How to wear flats

Bonjour Mesdames,

After my “how to wear heels“, I had many reader’s requests asking me how to wear flats.

So here are my tips about the subject.

There are three main types of flat shoes that depend of their height (not the height of the heel, they are flats ^^) on the leg.

Beneath the ankle flats such as loafers, ballet flats, sandals, sneakers, etc.

Above the ankle flats such as low boots, doc martens, high chucks, etc.

Knee high flats such as… hum boots, not etc.

The height of your flat shoes determines what clothes will look good with them in terms of figure’s proportions.  When you have figured that out, you can focus on the style matching.

Even though, I rather think, that when proportions are good you can rock almost every outfit mix if you feel like it (i.e creepers and dressed out pencil skirt, ballet flats and rolled up worn-out boyfriend pants).

1. How to wear beneath the ankle flats

Beneath the ankle flats are certainly those that flatters the most people.

By revealing the ankle, they show the full lenght of the leg without “cutting” it.

Therefore they are the best choice to elongate your figure.

Low vamp shoes such as pointy or ballet flats elongate the leg more than high vamp shoes such as derbies or loafers cause they show more of the foot and therefore give the feeling of a longer leg.

The best way to wear them is always to show some ankle (a very sexy part of the woman’s body).

– With rolled up or 7/8 pants

They can be either skinny or a bit large

flats revealed ankles

This mix can work for a week-end outfit as well as for a work/chic outfit.

Try it even if you are plump, you could be surprised.

If you fear that your ankles might get cold, go for very thin and quality socks (avoid thicker sock).

doc martens and lurex socks

Mark that I only recommend the sock trick with boyish leather shoes such as brogues, loafers, creepers, derbies, etc.

With cotton sneakers it looks odd, cotton is for summer right? So why wear them in winter with socks?

With ballet or pointy flats, it can work, but only with see through socks and be careful cause it often looks quite old-fashioned.

Last on the sock subject, for those who fear to go sockless because of the smell (yes… unfortunately we do sweat), there are some special super low designed socks.

In the core of summer, pair your sandals, ballet flats or pointy flats with ankle revealing pants (not too large though or you’ll have a strange contrast between the width of the pants and the thinness of the feet).

Summer flats with pants

Collage: Columbine, unknown

I advice you to choose ballet or pointy flats that show the top of your toes. Like a toe cleavage. It looks way more younger and sexy (yes toe cleavage is sexy, let’s make it a thing!).

ballet flats that show toes

I advise you to stay away from the ballet or pointy flats with pants mix if you have long feet. The focus with be set on the space between the bottom of your pants and the end of the shoes which is no other than your foot 🙂

I do not recommend wearing ballet flats or pointy flats in winter/ fall. First, because your feet will eventually get wet, you will catch a cold, then have a red nose and finally end up sneezing which is NOT stylish. Second because tights look bad with them: yes I am referring to those little pleats around the ankle!

– With a skirt/dress

No matter what lenght.

skirt revealed ankles

Collage: found on le fur coat, found on Spirited route, Maritsa

But note that:

If your calfs are a bit thick, I recommend above the knee or really long length (floor or ankle) because in between length would set the focus on that part, making it look larger.

If you are petite prefer short dresses and skirts.

– With long and wide pants

This mix does not show any ankle.

I think it looks better on tall or very lean women.

In winter, sneakers can look very chic with tailored pants.

stan smith tailleur large

In summer, sandals, cotton sneakers or mocassins can look very Jane Birkin with flare pants.

With long skinny pants

This option should be only considered if you wear closed flat (derbies, brogues, etc.)

Avoid it if you wear sandals, ballet or pointy flats cause that will lengthen your feet and look like a bizarre winter/summer mix anyway.

This is also a good option because the skinny pants still reveals the shape of the ankle, and, although it is less stylish than the first option, it is warmer for winter 🙂

2. How to wear above the ankle flats

Above the ankle flats such as low boots, doc martens or chucks tend to reduce the lenght of the leg a bit.

If you have shorter or wider legs, prefer lower flats or boots with some heel.

Oh, and summer flats with ankle straps enter that category.

– With skinny pants

The skinny pants should be worn inside the shoe, because the better part of low boots is often the top (same for doc martens but, due to technical reasons, not for chucks).

flat black boots skinny jeans

For the same reason, avoid  wearing them with larger pants  because in that case only a flat, somehow round uninteresting shape would pop out of your pants.

– With 7/8 or rolled up skinny pants

Yes! Again! And show some calf. Just a tiny bit.

flat boots

– With ankle lenght skirt/dress

This option is perfect for women with thicker legs. You get to show the pretty flats but this does not “cut” the leg.

low flat boots long skirt

– With a mini skirt/dress or short pants

The low flat boots still “cut” the leg but since the mini skirt lengthen them that makes a good combo.

high top silver converse

wish wish wish flat boots skirt

Wish wish wish

3. How to wear… flat boots!

Or how to wear knee-high flats or over the knee-high flats.

Just like low boots, flat boots “cut” the leg and make it look both wider and shorter, especially the skin-tights one.

So if you are a kind of leg plump, prefer boots with a thick heel.

– With a mini skirt/dress or short pants

To me the best option in terms of proportions! Sexy and sassy for young girls.

But you can go for it after forty if you got the legs to rock it! Simply pair with black super opaque tights (not leggings ladies, you heard me).

short skirt high boots

– With a knee or under the knee long skirt

The perfect alternative to wear boots if you have thick legs.

Only two rules:

– there should be no skin shown between the boots and the skirt.

– the skirt should not be close-fitting

high boots longer skirt ann street studio

Ann street studio

long skirt knee high boots

– With skinny pants

Not leggings ^^ (never ever leggings btw).

The pants shall be truly skinny, otherwise you’d look as if you were about to go for an horse ride.

This trends is quite over right now, but we do not care about trends but only speak theory here right? (hum, ok, I must confess I might still be influenced).

So even though this style is a bit old-fashioned, here is the trick too look good in it: choose boots the same color as your pants so it does not part your leg in two.

4. Conclusion

All those advices about which shoe height matches which skirt/dress length also apply to coats.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

And if I had forgotten any type of shoes that you’d like to have tips about – cause god knows how many shoes exist – please ask me in the comment section!

To keep updated (and show me you like this blog, which much pleases me), like my facebook page.

Bises de Paris!


31 Responses to “How to wear flats”
  1. ashley says:

    hi! lovely article! i was wondering if you could help me with my outfit? In november i will be going to an event where half of it takes place outside. i was going to be wearing long black leather skinny pants(i can roll them up at the ankles) with either my black round toed loafers or my black pointy toed flats with a slight heel. Which would look best paired with it? i’m 5’2. also i have a short black sweater or a long black sweater to pair it with.. and my top will be a casual black top with a white neckline. So an all black outfit.. would that look good? thank you!

  2. Kelly says:

    I know this list is old now but it’s so helpful.
    My issue is that I require orthotics and fairly flat ahies. I can’t wear a heel over about 2cm. I work in a health management office so it’s a fairly smart dress code but not necessarily suits. I have a pair of black oxfords that are buckle up with a slight heel. I find these fit the bill for being comfortable but I struggle to know what to wear with them so that I don’t look very masculine. Thoughts?
    I am 167cm tall, size 8 top, 10 bottom. Not really chunky in my legs but have a big bum!
    Thank you!

  3. wow thank u for your information If you want to wear real flats such as the ones shown in this article, all flat shoes is very unique and beautiful

  4. julie says:

    /!\ URGENCE /!\

    Bonjour ! Pour commencer je tiens à te féliciter pour ton blog qui est vraiment top, de plus je viens soliciter ton aide. Ce samedi je suis invitée à une soirée assez “classe” étant un peu garçon manqué je décide tout de même de faire un effort et se sentir jolie de temps en temps est plutôt agréable. Je ressort alors la seule tenue correct que j’ai en stock, une robe noir en dentelle. Etant plutôt grande (1m87) et mettant du 43?/44/45 j’ai un peu (beaucoup, beaucoup…) de mal à trouver des chaussures à talons. De toutes façon le délai entre la soirée en question et aujourd’hui et trop court maintenant.. Que me conseille tu de porter avec ma robe noir, être jolie (voir sexy?? ) dans une robe et sans talons c’est possible ?

    Dans l’attente d’une réponse… Merci à toi!

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Hello Julie, comme tu as pu le deviner, je n’ai absolument pas eu le temps de te répondre, mais je vais me servir de ta requête pour un prochain lookmaker qui te servira à l’avenir 🙂
      Je conseille à celles qui souhaitent un conseil personnalisé rapide de me contacter pour un styling à distance. Mon prix pour 10 looks est de 110€ mais je peux répondre à une seule question look simple pour un prix personnalisé (en fonction de la complexité de la question)

  5. Tracy says:

    Hi Alois. I found your blog while googling a question about shoes and coats! I need a pair of shoes that I can wear to commute to work in and with my lovely Burberry Prorsum black coat. They can’t have high heels as they need to be comfortable. They also need to go with both trousers and a midi skirt and flesh colour tights. What a dilemma! Knee high boots can’t be worn with work trousers (I wear ankle length skinny or straight cut) and a flat ankle boot or chelsea boot looks weird with flesh tights and a coat! So do brogues. What do you suggest?!

  6. Cass says:

    You’re blog is really awesome! It helps me decide what to wear when everything is so confusing(which is btw i sometimes look like a raven)… any tips how to wear my glossy trendy style strapped wedge shoes? i would like to use it on my black pants but sometimes i look tacky, and i dont like that

    thank you 🙂

  7. Maggie says:


    Je suis tombée littéralement gaga (oui oui) des chaussures sur l’image du paragraphe 2.2
    Si par chance l’image provenait d’un blog ou un site serait-il possible d’en avoir les références ?
    Il faut absolument que je les trouve, mission 2015 🙂
    Merci pour cet article !

  8. Vanessa says:

    Très instructif !
    J ai juste une question : le jean Flare supporte mieux le talon qu’avec des ballerines ( je trouve) aussi lorsque vous notez ” attention à ce que le bout de votre chaussure (celui qui pointe le bout de son nez) ne soit pas trop fin pour ne pas créer une disparité ” auriez vous un ou deux exemples pour illustrer svp hormis les sneakers ?

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      C’était un ressenti personnel… mais les recherches image que je viens de faire tendent à me prouver que j’ai tort.
      Par exemple ici ou là par Géraldine Saglio.
      Je vais donc mettre l’article à jour.
      Ceci dit parfois ce n’est pas très heureux comme .
      Comme quoi, il ne faut jamais trop rester bloquée sur l’image de sa prof de techno de collège qui réalisait le même combo 🙂

  9. Caitlin says:

    Toe cleavage is so true!! 😮 I didn’t even realise!

  10. Jelena says:

    Love your blog. Great info for someone who loves fashion but wants to keep it simple, stress free and light on the pocket. My question is about brown knee high boots and the best way to wear them. I see that you have talked about matching the color of boots to pants, in your example they were both black. Any suggestions? 🙂



    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Funny, I just bought knee high brown boots last week myself (it was pouring rain in Paris).
      I think they are great cause they can actually be worn with pretty much every color since it is natural leather.
      Then, it depends from your age, your bodytype and where you want to wear them…
      I personnally am not a big fan about the “pants into high boots” thing, I think it divides the leg, except if they are the same color… but brown pants.
      So my advice would be to wear it with skirts and dresses.
      Bests 🙂

  11. Jadis says:

    What a informative piece!
    Thank you so much!

  12. Anna says:

    I adore your blog! I would love your opinions on how to wear different pants (bootcut, straight leg, etc) and which shoes to wear with each. I prefer bootcut (over straight leg or (god forbid!) skinny) because I have curvy hips, thicker legs, and I’m a little knock-kneed, but most of the chic parisian ladies in the photos are wearing slim, ankle-baring pants (which look fantastic on slim, straight legs). Any advice for girls like me?


    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Hello Anna,
      You made me realize I had neglected some bodytypes in my article. Always so difficult to think of everyone! You are perfectly right: according to the way you describe your figure, bootcut are indeed the perfect choice for you.
      You can wear them wide heeled boots which are as comfy as flat ones.Choose them with a tip that is not too pointy, not too round and not square of course. Some texture/color such as snakeskin or suede would be a style plus. If you wanna show the top of your shoe roll them up (careful do not wear shorter bootcut pants, the result is not good).
      If you want to wear real flats such as the ones shown in this article, go for carrot pants or rolled up boyfriend jeans or cargo pants. Even if your ankle is not that thin, it is still thinner than the rest of your leg and therefore, will look nice revealed.
      If you want to cover up your knees but wear a skirt, you can go for the seventies styles shown here with the longer skirt and boots (heeled or flats).
      Bonne chance 🙂

  13. What a CUTE post 🙂 and your blog is so fab and fun.

    Check out my new post….How you decorate a small space to look bigger 🙂

    Have a great weekend dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis – inredning it’s, Swedish for decor 🙂

  14. Marie says:


    Very good post with a lot of information. I like this blog a lot; it helps preventing those “faux pas”.

    My friend says she would be very delighted to see a post on how to actually put to getter an outfit – (let’s say for Work, for the evening, ,for an afternoon out with friends, for diner ,or just in general etc.) to get that à la parisienne feel. What are the basic pieces (Clothes, shoes, accessories,etc.) that are a must have to achieve the look and what are the extras that support the whole look.

    I too would be happy to read a post on this.

    Thank you,

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  1. […] combining long boots with a long skirt, make sure that there is no gap between the shoes and your clothes. […]

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