Saturday, January 22, 2011

Neutral ballet flats: fourth time's a charm

My quest for neutral ballet flats started when I spotted these Valentino flats at Saks about 6 months ago. The retail price of $495 was much more than I'm willing to spend, so I spent weeks staring at its prettiness while trying to find another that makes my heart skip a beat.

I bought these Delman Mona ballerina flats in oat crinkled patent, size 6 (currently sold here) because they retail for $195.00 and I paid $55. I can't say no to a great sale. Reviews for this pair said most people sized up, but since it was on sale, I was stuck choosing between either 6 (my normal size) or 7.5. I was hoping to be one of the minority where it fit true to size, but unfortunately size 6 was too tight on me. There was toe pinching and now I have an inkling of how sardines feel in a can, lol. Another 0.5-1 size up would be much more comfortable. From the few steps that I did take, there seemed to be a good amount of cushioning and padding, so with the correct size I can see this pair being comfortable. After all, Delman are supposed to be known for their flats.

After returning the Delmans, I then went and bought the Gap the city flat in camel, size 7 (currently sold here) over the holidays. These are actually a great look for less alternative to Lanvin ballet flats. The scrunched up shape (bottom right) looked odd when I first saw them, but don't be scared because they're quite comfortable on. What made me decide to return this pair was the color -- a few shades too dark for my skin tone, and I needed more structure in the toe box -- the leather practically molds to the feet and didn't make mine look flattering.

On the third try, I thought I had found success with this pair of Forever 21 Scrunch Flats with Bow in taupe, size 7 (currently sold here). Size 6 was too tight and size 7 is a tad loose. If only these flats came in half sizes, then 6.5 would have been perfect. After trying on the previous two pairs, I've come to the conclusion that my feet look better in flats with some sort of adornment on the toe box. I think it draws attention away from my wide feet. I decided to keep this pair, but the happiness didn't last long, as I lost one of the bows soon after :(

When the Valentinos finally went on sale at Saks, my size sold out almost immediately. I kicked myself (literally, by accident) for not being on top of daily shoe stalking, because now here I am back to square one. When browsing for other similar options (like this Miu Miu pair which is oh-so-pretty), I came across the same exact Valentinos for half off at Foot Candy! It must've been fate, first to lose a bow on the F21 pair at the same time sales are going on. So here it is, my Valentino Bow Ballerina Flats in blush, size 36.5 (currently sold here).

I did my research prior to purchasing and went half a size up. The flats are definitely more on the narrow side, so my regular size 6 would have been too small. Size 7 would have left too much room in the toe box, so 6.5 is about as good as it gets. It still is narrow, but I think over time the leather will stretch and mold to my feet. I like how the leather is super soft and buttery. After wearing it for a few days now, to my dismay there is a breaking-in period. Unlike my patenet Miu Mius where the back would rub against my feet causing blisters, this elastic back on this pair would push my feet forward a bit (but no blisters!). Now looking back at pictures, I shouldn't be surprised because out of the box the flats curved like a "U." Do you have experience with curved flats? Do they flatten out over time?

26 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, those Valentino flats are GORGEOUS. I hope they get more comfortable over time!

    My feet are extremely picky and most flats I try on are beyond painful... I guess that's why I only own one pair that I wear regularly. Hope that changes soon!

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  2. WOW, love the last two. You have quite a collection of flats.

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  3. I really like the last two, super cute

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  4. The flats are so cute! I always have finding a great pair that are within my budget. But I recently picked up a pair from Talbots that are pretty cool. =)

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  5. SO IN LOVE WITH THOSE FLATS. For real. So pretty!

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  6. I actually laughed out loud at your "literally kicked yourself by accident" remark...cracked me up! I like the Valentino's the best, very chic!

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  7. The Valentino flats are GORGEOUS! I have no words for how pretty they are! I am so glad you were eventually able to find them on sale in your size. Can't wait to see them incorporated into outfits!

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  8. I love hearing about your journey for your perfect neutral ballet flats and glad that it had a happy ending! I love that the bows are in a contrasting color and can't wait to see you put it in your fab ensembles. Hope the breaking-in period ends soon and you soon have yourself some comfy flats!

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  9. Those Valentino flats are amazing! It was definitely fate and worth the long search.

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  10. Gorgeous flats and a great price! I've never tried Valentino, but I think those flats will flatten out after use.

    I definitely recommend Lanvin for flats too. I tried so hard to get the khaki flats on sale for 60% off at Barneys, but they never popped up in my size. :(

    Congrats on such a lovely purchase! :)

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  11. wow, fourth time is the charm! these Valentino pumps are so gorgeous on you and it definitely was fate that you found them on FootCandy. I can't wait to see these guys featured in outfit posts! :)

    cute and little

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  12. Hi Cee - As for curved flats, my experience is they flatten out a little bit over time but not too much. I like the Valentino flats as they're more unique and I adore the contrast of the black and white. And I also happen to think the Forever 21 flats are really cute up close. Too bad one of the bows came off. That happened w. one of my shoes and I had new bows glued on :) Hope you have a good rest of your weekend! Wear those flats around your house to break em in some more :)

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  13. The Valentino flats are lovely. The color is neutral and they will go with everything. Did you have any experiences with "Me Too" brand? I have 2 pairs of flats from them and I absolutely love. Just like you, I have tried many flats before I found the right ones. They are extremely comfortable to wear. You can check them out at MeTooShoes.com.

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  14. I think you have convinced me that I do need nude flats...all of these are just gorgeous...now if I could only find a way to squeeze about 200$ into my shoe budget!

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  15. OOOO Love the 2nd and 3rd pair!!! I just bought and am keeping my first pair of Tory Burch flats:)

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  16. omg, i LOVE valentino....i kind of wish i didn't see this post...because those flats look FAB on you so now im tempted:(!!!!

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  17. @kimmie - Yikes! I don't know how I'd live without flats. Which brand works best for your feet?

    @I am Khatu - I'm envious of your collection of heels! I wish my feet can handle them.

    @L4pinkpetal, @Kristen, @kileen - Thanks! I love them too!

    @Stylepint - Looking forward to your future outfit posts with your Talbots flats :)

    @Callandra - Haha, I wondered if anyone would find my sense of humor funny ;)

    @Elle - I swear my breath caught and was speechless the first time I opened up the box. It was like holding your child for the first time, lol.

    @SewPetiteGal - I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I was afraid it was too long with too many pics, but I figured I should share the ones that didn't work out so others can use it as a reference in the future too.

    @overcaffeinated - I couldn't agree more :)

    @JenlovesBal - Oh no, I hope you find the khaki Lanvins sometime. Will keep my eyes out for you :)

    @Lisa - How'd you know that's what I'm doing? :P Thanks for sharing your experiences with curved flats. I'm hoping even if it stretches out a smidgen, it'll be a success.

    @PetiteLittleGirl - I've heard of Me Too, but haven't tried them on. Thanks for letting me know! I will be adding them to my list of flats brands.

    @Ramsey - Hehe, just keep on looking! The right ones will come your way :)

    @ReallyPetite - Just saw your post on the Revas. Glad you're loving them!

    @Kaleido Mind - Sorry for being an enabler :P Sleep on it?

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  18. 2nd pair is my favorite b/c i'm anti toe cleavage.

    1st pair is killing me softly. at least the 3rd Valentino ones have a bow to cover the cleavage.

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  19. I have to agree with everyone on the Valentino flats. They are so beautiful, great pick.

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  20. i've been on the hunt for nude flats. very helpful post. i saw some from lavender by vera wang. great blog! xo

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  21. They look great on you....I especially love the bow detail...

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  22. hope this is not snobby i love your photos and shoe love and candor!

    thought id share shoe tips

    put cedar shoe trees in after each wearing

    have pads inserted where needed for a custom fit inside

    and always have heel tips if there is a heel of any sort and a sole protector placed on the bottom of all your shoes

    this is what i learned from the first floor shoe salon of barneys new york in beverly hills where i have purchased at least a hundred pairs of shoes and boots some over $1000 each and they all look brand new or close to it some after 8 years...

    i found your page because im purchasing some delman mona flats and have not yet owned a pair...on last call from neiman marcus they have a nice selection and they are under 60$

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  23. @Anonymous - No, your comment is not snobby at all! I have heard of heel tips and sole protectors before, but have always felt that they're more essential for "designer" shoes, aka $$$$ shoes. So I've never really bothered since my pumps are usually not that expensive. This is probably not a great mindset to have (and I'm working on it!), but I feel like once I've worn a pair down to its last life, I'll toss them to make room for new pairs. For my more expensive flats, I really should have put some kind of protection on the sole because they definitely show wear now =/ It's probably too late to add a layer on? Cedar shoe trees I had never heard of. But thanks to Google I now know what they are. Thank you so much for sharing. I'll have to pass these tips along the next time I do a shoe post :) Might be awhile though because I'm running out of room to store shoes :P

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  24. Love the shoes , and the toe cleavage. Want to sell any of them????

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I'd love to hear from you. Constructive criticisms welcome!

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