Sensible and Stylish Footwear

To be honest, sensible shoes have never been my thing. I have always lived in high heels. I love the way they lengthen and slim my legs and give me extra height (I’m only 1.58m so every little helps!) Until very recently, even my flip flops had a wedge heel.  For me, flat shoes meant sensible and distinctly unglamorous. Recently though, I must admit I’m becoming a bit of a convert to the charms of  flats, not only for their practicality and comfort (a sure sign I am getting older!) but because there are some attractive options out there that mean you don’t have to compromise on style. And that’s important, because footwear can maker break an outfit.

Getting the proportions right

The first thing to say is that unfortunately not everything in your wardrobe will look good with flat shoes. If you normally wear high heels, you’ll probably find that the proportions of some of your outfits look  slightly “off” when worn with flats. Generally speaking, flat shoes are best paired with either fairly short (on or above the knee) or fairly long (low calf/ankle) length dresses or skirts. So, if you’re switching from heels to flats (whether from desire or necessity) you may need to re-think skirt lengths. Fortunately ankle grazer trousers will work with either.
So which style of footwear should you go for?


If you don’t already have trainers for leisure wear, you might like to think about investing in a pair.

Trainers are very “now”, surprisingly versatile and suitable for all ages.  There are a huge variety to choose from at all price points from Primark at £8 to the diamond encrusted Jimmy Choos at £595! There are even trainers with built in wedges to give some valuable extra height to those of us who are vertically challenged!

If pairing your trainers with skirts and dresses I’d go for a fairly lightweight pair to give a “preppy” look, and keep chunkier styles for wearing with trousers/jeans.  White trainers are fabulous and fresh for Summer, or why not go for a bit of glitz and glam with a sparkly or metallic pair from Kettlewell Colours – available in gold for “warms” or silver for “cools”.

True Naturals who really value their comfort have even taken to wearing them with their wedding dresses – or at least as back-up for when their feet ache from dancing the night away!

Flip Flops

I’m actually a big fan of flip flops. Because of the V shape of the thong which gives the illusion of longer legs, they are very flattering and, again, you can get dainty and sparkly versions to wear with dresses. And they’re so easy to slip into! (Just make sure to give yourself a pedicure first!)

Ballet Pumps/FlatsEmily flat shoes

Ballet pumps work well with dresses and skirts too. These leather  “Emily” flats currently on sale at Hobbs are particularly flattering as the slightly pointed toe will make your legs look longer.

Ankle support

For those who need a bit more support though, something with an ankle strap is more practical. Avoid anything too clumpy though if wearing light-weight dresses and opt for something like these Cayla Mid shoes from Michael Kors. I couldn’t resist ordering myself a pair at 50% off in the sales. (Researching what’s out there for blog posts like this does tend to result in a purchase!)


Looking towards Autumn/Winter, knee length flat boots can often be very flattering teamed with dresses and skirts, particularly if you coordinate the colour of your boot to your hosiery and/or hemline.  If you’re wearing a smart or “dressy” dress, a slim boot will work best, whereas chunkier boots will team well with more casual styles, knits and heavier weight fabrics.