Flats Philosophy

Fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera stands at the Manitoba Legislature wearing Charles & Keith Loafers and Paige Denim jeansPortrait of Winnipeg fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera wearing a blue Equipment blouse Canadian fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera sits on the steps of the Manitoba legislature wearing Celine Audrey sunglasses and Paige jeansOutfit details on fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera, wearing Charles & Keith flats and a Celine trio bagCanadian fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera walks down a flight of stairs wearing an Equipment cotton blouse and Paige Denim jeansEquipment blouse
Paige jeans (c/o Shopbop)
Charles & Keith flats (c/o) (similar)
Celine bag
Celine sunglasses
& Other Stories earrings
Madewell rings

Yes, I am wearing flats in these photos. In fact, I’ve been wearing flats more and more often lately. A year ago, when I started running again (after a hiatus so long that I lost track of when I’d stopped), I set a strange, somewhat nebulous goal that made perfect sense to (probably only) me: I wanted to develop enough muscle in my legs to feel confident wearing flats. And yes, that’s where my obsession with heels began, a silly self-confidence issue; I’m not very tall, my legs aren’t especially toned and so, I convinced myself, I couldn’t wear flats.

This is hardly the first crazy fashion-related thing I convinced myself was the unvarnished truth. For years, I thought I couldn’t “pull off” casual clothes because I’m not naturally Noxema-girl pretty. I know I’m not alone in this; we all tell ourselves things about how we look that aren’t based in anything resembling reality. (And if you know how not to do this, please, share your secrets.) I told myself that I needed to work harder on my appearance than “those girls”, whoever they were (because I fully admit that I never knew.) I defined working harder as dressing up more. And I have a closet full of (virtually unworn) dresses to prove it.

It may be a sign of age or maturity, I’m not sure. But at some point in the last few years, I completely gave up caring what anyone thinks about how I look in my clothes, including the voice in my head. I still run. And I still have dreams of long, lean, muscular gams. If I keep running, I just might have them someday. But in the meantime, I still have flats in my closet, and life is too short to wait to wear them at some future date that may never actually arrive. So these days, my philosophy on flats is pretty simple: life is short, wear the shoes.

Tell me, where do you stand on flats?

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  1. I almost wear flats exclusively – I have a couple of pairs of heels and several wedges and while I wear the wedges with some degree of frequency (although not nearly as often as I wear flats), I almost never wear the heels. I think my ratio of flats to heels is like 5:1 in terms of what’s actually in my shoe rack. And I have not yet totally sorted out how to silence the voice in my head (which actually tells me I can’t pull off heels) – although I feel like the experience of having my body change with pregnancy went a long way toward silencing it!

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  2. This is so interesting. I’ve never not worn flats and will usually opt for them over heels out of necessity, and while I used to wear a little wedge heel or maybe a 2.5″ chunky-heeled boot all day every day, after I started going to Bar Method classes regularly I couldn’t bear to do that either. After some classes my legs would be shaky coming down stairs, and even if they weren’t. I also became more aware of how much my hamstrings shortened after wearing any sort of heel (I could really feel the difference during the stretches at the barre). Opting for flatter shoes more often meant my time spent stretching would incrementally improve my flexibility, as opposed to merely undoing the damage of wearing heels.

    As for not telling ourselves things about how we look that aren’t based in anything resembling reality, my secret was growing up with an Asian mother who was direct to the point of brutal honesty; that sort of perspective can give one a rather dispassionate view of one’s flaws and attributes.

  3. I love flats! I just returned from France and decided to retire most of the heels in my closet in exchange for supportive & stylish leather flats and / or oxfords. The silly voice in my head always told me I couldn’t pull of Parisian style because I’m not waif thin. I’ve recently decided to dress the body I have instead of bemoaning the one I don’t. Life is much easier that way 🙂 thanks for sharing your story!

  4. I’m actually a bit apprehensive to wear flats as well. I think because I’m not that tall that I feel a bit self conscious when I wear flats. I like your outlook on life that I might wear them again soon.

  5. I wear flats out of necessity, but in my heart I want to be the woman who can run around all day in a fabulous pair of heels. I also want to be the woman who doesn’t scuff her brand new white shoes the first day she wears them. But some things just elude me. And I know how you feel about dressing more casually. In my head I know that if I put on a fit and flare dress I will always look better than if I’m wearing shorts and a tee shirt. While my insecurities about my arms and thighs are there no matter what I wear, people see you differently in a dress, and that is all there is to it.
    Chic on the Cheap

  6. Heck yes, life is short and we should absolutely wear what we love, regardless of age, height, or weight! And honestly you’re absolutely gorgeous (I’ve always thought so) and can pull of anything. Love the simplicity of this outfit and it’s truly chic & perfect!! xo

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