Fashion-able: Flat-soled solutions

For this Fashion-able post, we enlisted our stylist-turned-publicist Lara to give us the lowdown on flats for the summer. Her keen eye and strong, individual fashion sense means she’s got some serious opinions about shoe style. Let us know if you agree or not – tweet us @rockitpromo. 
I’m going to admit something that may offend: I don’t like ballet flats as footwear. Yep, I said it. And I mean it. Now I’ll also admit this: I’m being hypocritical because I own about 9 pairs of Bloch’s. I think they’re pretty to look at and don’t get me wrong, they look great for a cute, prepster look with skinny cropped jeans. But with skirts/flared jeans/leggings – I just cringed while typing.


I have a theory: I don’t think that people are all rocking this style based solely on their love of slippers. I think people gravitate to ballet flats because they’re easy, comfortable and most importantly, because there’s a lack of other flat-soled summer options out there.

Case in point: gladiator sandals. Probably the most unflattering footwear to exist to date. It’s quite simple really. Thick straps on ankles lead to cankles. End of story. No leg will be flattered when they become cut-off and thus, stumpy. Non-option number one.

Birkenstocks: I’m crunchy granola at heart (seriously), but really, they’re meant for the cottage. Period. Non-option number 2.

Thongs: Many people swear by them, but to me, they just hurt right between my big and second toes. I’m actually fascinated that people can wear these. Regardless, they’re non-option number three, unless you’re on the beach.
So what’s a girl to do? Well, don’t be discouraged to start with. I’ve found a few pairs of flatties, both high end, low end, casual and dressy, that will get you through the summer without having to take the easy route out with ballet flats, convenient as they may be.
 
Casual comfort go-to’s:

Bensimon Classic Lace Up Flats, $57.51, Shopbop.com
SILVANA, originally $20, on sale for $12.98, Aldo
A flat espadrille and an light sneaker (FYI, Bensimon’s are Europe’s equivalent of North America’s Converse). Both great choices for a summer dress or skinny pant.
 
Dressier dilemmas? Solutions:
Dolce Vita Jayne Flat Sandals, $151, Shopbop.com. 
A thin strap around the ankle removes the stump factor and inserts the sexy factor, especially with the splash of gold on these.
Joie Cabaret Lace Up Flat Sandals $227, Shopbop.com.
AKSUMA $60, Aldo.
Same goes for airy chiffon. This amps up the romance and eliminates the dreaded cankle.

Jenni Kayne 3 Band Flat Sandals $353, Shopbop.com.
These don’t have the thong, which makes them dressier. The thick leather bands make them appropriate for work or nights out, and are the essence of a summer day-to-night shoe. 
Let’s all take a minute and relish the joy that comes in the form of a sockless summer. And while Rachel Bilson, one of my style icons, will always look impeccable in ballet flats, let’s aim to expand our horizons. We can do it, one slipper-less step at a time.

Do Me A Solid: Designers give back

Because giving back never goes out of style, we are buying up fashionable, socially responsible products. To look great and feel even better doing it, grab your credit card and join us on this Warby Parker, MAC Cosmetics and TOMS Shoes shopping spree.


Warby Parker
Call us “four eyes,” because wearing specs just got a whole lot cooler with designs by Warby Parker. Off the runways, fashion week’s front row trendsetters were all about these vintage-inspired chunky frames. 

 
Much more than just the latest accessory, Warby Parker is giving vision to some of the one billion people around the world without access to glasses. Through their Buy A Pair Give a Pair policy, the company has already distributed 20,000 frames to those in need. For the nearsighted or those with 20/20 vision, Warby Parkers are a fashion statement with heart.   

MAC Cosmetics
VIVA GLAM lines by MAC Cosmetics colour their users pretty, while supporting men, women and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. For its spring 2011 line, MAC has bottled the spirit of Lady Gaga in nude shades of lipstick and Lipglass. Inspired by the pop icon, soon Little Monsters everywhere can just dance in hues of Gaga, because we were born that way. 


With 100 per cent of the proceeds donated to the MAC AIDS fund, looking good has never felt so great.

TOMS
Take a step towards a better tomorrow with TOMS Shoes. Based on a One for One model, TOMS donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. Lead by founder Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Shoes is changing the way we buy shoes and the way we give back. 

Made of canvas and lined in suede with a rubber sole, TOMS are equal part style and comfort. Up next, The Row mega designers, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will design a limited edition collection for TOMS. Made with luxe fabrics in cool prints, it’s the signature The Row style we love at prices we can afford. We’ll take them all, because hey, it’s a really good cause. 


We love that these designers and companies are giving back to those in need, and hope that more enterprising folks follow suit.