How ballet flats became a shoe of choice for elegant women of all ages

Leopard Ballet flats on Over 50 Feeling 40

I have loved ballet flats for a long time, so I found myself recently pondering how did ballet flats become a shoe of choice for elegant women of all ages?  My research first led me to this article THE HISTORY OF BALLET FLATS which was penned in October 2019, less than a year ago.  It takes us way back to the 16th Century for original origins, which, to no surprise begins with ballet.

 

THE KEY TO SUCCESS WAS AUDREY

Sean Hepburn Ferrar book on over 50 Feeling 40

 

But, it was Audrey Hepburn in her the movie Funny Face in 1957 which set the trend on fire for women of elegance.  She wore them with cigarette pants and it became a signature look for her.

She became one of the first “brand ambassadors” and it was natural, because her initial dream had been to become a prima ballerina.  I learned this from the memoir written by her son, Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit by Sean Hepburn Ferrer.  Funny Face was the movie where she was able to connect with that love of dance with one of the best, Fred Astaire.

According to the first article above, Brigitte Bardot was also a key part of the success. “In 1947, Rose Repetto hand stitched her first ballet flat for her son, famous dancer and choreographer, Roland Petit.

Once actress Brigitte Bardot donned a pair of Repetto’s flats, variations of ballet flats became wildly popular and returned as a fashion trend. They are also often referred to as ballet pumps or ballet sneakers and designed for outdoor wear, using a variety of fabrics and usually with a rubber sole.”

 

My Go-To Shoe

Black Ballet Flats on over 50 Feeling 40

 

Ever since I decided to say goodbye to heels, I have worn ballet flats as my go-to shoes.  Of course, I wear other styles of flats, but I prefer and tend to live in my ballet flats.  I love to see elegant women wearing them with dresses or short pants.  I find that type of look (for me anyway) more elegant than heels. 

Ines de la Fressange wrote in Parisian Chic that ballet flats are worn by women in France for every occasion.  “Gold for day and black suede for evening is always elegant. With pants or dresses – everything goes! If you had to choose just one pair of shoes, these would be the ones!” Now that is quite a statement by a Parisian woman of elegance!

Vionic Rose Ballet Flats on Over 50 Feeling 40

And, to make them even more fun, they are now available in all colors and designs.  I have actually worn out a couple of black ballet flats over the years, but I also love to wear the fun ones …such as the snake, leopard, and rose metallic flats I have shown here.  I also own a pair with sparkle.

Rockport Ballet Flats on Over 50 Feeling 40

At the moment, the brands I am wearing most are Rockport, Vionic, and Clarks.  I did wear out one pair of Sam Edleman that I loved, but since then I feel I need more of the support offed by comfort brands.

Should be no surprise that my slideshow today is composed of ballet flats!  There are so many fun ones on sale and available right now.  I hope you enjoy it.

Also, Naturalizer is having a sale through July 30.  You can save $10 off a $75 purchase with the code SAVE10NAT.  Here are some fun choices: (I have my eye on those black and brown sneakers!)

 

I was blessed to receive so many beautiful flowers for my birthday, that I wanted to share the arrangements with you for the rest of the week. These were sent from my youngest son and his girlfriend…they are gorgeous.  I just love having so many fresh flowers around the house right now.

So, what is your favorite flat to wear…I know this is sandal weather, but overall what is your go-to shoe?  Would love to hear and, of course,

KEEP SMILING!!

JUST A NOTE:

Pamela Lutrell for Goli GummiesThere are several ways that I generate income through this blog in order to cover business expenses and give myself much needed income.  Purchases through the slideshow links is one way, ads on the page is one way and a new way is through ordering or re-ordering the GOLI Apple Cider Vinegar gummies through me with my GOLI LINK HERE.  Again, if you are not familiar with the benefits of apple cider vinegar, you should speak with your personal physician.  My husband and I are sold on the benefits and I am proud to represent this product.  I am going to leave this at the bottom of my posts so that when you, friends or family would like to order you can use my link.  Thanks for the support.  This is a great product; as well as, the ones below!

 

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Sun Basket on Over 50 Feeling 40

 

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My Complexion Loves Chamonix…My esthetician says my complexion is super tight!

Chamonix on Over 50 Feeling 40

 

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By Pamela Lutrell

32 Comments

  1. I have the Naturalizer ballet flat in your photos; it is VERY comfortable, comes in lots of colors, and is inexpensive. I looked online this week and think I am ordering the gold pair and probably a red one for Christmas.

    1. I love the idea of a red for Christmas, Nyla! If you go to the site through my slideshow, it helps to support this blog! Thanks so much.

  2. love, love, love my ballet flats….my favorites are hush puppies, and grayson monae…check out the grayson monae, colorful for some flash!

  3. My favorite ballet flats are Sam Edelson, but my prefered flats are pointy toes!!! I find the point looks a wee bit better.

    1. I also have pointed toe flats and love them…but I see me wearing them less as I leave my professional life. Thanks Sue. I wore my Sam Edelman’s out…they do have excellent ballet flats.

    2. Ballet flats don’t usually work for me. I have a high instep and a narrow heel and usually walk out of shoes that don’t have a higher vamp. I gravitate more towards loafers. I also prefer a bit of a lift from at least a one-inch heel.

      1. I also like loafers! You will find the support and instep you seek in the Rockport and Vionic brands!

  4. Yes…even though I am only 5 feet tall, I love ballet flats! I have the Vionic animal print ones in your photo…they go with EVERYTHING!

    1. I am so glad I found these at Dillard’s recently on sale for $41…a real find. I love them. Thanks Ann.

  5. One of my legs is shorter than the other due to my having polio so I have difficulty wearing ballet flats or any flat shoe that is not laced on. I would love to wear some of the cute styles you wear and show on your slideshow, but would walk out of them. I’ve found my most comfortable shoe is a mule or clog with a small heel where my foot goes down into the shoe. I normally wear Clark’s but am always looking for comfortable shoes since I struggle so.

    1. Celia, you are so sweet to share this since there may be someone else like you who has the same needs. You might click on one of the Rockport shoes below and look at their Total Motion shoes…they are an excellent, well constructed shoe. I also like mules and I bought my recent pair of mules at Rockport.

  6. I love your elegant & graceful look with the black & gold pants – wow! The history of ballet flats is interesting. My niece & I watched “Funny Face” this week! The floral arrangement you showcased today is gorgeous!!

    1. Thanks Judy Ann…I haven’t seen Funny Face in years, and writing this post made me want to…so I will be having a movie night soon. Happy Thursday!

  7. Hmmmm…. I was struck with the comment about wearing gold metallic for day and black suede at night. I would have thought the reverse, but I think I like it! I have a bone protrusion on the back of my ankle that precludes wearing shoes with a back. I put off surgery because it’s involved, and I didn’t want to deal with the scooter for months while working. After I have the surgery, my first purchase will be Ecco sneakers, and my second will be a pair of ballet flats. I’m grateful that mules have had an extended “moment,” but looking forward to the day when my shoes don’t come off my foot and shoot out ahead of me.

    1. I love mules and some are so elegant to me…I understand about the surgery. That is why I have not dealt with my hammer toes…aging is fun! But there are beautiful shoes for each issue we deal with. I love my ECCO sneakers too.

  8. Pam I’m going to ask you to compare apples to oranges. I wear Bzees for my 2 mile walks (better than my runners) and if I am going to be on my feet around the house for several hours. I also wear: Ecco, Nato (sp?), FitFlop, Clark’s, Born, etc, Do any of the ballet flats have a similar comfort and support?

    1. Yes! Rockport and Vionic! That is why I have switched to both of these brands for my ballet flats…support is excellent!

    2. I just recently saw ballet style flats on FitFlop’s site. There are some with basic cushioning and some that have more of the FitFlop super cushioning. Good luck.

  9. I too love the pointy toe ballets but gave several of the rounder toe, and I do wear them frequently. You look amazing today! Love those pants Pam!
    Onto flowers, you are so fortunate to have several gorgeous bouquets gracing your lovely home! In my mind, there is nothing better! Enjoy!

  10. I love the look of ballet flats. But you know you’re getting old when your first thought is…my orthotics won’t fit in them! LOL!!
    The flowers are absolutely beautiful! Enjoy!!!

  11. Ballet flats by Aerosoles were my go-to when I was managing a retail store. I have several pair and they’re my favorite closed-toe shoes. An animal print would be fun for fall and winter!

    1. Thanks Nancy…one of the reasons I like ballet flats so much is how easily I can move about in them.

  12. Yes to Aerosoles and to Hotter and to several other brands! I also like Me Too and have them in different colors.

  13. What an interesting bit of fashion history. I’d love to see you do a series like this on various fashion styles & trends. I’ve started to like ballet flats after avoiding them for years — I don’t like or wear flats — because some now have a low heel & they come in animal prints & metallics & other cute styles. I like them with jeans or slim pants. My go-to is a leather mocassin-style loafer in natural leather or black, low boots with a block or wedge heel, or sandals (I adore sandals & have numerous different styles & heel heights). Since hitting 60, my heels have come down: no more stilettos for sure & I think twice about anything over 2″ if I’m walking any distance, but I still don’t feel graceful or comfortable in flats (I find this odd as I’m barefoot in the house all the time & you wouldn’t think I’d notice much difference).

  14. I love ballet flats! Like you, I’ve worn out a couple of pairs of black ones as well as a favourite pair of denim blue ones. I wish that pair had lasted forever!

    Naturalizer is one of my favourite brands and I love those black and brown sneakers, but I absolutely must not buy more sneakers. I have so many pairs already! My shoe wardrobe is made up mostly of ballet flats and sneakers.

    1. I am getting there. I did clean out some of my professional shoes, but also hung on to a few. I could see me easily in ballet flats and sneakers most of the time going forward….I still like booties too.

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