Hannah Rochell on How to Wear Flat Shoes in Party Season

Hayley Bayliffe for Donna Ida

1. Know your proportions. I’m sorry to report that the round-toe high-cut ballet pump is not your friend if you’re wearing a dress. Shoes that have a lower vamp (cut further down towards your toes) expose more of your foot and subsequently make your legs look longer. Ditto pumps with pointy toes. I love this pair of leopard print pointy pumps from Zara.

2. Don’t make apologies for your flats. Opt for something loud and embellished and you shoes will look so special that no-one will notice they’re not heels anyway. Keep the rest of your outfit minimal – these, by Lucy Choi, are the perfect partner for an LBD or even jeans and a white T-shirt.

3. Don’t go too masculine. If you’re wearing brogues, team them with a short skirt rather than a trouser suit, which would look much cooler with some statement trainers. The coolest girl in the room is the one in a tux and a pair of boxfresh adidas Stan Smiths.

4. Choose a fancy finish. Patent leather and metallic touches are great for party season, as are details like kilties – that’s a snazzy leather fringe covering the laces, as seen on these by Russell and Bromley – because they transform a masculine shoe into something far more feminine. Try wearing with slim fit cropped trousers or an A-line dress.

5. Enjoy yourself. The benefits of wearing flat shoes really come into their own at party season. You can dance all night! You can run for that last train home! You don’t have to squeeze a pair of emergency ballet pumps into a tiny clutch bag! My absolute favourite party shoes have a T-bar strap – great for dancing in, and there’s no chance of them accidentally falling off and getting lost after a few too many glasses of prosecco…

Hannah Rochell’s book En Brogue: Love Fashion. Love Shoes. Hate Heels. (£10, Saltyard) is available now at Waterstones, Amazon and all good book stores.

— Alex Peake-Tomkinson
26th November 2014