The Easy Styling Trick I Use To Make My Ballet Flats Fall-Appropriate

Warm *and* chic.

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PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 10: Gabriella Berdugo wears a beige trench long coat from Trench London, a ...

Though I don’t exactly consider myself a fashion rebel, I’ve never followed the rules when it comes to seasonally appropriate footwear. Sure, I could take the easy route and wear comfortably warm boots in the winter and breezy sandals in the summer. However, I prefer to give myself more of a challenge by making my favorite shoes transcend seasons, regardless of their intended use. Case in point: ballet flats, which I wear all year round, come snow or sunshine. Sure, they may seem like a warm-weather-only shoe, but hear me out — styling ballet flats for fall (or any of the colder months, really) can be done. All it takes is a few simple tricks.

Most importantly, you should take into account what your flats are made of. Anything with holes that let air in, like woven leather or mesh fabric, probably isn't the best idea unless you want your feet to freeze. Instead, opt for luxe materials like velvet, suede, or leather — not only will they be warmer, but they'll also pair better with the cozy fabrics in your outfit.

Once you have the right shoes, the rest is easy. Up ahead, six styling tricks I personally rely on to keep ballet flats in my rotation year-round.

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Elevate Your Sweats

Photo by Anna Buckman

It’s hard to change out of your sweats when fall rolls around, but adding a pair of flats means you don’t have to in order to look polished. A sleek style will elevate the look — just combine them with pieces *slightly* more fancy, like a minimalist sweatshirt and knit leggings or pants.

Add In A Sweater & Shorts

Photo by Anna Buckman

Pairing knits and shorts is a go-to fall move for many, but it can quickly stray too summery when you add sandals into the mix. Instead, opt for flats: They’ll still keep you cool during the warmer parts of the day, but won’t make you look like you’re heading to a tropical vacation during October.

Wear With Layered Knits

Photo by Anna Buckman

Yes, flats can be a little too bare when it’s 55 degrees outside. But add a full knit look into the mix? You’ve incorporated plenty of necessary warmth to the equation. I chose a sweater dress and a cardigan for my own, but any combination of knit pieces would work.

Pair Them With Socks

Photo by Anna Buckman

Once you've reached the actually cold portion of fall, leaving any part of your foot exposed to the elements feels like a questionable decision. That's not to say you can't wear flats then, though. You'll just want to make sure you cover the area of your foot that your flats don't protect — and you can easily do that with socks. Simply choose ballet flats that are slightly large on you or pair your shoes with thin socks so that the fit isn't uncomfortable, and you've got an updated take on classic footwear that's not only warm, but unexpectedly chic.

Choose Rich Textures

Photo by Anna Buckman

Heavier, more luxe textures in your outfit will make up for the slightly summery style of ballet flats, and the more you incorporate into your outfit, the merrier. I personally love a snakeskin or croc-effect shoe for fall, and pairing it with pieces like my go-to leather jacket makes the look feel perfectly seasonal.

Opt For Seasonal Tones

Photo by Anna Buckman

Nothing says fall like a range of orange, red, golden yellow, and brown hues, and styling your outfits around this color palette is a super-simple way to ensure your flats fit right into your autumnal look. (Bonus points if you include some of those luxe textures like cashmere, suede, or leather.)

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