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Add Some Summer Sparkle with These Embellished-Heel Flats!

Despite the fact that flats almost always win against heels in a competition of comfort (almost always), I know some fashionistas who just don’t feel nearly as fabulous without that added height of a pump or stiletto sandal. But just because flats keep you grounded (literally) doesn’t mean they have to skimp in the style department. I should know, as a busy San Franciscan who is constantly on her feet and therefore always needs a reliable arsenal of fabulous yet comfortable flats! And one of my favorite flat trends of late is the embellished mini-heel – just the perfect amount of sparkle, in the form of rhinestones, studs, or shine adds an element of surprise to any standard loafer, mary jane, or strappy sandal style. These fancified flats are comfortable and sensible, but with a little something extra so you don’t feel like you’re sacrificing anything other than a couple extra inches of height (not to mention sparing yourself from blisters)!

Pictured above: Boutique 9 Panther Loafers, Miu Miu Patent Leather Rhinestone-Heel Mary Jane Flats, and Zara Studded Strappy Sandals.

– Alexandra Gambardella

We’re Destined to Splurge on These Charlotte Olympia Horoscope Flats

Try as I might to train myself to wear heels more often, somehow I always seem to fall back on my trusty arsenal of comfy-yet-stylish flats. And while I’m more likely to splurge on a killer pair of pumps or sexy platform sandals, the truth is, I get a lot more use out of flats… right? I guess you could consider that my way of convincing myself to bite the bullet and splurge on a pair of Charlotte Olympia’s new Horoscope Flats. Inspired by the twelve signs of the zodiac, each loafer-inspired flat boasts a shade and embellishment unique to the sign they represent. Sure, I’ve never been hugely into astrology, but I’ve been known to peruse the horoscope section of my favorite magazines… and that’s enough to convince me that these flats were destined to earn a spot on my shoe rack! Of course, Charlotte Olympia shoes don’t come cheap, so scooping up a pair of these adorable flats is a pretty big commitment. Is it weird that I’m tempted to buy a Sagittarius pair… and I’m not even a Sagittarius?!

– Alexandra Gambardella

Dress Up Without Dressing Up At All Thanks to Metallic Flats

A close friend of mine, who is nearly six feet tall and practically lives in heels, recently sprained her ankle. Not only has this ruined her daily running regimen and made getting around in busy San Francisco extremely difficult, but most importantly, it’s totally salted her shoe game. She has reluctantly resorted to wearing flats, but with her birthday coming up, she was faced the challenge of finding a pair of shoes that would do her party justice without putting stress on her ankle. Naturally, I knew my fashionable friend would come up with something, and sure enough, she looked as fabulous as ever on her big day in a pair of reflective Jeffrey Campbell oxfords. Jazzy and fun but still totally comfortable and wearable, her fancy footwear was the perfect way to dress up her look in a way that’s modern, trendy, and painless! While I haven’t suffered from any fashion-hindering injury, I do like to mix style with comfort, so she inspired me to round up some other metallic flats that look fab without the fuss! Check out my favorites in the links below!

Pictured above: Topshop Vee Woven Metallic Ballerina Pumps, Elizabeth and James Court Metallic Loafers, Jeffrey Campbell Uniform Metallic Oxford, J. Crew Viv Metallic Flats, and Chloe Metallic Leather Ballerina Flats.

– Alexandra Gambardella

Velvet Smoking Slippers: The Epitome of Comfy-Chic!

As much as I love dressing up in the highest heels I can find – even for no particular reason on your average Wednesday – my inner homebody is always super-excited when trends take a turn in the comfier direction for the upcoming season! Loafer-inspired flats and smoking slippers have been every in-the-know fashionista’s go-to flats for awhile now, but as the weather cools down, the footwear fad seems to keep getting cozier and even more literal. While I’m sure I won’t be able to break out my retro Ninja Turtle slippers in public any time soon, I still appreciate that velvet smoking slippers are all the rage this season, inspired by the luxe versions that British high society would don in the comfort of their own homes back in the day. Pair them with some skinny jeans, matchstick slacks, or tights and some fall-friendly leather shorts for a chic (and comfy!) fall ensemble!

Pictured above: Stubbs & Wootton for J. Crew Classic Velvet Slippers, Rachel Zoe Lily Velvet Smoking Slipper, Alexander McQueen Embroidered Tulip Velvet Slipper, River Island Navy Velvet Stud Slipper, and Charlotte Olympia Cat-Face Velvet Skimmer.

– Alexandra Gambardella

Swap Your Canvas Toms For a Sweet Pair of Espadrille Flats!

Maybe it’s my undying love of spring and summer footwear, or just my abhorrence of canvas Toms (love the giving-back-to-charity thing, not so much the style), but either way, I totally the love the idea of espadrille flats. I first became obsessed with the trend sometime last year when they emerged on the scene in time for Spring/Summer 2011, and clearly, they don’t seem to have any plans of fading as a fad any time soon! Through the warmer seasons ahead, the 2012 takes continue to be simple and comfy yet undoubtedly cute and feminine, allowing more active ladies stay on their feet while still looking stylish. Whether your vibe is nautical for spring, more understated for everyday, or full-on flashy, you’re bound to find an espadrille flat to suit your fancy! Sure, some of them are still a little too Toms-shaped for my taste, but for all you Toms lovers out there – I’m compromising!

Pictured above: Kate Spade Lido Flat Espadrille, Giorgio Armani Suede Flat Espadrille, Nomad Disco Espadrille Flat, and MICHAEL Michael Kors Meg Flats.

– Alexandra Gambardella

Sweet Shoe Find: Madewell Suede Skimmers

  • posted February 1st, 2012
  • Fashion

Ever since I moved to a new apartment, increasing my on-foot commute by a good half mile, I’ve developed a new appreciation for flats. Pointy-toe, peep-toe, suede, leopard, oxford, loafter-inspired, candy-colored – the possibilities are nearly endless, and finding new comfy-chic flats that complement my casual workwear wardrobe has become a whole new shopping hobby! The latest must-haves on my list? Madewell’s Suede Skimmers. Unlike much of Madewell’s footwear offerings (which can get a little.. ahem.. splurgey), these classic-cute flats are priced at a very affordable $88 and come in a bevy of festive colors. I love the style’s slight pointed toe and the way the suede adds the perfect dash of texture. They’re adorable with everything from skinny jeans to skirts and dresses (once spring weather officially graces us with its presence, that is). Can’t decide what color? Taupe flats are always a must-have if you don’t already own a pair, but I’m personally partial to the cobalt or kelly green for a instant pop of color to any outfit!

– Alexandra Gambardella

Toms Paris Ballet Flats Are Almost Here!

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for fashion that gives back to charity – but from a style standpoint, I swore I’d never jump on-board the Toms bandwagon. I see people on the street rockin’ them with jeans, shorts, dresses, and even suits (ugh), and while some people manage to make them look almost cute, I’ve yet to find a pair that convinces me that I wouldn’t rather be wearing a much more stylish pair of simple ballet flats. That is, until I found out that Toms were coming out with their very own collection of Paris ballet flats, due out this spring. They’ve still got that bound canvas look unique to Toms and boast the undeniable comfort that have made them so beloved among the brand’s fans, but unlike their classic and wedge styles, they don’t blatantly advertise that you’ve chosen your footwear based primarily on comfort. And for those of us who consider looks to be just as important as comfort when it comes to our casual footwear, the Paris ballet flats are a brand addition worth waiting for! What do you think – would you reconsider investing in a pair of Toms once these flats are available?

– Alex Gambardella

Leopard Flats Make For Fancy Fall Feet

  • posted September 30th, 2011
  • Fashion

If you’re a lover of leopard, but aren’t quite fearless enough fashion-wise to rock a pair of animal print booties right off the bat, try starting a wee bit smaller with a chic pair of leopard flats! They’re part sweet, part sassy, plus they’re comfier than your average sky-high booty or platform pump, so you’ll be much more motivated to slip them on and jazz up a casual outfit! But just because they’re a bit more toned-down than this season’s edgier heels doesn’t mean they’re dull or one-dimensional. Jump on the menswear trend with a pair of loafer-inspired flats like these Steven by Steve Madden ‘Madee’ ponyhair flats, or if you’re someone with a little more feminine flair, Kate Spade’s bow-embellished ‘Elise’ flats add a sweet spin to the flashy print. For the girl who’s not afraid to go edgy, these Sam Edelman ‘Beatrix’ flats toe the line with a spiky cap-toe detail for extra fierceness. And of course, for basic flat lovers, Tory Burch’s favorite ‘Reva’ flats now come in textured leopard, just in time for fall!

– Alex Gambardella

Tieks: Fashionable & Comfy No-Fuss Flats!

As avid trend-watchers, we’ve seen our share of innovative footwear fads, especially when it comes to flats. We’ve spotted flats that roll at the soles, flats that fit in your pocket, and even flats dispensed out of vending machines… but whatever happened to just plain quality, cute flats that don’t do any crazy tricks other than simply stay comfortable no matter how long they’re on your feet? Introducing Tieks, unbelievably comfy designer flats that come in every color and pattern known to man that are made especially for maintaining comfort with their cushioned heel, flexible fit, and soft, top-grain leather. Okay, okay… and they also happen to have the ability fold up to fit in your purse (I guess a little trickery can’t be avoided). Yes, they cost a pretty penny (if you’re more likely to pay around the same price just for the sake of having that oversized Tory Burch logo on the toe, I understand), but if you’re constantly on a never-ending hunt for the perfect pair of wear-‘em-anywhere flats and don’t mind spending the dough, your search ends here!
- Alex Gambardella

Portable, Bright Ballet Flats Courtesy of Corso Como!

Portable ballet flats you can stick in your purse and whip out at a moment’s notice? It may not be the most original idea in the world (they’re all over vending machines in the UK, and have been done by a variety of ), but that doesn’t make them any less genius! Despite the fact that the idea’s been done before, it hasn’t been quite as fleshed out or quite as chic as its been done by Corso Como and the brand’s Ballasox flats! With multiple styles to suit the passing seasons, including metallic leather, crinkled and patent textures, and a slew of feminine details like ankle ties and bright, summer-festive colors, Ballasox are a smart, life-saving summer investment that don’t look like an emergency, last-minute go-to you had to rely on to spare yourself some serious blisters! Given this season’s saturation of impossibly high espadrilles, platform soles, and strappy sandals that can’t possibly be comfortable the whole day through, these $60-a-pair compact flats, which come with their own matching case for easy storage, will prove to save your feet, your outfit, and ensure that you won’t have to ditch your dance partner due to painful shoes!

– Alex Gambardella