From Miu Miu’s bondage-inspired pair to ‘90s Chanel denim and Alaia’s studded duo, there is no denying that ballet flats are having their renaissance moment. Shop our edit of the best, from high-end luxury to high street steals… If we could sum up a collective mood for the current trends, it would be… unlikely.
From floor-sweeping maxi skirts to the ‘wrong shoe theory,’ there must be something in the fashion water right now, as all of these shouldn’t work on paper, but yet we are falling head over heels – or rather, flats – for them.
We thought ballet flats had been left at the school gates circa 2008, alongside fur gilets and skinny jeans, but alas, they are back. And if Instagram’s finest style feeds are anything to go by, back in a big way.
There’s Miu Miu’s iconic ankle strap style, which is having its round two after first appearing in 2003. With its bondage-esque ties on one side and gingham ribbons on the other, it is mad on paper and shouldn’t work, but somehow totally does and adds a grungy edge to pretty looks like little white dresses or the “quiet luxury” capsule wardrobe.
We also love them paired with baggy jeans, masculine blazers and the unlikely addition of a cosy sock.
If we’re going to be realistic about it, a £700 mismatching pair of bondage shoes is probably not the wisest investment amidst a cost of living crisis but the iconic Italian brand also has more sobering styles that are a riff on the classic ballet slipper in pinky tones and with sweet little elastic cuffs. There are also a host of more affordable brands doing the look so well.
Check out Mansur Gavriel for their square-toed pair, which gives them a more contemporary twist – ideal with light-wash denim, or Everlane for the softest, most buttery black leather that will go with everything.
On the high street, Mango gets our vote. They have just about done a dupe of all the major ballet flat players, from studded styles to bejewelled rhinestones and everything in between.
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