How to Style Ballet Flats, Vol. 2

Leave your stilts at home

03.22.16

I feel like I’ve been yelling at you to take me seriously about ballet flats for like, two years. The minute I saw this one French stylist buzzing across a room on set with Club Monaco on a warm spring day in 2014 wearing black Repetto ballet flats with high waist Levi’s and a striped t-shirt that The Moment wasn’t far. It didn’t hurt that she looked something like a little boy, ear-length blonde locks and pastel blue eyes notwithstanding, but now that The Moment — heralded by Miu Miu and Valentino — has come, so has the question: how da fuq do I wear them?

Figuring it out is a simple process of elimination that starts with: how won’t I wear them? With mini skirts, with any fabric that could be described as ethereal, with shorts that are not denim. And why? Because we’re not necessarily trying to look like commuters. On the contrary, our flats exude purpose, so…

1. Start With Some Lace Ups and a Slip Dress (You Get +1 If It’s Denim):

How-to-Style-Ballet-Flats-Leandra-Medine-Man-Repeller---3

Marni dress, Ballet Beautiful flatsGarrett Leight x Clare V. sunglasses and Aurelie Bidermann necklace

The ballet flats don’t even actually have to come with laces, by the way. Just find two strands of ribbon and tie that shit around your ankles.

This works because you essentially look like you have places to go, but also like you committed to treating yourself with respect today. You wanted to have “A Day,” so you put on your dress, jazzed it up with a necklace and then wore sensible shoes because you’re not impractical. You’re a smooth operator.

2. If a Pair of Baggy Pants Won’t Work, Maybe a Flare Will?

How-to-Style-Ballet-Flats-Leandra-Medine-Man-Repeller---22

AG Jeans sweater, Atea Oceanie x Man Repeller shirt dress (coming soon), Rosie Assoulin flare pants (another option by Rosie Assoulin here), Chanel ballet flats and Karen Walker sunglasses

Earlier this week I wore a white suit with the photographed red ballet flats, a bit more stiff than the rest of the ones I’d recommend, and a striped shirt. I thought it looked great; Amelia told me I looked like I was commuting. I figured that if I was like, an inch shorter, I’d probably agree with her, so when I went back to the drawing board, a pair of flared pants made good sense in this context. We don’t want to look like 70s reincarnates but have in many ways committed to the trend, which means I’d guess plenty of you have some cropped flares lingering about your closet, no? See, and I don’t know about you, but sometimes I struggle with figuring out what kinds of shoes best compliment cropped flares. Enter the !ballet flat!

3. And If You’re Kind of Cold but Want to Wear Cut-Offs?

How-to-Style-Ballet-Flats-Leandra-Medine-Man-Repeller---13

Rosie Assoulin jacket (another option here), Rare Market top (you can also layer this embellished top over this shirt), Levi’s shorts, Topshop socks, A.P.C. flats and Rebecca de Ravenel earrings

Ankle length socks with flats! This way, your feet are warm, you look like you’re wearing sock boots that hit your shins, your legs are cold, but who cares because you got the denim cut-offs in and the top of your body is taken care of by a wool coat (or a utility jacket! Whatever!) and a velvet top (or wool sweater?).

Maybe I’m fully off. Are you back on the ballet flats trail? Tell me now! And tell me true! (So I can say, “I’m here for you.”)

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.

man-repeller-bar-ballet-flats-volume-2

Get more Personal Style ?