I Gave Up on High Heels. What Can I Wear Instead?


Yoko Ono married John Lennon in flats. Keira Knightley married her husband, the musician James Righton, in flats. Jerry Corridor married Rupert Murdoch in flats. OK, perhaps that final instance was not the perfect, given they’re now splitting up, however the level is: If these girls, very a lot within the public eye, can put on flats to what is without doubt one of the most vital dressing-up moments of their lives, the remainder of us can even put on them.

There’s such a factor as formal flats — and, as Christian Louboutin, of purple sole fame and a person who probably spends extra time than most of us eager about the Tao of footwear, mentioned after I requested, they “have no age limit.” (Then he added: “51 is the new 15!”)

However what do they appear like?

There are such a lot of doable choices that it’s maybe greatest to start out with what to not put on. Ballet flats, the go-to acceptable cozy, flat shoe-that-isn’t-a-sneaker since Audrey Hepburn wore them in “Funny Face,” can look infantile and clichéd. Ditto Mary Janes. (There’s nothing incorrect with a bit vogue irony, however perhaps not at a marriage.)

Strappy sandals and mules are ethereal within the warmth, however they demand a whole lot of foot care. If you’re going to expose your toes and heels throughout a proper event, you need to be certain these toes and heels don’t resemble the digits of a Disney-worthy evil stepmother. (Dangerous juju.) Relying in your tolerance for loofahs and pedicures, that will imply that the perfect resolution is a straightforward closed-toe-and-heel fashion, maybe with one thing of a pointed, moderately than rounded, toe and a streamlined profile.

Then concentrate on shade and embellishment. Within the absence of eye-catching heels, that’s what’s going to elevate — no pun meant — your flat shoe sport.

Mr. Louboutin means that moderately than making an attempt to match your sneakers to your gown, the perfect technique is both to match your sneakers to your pores and skin (in 2013 he started providing a line known as “nudes,” which has grown to incorporate eight completely different pores and skin tones) or go for metallics like gold and silver. Both alternative has the advantage of working with a wide range of outfits, that means they’re a cost-effective choice.

(Usually, the higher the supplies and construction, the longer a shoe will final and the extra snug will probably be — but in addition the costlier. It’s a must to weigh the cost-benefit evaluation, however that is one merchandise that could be price a little bit of a splurge, which is able to repay over time.)

You may mess around with embroidery and glowing additions that rework a primary flat into one thing particular. For inspiration, have a look at the Dior couture shoe proven in January; the designer Maria Grazia Chiuri handled her flats and almost-flats like jewellery, encrusting them in jet beads and virtually making them into artwork objects unto themselves. Then try Badgley Mischka’s glimmering slip-ons or ankle-strap types and 9 West’s rhinestone numbers.

They’re dancing sneakers.

Each week on Open Thread, Vanessa will reply a reader’s fashion-related query, which you’ll ship to her anytime through email or Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.


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