From Living in Heels to Falling for Flats: A Journey
I have always preferred being on my toes.
Given the amount of time I already spent en pointe in ballet classes during high school, I never thought twice about slipping on a pair of pumps while getting ready for school. There was something both elegant and thrilling about climbing up the steps to my locker without displaying even the slightest bit of discomfort.
In the same way that some of us thought we would never fluctuate in jean sizes, I never thought that I would stop wearing heels on a regular basis.
But today, I find myself going out in ballet flats more and more frequently, leaving my high heels safely tucked away. Not only have the years of dancing in pointy shoes and tango heels finally caught up with my feet, but I have also realized that a pair of flats or loafers can be just as stylish as any stiletto.
For as long as I can remember, high heels have symbolized a state of refinery, confidence and femininity, whereas flat shoes are considered something we reach for on “casual” days; sporting a flat shoe can almost feel like giving up on elegance.
Is this why we read popular articles that highlight those celebrities who manage to make ballet flats look as chic and polished as if they were committing witchcraft?
Perhaps it is the shoes themselves that possess magic powers. With the balance between understated chicness and “cool-girl” mystery that you often only see in movies, a pair of ballet flats can let anyone transform into the café-hopping alter ego of their dreams.
I personally found magic in the work of Repetto, whose timeless leather ballet flats look as great with a pair of jeans as they do with a cocktail dress. The steep price tag will make you wish you didn’t love them so much, but the quality and craftsmanship is just that justifiable.
The most important thing that I have learned about style in the past year is that elegance does not have to be sacrificed for comfort. Although there are still days where I want to wear my four-inch oxfords and t-straps, I now appreciate that it is not a towering heel-height that is synonymous with good style, but confidence in what you are wearing.
Over the course of her time in New York, Sex in the City’s Carrie Bradshaw spent 40,000 dollars on strappy Manolo Blahniks and flamingo-pink Louboutins; now, I might spend that on supple leather ballet flats.