Flats are complicated, ladies. Okay, no, they’re not, but writing “flats are so easy that even monkeys can wear them” wouldn’t make for much of an exposition. Really, where do you go from there? Everyone is thinking of monkeys wearing shoes, and the gravity of the moment is lost.
Flats are pretty fool-proof, it’s true, but there are some variations in the group. Obviously, this post is not going to include canvas flats, those beachy shoes with short laces that are pretty seasonal and don’t last very long at all. Similarly, slip-ons may be too casual for the workplace, even though most of you presumably work in smaller and more casual law offices. They’re a decent choice for the attorney that works at home but has to go out to do errands and doesn’t want to run into a client while wearing flip-flops (a blog post for another time).
Generally, we’re going to be sticking to the main flat families: ballet, pointed toe, and cap toe. Sometimes the categories intersect, like a cap toe ballet flat (reminiscent of classic Chanel footwear, for example). And I’m going to avoid linking you to my favorite pair of maroon Tory Burch Reva flats today, and instead focus on black flats. Colored ones are for next time, when we let our hair down a little.
As always, the shoes will represent different price ranges and you need only click the image below to be redirected to the store’s site in order to make a purchase.
At the lower end of the spectrum, we’ve got these flats from Old Navy. That’s the great thing about Old Navy: even if you’re a little strapped for cash, you can find what you need, whether it’s black flats or an affordable blazer or a crisp button-down.
I mean, a lot of people say embellishments like bows and buckles on shoes are not appropriate for work, but you know what? We’re not so high in the instep here. If you like bows and buckles and rhinestones on your shoes, that’s all that matters. Like anyone is going to write you off completely as a lawyer because you’ve got a cute little bow on your shoes. I’m so sick of reading corporate fashion articles that make it sound like you’ve ruined everyone’s lives if you’ve got a bow on your shoe.
Also, for some reason, these shoes are in the maternity section, but the sizes are listed as normal, and not wide width or anything. In case you were wondering.
I’m not wild about these shoes, mainly because of the quilted look – it’s a little too Madeline Albright. But I wanted to put these up to provide an illustration of the cap toe shoes I was talking about. Cap toes are cute and the patent toes add some understated sparkle to an outfit.
Oxfords! If you consider yourself fashion-forward, you’ve probably already got yourself a pair of these. Oxfords are making a comeback, which isn’t surprising. Everything makes a comeback in about 20 years; the kitten heels my mom bought back in the 80s and kept in great condition are now in style again and ready for me to wear.
Fun fact: During recessions, women’s heels shrink in size (just like how men’s underwear sales go down, but condom sales go up during times of financial uncertainty and turmoil), and the last big recession was back in the 80s. How ’bout that?
Oxfords are comfortable and professional enough, and I’ve always thought they were adorable, but then again, I love things with menswear touches.
And my love of patent leather shoes is well documented, correct? It all started with those amazing red patent leather Mary Jane flats my mother got for me when I was three. Just two or three years ago, Oxford booties were all the rage. I had a patent pair, naturally, with a precariously thin stiletto heel, that I absolutely adored. And now we’ve whittled it down to a flat. Still adorable, though!
The only thing I love more than Yoox is a Yoox sale. These silk flats with little embellishments have been marked down from $118, and are just lovely!
Maybe you want flats with some contrast piping and/or accents, like this one from Macy’s. These are rain flats, but you get the idea. (And, I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t wear flats like this in the rain. I’d wear my rain boots! They’re bright yellow with red apples! …Because I’m seven years old, apparently. Aw, man.)
These are probably going to be known as Rachel Berry Flats for some time to come. Rachel Berry, in case you’re not aware, is a character on FOX’s hit show, Glee, played by Lea Michele. Rachel wears flats with ankle straps like these all the time with her plaid skirts.
Michael Kors python flats! Snakeskin print footwear is still on trend, believe it or not, even though the trend emerged quite a while ago. It’s kind of on the way out, but still has life left in it, which is why I wanted to include these pretty shiny MK flats.
Are you looking for a more loafer look? In that case, these penny loafers are a great option! They’re leather and can be found at Nordstrom’s.
Um, maybe these shoes look cuter on your feet than in this picture. What do you guys think? What are the odds that that’s the case?
They’d certainly look cuter if it weren’t for that wedge heel. I just want to open this up in Photoshop and create a split heel with the handy-dandy eraser tool. Bleh! Sad, because I love Anne Klein. My very first suit was an Anne Klein – a beautiful black pinstripe number with a jacket so perfectly tailored it was like it was made with me in mind.
Ever since then, I’ve had considerable brand loyalty for Anne Klein. I mean, a girl always remembers her first suit.
Good God, do I love these shoes. Yes, they’re not really flats because they have a 1.5″ heel, but…look at them! They’re lovely!
And the only thing keeping me from buying them right now is this picture (of an infant sleeping), and the reminder that my money is far better spent in other places.
Shameless plug: The floods in Pakistan are the worst crisis of this decade, worse than Katrina, worse than the tsunami, and worse than Haiti. 1700 people have died, 20,000,000 are homeless, and 6,000,000 are in immediate danger of waterborne, painful, and often fatal illnesses, like dysentery.
If you’d like to donate to Pakistan and KNOW for a fact that your money will be well spent, please email email@example.com. It is a grassroots charity movement, made of doctors and Pakistani medical students (a lot of them American born and raised, just studying in Pakistan), who are buying food and water and medical supplies and transporting them personally to northern Pakistan, the hardest-hit area. This organization was started by my best friend’s brother, who I’ve known since I was a child. This organization has no ties to any terrorist, militant, or religious organization at all. It’s made entirely of medical students and doctors, and there is nothing shady about it.
Entire cities and inhabited valleys remain submerged, and there are more storms coming. The people of Pakistan need your help. If you are willing to donate to the cause, please email Saud at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can mention my name (Huma) if you wish, and he’ll get back to you ASAP with more information. 100% of your donation will go to buy food, water, and medical supplies for the victims, as there’s very little overhead since the medical students and doctors operate out of their homes and their hospitals/schools, and all transportation and shelter arrangements are made with the Pakistani military, which transports students and keeps them safe during the relief missions.
Please consider donating a little something before we get back to looking at pretty shoes.
I like these cap toe shoes much better than the ones I posted earlier. A velvety suede upper and a snake skin embossed cap toe – so pretty!
And, just for fun, I wanted to poke around for the most expensive flats I could find. Drumroll, please.
No, no, I didn’t forget a decimal point: these are a pair of $2,000 gator loafers from Brooks Brothers. Wow. Just…wow. I’d never be able to look at myself in the mirror again if I spent even half that amount on a single pair of shoes. Oh, man.
Well, that’s it from me today. If you were thinking of purchasing a new pair of black work flats, I hope I featured something that you liked. Aside from that, I’m interested in your thoughts on embellishments on shoes. Bows, ribbons, jewels, rhinestones, little ties: what are your thoughts? Inappropriate? Juvenile? Totally fine and totally not even an issue worthy of discussion? Or is it more of an age thing, like how older female lawyers often still adhere to the pantyhose rule while younger female lawyers often don’t?
And, since we’re all in a chatty mood today, have you ever had an issue with a judge or a client or another lawyer where your shoe choice was criticized?
Sound off in the comments!