Chic, Flat-Out Comfort, Part Deux

It’s Shoe Week at Styl-d, and, yesterday, we focused on the newest flat shoe shapes for summer (see Part 1 in 3/5 post). The reason? It’s for those of us fashionistas who move too fast to hobble on the beautiful, but painful, four-inch, creatively heeled runway shoe sculptures designers showed for spring. Love’em, but hate’em.

Today, we look at the classics you’ll likely to already have in your closet — but may want to add a new version or color to. Yes, there are …

Still Chic Shapes

The Ballet Flat:

Always top of the list for comfort, there are more ballets than ever in tons of adorable permutations. Color is a great way to add a new ballet to your wardrobe and a nice finishing surprise to an outfit. Skin

Bloch cerise ballet slipper

— any lizard or snaky looking texture is terrific (ours at, and animal print is (and will be, those of you already looking ahead to fall) really prescient and fun.

Donald Pliner leopard flat

Ralph Lauren snake ballet flat

French Sole multicolor toe cap flat

Metallics and multicolors are an especially playful way to vary your ballet look, and toecaps add an expressive spot, too.

Marc Jacobs gold ballet

But you can’t beat the buttery feel and look of the terrific neutral basic like the Michael Kors, or the chic Delman classic. And Repetto, French maker of real ballet slippers, has entered the everyday shoe market with its own rainbow of colors in patents and suedes, and metallics. (In America, at

Repetto aqua toceap flat

Michael Kors brown ballet slipper

Delman classic ballet

French Sole, too, a terrific ballet flat resource (, specializes in the shape, and has more colors and variations than you can possibly dream up. Tory Burch, of course, made her name with her famous “Reva” ballet flat, which is still the gold standard of the company, but has added a wonderfully shaped, just terrifically chic-simple new ballet. And, naturally, our best American interpreter of current popular chic, J Crew, has some delicious new versions of their ballet, including a pom-pom’d toe metallic flat that’s just charming. (We bet Michelle Obama has more than a few pairs…) (At Ballet flat are around at every price point, from Target to Lanvin, so pick your brand, and revel in all the choices!

Tory Burch simply chic ballet

French Sole neon abstract print ballet

French Sole’s cadet blue piped version


These will never be out of style in the American fashion vernacular — or for that matter, in the world’s style repetoire. They are too comfortable and too full of stylistic and design possibilities to ever give up. What varies is just what looks the most the most current to the fashion eye. We’ve all been in love for several seasons now with Converse high-tops, low-tops, destroyed or laceless Converse versions and they’re still great, but what looks a little newer again are the simple tie Keds, Toms and Superga shapes. You’ve got to choose the right moment, but a classic white Superga can make a work trouser outfit summer-chic on a busy day. And the colors are enough to make your day on the weekend. These three companies make enough variations to make your head spin!

Alice & Olivia for Keds sequinned sneak

Keds colored linen classic

Superga's quintessential shape

Thong and T- Strap Sandals:

Nine West knotted thong

There are naturally some amazing new variations of these popular shapes, and they are still very much a good flat option from casual flip flops to high-end softest leather and patent. But, the ones that are too thin and strippy should be saved for the weekend, or an after hours casual or a going-out look. Too bare and insubstantial on a work day just doesn’t cut it. There are also some amazing jewel and stone decorated sandals in this category too — just don’t look like you’re wearing the vault contents on each foot for day. More can be more, but on your feet, it looks like they are walking you into the room. Overdone is still just that — overdone.

Calvin Klein thong sandal

Michael Kors thong sandal

D&G thong sandal

One other important style note: When you buy a flat, buy a real flat –with no tiny heels or sliver wedges. They can really look matronly and slightly dumb. No one would want to ruin such a confident look with that note.

So, summer girls, celebrate having your feet on the ground! You CAN be as COMFORTABLE and STYLISH–as you want. Isn’t that what the season is supposed to be about, anyway? Yeahhhh…

(Note: was the resource for all looks not otherwise attributed.)


This Minute

At The Tents

Michael Kors 2/17/10 — Who better than the reigning king of American luxury to update Fall’s ubiquitous camel coat, the sweater dress, the gray sweat pant, the gray flannel trouser, the turtleneck and the peacoat? Michael Kors did just that beautifully in the Fall 2010 collection he showed this morning in Bryant Park. From the first outfit — a coyote fur vest and cashmere bodysuit with cashmere leg and arm warmers — it was apparent his was a journey to that mythical America where super-luxury fabrics are distilled into the most modern incarnations of classics we love, and where they are also within the reach of every great-looking woman who desires them. Yes — oh, yes — we all should dress that way, I agree… And, we all should have that bank account, too!

But, this is a collection line, and all about the dream, the designer’s vision, that will fuel sales from fragrance to fur and fabulous accessories, not to mention lust among his faithful. And there it succeeded wildly, pardon the pun…

In this luxe vision, a woman has plenty of fur–in coats, jackets, parkas, vests, even a skirt — and in those amazing stand alone fur hoods that are popping up in lots of shows, but best here. And, absolutely, she has great accessories — from a terrific cross-body cognac leather mailbag (that came out in gold a second later), to the wedge hiking boot that anchored a lot of looks, to just right brown belts, perfect fur and crush-down suede boots, and cashmere leg warmers for a great chunky winter sandal.

But, back to the clothes–how did Kors update these sporty chic classics? It was in how he combined them– see-through gold turtle with stretch gabardine pants, a silver Cire stormcoat and anthracite cashmere sweatpants – and what he made them of. There was new “crushed” and “crinkled” flannel, stretch in cashmere and flannel, mohair voile practically transparent turtlenecks. His modernization also came from how he shaped his new classics — really large cowls and very deep v’s and dolman sleeves on sweaters, super-high slits on a pleated below the knee kilt or slight A line button front skirts, a pleated, slouchy-at-the-top, slim leg new trouser, and an easy louche trouser skirt, and slits in the elbows of his narrow-sleeved coats and jackets for movement.

Whether this collection can be seen as further evidence that fashion is cleaning itself up, or just the right time for the already quintessential Kors modern classic style, remains to be seen. But, whatever the zeitgeist, his polished, but extremely easy sportswear chic looked so handsome, so very desirable, it might just inspire women to launch an economic recovery just to afford these stunning clothes.