So, last week I posted on the various social media outlets that I'm starting a new series called Stylist Q&A where I will be answering readers' styling questions here on the blog. So let's get down to business with our first question. Hope you find it helpful!
Q: Catherine!! I have been struggling to figure out how to make flats look good on me. My husband is my height, so my long practice of rocking heels every time I get dressed up is long gone. But this means I have spent many-a-wedding, dinners, and nights out feeling awkward in flats, and changing like 47 times before we go out to get something to look right. Specifically, I feel like I don't know how to make my body shape look right in flats. I feel frumpy, disproportionate, and lopsided. Flats can't only be for the toothpicks, right? What do I need to pair them with to make them look good? - Sean
A: Sean! Do not fret. I think your conundrum is one that many girls share, so you're definitely not alone in this. Here are a few rules to keep in mind when styling outfits with flats...
1. Honor your ankle. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is trying to wear flats with wider leg pants, which drowns your little tootsies in fabric and makes everything look heavy and off balance. Flats will always look the most flattering when the slimness of the ankle area can be seen. So that's everything from cropped pants, rolled up boyfriend jeans, to leggings or skinny jeans. Save your wide leg pants and trousers for heels and wedges.
2. Keep em light. The nature of flats is a bit delicate and feminine, so stay away from any style that's super heavy, thick soled, or wide when it comes to basic flats. The style should be slender around the toe (oval or pointy). Pointy toes are flattering on every body type as they elongate the leg and give off the feeling of a heel.
3. Be careful with dresses and skirts. Flats tend to be a more casual choice, so it can be tricky to style them into formal looks. I would encourage you to rock a heel when you're going to a wedding or cocktail party, as heels will always be a bit more appropriate with a more formal dress (hey, even if it's just a small heel). It would be a shame to dress down a special occasion look with a flat foot, in my opinion. Ian is my height, so I've just come to terms with the fact that I'll have two inches or so on him when we go to weddings and parties. However, you can absolutely dress flats up for less formal nights out. Just wear them with a sharp pair of skinny pants and a cute blouse, and opt for a sparkly or patent pointy pair to add an extra touch of glam to your look. If you do want to wear flats with a skirt or dress, try ballerina or pointy toed flats with an A-line knee length skirt (a la Kate Spade) or pointy toed flats with a pencil skirt for the office.
4. Don't obsess at the mirror. I know it may seem like flats look disproportionate when you're analyzing your reflection in the mirror. Of course we'd all love to sport a killer heel with every outfit for more height, longer looking legs, and all around glamour, but it's not practical nor is it comfortable. Yeah, not gonna happen. But I promise you - as long as you follow the first three rules, your flats will look fabulous!
ROW 1: Jenni Kayne / Chloe / Zara ROW 2: Report / Asos / Zara ROW 3: Shoe Cult / 3.1 Phillip Lim / Zara
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this first edition of Stylist Q&A! If you have a question of your own, leave it in the comments or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Come on, you know you want to!