If you’ve been following my series, 14 Staples for Your Fall Wardrobe, you’ve learned about the best leggings and how to wear them; where to get cute tunics to wear with your leggings; and how to maximize your wardrobe by wearing tights with spring and summer dresses and skirts. Today’s post is all about flats, which are as essential to my wardrobe as are leggings and tunics.
I have always loved a cute pair of flats. Style icons from Audrey Hepburn to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Princess Diana made flats fashionable in every era. They haven’t always been comfortable, though. The flats I wore in high school (with pantyhose, mind you!) often rubbed blisters on my heels. Thankfully, today’s flats are made for style and comfort.
For me, flats are a no-brainer wardrobe staple. Neutral flats that go with everything are a must; every woman should have brown, black, and metallic flats in her closet. I also like to have a pair in a bright color, like neon yellow or fire engine red; colorful flats add interest to a basic outfit. Just like last year, leopard is big – think of it as a neutral in your wardrobe and wear leopard flats like you would black or brown. You can find a great pair of flats for under $100, so updating your shoe collection each season with a fun color or pattern is affordable.
Colorful flats may punch up an outfit, but neutral flats don’t have to be boring. Look for shoes with details like bows or contrasting toe caps, and don’t be afraid to mix patterns. My favorite outfit in this collage is the third one, with the white shirt, striped skirt, and leopard Tory Burch flats. I also like outfit number five. It works because black, white, and red is a classic color combination and the brown and black in the shoes are repeated in the scarf.
It’s hard for me to choose my favorite brand of flats. I buy Dr. Scholls, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Me Too, and Steve Madden at DSW. With soft, flexible sides and cushioned insoles, Me Too flats are the best for wearing all day and are among the most affordable. Cole Haan is another brand of super-comfortable shoes. They’re expensive but durable, and I can usually find discounted Cole Haans online and at outlet stores. Tory Burch is another popular brand, but I don’t think they’re as comfortable as the others I like.
The best flats, in my opinion, are the Italian brand, Tieks. Exquisitely handcrafted, they come in prints, pastels, neons, and classic colors. They even have four vegan styles. I got my first pair in 2013 when Stella & Dot partnered with Tieks to give every stylist attending Hoopla, our national sales conference, a gift card. I got a pair of Romantic Blush and liked them so much I got Matte Black, too. Stylists received gift cards again this year, and I got Sunset Stripe, which are so fun and go with everything.
Tieks feel like slippers and hold up extremely well. They come in a little blue box with a flowered elastic band around it, and each shoe has its own drawstring pouch. You can slip your Tieks into your handbag and trade your heels for them at the end of a fun night. Cute, comfortable, and convenient – you can’t beat that! At $175-295 a pair, they’re a splurge but worth every penny.
Most of the above options are between $40 and $100, although there are some (Tieks, Cole Haan, Tory Burch) that are pricier. I value style, comfort, and durability and wear my shoes for several years before they need to be replaced, so I don’t mind paying more for certain brands.
Are you a lover of flats or do you prefer heels? Do you stick with inexpensive brands or pay more for shoes that last longer? Most importantly, do you have a brand you love? Please share – I’m always on the lookout for my next cute pair of flats!
Fore more fabulous flats, follow my Flats board on Pinterest!
This post is the sixth in a series. Click here to read more.