I have had a request to discuss flat shoes for work. A great question and one that causes me slight pangs of regret and desire as I have in my life no real need for flat shoes for work. My “flat shoes for work” are trainers. Or flip flops. Or the squealing sound of a thousand unfulfilled creative dreams as I stamp about my house.
Anyway if you are looking for good flat shoes for work YOU ARE IN LUCK as that is basically all there is out there these days. I see a lot of cool young girls on the tube wearing these, with skinny jeans, cropped sweaters and crombie coats and they look great.
I can get quite het up over a chunky loafer, for example:
Like these from Office
wear these with trousers cropped to the ankle and a swing sweater. Mmmmm.
These Gucci-style loafers are very popular at the moment.
They don’t suit me, because my bum and hips are out of proportion with my tiny goat feet and slim little shoes make me look like an elephant balancing on a ball. But you may be slim and lithe and tall, so this style may well suit you best. The real, original Gucci loafers, for reference, are here.
If you had these you would be the height of fashion, but backless shoes leave me feeling a bit neurotic about them shooting off the end of my foot. Maybe you feel the same way? I am merely your humble reporter giving you the facts.
I don’t know about you, but these Carvela “Comfort” loafers had me at “Comfort”
These have a faint air of brothel creeper about them, which you will either like or not
Go wild and get something in a tan?
The other option is a good solid pair of brogues.
The only thing I would say about brogues is that unless you genuinely want to be mistaken for a boy, (which I sometimes rather do want to be), you must approach these with a certain amount of caution.
Wear with skirts and dresses or if you want to wear with tailoring, make sure there is a feminine dash somewhere, especially if you yourself are not madly feminine – a pink shirt or a ruffle somewhere or a pair of earrings.
You know, just so no-one asks you to open a jar. There are also, as you will see below, brogue options which are feminine in themselves with a slim cut and a hint of dazzle about them, which you could wear with full confidence that you won’t get called “son”.
These from shoe genius Steve Madden look absurd on the page but are very flattering on
Something in a black patent for sir?
Keep it very real with a pair of Doc Martens
I have tried these on, from M&S – they are great AND come in half sizes
Whichever one you go for, remember that we are heading into winter – nothing suede or delicate or flimsy or you just won’t wear them post-November.
Here is some cool flat shoe outfit inspiration.
I love these! M&S kids department also does great Brogues if you have feet smaller than a 6. I got a silver pair in the adult section last year and was asked 3 times in a day where I’d got them, once by a shop assistant in Kate Spade who was tres chic herself. Skinny black cropped trousers, little sweater and camel coat and you can channel Audrey Hepburn also. I’m so pleased heels are no longer THE THING.
Grace Rowley says
I have those shiny M&S brogues, and I’m super happy with them. They are comfy and the sole is just big enough for extra height without being too madly brothel-creepery. Word to the wise though they come up big, so get a half size down from your usual.
sarah clery says
I only wear trainers, flat shoes make my thighs look huge, I also have tiny feet .Please never do a feature on ballet flats, truly the worst of the worst. They are up there with trench coats on the suit no one front. In the evening I wear heels as I will be sitting down. I can not walk more than a couple of yards in them , and have a tendency to fall off them after too much vino . xx
ballet flats were sent here to torture me
I got some m&s patent tassel loafers last week & they are LIKE WEARING ACTUAL SLIPPERS. (They are wide fit only but I have mega skinny feet so I went down half a size & they are perfect)
Thank you Esther, this is so timely as I’ve just started a new project that requires me to…. work in an office!! As if my kitchen table wasn’t good enough! On Monday I had a major existential crisis about what to wear, starting with the shoe horrors (which shoes can I walk down/ up the hill to the station in, plus all day without sacrificing my little toe, which match grey/ navy trousers, can’t wear a skirt cos legs too hairy even to wear tights etc etc)… I have bought ALL of it 🙂
I recently acquired a pair of the chunkiest, manliest, brothel-creeperest, thick soled black patent leather brogues known to man, found in a neer-explored corner of Ebay a few months ago. They make any short-patterned dress, cropped leather jacket and opaques combination look SOOOOO FUCKING COOL and modern. (Mr Snolly hates them obviously, but he can get bent because I LOOOVE them.) EVERYONE should have a pair,
Thank you so much for answering my question and so quickly- what wonderful service 😉 I love the first loafers and the brogues, really love them. Can’t do a Gucci loafer unfortunately as one of my first boyfriends used to wear them and I can’t get over the association (he was quite a dick and used to lecture me about not wearing the right labels, not smoking the right cigarettes, you name it). Thank you again, Esther, I really appreciate it.
Isabel Turner says
But..but..cold ankles! Must be my age…
Sharon in Scotland says
I invested in a pair of Cheaney brogues. They cost a small fortune, are built like a tank and are not pretty, but they are the comfiest shoes I’ve ever worn from new and they will last a life time. Thick tights, short skirt and my Cheaneys, not bad
Noel Horlock says
Brilliant and love the shite bag story.
I may have to post about it
And immediately I need a tan brogue in my life!
I have a pair of patent brogues similar to the Dune pair that I bought about five years ago . I still wear them on days when I’m doing grown-upping. A word of warning though if you’ve got skinny ankles – don’t think you’ll be able to wear them with opaque tights and a dress/skirt… makes one look like a witch. Or a postulant.
I’ve just bought a pair of patent brogues from Clark’s. I know its a bit naff, but their shoes are so light and comfortable.
I think backless shoes that look like normal shoes, but with no back, are hideous. I see too many people with cracked heels on show in winter to get on board with these. All the other choices are brilliant though.
I am so torn as to whether to share these, but they are so bloody comfy, look fab with cropped black trousers, dresses, skirts, anything. I really didn’t like any with a black sole for some reason. But these are just edgy enough to make me feel like I’m not completely boring in my work-place get-up (that makes it sound planned, haha! It never is…)
And so bloody cheap. You owe me one, internet.
Just did a Sunday lunchtime dash to Westfield – god it was HELL there but I’m back with Gucci-style loafers from M&S (£25!! But size down) and slim pointy black brogues from Office. Have spent a small fortune on my autumn wardrobe over the last few weeks but it is so worth it, and all quite capsule. Even bought myself two necklaces and a bracelet from gorgeous Tilly Sveaas because why the hell not? Thanks as ever for your wise guidance.
If you want continuing flat shoe inspiration, then go visit en brogue on insta or her blog. She lives for flat shoes.