The Mesh Flats Trend Isn’t Exiting The Chat Anytime Soon

Sun’s out, toes out.

Mesh flats trend
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Ahh, the mesh footwear trend. It kicked off in late 2018 when industry darling Bottega Veneta unveiled its see-through stretch pumps in the Pre-Fall 2019 collection (under former creative director Daniel Lee). Then came flat silhouettes, by way of The Row’s sock-like version, while Alaïa followed suit in 2022 with its now-famous fishnet iteration. Polished yet a bit polarizing, the style, without question, officially reached a fever pitch last summer, with nearly every It girl posting mesh flats from luxury designers and indie labels on their Instagram feeds. And the trend, which is actually quite easy to wear, is ramping up again now that summer is swiftly approaching.

Is it surprising that these statement-making shoes have managed to hold their grip on the style scene for this long? Not for New York-based stylist Dione Davis, who works with brands like Agmes, The RealReal, and Another Tomorrow. “This is a refreshing take on a ballerina-style shoe, but a little less on the nose,” the expert tells TZR, also mentioning the hype around balletcore. She’s right: This silhouette still gives off that same sweet, feminine vibe without quite looking like you’ve just wrapped up a dance rehearsal.

But we won’t sugarcoat it: For some, baring your toes to the world via a see-through flat may seem daunting, polarizing even. So, should you be hesitant to give these babies a go, Davis offers a styling idea: “In the summertime, try it with a long loose trouser in linen or cotton poplin,” she notes. “Having a little bit of the mesh peeking out feels really chic.” Alternatively, if you’re keen on the burgeoning short shorts trend, Davis says the shoe looks great with the cheeky bottoms as well.

Keep scrolling for five ways to wear the buzzy look, as shown by content creators.

Cozy & Cute

A mesh flat can instantly punch up a casual hoodie and straight-leg jeans combo — even more so if the shoe is rendered in bright fiery red, like the Proenza Schouler style below (which has Davis’ stamp of approval). To further elevate the look, tote around a spacious leather carryall.

A Little Preppy

If you’re in your preppy fashion era, start your outfit with a button-down top, such as this baby blue style from Polo Ralph Lauren. Then, for a cool styling idea, team a pair of stirrup leggings with your mesh footwear. Last but not least, throw on a cloth headband. Though subtle, the accessory truly makes all the difference, as demonstrated above.

Splash Of Color

Break up a head-to-toe black outfit with a colorful flat — think green, blue, or purple. All eyes will be on your punchy shoes, so make sure to get that pedicure appointment in beforehand (extra credit if you go with a matching polish shade).

All In The Details

Bold stripes! Girly ruffles! This ensemble is maximalism at its finest. But should you want to tone it down a bit, opt for a translucent white flat (somehow, The Row’s aforementioned style is still available).

Short Story

Take it from Davis: See-through shoes and hot pants are a sartorial match made in heaven. To balance out the skin-revealing duo, layer a breezy button-down over a fitted ribbed tank. All that’s left are a few more accessories — a sleek leather bag and high-shine jewelry are the way to go.