Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Flats with Flair

Hi Belle –

I have a slightly strange question for you. I work in the legislative process at the state level as a spokesperson and I frequently appear in the halls of the Capitol. I am experiencing a severe disc issue that is exasperated when I wear my beloved heels. Flats are not a part of my wardrobe, and I’m not jazzed about wearing them everyday. I purchased a pair of black, pointed-toe kitten pumps, but they are still throwing my spine out of alignment. I need an alternative. I’m not opposed to trying something with flair.

Any suggestions? M 

I abandoned heels for flats after a few years on Capitol Hill.  There came a point where chasing my Boss in his cowboy boots took its toll on my ankles.  So while you may not like them as much as heels, if you choose the right flats, you may feel some affection for them yet.


Steve Madden Elusion Flats ($79) // Via Spiga Lilac Flats ($53) // Corso Como Tuxe Flats ($75)

Basics are the place to start.  I like the B.P. Moveover flats for a place to start.  They come in black, cognac, or nude.  If you want to put money into a better pair, I recommend these Tory Burch flats.

Animal Print flats are a versatile addition to any wardrobe.  Leopard is one of my favorite looks.  These Steve Madden flats are a nice choice, I also like these Sole Society flats in an ivory and grey palette.  These snakeskin flats from Joe’s Jeans are another great option.  And if you want a printed flat that is a bit more subtle, these Lucky Brand flats in black with white speckles are a lovely.

Brightly Colored flats are a choice with pop.  I like these coral flats from Via Spiga.  These Ivanka Trump flats have a deep ruby hue.  If you like cobalt, these B.P. flats are a good place to start.  If you prefer just a hint of color, these blush d’Orsay flats from Target can be yours for just $7.

Metallic flats are probably the most versatile choice.  These Corso Como flats are a lovely choice.  For something with a bit more support, these Cole Haan flats come in both gunmetal and gold.  The Nine West Speakup flats come in a myriad of colors and patterns, but the silver foil are my favorite.



  1. SJ says:

    Thank you for this . I have back issues too and switching to flats has made a world of difference. May I also recommend a slight wedge, if you ever feel you need “heels.” They’re not nearly as helpful as flats, but do alleviate more of the pressure than your basic pumps.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
    • Anna says:

      Do you have any wedges you recommend? I’m looking for non-heels that look good with solid tights and most flats just look kind of matronly.

      January 20, 2015/Reply
      • SJ says:

        I got a great pair of wedge boots at DSW that I’ve been wearing this winter. I felt like they were dressier than flat boots for work, but still supportive (and easier to walk on the ice in!). DSW is having a great sale right now on boots and there were several wedge options.

        January 20, 2015/Reply
      • Belle says:

        Kate Spade and Cole Haan both make a nice wedge. You can catch them on sale on Amazon. 6pm, etc.

        January 20, 2015/Reply
  2. Monica says:

    I loved the Leopard pattern on the Steve Madden Elusions but was disappointed with the quality. The calf hair started wearing off on the heal after only a few wears, it’s not super noticeable, but for $80 I expected better I guess. I also tried the BP Moveovers and returned them, they had slick completely flat soles and I just didn’t like the feel of them on my feet. The search for the perfect flat continues.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  3. Jen says:

    I love my AGL flats. They’re worth the price. Very comfortable.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
    • V says:

      I agree 100% with Jen. AGL flats are expensive, but worth every penny for the quality, comfort, and durability. I have worn mine at least three times a week for the past year and they look and feel brand new.

      January 20, 2015/Reply
    • APW says:

      I will echo the love for AGL flats. They aren’t cheap, but I’ve worn mine to death, hold up great, and I’ve had the soles replaced and they are like new. Definitely the most comfortable and I think very pretty flat out there!

      January 20, 2015/Reply
  4. Amanda says:

    Who What Wear posted some Barneys Ankle-Strap D’Orsay Flats. ($235 marked down to $85) I had trouble finding them outside of the link they shared though… here it is:

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  5. Meg says:

    Banana Republic Ashley flats are my hands down favorite. They have memory foam and are super comfortable. I wait and buy them on one of BR’s 40% off sales and they hold up very well.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  6. Joules (@stylebyjoules) says:

    As a person struggling with a disc issue myself I just wanted to say that I feel your pain. Nothing is more annoying and painful that a disc problem.

    I get all my flats at Target. They’re cheap and generally stylish.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  7. Suse says:

    How about boots? I can’t wear heels and can’t bring myself to wear flats in the winter, so I go with either black or chestnut riding boots. They work with skinny pants (and jeans on casual friday) and skirts or dresses with tights. And in spring, I switch to black patent leather oxfords 🙂

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  8. Katie says:

    If you have some money to drop (or some points to use), I highly recommend these pointy-toe Stuart Weitzman flats, that I bought in the gold color for the holidays. I am finding them more versatile than I expected, and can wear them to work with dark trouser jeans. Incredibly comfortable and they seem to have decent support. Even better, they come in a 11.5, which is a tough size to find (looks like the 12s are sold out, but they usually come in up to a size 12).

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  9. Katarina says:

    I also have disc issues (so sorry you’re going through it, so annoying) and I live and swear by payless dexflex comfort flats. It is the only thing I’ve ever bought at Payless and I adore them.

    January 21, 2015/Reply