Nothing is more comfortable then wearing open flat shoes for summer. However, many women feel that this will make them look frumpy and less elegant. Although it is true that shoes with heels are often a bit more elegant and can be flattering for your overall silhouette, flat shoes can be very elegant and hip too. I recently highlighted some of my favorites from the new spring collections. And they have one major advantage: they are comfortable and will allow you to walk for long stretches of time.
However, it’s important that you buy the right kind of shoe. Many flat shoe styles CAN look frumpy and you also want to make sure that you wear shoes that fit the clothes you are wearing and hopefully enhance them.
First of all some general pointers:
- Make sure you buy your shoes in the right size. Many women go up a size in shoe as they age, so don’t assume that you will keep the same size throughout life.
- More is not more when it comes to shoes. Invest in quality and stick to good quality leather whenever possible. It’s worth investing in flats as you will usually wear them much more often than your heels.
- Make sure that you buy shoes you can walk in!
- When your outfit is very basic and simple, opt for trendier shoes to give the outfit a bit more of a young and hip vibe, when your outfit is very hip already you may want to tone it down with simple and elegant shoes. (As usual it’s all about balance).
- Although you often will match your shoes with one of the colours of your clothes, you can also do the opposite and add a contrasting colour. Make sure though that the tone of colour has the same kind of saturation as the other colours in your outfit. This is easiest to do with black and white, which can be matched with any bright colour like red, yellow, green or blue.
- Ankle straps will shorten your legs, so be careful with this look when your legs are short.
- A good thing to look out for is padding. As you age, you loose quite a bit of the natural padding in your feet, so you may need to compensate for that with your shoes.
- There are quite a few few tools that help make your shoes more comfortable. They include:
- Inserts, for example Insolia or Foot Petals.
- Shoes with inbuilt cushioning like those by Cole Haan heels.
- Custom-made orthotics, prescribed by a podiatrist.
Types of shoes to consider for this coming season:
Pointy toe flats (a chic alternative to heels)
Pointy toe slipper style shoes will be very popular this coming season and they are a chic alternative to heels. Wear them with any style of trousers, skirts or even dresses.
My go-to shoes in summer. Great with a-line skirts, trousers, capris and summer dresses. This will create a slightly more casual look than the very trendy pointy shoes, but these are more comfortable and will still give you a hip and modern vibe. It’s very important that you don’t go for ‘standard’ model sandals. Look for something that’s slightly different and more arty and modern. That is what can make all the difference between a frumpy and young and hip.
Ballet flats can also be worn with everything. Less trendy but elegant chic for a casual classical polished look. Ballet flats are not all created equally in terms of comfort and it pays to select those that have padding. I profiled lots of great ballerinas before.
These are trickier to wear than ballerinas and can look preppy very quickly. Best not to wear them with clothes that are too preppy, to achieve a young and hip look. New hipper styles with either metallic or prints look a lot hipper though and would be the better option for the coming season, like these Fluevogs.
Oxfords are very comfortable shoes for colder weather and look great with menswear inspired outfits. Buy them in a shiny colour or 2 toned, to make them more hip. The same rule applies as for the sandals: if your outfit is simple or one toned, make sure your oxfords are hipper. If you have a very hip, multi-coloured outfit, then you can get away with neutral one-toned oxfords.
Fitted knee high boots
Great with trousers and knee high skirts in colder weather. Make sure they are well fitted around your calves though for a nice slim and elongating silhouette. Riding boots are one of my favorite boots and I have featured some of the best earlier.
Comfortable walking shoes
These are the shoes you need when you will spend the whole day walking. Brands to look out for when looking for comfortable shoes include Cole Haan, Arthur Beren, Anne Klein’s iFlex series, Dansko, Born, Ecco and Attilio Giusti Leombruni. Let me know if you have any other brands to recommend. I’m particularly looking for brands that stock shoes that are both comfortable AND modern.
What will be your go-to flat shoes this coming season? Also, if you have any further tips when it comes to shoes, let me know!