So where do you stand on the big question? No, we’re not talking about the rights and wrongs of staying in Europe, or even what on earth Charles Saatchi’s definition of a heated debate would be if that was a “playful tiff”. No, the question ShoesieQ is referring to is simply this:
Ballet pumps or Loafers
Now there may be the odd (!) male reader of this blog for whom this question at best elicit a raised eyebrow, or maybe even mutterings along the lines of “Huh?”. But there can’t be too many women out there who wouldn’t be able to instantly, even instinctively, pin her colours to Team Ballet or Team Loafer.
But in the time-honoured fashion of that great fashion guru Harry Hill, which is best? Well, there’s only one way to find out.
Ok, so let’s start with ballet pumps. Well, they are pretty close to being THE perfect smart-casual option that can worn almost anywhere, from popping to the corner shop to dinner in a fancy restaurant, without looking out of place. And if they’re reasonably well made, they’re usually pretty comfortable for most of us, not to mention super quick to slip on and off, which can be handy……..
But last year the more fashion forward folk started to adopt a new trend, namely the velvet gentleman’s club slipper. This somehow managed to combine a delicious element of loucheness with, oddly enough, the freshness that the ballet pump had when it first came back into fashion a few years ago. Because, lets face it, ballet pumps are EVERYWHERE right now.
So in summary ShoesieQ reckons the case for and against ballet pumps is:
- Wide choice of colours
- Feminine AND Flat – that elusive, nay, almost impossible combination
- Some great variations are now available eg Flatform pumps, espadrille soled etc
- Kate Moss STILL wears them 😉
- Risk of toe cleavage with the models that are cut low (Ewwwww!)
- Makes everyone’s feet look HUGE, esp when worn with skinny jeans
- Ubiquitous – which means they’ve been picked up big time by the likes of Primark et al, leading us to the next big minus point…….
- Quality often questionable – cardboard soles, bugger all arch support sound familiar anyone?
- Not best loved by podiatrists – mainly cos you often have to grip with your toes to keep them on, which oddly enough isn’t great for your feet.
So – what about the humble loafer? Well, for some of us the ballet pump is just too girly for words. If you like a bit of androgyny in your wardrobe, or just want to avoid saccharine overload, the loafer is just about perfect. And the fact that there’s a lot more to a loafer (more upper, more support and more structure) they’re a lot kinder to your feet too. But don’t think they’re all about comfort: loafers can be incredibly glamourous and yet not too “try hard” especially if you’re prepared to splash a bit of cash and go with a pair by someone like Gucci or Todds.
But they do require quite a bit more thought for most of us if we want to avoid coming across a bit, well, Miss Marple………….
In summary when it comes to the loafer:
- They look a bit edgier and more modern (IF worn with the right outfit)
- Tend to be better made than a ballet pump
- Almost inevitably comfortable
- They’re NOT everywhere!
- Podiatrists love them, cos they have more of an upper and therefore stay on your feet
- Alexa STILL wears them 😉
- A LOT frumpier IF worn with the wrong outfit
- Generally less versatile than the ballet pump.
- Colours often dull (apart from the slipper versions)
- Can be heavy and clumpy (though sometimes that’s what makes them look great!)
So I’m afraid the jury’s out on this particular Battle of the Titans. ShoesieQ suggests that you should simply chose your style tribe and wear with pride!
As for yours truly, well she’s ducked the issue entirely this year and gone for these babies by Vagabond, which is just about as close to a hybrid ballet loafer as you can get 😉