Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Edit: Colored Flats and Suede Care Tips

Do you love colored flats but never buy them because so many pairs are suede?  Caring for suede can be so tough, but the right tools and instructions make it a breeze.

Hi Belle! 

Looking for an accent color shoe (or two), and I like red or yellow as they’ll match my closet best. However, I’m not finding anything that isn’t suede! With DC rainstorms I am worried they’ll wear out & get dirty super quick. Any suggestions for 1) non-suede options for red or yellow pointed toe flats OR 2) ways to waterproof & safeguard suede shoes for the frequent DC summer downpour. 

Thanks!! JR

This seems straightforward enough.  I love specificity in a request. Let’s talk about both.

Red. These Brinley and Co. $30 patent red flats are a bargain choice.  They look a bit like a Ferragamo knock-off with the structured bow.  For something simple, but modern, these Calvin Klein patent t-strap flats in crimson are a good choice.  These Brooks Brothers plain leather flats are a good basic.  And these Spring Step Junita flats have a cute detailing on the vamp and an ankle strap.

Yellow. If you’re looking for yellow, I really like these suede Seychelles flats.  (We’ll talk about suede in a minute.)  These herringbone print flats from Talbot’s are pretty great.  But if I had to buy a pair for myself, these suede (I know) Bill Blass Lolas are just phenomenal.

And I know they’re probably not what you’re looking for, but I adore these mustard-yellow mules.  These Jeffrey Campbell mules are also incredibly chic.

Suede Care. Harper’s Bazaar has a written suede care guide that I’ve turned to over the years.  For a video tutorial, the folks at Allen Edmonds, makers of fine men’s shoes, have you covered.

I like to spray all of my suede with a protectant when I bring it home.  This Jason Markk Repel Kit is for leather and suede and has saved at least two pairs of my shoes.  It is a little pricey at $75, but it is worth it.  Need something cheaper?  You need an $8 can of Scotchguard and a $15 suede brush and eraser set.

{photo here; this post contains affiliate links}



  1. Nora says:

    Rothys! They’re so, so comfy, come in all sorts of colors, and don’t get gross at all in the rain. In fact, they’re my work rain shoe nowadays. Here’s my code if you want $20 off:

    June 26, 2018/Reply
  2. Anna says:

    I was surprised Rothy’s wasn’t mentioned. I keep seeing their summer ads on my Insta feed and there are so many cute colors! They’re meant to dry pretty quickly so your feet won’t get too gross (with any flat, water’s going to get inside since so much of the top is exposed), and the sole is rubber so not too slick. Plus if they do get dirty or stinky, a spin in the wash and they’re like new.

    This is my link:

    June 26, 2018/Reply
  3. Katie says:

    If you like the look and fit, Tieks come in just about every color, including three different yellows (mustard, “unmellow yellow” which is bright, and a yellow patent that is like a butter yellow color) and four different reds (ruby red, cardinal red, burgundy, and poppy). I’ve worn mine in rain in DC and as long as you dry them thoroughly they are no worse for the wear.

    June 26, 2018/Reply
  4. Julie says:

    I’m looking to replace some aqua flats if anyone has recommendations. I had gotten mine from Target a few years back thinking they were just a trend and I rely on them heavily now but they are starting to show their frequent wear. Bonus points if they are supportive!

    June 27, 2018/Reply
  5. Anna says:

    @Julie, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen aqua colored Tiek’s. I also keep seeing a teal/aqua colored Rothy’s loafter with a lime green sole that looks super cute.

    June 27, 2018/Reply
  6. Keilexandra says:

    I swear by Kelly’s Water & Stain Protector spray for all of my leather and suede shoes. I have used it on very light-colored blush suede and it doesn’t darken the color at all. You can buy it on Amazon but I usually buy it directly from my cobbler to save on shipping.

    June 29, 2018/Reply