There seem to be fewer and fewer occasions that justify a pair of heels these days. Maybe it's because there's something jilting about a face-covering paired with high heels for an outdoor dinner, or simply that 2020 is the year of returning to comfort. Whatever the reasoning, one thing is for certain — if you tune into Instagram right now, you'll be hard-pressed to find your friends or favorite influencers in stilettos. Instead, this fall, flat shoe styles will dominate the trend cycle.
"As I’ve been staying close to home since March, I find flats and slip-ons best suit my wardrobe and routine," says Jack Erwin Women's Creative Director Kailey Kramer. "Heels can feel a little fussy and overdressed." The ease and comfort of a sneaker or flat boot fits the cultural shift towards easy styling pieces that has arrived with so many changing their schedules and work environments during Covid-19. "What puts me off traditional stiletto heels is this femme aspect," Labucq Founder Lauren Bucquet tells TZR. "I think as a society, we are moving away from these gender ideals where super skinny, high heels fit best." To replace, she nods to a platform, which still gives you lift while staying comfortable.
"I've found myself constantly wanting to wear lower, chunkier shoes; it's a silhouette that just feels more relevant now," Bucquet adds. "And while practicality wins, that doesn't mean you can't do it up a bit. We have a chunky-soled oxford shoe that I plan to wear daily, as well as a new combat boot, and a flat stretch leather boot which is simple, but chic."
For those who still want the chance to dress up for a dinner party or night in, Bucquet suggests, in addition to flats or boots, to consider a low, block heel which serves as an in-between for comfort and traditional dressiness. Kramer suggests Jack Erwin's Ava wedges, "which feel special, but also casual and easy."
Ahead, see and shop a handful of footwear designer-approved flats that work for right now and well into the fall season.
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Flats For Now and Later: Bouncy Sneakers
Transition to autumn with a classic trench coat worn with slouchy trousers and sporty sneakers. It's a combination that's dressy but still feels low key.
Not sure what shoes to wear with a denim-on-denim look? Try a pair of sporty sneakers for a minimalist-meets-streetwear approach.
Flats For Now and Later: Loafers & Oxfords
Square-toe loafers lend an elegant finish to just about any look. Wear with a pair of straight-leg slacks to achieve a non-gendered, relaxed look.
You'll never feel not cool with chunky oxfords or loafers in tow. Style with your favorite socks to seal the deal. A button-down plays into the preppy feel of the ensemble.
Flats For Now and Later: Lug Sole Boots
A pair of Chelsea boots featuring lug soles is a reliably cool footwear choice. Wear with everything from dresses to a simple pair of straight-leg jeans.
Skip the stilettos and reach for a pair of hiker boots to wear with your favorite Cottagecore dress. As illustrated above, the combination is a winner.