There’s something strange happening to stylish ladies. The fashion week front-rowers and soirée regulars seem... shorter. We’re not losing our minds: blue-blooded fashionistas are rejecting their six-inch stilettos for something much more practical – the flat shoe. A quick Google search will lead you to Phoebe Philo, who made slippers covetable at Céline’s Spring/Summer 2013 show, and there’s been no looking back.
Welcome to ground level – where high heels no longer cut it for day-to-day wear. For Spring/Summer 2014, Givenchy showed us how to do gladiator sandals in PVC, Isabel Marant gave thong slippers a rock’n’roll makeover with studs and Oscar de la Renta showed us how flowers embroidered on pointy-toed flats can give them a softer edge.
The new flats are anything but boring: hip, fresh, seriously cool and made for every personality, mood and outfit, whether you prefer dainty ballerinas, dandy brogues, tough biker boots or sporty flatforms. From Marni loafers to studded Christian Louboutin flats and Zara gladiator sandals, this is the comfort footwear that will carry you through the transitory season’s staples: lace dresses, rolled-up denims and full skirts. No longer are stilettos the go-to party faves; try sequinned Oxford shoes instead. And revel in fashion’s practical side, even if just for a little while.
Click through the gallery above for a lesson in flats
Ditsy floral prints, tan accessories and a hat: say hello to ’70s style flats.
Want the comfort of flats with the height of heels? Flatforms are your friends.
Tone down the androgyny of Oxford shoes with ladylike accessories and a pencil skirt.
Don't be afraid to tap into quirky patterns and shape
PULL DOWN YOUR SOCKS
Go back to school with rolled-down sporty socks.
SHOW YOUR METAL
Metallic accents give the casual slipper a glamorous look.
Slip on a pair of gold flats and you are ready for cocktail hour
KEEP IT SHORT
Cropped trousers go a long way in offsetting the chunkiness of the ugly shoe.