It’s no surprise that after 2 years in slippers and sneakers that many of us are struggling with wearing the types of shoes we used to wear, and as a personal shopper the common question we hear from our clients is – how do I look stylish in flat shoes?
Well the good news is that flat shoes are in style. We can thank the sneaker trend for really kicking off this move to more comfortable, practical and stylish flat shoes. Sneakers have now become a go-to shoe for many occasions – even the workplace!
Following on from sneakers have been chunky sandals, loafers, modern ballet flats, brogues and of course, the chunky boot. We now have more options than ever before.
But sometimes, flat shoes can leave us feeling exactly that – flat! We can be left feeling a little underwhelmed or even underdressed in an outfit with flats. So how do you ensure your flat shoes look stylish and don’t drag you down?
Proportions and Balance:
One of the most important style tips to consider when wearing flat shoes is how your outfit works proportionately. When we wear flat shoes, everything is closer to the ground, i.e. our hips, bum, thighs. It becomes much easier to look shorter and therefore wider in flats. So proportion is key.
When wearing a pant, jean, skirt or dress with flat shoes, the most important styling element is to draw the eye up. This can easily done with any item that sits up on your waist OR a dress with a waist belt.
High rise jeans, pants and skirts are really the game changer when it comes to wearing flat shoes with confidence. It means we have so many more options when we want to wear comfortable, flat shoes and maintain our style.
The length of a dress or skirt is important too – avoid any length that finishes on your calf and instead look for styles that end above or just under the knee OR fall below the calf (the midi length) To ensure flat shoes don’t make you look shorter, this is a really easy rule to follow. By showing the narrowest part of the leg (the ankle) we avoid looking shorter with flat shoes.
The same rule applies to a cropped pant or jean. Avoid wearing pants that finish on your calf, and instead choose a style that finishes just above your ankle bone. Again, this will create an elongated leg in spite of flat shoes.
The style of flat shoe you choose can make a huge impact on how your outfit looks from head to toe. Chunky shoes will always be harder to wear as they simply look heavy on the foot and have a tendency to draw the eye downwards.
But as chunky shoes are currently trending, you may as well know how to wear them! The aim is to draw the eye UPWARDS. It’s all about the rise of your jeans, trousers or skirt. You MUST draw the eye to your waist by tucking in – be it the full, half, French tuck – it all helps.
Another tip is to create balance by exposing the ankles – showing some skin between where your garment finishes and your shoe begins, breaks up the heaviness of the shoe.
If the weather is too cold for exposed ankles and you’re wearing a full length trouser or jean, again it’s all about the waist and drawing the eye up. As seen below, the simple front tuck does the trick.
Here are our Fashion Stylist Melbourne favourite flats of the season.
The Square Toe Ballet
The comfort of a classic ballet flat but with a modern update, the squared off toe is the ‘new’ ballet. The simplicity and refinement of the style helps to elongate the leg particularly when no heel is involved. The square toe ballet is the perfect compliment to a cropped pant or jean.
The Chunky Loafer
Loafers have traditionally been masculine in style, and that’s now the look we’re embracing. The key to styling the loafer (chunky or not) is again balancing the shoe. One way is to wear the style with something cropped OR if wearing a longer trouser, maintain the balance by tucking in whatever you’re wearing up top. Our other tip with loafers is that they work better with jeans and trousers – not so well with skirts and dresses.
The Chunky Sandal
Love them or hate them, the chunky ‘dad’ sandal is here to stay… and there’s a new fave in town! The Fisherman Sandal (as pictured below) is the latest ‘it’ sandal. I have already got my hands on this style and when it’s not minus 10 degrees, I’ll be wearing them even in the cooler months with my cropped jeans and pants because there’s enough of my feet covered that I won’t feel the cold!
The Chunky Boot
The chunky boot may not have made it’s way into your wardrobe just yet, but if you’re wanting a contemporary and comfortable boot update this season then this is the way to go. As with any trend, there are things in your wardrobe a heavy boot will work with seamlessly – think skinny jeans, a mini skirt and tights, leather joggers, a pleated midi skirt – but the key is to balance your look.
The White Sneaker
I can’t see the sneaker trend going anywhere, anytime soon, so if you don’t have yourselves a pair of clean, white sneakers, why don’t you? The white sneaker is not only super comfortable, but it will elevate and freshen a simple outfit in an instant. Sneakers look great with jeans, suits, midi skirts and dresses, leather pants, wide leg pants… pretty much everything in your wardrobe.
The two key style takeaways from this article to ensure flat shoes work for you are:
- Expose your ankles and/or
- Draw the eye to your waist
Should you require any more help with dressing for your shape, get in touch with us at Styled by Sally to discuss our Personal Stylist Melbourne styling services, including virtual styling.