Part of the problem with some flat styles is that they are very stiff - and therefore almost as uncomfortable as your heels! The most important part is the fit. Shoes are very difficult to buy online, but if you've found a good deal online it's hard to convince yourself to shell out the extra money in store. Here's a secret of mine that I've been doing for years - go into the store and try on the shoe and then go home and buy it online! Even if you can't find the shoe in store, you will probably be able to find the brand and as long as you try on a similar style it should give you a good idea as to what size you are. Trust me, if a ballet flat does not fit you properly you will wake up with blisters and your feet will be aching for the next week! It's not worth it!
The great thing about a flat is it's versatility - and you can go a little flashier with this style. Perhaps you've been wanting to try a metallic shoe but find the heels you've been looking at are a bit overwhelming? Well, try a ballet flat! These shoes can be worn with your khakis to work, with your jeans on the weekends, and even with the occasional girls night out attire. It's the perfect shoe for the girl who wants more bang for her buck.
Ballet flats are in stores from Target to Saks Fifth Avenue, so my advice to you is splurge when you'll get a lot of use. If you are looking for a classic black style that you plan to wear a few times a week, invest if you are able. Go for the Cole Haan's vs. the Payless brand. However, if you have a great dress that requires a certain shade of pink and you think a flat would look super chic, then head to Target. There's no sense in wasting half your paycheck on a pair of shoes that you're only going to wear a few times.
Some of my favorite higher end flat brands include Cole Haan, Tory Burch and Vera Wang Lavendar Label. If you're looking for a staple in your closet that you'll still be wearing in 5 years, these are the brands to steer towards. When I'm looking for something a little more funky or trendy, I go towards Nine West, BCBG girls and Steve Madden. These brands have lots of cute styles that are flashy, fun, and in for the next few months!
Here is a style I would splurge on. Something cute, and classic and flashy at the same time. These shoes will definitely add a touch of sparkle to any outfit without overpowering your style. If, for example, this style was in bright pink...it would be a different story! That's why color is so important when you're considering how to fill your closet!
This is a style that I would probably buy for the right price. It's a cute shoe, and very pretty but I would ask myself a few questions. How many outfits do I really have that will look good with this shoe? How comfortable is this shoe (without the contoured back you really want to make sure this shoes is not slipping!)?...and How durable is this shoe (i.e. how long is the glitter going to last)? These answers are important in order to ensure you're buying something you really see yourself using!
My last piece of advice is if you see a pair of totally unique crazy flats that you have to have, but may not get a lot of use out of...wait. Honestly, you would be surprised how fast some styles will go on sale. And with a little persistance, you could easily get these shoes for 50% of the retail price...a much better buy and a much happier wallet!
And as I always say, if you have a doubt, do without! Don't let the salespeople, a friend you don't have a similar style to, or anyone else convince you that you have to have something if you're not in love with it. If you don't love it in the store when it is shiny and new (and in perfect lighting!), you will like it even less when you have it at home and you get your credit card bill the next month.
So the next time you are at the mall, try my advice. Hopefully it helps...the ballet flat is a staple and looks fabulous on any lady. Plus, it's a perfect way to add a little style to your ensemble without causing physical damage! And don't let any man fool you...if worn the right way the ballet flat can be just as sexy as that pair of Jimmy Choo's. After all, it's all about how you work it!
Oh...and try some of this advice with other purchases as well. There's no reason why you can't be savvy and stylish at the same time!