Fabulous women’s flats to elevate any wardrobe

Perfect pairs – from the whimsical yet practical to minimal or downright glamorous

From top: Bougeotte suede Mystic loafers, $795. Le Monde Beryl velvet  Venetian slipper shoes, £275. Aga Prus patent leather tasselled loafers, about £348
From top: Bougeotte suede Mystic loafers, $795. Le Monde Beryl velvet Venetian slipper shoes, £275. Aga Prus patent leather tasselled loafers, about £348

Loafers for life

I walk everywhere in New York, so while I am all for a chic shoe, comfort is key. The suede Mystic loafers ($795) by Italian brand Bougeotte tick all the boxes. I was won over by the perfect fit and fine craftsmanship of this classic, slightly masculine but chic style – in a rich blue octane shade, subtly emblazoned on the back with the brand’s golden bee logo. These flâneur loafers are also incredibly comfortable, with sturdy soles for all seasons. They come in myriad statement-making finishes, from a houndstooth tweed ($775) to shiny satin ($940), and in a variety of hues that add a casual yet eye-catching touch to the traditional work wardrobe. bougeotte.it. CHRISTINA OHLY EVANS

 Alumnae calfskin Stitched Mignon slide, $475
Alumnae calfskin Stitched Mignon slide, $475

Ultra-vibrant slippers and mules

I was always struck by the limited choices for anyone eschewing heels. But Le Monde Beryl’s chic, deliciously colourful – and comfortable ­– mules and slippers (from £275) are a game-changer. The brainchild of Lily Atherton Hanbury and Katya Tyumentseva, who met working in fine jewellery at Phillips auctioneers, the shoes are a cool spin on classic Italian furlane ­– the traditional footwear of Venetian gondoliers, because of their soft uppers and non-slip soles. The designers added a slight heel and an elegant, elongated toe and made the shoes sturdy and practical enough for day or night. The elegant velvet slippers are available in mesmerising gold, forest green and aubergine, while the mules come in rich velvet or sumptuous satin, in colours including forest green, pink, navy, red and leopard print. matchesfashion.com. CLARE COULSON

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Whimsical designs with practical panache

Aga Prus has kept in step with her shoemaking heritage to produce a small but perfectly formed selection of high-quality leather footwear. She paired up with her father, a traditional artisan, to offer whimsical designs with practical panache. Her online cornucopia of contemporary flat shoes is beautiful in its simplicity, but unusual updates (metallic lacing here, a bold colour clash there) prove Prus a worthy practitioner of the family craft. She focuses on craftsmanship rather than fancy embellishments: hipster patent tasselled loafers (about £348) come in black, yellow and coral and red snakeskin; classic Derby shoes (about £348) are rejuvenated with a fun mint-green hue. For summer, there are sling-back-style peep-toe pumps (about £307) in grey, yellow or teal. She also has a made-to-measure service (price on request). agaprus.pl. LYDIA WINTER

A selection of Repetto Brigitte leather ballerina shoes, from $395
A selection of Repetto Brigitte leather ballerina shoes, from $395

Stellar shoes with a tomboy edge

In 2016 Kari Sigerson, formerly of Sigerson Morrison, quietly launched a new brand called Alumnae with fellow ex-Sigerson Morrison colleague Eliza Axelson-Chidsey. The line, made in Tuscany, is described as having a “refined tomboy spirit”, and I couldn’t agree more. I met Sigerson at her showroom and loved everything – from the flat knotted sandals (from $325) that wrap around the ankle in red suede, or in black, silver and neutral leather. Even the criss-cross fur Turban sliders ($549) in black, red, green and blue spoke to me. Yet it was something practical I needed, and I settled on super-soft, black calfskin Smoking Slipper loafers ($249) – all the while eyeing up the flat, criss-cross slip-on sandals (Stitched Mignon slide, $475) in black with bronze and white accents. “Those are very complicated to make,” admitted Sigerson, “with layered uppers of stitched mignon. It’s very fiddly handiwork, but worth it. They are so easy to wear; you slide them on and instantly feel put together, but not overdone.” Sold. alumnae.nyc. RIMA SUQI

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Ballet flats with an irresistible edge

Rose Repetto immortalised her ballerina flat – the now-iconic Cendrillon style – in 1956, at the request of Brigitte Bardot, in a sensual carmine red. More than six decades after that prestigious debut, via collaborations with the likes of Comme des Garçons and Karl Lagerfeld, Repetto has a yearly production of some 400,000 pairs of ballerinas, still produced using the famous “stitch and return” method – and still appearing on the feet of the world’s most glamorous women. The shoes, in all their incarnations, are available in about 100 colours. But for those who want to take their classic ballerina a step further, the company created L’Atelier Repetto in 2010. This service, available at selected boutiques around the world, allows clients to customise five women’s and two unisex styles (prices from $395). There is a choice of three ballerinas – the classic Cendrillon, with its hint of toe cleavage, the pointy Brigitte and the heeled Camille – a lace-up, the Tito loafer, as well as the more masculine Zizi Oxford (made famous by Serge Gainsbourg) and the Michael loafer. Choose from 252 shades of leather, 120 grosgrain trim and 103 lace options, as well as heels in black, honey or brown. In addition, one can add a charm and customise the footbed with one’s name or a meaningful phrase. repetto.com. RIMA SUQI

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