In the 1950s, Brigitte Bardot was a former dancer and a huge movie star. She asked Rose Repetto, a famous Parisian designer of ballet slippers, to make a ballet flat that she could wear in her movie, “And God Created Women.” Voila! The streetwear ballet flat was born. It was a runaway success in the 50s and 60s, but fell out of favor in the 70s and 80s. Ballet flats became trendy again in the 90s, and they are now a classic.
I wear ballet flats very, very often. They make my casual clothes a bit more stylish, I can run around in them all day, and they make my legs look longer. I have two pieces of advice when shopping for ballet flats. First, shoes that have an elastic back are only comfortable for short periods of time. They will make an indentation in your heel and can cause blisters, so avoid them. Second, watch out for gaps by your instep; they are a sign that the shoes do not fit properly.
Repetto flats are still around today, but they cost upwards of $250, and have had the same basic silhouette for over 60 years. Ballet flats have come a long way since then. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, patterns and prices these days. Here are three that caught my eye, all available at www.zappos.com, one of my favorite places to shop.
Puma, the sneaker brand, makes ballet flats with great arch support that are very, very comfortable and cute. They are a bit more casual, but still very chic. The Lily ballet flat comes in six different colors (black, bright blue, black with purple laces, white with green laces, pink, and the navy ones pictured below) and are not badly priced at @$75 a pair. Check them out on the Zappo’s site here: Lily flats.
Sperry Top-Siders are making a big comeback, and they have changed designers. The line is much hipper than it used to be. These leather flats are a great option for summer. The lemon yellow color is actually very versatile. Rather than trying to matching it, contrast it with other colors. I picture myself wearing these on our boat with my nautical striped shirt and white jeans. They would also look very cute with shorts and a t-shirt, khaki pants and a t-shirt, jeans and a white blouse, etc.The Lakeside shoe below is available in five colors (metallic grey, kelly green, rose gold, white and lemon yellow below) for $108. Check them out here: Lakeside flats.
The Report Denae flats below are a great value at $49.95. They come in three chevron-striped colors: the blue pictured below, beige and purple. The footbed is cushioned, and they are lined. The Denae is a fun budget-conscious option that will match a many, many things in your closet. Check them out here: Denae flats.
Zappos doesn’t ship abroad yet, but unless you live in Mongolia, I’m sure you can find some really cute options near you (and maybe even in Mongolia!).
You may think you’re not a ballet flat type of girl. I think you should check out your options though. Everyone makes ballet flats these days. You can get a bohemian pair with a burnished leather toe designed by Frye (maker of the boots that were popular in the 80s) or a pair of purple suede flats with a crystal-encrusted skull for $545 designed by Alexander McQueen. So chassé over to your computer (or shoe store) and discover which ballet flats have your name on them.