etc 
  • Color: black is the most formal of all colors for shoes while bright colors are the most casual.  White adds a touch of summer, though can be worn in winter too.

Flat Image

Menswear-inspired flats can be tricky to pull off.

Tassel details, loafer styles, and monk straps spell instant chic for your looks. But be weary of these styles since they tend to cut you off at the ankle. Reserve these styles of colder climes. Wear with monochromatic tights if you’re petite. You can get away with playing with sock print and textures if you have longer and leaner legs.

Mens Style Flats

Want More? Dress Like a Parisian: How to Wear Flats.

Related Features: Well Heeled Part 1, Well Heeled Part 2

  1. I’m definitely into flats especially when I become a mother. Oooh! the comfort it brings! From running errands, client meetings to holidays, I’ve got several pairs for every occasion and mood. Glad that you’ve given me more ideas on matching them up with outfits.

  2. Ann, you’re the best out there at getting fashion inspiration to our inboxes. I love flats but have never known how to wear them. I just have to read your info and look at your fabulous style images and I realise I have tons of items of clothing that I can piece together to match those images. I love your work 🙂 Going to buy some pointy flats today 🙂

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