This season, the flat can be anything you want it to be, from leather loafers to sneakers and pointy slingbacks.
And the ballet flat? No longer a relic of the 2010s! The unlikely shoe has positioned itself as the simplest way to do casual, laissez-faire elegance—whether you go for a trendy mesh version à la Alaïa, or keep it low-key with a demure Mary Jane.
Blame it on the pandemic or even the creeping casualisation of fashion, but these days flats can be worn at virtually any occasion, from the office to nights out. Fabric matters, though. A canvas style keeps it casual, and is the perfect way to dress down an otherwise tailored look, while pointy-toed and patent offers refined femininity.
“I’m definitely becoming more of a flats person,” says stylist Lucy Wood. “I love the fun of heels every now and then but my priority for comfort has started to win the battle. In saying that, I don’t think there’s much compromise anymore—so many elevated flats that can still give you that ‘dressed up’ feeling. Win win.”
Below, see Lucy’s edit of the 16 best flats of the season, as chosen by Wood.