Christina Binkley of the Wall Street Journal wrote, "Long stuck in the purgatory of casual wear, flats are suddenly being promoted for polished occasions."
Flats that are appropriate for the boardroom are also sleek enough for an evening out.
The challenge for business women has always been the same: hobble after your male counterparts, over uneven pavement and sidewalks, trying to keep up with their long strides. Women have lugged around ginormous pocketbooks to carry walking shoes, so they can wear those stilettos during the important meeting. Or, like many, they spend an outlandish amount of money on cab rides because their feet just can't walk another inch after a day in those awful shoes.
The fashion trend of moving from stilettos to power flats for work is a sign of the times: women are busier, faster paced, and have more demanding lives than ever before, and their footwear needs to keep up with them. Luisa De Paula, Buying and Merchandising Director of MyWardrobe.com, explains, "Today's woman has an even busier lifestyle. Walking or even running to a meeting or to the school gates means practicality. It doesn't mean scrimping on style. It's a modern chic and very 60's look, which is key for next season."
And when you think of power flats, don't think of cutesy ballet flats. Power flats have pointy toes, metal caps, and embellishments like spikes, studs, and gemstones. Strong colors and fabric choices like snakeskin, tweet, and patent leather make these a working women's flat. Former First Lady of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, has long been an advocate of the power flat, a quintessential part of her wardrobe (pictured above).
Unsure how and what to wear them with? "Think of the way Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has worn them since marrying her much shorter husband, the former president of France," said Binkley. "Often with slim pants or a trim skirt or dress that elongates the body."
Be on the lookout for power flats to be all over the stores this spring- masculine Oxfords this fall opened the doors for power flats. At both Marc Jacobs and Giorgio Armani spring preview shows, power flats were paired with tailored suits and evening wear.
"We have seen a significant increase in sales of flat shoes against last season and what we term the 'statement flat'," said De Paula. "Key sellers have been glitter, studded, and patent styles by Marc by Marc Jacobs, Lucy Choi, Sam Edelman, and Red Valentino."
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