The Rules for Wearing Flats

by | November 8, 2012 at 3:30 PM | General

Category5 is a fabulous online fashion experience dedicated to truth in fashion, shopping, and all things style. Lauren is dedicated to giving women all the tools they need to come away with an insightful, honest, and humorous look at where their style truly resides.

By Lauren Deloach, Editor of Category 5

I recently received a reader question from a woman in her 60s (who feels more like she’s in her 40s), and due to a back injury has to constantly wear flats. Still fully in the style game, her struggle was to find out 1) How in the world do you purchase flats that will come off as dressy (with a bit of sex appeal)? and 2) How can you walk that very fine age line where you don’t look like you’re enrolling in freshman year of high school, or like you’ve ventured into a scary knitted version of “Grandma’s closet?”

I have found the flat dilemma to be a common one. Society tells us that you can only truly be dressy and sexy if you’re rocking out 4 inch heels that kill your feet to the point where you can feel the pain in your teeth. But I must say society is wrong! It is not the heel height that makes a woman fabulous, it’s the woman in the actual shoes that dictates the confidence that is exuded. Thus, if you pick out a pair of shoes that you don’t find to be fabulous (heel or no heel), you should expect that any sense of confidence will go out the window. So rule number one: Always pick shoes you truly love and find amazingly beautiful, regardless of heel height.

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Pictured from left to right: Kate Spade “Cora” Flats- $134.98 (on sale down from $225), www.nordstrom.com; Prada Bi-Color Patent Leather Bow Ballet Flats- $390, www.saks.com

 

Once you’ve got that rule down, if you happen to be in a predicament either physically or preferentially where you must wear flats, you simply have to know how to pick out your flats.

Thus, rule number two: Every flat you pick out must have the ability to be dressed up or down. Anything else is not maximizing your hard earned cash and will only force you to keep buying shoes to fit different life functions.

Rule number three: give black a break! Why is it that the color black is constantly a default among women? Yes, I realize it’s the easy choice, but who told you your default choice should be the easy choice? It shouldn’t. Your choice should be whatever pushes you out of your comfort zone, which brings us to rule number four, which I call the 2:4 ratio rule.

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There are four major fab components a flat can encompass, and the trick is to never buy a flat that doesn’t encompass at least two of those four components. It goes like this ladies: Patent leather, bright color, print (i.e. striped, floral, tribal, etc.), and the “fab” factor. If you’re reading this right now and look down at your feet only to find that your flats don’t have at least two of these characteristics…Love, you picked out the wrong flats!

As an avid flat wearer myself, as I look down my flats are currently meeting a 4:4 ratio. They are striped in bright fuchsia pink and black, have a patent leather bow on the top, and the combination of the bow on top of the stripes give them the “fab” factor. They are fab flats I can dress up with a black sequin dress and floral lace tights, or down with jeans and a tee.

A question I can hear coming a mile away is how do you really know if your shoes have the “fab” factor. You know because your heart stops when you look at them and mathematical equations consisting of bills to be paid versus future outfits immediately consumes your mind. If you’re looking for a place to begin, think of the lines Kate Spade or Prada for inspiration, as they tend to rule like nobody’s business in the land of the flat.

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As for the question of looking like a child or a woman that’s given up, any woman walking around following the 2:4 ratio rule will have zero worries about her age versus style being called into question. If anything, the only thing that will be called into question is where in the world you found those fabulous flats and are they still available!!!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.