Fashion Musings — An Ode to Ballet Flats

by Valerie on August 8, 2008 · 3 comments

I LOVE ballet flats.

I was so glad ballet flats came back into fashion in late 2006 and into 2007 and are still going strong in 2008. Now mind you, I only care about fashion to a point, but if something is fashionable, then it means there’s a much larger selection available. And for almost two years I have been indulging my love for ballet flats.

I don’t know why I like them so much – it’s not just the versatility. Maybe it’s because I really sucked at ballet and quit early and have ballet envy, or have Audrey-Hepburn-so-graceful-in-ballet-flats envy. I don’t envy her thin frame anymore (since finding out it was a result of malnutrition in WWII) but I still love her acting and her ballet flats.

I have bought pairs from several brands, across a vast price range. I have also tried on pairs from way above my ideal price point. And I have discovered that unless you break the bank and go for super-comfy-last-25-years Delmans or Chanels, most ballet flats are created equal.

And this is where the Xhilaration Simone ballet flats from Target rock my world. The silver pair in the picture above is currently retailing at $14.99 – I bought them when they were on sale and I found an online coupon via google, meaning I got mine for something like $10.78. Obviously, I got the Pewter and Black pairs at the same time.

Sometimes buying something that inexpensive means it’s not very good quality and will fall apart in one season (here’s a well-argued rant on that) or will just look bad. Thankfully these particular ballet flats did not get the memo, nor did they get the memo that inexpensive shoes have little support. They last and last and last and have some good padding for your arch and feet and keep looking good. One day when I was wearing the black pair, I was asked if they are Delman Leather Flats (they must also come in black patent, but I can’t find them a picture). Now granted, I was wearing wide-leg pants that day so only the tippy-front of my Target flats was peeking out, but I still had to grin they were mistaken for $195 shoes.

Sadly, my Target flats are too casual for me to wear at work, but they are great commuting shoes, and nice and squishy so they fit in my purse. And I bet they would not be too casual to wear to work in a casual work environment.

If you want a pair of really nice-and-polished-looking work flats for under $100 and appropriate for the most conservative of offices, I recommend stalking the Banana Republic website or stores. BR comes out with great work flats 2-4 times a year, and with some patience I always manage to get them at least 40% off, and once (three years ago) got a pair for 78% off. Witness this spring’s Patrice flats, down from $129 to $49.99. And while the website may be out of your size, BR will do a free store locator for your size and honor the website price. I don’t have a lot of time to stalk sales, but that’s one where the investment of time pays off.

A couple of closing notes on the Target Xhilaration flats – there are some duds in their vast ballet flat selection. The winners are definitely the Simone in Silver and its Pewter twin. The black ones are ok, but look nowhere near as good as the Silver and Pewter ones. But in the Simone style, I think the gold looks like an ugly yellow IRL and the white ones are meh. Then there are the Sable ones, which have many more colors and patterns, but don’t hold up as well to wear. There’s also the Shauna style and the new Stella style, both of which I need to check out.

Picture from

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
General Disclosures & Disclaimers

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 H. August 8, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Thank you for the thorough review and all the suggestions! I’ve been searching for a good pair of round-toe flats to wear to and from work. I don’t have a long commute but it involves about a half hour of walking so I need something comfy, but slightly more fashionable than my beloved bright yellow Onitsuka Tiger sneakers. Must check out these flats!


2 Cherrye August 13, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Ohhh, I can’t do ballet flats. I really need the height! I’d love to wear them, though.


3 City Girl August 14, 2008 at 2:24 am

H — these shoes are definitely comfy enough for commuting.

Cherrye — thanks for stopping by. Do you always wear heels then?


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: