I have this recurring dream where I'm twirling around the streets of Paris at twilight, wearing a tulle Dior dress and sporting a beret in the deepest shade of noir, all the while carrying a baguette in the crook of my arm. Of course, you can't twirl effectively in spindly stilettos, so my footwear of choice is another French-girl staple: ballet flats. Naturally, I wake to discover I'm not in Paris, that the Dior dress was merely on subconscious loan and, to my dismay, there's not a baguette ready to be devoured. However, much like Cinderella, I do have a pair of ballet flats that help me live out my Parisian fantasy in real life.
A few years ago when I moved to London, I wore ballet flats on repeat. My job as a fashion intern required me to hotfoot it to designer shops at a moment's notice to pick up clothing for shoots, which would inevitably need to be swiftly returned. Ballet flats allowed me to scoot around the city at high speed while ensuring I looked as presentable as a sweaty 21-year-old could. However, just last week, I was shopping in Mango when I came across a pair of ballet shoes complete with a small block heel. It felt as if it was 2011 all over again. I slipped them on and instantly felt the comfort and Gallic charm. At a mere £30, I had to have them.
As the week went on, I realised they went with everything I paired them with. Statement skirts, tapered trousers, distressed denim, bright dresses, checks, velvet… Since I've bought a pair, I've started to see them crop up in a host of other new-in sections, which means its only a matter of time before they blow up on the fashion scene.
To help you stay a step ahead of the trends, I've done the hard work and found the very best ballet flats for every budget. Not into pumps? I've even tracked down a couple of heeled options for the non-flats fans out there. Turns out that dreams really do come true.