If ever there was a shoe trend that just was not designed for me it’s lace up flats. Don’t misunderstand me, I certainly don’t think they’re unsightly, I just know my body all too well to know that these shoes do not belong on my feet, period.
Lace up flats are everywhere for spring. So much so that I’m practically over them and the spring season hasn’t even gotten here yet. Talk about over saturation. Yet, the good news is, if you like lace up flats, you’ll be able to find a pair to suit your fancy. However, before you go whole hog, let’s take a moment to discuss them so you can make an informed choice about wearing them if you do decide to buy them.
How to Wear Lace Up Flats
Tip #1- Check your ankles
Unfortunately, lace up flats are very discriminatory. They don’t favor girls who have large ankles and calves. And this, my friends, is why I won’t wear them. Of course, this is a personal choice. If the size of your ankles and calves have no bearing on the shoes you choose, wear your lace up flats in good health. However, for me, the idea straps making my already hefty ankles look bigger just doesn’t appeal to me (see this post for further explanation). So, don’t shoot the messenger, I am just telling you that shoes like this will add weight to heavy legs. And, also, don’t shoot the messenger if I tell you these aren’t the best shoes if you have short legs either.
I will admit, though, I do love the color of this pair by Steve Madden, so much so that I really do wish I looked good in shoes like this. For a springtime look, I styled these shoes with this colorful dress from Modcloth and popped the pink of the dress with this handbag from Rebecca Minkoff and finished the look with white chandelier earrings from Blu Bijoux.
Tip #1- Choose beige, tan or nude lace up flats
Now there is a workaround if you do have short and/or heavy legs. Try a pair of lace up flats that closely matches your skin color. The benefit of this is you will wear the trend without any contrast against your skin. This will create a longer, slimmer leg look. Adding to these benefits, a tan colored pair of shoes will also be a lot more versatile in what you can wear them. They will match everything. You might as well wear these shoes as much as possible before they become passé.
Using these lace up flats from Nordstrom, I styled them with a printed skirt from Banana Republic, a short sleeve retro cardigan in navy from Boden, soft lilac bag from MICHAEL Michael Kors and white cuff from Ann Taylor.
Tip #3- Choose a pair with a slight heel
Just because lace up flats are popular doesn’t mean that they have to be completely flat. I was happy to see that there were quite a few styles out that had a slight hidden heel. A bit of a heel can go a long way in making legs look longer and leaner. If you have ever tried pants on in a dressing room and found yourself standing on your toes, this is why. The longer an area of the body looks, the leaner it will appear. This slight heel can help mitigate the shortening that the laces on these flats will cause.
In the outfit above, I used these lace up flats with a hidden wedge from Steven by Steve Madden and paired them with these boyfriend jeans, a relaxed tank from Modcloth and boyfriend cardigan from J. Crew to create this stylish weekend look. The outfit is finished with a printed scarf from Bindya, a cognac crossbody from Hammitt and drop earrings from Anna Beck.
Tip #4- Choose styles that are easy to get on and off
One of the best features of flats is how easy they are to get on and off. Call me a total sloth, but enough with all this lacing nonsense. No thanks. Add to that, I can’t imagine that the laces are made of material that is all that durable, making zippers on the backs of some pairs of lace up flats really practical.
If you notice, the back of this bright pink pair of lace up flats from Ivanka Trump have back zippers that make them easier to get on and off, while also not over-stressing the laces which can lead to breakage. I styled this pair with white skinny pants from Theory, a soft white and grey striped shirt from Banana Republic, a white tote and Freida Rothman drop earrings.
Tip #5- Cover the legs entirely
A easy way to wear lace up flats if your legs aren’t your finest feature is to cover them with a maxi skirt or dress. Shoes like this do lend themselves well to these types of silhouettes.
Here, I styled this black d’Orsay style from Stuart Weitzman with a red maxi dress, denim jacket from Madwell, printed scarf from Halogen, black bag from Vince Camuto and gold lattice chandeliers from Max & Chloe.
I really do think lace up flats are a fun shoe trend and, if you do have the fine legs, ankles and feet to wear them this spring and summer that they will update some of your favorite looks. For those of you who may struggle to make these shoes work, I hope these tips give you some direction so you can enjoy them as well.