I’ll quickly be attending my niece’s “formal-ish” wedding ceremony, my first for the reason that pandemic. I’ve a pleasant gown to put on, however I don’t know what to do about sneakers. I’ve sworn off heels — I don’t want them for work, and simply bought uninterested in the ache — however sneakers gained’t lower it. What’s the finest flats possibility that may look fashionable and event-appropriate, whereas not making me appear to be a baby? — Ruth Ann, Bloomfield, Conn.
Yoko Ono married John Lennon in flats. Keira Knightley married her husband, the musician James Righton, in flats. Jerry Corridor married Rupert Murdoch in flats. OK, perhaps that final instance was not the most effective, given they’re now splitting up, however the level is: If these ladies, very a lot within the public eye, can put on flats to what is among the most vital dressing-up moments of their lives, the remainder of us also can put on them.
There may be such a factor as formal flats — and, as Christian Louboutin, of crimson sole fame and a person who probably spends extra time than most of us interested by the Tao of footwear, mentioned after I requested, they “haven’t any age restrict.” (Then he added: “51 is the brand new 15!”)
However what do they appear to be?
There are such a lot of attainable choices that it’s maybe finest to begin with what to not put on. Ballet flats, the go-to acceptable comfortable, flat shoe-that-isn’t-a-sneaker since Audrey Hepburn wore them in “Humorous Face,” can look infantile and clichéd. Ditto Mary Janes. (There may be nothing fallacious with a bit fashion irony, however perhaps not at a marriage.)
Strappy sandals and mules are ethereal within the warmth, however they demand quite a lot of foot care. If you’re going to expose your toes and heels throughout a proper event, you wish to be certain that these toes and heels don’t resemble the digits of a Disney-worthy evil stepmother. (Dangerous juju.) Relying in your tolerance for loofahs and pedicures, which will imply that the most effective answer is an easy closed-toe-and-heel model, maybe with one thing of a pointed, moderately than rounded, toe and a streamlined profile.
Then give attention to shade and embellishment. Within the absence of eye-catching heels, that’s what will elevate — no pun meant — your flat shoe sport.
Mr. Louboutin means that moderately than making an attempt to match your sneakers to your gown, the most effective technique is both to match your sneakers to your pores and skin (in 2013 he started providing a line known as “nudes,” which has grown to incorporate eight completely different pores and skin tones) or go for metallics like gold and silver. Both alternative has the good thing about working with quite a lot of outfits, that means they’re a cheap possibility.
(Usually, the higher the supplies and construction, the longer a shoe will final and the extra snug will probably be — but additionally the dearer. You must weigh the cost-benefit evaluation, however that is one merchandise that could be value a little bit of a splurge, which is able to repay over time.)
You may mess around with embroidery and glowing additions that remodel a fundamental flat into one thing particular. For inspiration, have a look at the Dior couture shoe proven in January; the designer Maria Grazia Chiuri handled her flats and almost-flats like jewellery, encrusting them in jet beads and virtually making them into artwork objects unto themselves. Then try Badgley Mischka’s glimmering slip-ons or ankle-strap kinds and 9 West’s rhinestone numbers.
They’re dancing sneakers.
Your Type Questions, Answered
Each week on Open Thread, Vanessa will reply a reader’s fashion-related query, which you’ll be able to ship to her anytime through e mail or Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.