Last week, I had an important lunch meeting so I wore high heels. It had been a couple of weeks since I had worn “real” high heels, and it took me about 90 seconds to remember why. I hate having to walk slower than my normal pace. I deplore sidestepping grates, broken cobblestones and potholes. And frankly, at 5’7″, I just don’t need the height.
So after much debate, I’ve decide to quite high heels for good. This means that my flat shoe wardrobe needs a makeover. I have a great pair of open-toe black flats and a pair of metallic flats, but if this is all I intend to wear, what else do I need?
Because my wardrobe is centered around two neutral colors–black and navy–I’ll get the most mileage out of a red flat, a leopard print flat and a flesh-toned flat.
Red can be worn with navy separates, black trousers and denim (Joan & David Heidee flat, $180). The leopard print pair (Loeffler Randall Quinnee, $295) can be worn with almost any color palette except (in my opinion) pastels and brights. And the flesh-toned are the saving grace for those days when you need a good basic but metallic will be overwhelming (Vera Wang Lara Flat, $175).
I’ve chosen pointed toe shoes because they look better under trousers and jeans than a round toe. I also think they’re a little more dressed up than round toe flats.
In my opinion, the secret to wearing flats well is to choose shoes that are just as dressy and well-built as high heels. Too often, I see women who toss on casual flats with business attire and it just brings the entire look down. So look for a flat with structure and style not something that you would wear on your commute.
Also, if you’re going to wear flats you need to care for them like they’re heels. They need to be shined and repaired regularly. And when they’re beyond their usefulness, toss them out. Last week, I saw a staffer wearing a pair of round toe, black flats that had been worn down to the frayed edges in the back. Not the kind of non-verbal that you want your outfit to convey.
Hopefully, giving up the height will make getting around the Hill a bit easier for this fast walking lady. I just can’t stand to be slowed down by my foot wear or left standing at a fundraiser with aching feet. It’s simply not worth it to me.