September 4th, 2019
It Item

Ballet Flats?

My sister and I were discussing ballet flats recently (deep, I know). Sneakers and loafers may be the styles du jour, but the Chanel Ballerina, which is the ultimate classic, is back on my radar.

September Vogue Paris – photography by Alasdair McLellan and styling by  Aleksandra Woroniecka.


what's new


Roll-neck cable-knit wool-blend sweater


Viviane wool turtleneck sweater


Floral stretch-lace tights


Slanted-cuff leather knee-high boots


Wool-twill coat


Textured-knit tights


Oversized hooded cable-knit wool and mohair-blend cardigan


Cavalier wool blazer


Aiden sleeveless cashmere top


Hawes T-bar cutout leather pumps


Oversized cashmere knit top


Wool-blend turtleneck vest

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  • Ballet flats have been my favorites for as long as I can remember despite my horribly flat feet! I wear them more than anything else. My choice is Repetto which is what you will find on the feet of most women in France. My second choice would be the flat from Lanvin which Albert Elbaz created. Such a beautiful shape and super comfy.

    RTGSeptember 4th, 2019  6:46 AM

  • I just bought a pair of Ann Mashburn’s ballet flats, as a change from my usual Roger Vivier gommettes. The CHANEL ones always do look classic, and I have been lured into buying several pairs, but they are sadly never comfortable for me. I’d love to find a really comfy pair, as ballet flats are on my radar for this fall.

    KIC fanSeptember 4th, 2019  7:02 AM

  • I love the chanel flats and have a couple pair of them but they are not comfortable for me! Very sad. I’m much happier in sneakers or loafers, unfortunately. And as time goes by, i get more and more reluctant to wear anything uncomfortable!

    ellaSeptember 4th, 2019  8:39 AM

  • Just. Cannot. Firstly, (big confession here) I might be the only woman on the planet that is completely meh about Chanel. Most things are beyond my price point but even if they weren’t I wouldn’t care. Secondly I’m happy to know I’m not the only one who is uncomfortable in slippers, not enough support for me so loafers and sneakers it is. I’m sure you’ll look great in them Preston.

    SueMSeptember 4th, 2019  9:08 AM

  • I prefer the Chanel slingback because they fit better on narrow feet. And I like extra height!

    MMSSeptember 4th, 2019  9:14 AM

  • Ballet flats are so uncomfortable on me! For that reason alone, I hate to see them return. They look so chic on some women, though.

    SusanSeptember 4th, 2019  10:20 AM

  • A reader once told me to buy 1/2 size larger and put in a cushioned insert — makes all the difference in the world!

    PrestonSeptember 4th, 2019  4:35 PM

  • I love a good ballet flat!

    TracySeptember 4th, 2019  5:19 PM

  • I own several pair of the Chanel flats, and follow the 1/2 size up, cushion insert advice. My feet are slightly on the wide side, so I always take my Chanel’s to a trusted shoe repair shop for stretching. With these adjustments, I can walk in my flats all day long!

    DianeSeptember 4th, 2019  6:57 PM

  • Such gorgeous shoes, and if I thought I could wear them for long periods and a lot of walking without pain in my arches, I would wear these for casual days in a chic city. But with few exceptions, I just don’t think they do anything for a woman’s legs.

    PaulaSeptember 5th, 2019  12:12 AM

  • I have been wearing ballet flats for a very long time. I have a pair of Chloe scalloped flats that are years old that I love. Several pair of non-designer flats that are very comfortable. Chanel flats are beyond my budget, which does not bother me at all…if I want that look, it is available all over.

    SharonSeptember 5th, 2019  8:26 AM

  • I have long loved ballet flats but agree with some comments here — the Chanel ones don’t fit me and are uncomfortable (plus so costly), and a day spent in any leather-soled ballet flats leaves me with aching legs and feet as they give no support. One option I’ve found are those from French Soles (their shops are on Lexington Ave. in NYC and they have a website) that have rubber soles which give vastly more comfort to the classic style. No CCs on the toes but otherwise the style and colors are nice.

    KateSeptember 5th, 2019  9:09 AM

  • I agree that the ballet flat is a chic look . They were always a kind of signature look for the women who wore them. I do think, however, that the style was overdone in recent years to the point it became too common place and lost some of it’s allure. I still, however, think they are appealing.

    ateverisSeptember 5th, 2019  9:45 AM

  • Ballet flats, in theory yes in practice no.

    RobynSeptember 6th, 2019  5:50 AM

  • I’m in agreement with SueM. I’m nota fan of Chanel. It just seems very matronly.
    Same goes for ballet flats. I don’t find them at all elegant, or comfortable.
    They scream Frump to me.

    Becca.September 6th, 2019  8:04 AM

  • I’ve been wearing Repetto’s Camille ballerina that has a 1,25” heel. The extra height supports my arch better, but when I have to do a lot of walking I’ll wear a loafer.

    JanetSeptember 6th, 2019  10:49 AM

  • I’m with Sue M and Becca. I find most chanel bags and shoes to be matronly UNLESS they are worn with something edgy. I have a girlfriend who wears her chanel flats or bags with ripped up jeans and a biker jacket. THAT i find chic.

    STSeptember 6th, 2019  2:48 PM

  • I have worn Tod’s ballet flats for years, but they discontinued their classic cap toe. I tired of them and found that for some of my pants/skirt silhouettes looked more modern with mules. I think ballet flats look fresh once again after years of sneakers.

    LouisaSeptember 8th, 2019  11:55 PM

  • I lusted after Chanel flats for ages and I saved up some gift vouchers to buy them. I tried them on and I looked completely matronly in them. It was more Parisian Grandma than Parisian chic.

    AntoinetteOctober 24th, 2019  6:26 PM


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