Finding the Perfect Flats

Finding the Perfect Flats

Who says the perfect shoes can’t be your go-to pair?

By: Aly Walansky

Of all the shoes in your wardrobe, you probably ask the most from your flats. Most women turn to these ballerina-esque shoes for comfort — a reprieve from your everyday heels — but we also expect these shoes be able to go the mile (literally!) and be stylish and fun, too.

Lastly, we ask that they not break the bank — because when we find a pair we like, we rarely take them off our feet!

When shopping for flats, approach the task as you would any other shoe purchase.

Consider the following:

  • Location, location: Where do you plan to wear the flats? Are they for work, weekends or can they pull double duty?
  • Seasonality: What season are these for? Are they made of leather and work year-round, or are they made of a soft satin only appropriate for warm, dry days?
  • Personal style: What clothes already in your closet will these shoes work with? After all, scoring a huge deal on a pair of shoes is kind of pointless if you have to spend a ton on clothes to wear 'em with!
  • Comfort: Are the flats comfortable? Seriously. You won't be judged if you buy a pair of 6-inch stilettos only good for a nice dinner out, but if you buy a pair of flats that leave you blistered and bloody, no one wins!

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"As a wife, mother and businesswoman, I find myself running around a lot, so flats are the perfect versatile option to feel comfortable without sacrificing style," says Lisa Pliner, creative director of Donald J Pliner footwear and designer of Lisa for Donald J Pliner footwear. "I often design and wear bright hues like fuchsia, rose and blue combined with sleek, staple neutrals”

Shoes, Pliner says, are the perfect things to add color to an outfit that features a bold garment that may not necessarily match everything in your wardrobe, but you just can’t toss out.

She also recommends texture — snakeskin, cork or something with metal embellishments — that gives you a sense of empowerment and remains fashionable.

"If you want the dressy look of a heel, you can try flats with jewels or other fun embellishments,” says Meredith Barnett, editorial director of The Inside Source.

Not sure you are ready for the flat movement? Perhaps try easing into it. "Kitten heels, mules and stacked heels are all big," Barnett says. "Much more sensible than a sky-high stiletto.”

Aly is the senior editor of, beauty and fashion editor for, a style columnist for, creator of A Little Alytude as well as a contributor to publications ranging from Huffington Post to

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