Comfy doesn't have to mean frumpy! From the classic ballet flat to the patterned loafer, we are seeing a real focus on the flat for spring. After seasons of sky high heels, flats are feeling really fresh and are the perfect complement spring's silhouettes. Chassie Post of Gilt.com highlights the best buys of the season:
We have seen major pattern for spring, from an updated take on the classic leopard print to a sharp and graphic geometric lattice print from Tommy Hilfiger. Trend alert: The loafer is the must-have flats — think more structured than the ballet flat and and preppy cool.
- Urban Outfitters Cooperative Applique Flat, $34
- Tommy Hilfiger Jacquard Flat, $59
- GH Bass Brooklynn Aruba Floral Canvas, $69
Color is king this spring and we are seeing flats in every shade under the sun from bold and bright to fresh pastels. Starting with a gorgeous coral peep toe flat by Lindsay Phillips called the Snap Shoe ($59). These are super-cool as you can switch out decorative embellishments called "snaps" to suit your mood. Just snap on, snap off — it's like 5 shoes in one! We also have a rainbow of the hottest Spring colors: two-toned hot pink and orange cap-toe flats from Aldo ($70), rich green suede 50s inspired pointy toe flats (another big trend) from Madewell ($88) and sweet woven pastel flats from Geox ($125) which are actually super-high-tech — it is the flat that breathes with your foot!
- Lindsay Phillips Peep Toe Flat, $59
- Aldo Tullis Flat, $70
- Madewell Suede Sidewalk Skimmer, $88
- Geox Lola Flat, $125
Stacked Heel Sandals
At Gilt we are loving the sturdy, stacked heel sandal and are having no problem giving our stilettos a little rest this Spring. Taking it's cue from the 70s, some of the hallmarks of the stacked heel trend are a return to the single sole (meaning no platform) with our first two examples from Zara (both under $100).
The upside is that it is a very modern silhouette, the down-side is that due to no platform your 4-inch heel will actually feel like a four inch heel. And if you aren't quite ready to give up your platforms, you can still try the new stacked heel with these strappy statement makers from Vince Camuto ($129), a neutral off-set with vibrant colored straps.
- Zara High Heel Sandal With Buckles, $89.90
- Zara Strappy Sandal With Buckles, $99.90
- Vince Camuto Petal Sandal, $129
These shoes are sexy! We all love a classic T-strap sandal like these metallic snakeskin thong sandals from Target ($24) — they are a never-go-wrong staple that will never go out of style. But this season there is a new T-Strap in town —the inverted T-strap. Instead of the classic between-the-toe strap, we are seeing sandals that turns the T upside down with a strap across the top of the foot, with the strap meeting in the center. The T-straps are edgier/futuristic styles, a modern take on the gladiator which feature bold colors and edgier shapes and materials like patent leather and satin.
- Target Peace Gladiator T-Strap Sandal, $24.95
- Zara Sandal With Combined Straps, $35.90
- Boutique 9 Flat Sandal, $79.00
Espadrilles are classic and fresh, yet have been around since the 1300s! The defining characteristic of the espadrille is the woven rope (traditionally jute) sole—- so, if it's got the rope detail then technically it's an espadrille. From the classic flat styles to the newer wedges, espadrilles are a never-go-wrong choice for spring and summer.
Only one brand here and it's our all time favorite which comes in every color you can imagine. These traditional espadrilles are made by hand in a small village in northern Spain by a family business that has been making espadrilles since the 1800s!
- Traditional Espadrilles From EspadrilleStore.com, $25.95
If you want to up the ante on the traditional espadrille, wedge and platform styles abound. From navy patent platform espadrilles from Target ($29) the gros grain ribbon wedge that ties around the ankle from Gap ($59) to a chunkier nude buckled platform by Pour La Victoire ($123) to a radical tropical printed take from Geox ($140) it's easy to step out in style with this season's chic options.
- Target Teresa Espadrille Wedge, $29.99
- Gap Wedge Espadrille, $59.95
- Pour La Victoire Wedge, $118
- Geox Platform Wedge Sandal, $140
The sky's the limit with this spring's towering platform wedges! We think the key to wearing a wedge is to choose a style with a sturdy ankle strap… it not only looks super-chic but keeps them on your feet. Some of the big trends we're seeing in wedges are bold color-blocking, cork and vibrant pattern.
Color-blocking is also major in shoes and accessories, whether it be a more literal two-toned orange and red suede wedge platform these from Steve Madden ($99) to bold cross-cutting stripes (Jessica Simpson $98) to the abstract wedge heel and contrasting neon and nude blocks of color from Jeffrey Campbell ($159). These radical heels look like wood but are actually made out of a shock-absorbing rubber so are super-light and — believe it or not — quite comfortable.
- Steve Madden Color-Blocked Platform Wedge, $99.99
- Jessica Simpson Cocoa Wedge, $98
- Jeffrey Campbell Rock Me Wedge, $159
Cork is not just for wine bottles! Naturally gorgeous (and an eco-friendly material), cork is also naturally waterproof so a great option for those rainy days (also fantastic shock absorber so provides some much appreciated comfort ). We are seeing cork everywhere and because it acts as a neutral it pairs well with absolutely any material — from crisp nautical stripes (Farenheit, $59) to Bold Green Crepe (BCBGeneration, $79). Cork is even glamorous enough to pull off a shoe on it's own: this full-on strappy cork shoe by DV by Dolce Vita ($79) is an ode to the natural beauty of cork — just a little neon pink piping to give it some kick!
- Fahrenheit Mila Wedge Sandal, $59.99
- DV By Dolce Vita Taiga Strappy Cutout, $79
- BCBGeneration Rink Wedge, $79
For more great style tips and shopping suggestions, visit Gilt.com.