No such thing as too many flats!
Ditch the heels, ladies, and bring out your party-worthy flats! From the sparkly beauties to those with vibrant pom poms, there’s no dearth of good-looking flats.
The pandemic changed the way we define style and fashion. The limited gatherings during festivals also affected the way people dress-up. Comfort became priority, and a growing number of women swapped their killer heels for stylish yet sensible footwear.
The sales of high heels had gone down by 70% in 2020. Beth Goldstein, an analyst of footwear and fashion trends for New York’s NPD Group said, ‘Uncomfortable footwear was losing popularity before the pandemic.’
The trend continues in 2021 with comfort and ease still being the priority for people. Recently, author Anuja Chauhan called out long heels in one of her Facebook posts, “Ladies, you want to assert your power and regain your agency? STOP teetering about in pointy heeled ‘sexy’ shoes. They’re impractical and they slow you down and in the long run they mess up your spine. Sure, they make you look taller, but frankly, they also make you look stupider, as you’re clearly trading in comfort and health and speed just for 2-3 (or 4!) inches of faux height. Work on your fitness and your posture and do your homework well before you enter any meeting, and you’ll tower over everybody else present just with sheer personality.”
Flats were also seen in various fashion shows across the world. Brands such as Valentino, Dior, Celine, Lanvin and Simone Rocha teamed their Spring Summer 2021 collections with the most fabulous looking flats.
“The core idea is that even when you look down, and see your feet, you feel happy. People have begun choosing footwear that is comfortable and easy to wear without compromising on style,” says Laksheeta Govil of Fizzy Goblet.
It’s truly a personal choice when it comes to heel height but choosing a pair with less dip/incline is always a better choice, says experts. “Despite confinement, consumers are still interested in fashion. Our sales in the post lockdown months showed that customers were seeking a balanced combination of comfort and style. Immediately after the first easing of restrictions in July/August last year, we saw an increase in the orders for flat styles which showed a noticeable shift of preference from more stylish to more comfortable designs,” says Aprajita Toor who makes handicraft footwear.
Some of the brands had even reworked on the comfort level during the pandemic. “We ensure every design is able to give maximum support and cushion and reworked on them. Since the lockdown has gotten over and people are now stepping out for work, the priority has again come back to wearing something that is comfortable but elegant at the same time,” says Shweta Nimkar, Founder of PAIO Shoes.
And flats are not just for daily wear. Fashion lovers are opting for flats even for special occasion, as there’s no dearth of great looking, party-worthy options to choose from. Fashion designer, Rina Dhaka, says she has always been in love with flats. “The new breed of flats have made me get over my love affair with some of the world’s best heels in my closet, which I duly collected over the years as investment pieces. Sneakers, espadrilles and slip-ons are my favourites. I like the fact that the sneaker trend stayed, because nothing like a pair of sneakers tucked under the brides lehenga.”
Designer Payal Pratap who is showcasing handmade two-tone leather flats in her Spring Summer 2021 collection, says, “I’m a flats person and always have been. I relish them with everything I wear. Get the right design and colour and you can make them work with every look. Open sandals are so comfortable and trendy, too. For formals, you could try chic pointed toe flats.”
Model-actor Soundarya Sharma agrees that with so many alluring options available, there is no way the look can go wrong with flats. “Fashion to me is more about being myself rather than following a stereotype. That’s why I love flats. A long skirt with a slit looks great with flat with high boots, one can wear a
tight fitted long formal skirt with loafers and sneakers for a fun look, or short skirts with ballerinas or lace-up flats while kurti and juttis are an evergreen combo,” says Sharma. You can wear flats with even lehengas, if you choose the right design. “Lehengas holds a heavy ken-ken and wearing flats can ease out the burden. One can find a variety of flats, right from the bejeweled to the embroidered ones to team with lehengas,” says fashion designer Gautam Gupta.
And what better occasion than Holi to bring out your pretty flats? “Holi is one such festival when the fun element gets a notch higher and you seek comfort, too, which is the new cool. I love wearing pom-pom slippers and colourful kohlapuri with white churidaar suit. A vibrant dupatta adds to the beauty of the look,” says model-actor Sone Kanwar.
Tips to ace the look
1. Pointed toe fancy flats can be paired with glamarous vintage inspired gowns. For a party look, you can also go for a sparkly pair of flats that look chic and classy. Even metallics are great for evening wear or red carpet look.
2. For a fun, desi twist to your look, team your kurtis with jeans and wear a vibrant jutti or a kolhapuri. It’s an evergreen look that won’t let you down.
3. Sneakers are the best form of flats gifted to us. Fearlessly pair a stylish sneaker with any of your outfits including a pant suit or even a sari. And you can always wear your favourite pair of flat ankle boots with your short, cute dresses.
(Inputs by stylist Aakanksha Kapoor)