BALLET-INSPIRED FASHION: THE BALLET FLAT

I danced from the age of 3 to the age of 23, and I miss it dearly. When I was little, “Star Search” and “Dirty Dancing” were about all the coverage the art recieved. In recent years I have been happy to see it recieve more coverage in movies like “Step it Up” and TV shows like “So You Think You Can Dance.” However, ballet still receieves far too little recognition in modern days. I learned tap, jazz, hip hop, and ballet, and ballet was always my favorite. The technique is far beyond even the most difficult hip hop or rumba or flamenco routine you might find on So You Think You Can Dance- which is why you will never find it on that show being attempted even by extremely talented professinal dancers of other styles. It can really only be done well with years of intense training specifically geared to ballet. It has been around for centuries and is so sensual and beautiful. Some may find it incredibly stuffy or boring, but I cannot get enough of the artistry, athleticism, and beauty of ballet.

I always love when fashion adopts certain ballet styles as everyday fashion. Right now I am especially thrilled because it seems like just about every element of my old ballet practice ensemble has some place in mainstream, modern style. I would like to share some of these over the next few weeks. I’ll start with an obvious one: ballet flats.

Ballet flats are so simple, practical, and commonplace right now it’s tough to imagine that just 5 years ago they were seldom worn by anyone. Here are some of my favorites that I either own or would like to get my hands on:

I love these Chloé Buckle Ballet Flats. These are more structured and fit for a polished work outfit.

Gap often comes out with styles I don’t understand, but on occasion they have some wildly genius and widely popular item that everyone wants. They definitely pulled it off with the Gap City Flat. It’s affordable and comes in 21 different colors, several textures including metallic, patent leather and velvet, and comes with a cute handy storage bag. These also have the split sole that you can find on many ballet slippers. I cannot say it does much for support, but it sure does make them comfortable!

Speaking of comfort and support, one of my favorite pairs of shoes I have is the Puma Arayla flat. Is it a gym shoe? Is it a flat? Wait! It’s both! I wouldn’t try to go jogging in these, but they are super comfortable and I get tons of compliments on them. In fact, I found them in the sneaker section of Piperlime believe it or not. I love these because some days I want to wear a tshirt and north face or other sporty-type jacket, and these are a much cuter but still “fitting” style of shoe to go with that getup.

Speaking of affordable, another of of my favorites is the “American Eagle” brand (not the junior’s store you’re thinking of!) Delilah flat from Payless. I wear a 7.5, but the 7 in these was too large, so I got the 6.5 It cut into my heel a bit the first day or so, but now they are one of my most comfortable pairs of shoes. I have them in black and the grey pair is in the mail 🙂

I cannot get enough of the Vera Wang lavender collection in general, so I had to include a pair of flats from it. This entire line has a romantic feel that reminds me of my old ballet costumes. My favorite is the Vera Wang Lavender Label “Luna” Jeweled Ballet Flat. I love the look of it (like a fish or a bird, I am a sucker for shiny objects), though I have not tried one on and I am having trouble picturing what a peep toe would look like on a ballet flat.

And finally, I have also noticed some shoes go a step further by mimicking not ballet slippers, but the box-toed shape of pointe shoes – like these Kate Spade Flash flats.

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