Every summer, there’s always a shoe style that takes over our collective Instagram feeds, making it impossible for us to ignore it. And while last year’s was fisherman sandals, there’s a new footwear obsession in town: mesh flats. You might’ve come across the see-through design via the popular Dear Frances IG ad (I’ve had my eye on their white pair for weeks) or spotted it while browsing your favorite online retailers. Even fashion influencer Leandra Medine Cohen dedicated an entire Substack to the look this week, reinforcing the fact that translucent slippers are suddenly the calling card of fashion girls in the know.
The trend has been brewing for awhile now: The Row sent a sock-like pair down the runway in 2019, and Khaite released a Swavorski crystal-embellished version for Spring/Summer 2023. Both Sandy Liang and Loeffler Randall tapped into the design this season — with a Mary Jane silhouette and crystal pair embellishment respectively — and Alaïa’s chronically sold out fishnet flats are all but impossible to buy right now. Effortless, fun, and breezy, these barely-there shoes are exactly what we demand of summer fashion, and a commitment-free alternative to sheer dresses and tops. Rather not reveal your undergarments? Apply the peek-a-boo effect to your feet instead.
Perhaps the most compelling argument for mesh flats, however, is that they are incredibly easy to wear. Zoë Wendel, the VP of design at Loeffler Randall, tells TZR that she’s looking forward to using her pair of Leonie clear flats in caramel to jazz up simple pieces on hot days in the coming months. “I love wearing them with simple cotton dresses,” she says over email. “It’s such an easy way to add interest to a simple outfit.” Translation? This formula would work just as well if you swapped in straight leg jeans, maxi skirts, or bermuda shorts instead. But whatever you plan to wear the sheer shoes with this summer, Wendel recommends spot cleaning your pair with a small towel and water with each use.
Ahead, TZR has gathered the best sheer flats still available to shop (for now).