WHY WE LOVE TO HATE THE UGLY SHOE


So lately, I have wondered whether to take the plunge and purchase myself a pair of block heel glove shoes, otherwise known as the ballet pump v2.0. With the addition of a chunky block heel for support, an elasticated glove like shape that hugs your foot and in soft buttery leather or suede I can totally see why this next generation of ballet heels will continue to become popular. 

I can also see why millions of women will just never be convinced and why its the shoe we love to hate. 



 Ballet pumps, were the 'it' shoe, and thanks to loyalists Alexa Chung, Kate Moss, Sofia Copolla is a shoe that has reigned supreme as a go-to favourite shoe by millions of women. 



There are fantastic brands who produce quality leather ballet pumps like French Sole. French Sole a family-run company dedicated solely to the production of ballet flats for over 25 years has been a massive success story. The ballet shoe has held a constitutive place in most fashion labels shoe ranges and will continue to sell for many more years to come. 

When it comes to traditional ballet flats I am afraid I still sit on the fence with them. Firstly they have been proven to be associated with a multitude of back, knee and foot problems and with no proper foot support are a bad choice for an everyday shoe. I have a particularly flat foot so I need something sturdier and something that supports my arches. 

When I think about ballet flats, I think about those gorgeous cap-toed Chanel numbers in soft pink with a double C brooch and some Taylor Swift look alike prancing down the street, bouncing lightly on her feet with perfectly blowdried and voluminous hair and those supermodel legs. 

Equally when I think of ballet flats i think of those awful cheaper versions that have flooded the high street stores. Those tatty looking shoes with worn out soles and holes in the top that need replacing after 2 weeks I think about the shoe racks in New Look, the humble yet overbearing smell of cheap pleather shoes. The way that your foot would perspirate in them like you been jumping in puddles like Peppa Pig.(squelch squelch). 

When I think ballet flats - i think of the 'basic bitch'. 


You know the type, its the skinny jeans and cardigan dresser, or the apres-work look (seen regularly on the tube after 5pm) consisting of modest black work dress, opaque tights and the 'basic' pump. Its just very humble and plain and uninspiring. 



Now it wouldn't be fair for me to slate the idea of basic dressing, or cheap dressing because my style on most days definitely falls into both categories. Especially since becoming a mother, the days of scouring cool vintage stores and picking up little gems from boutiques has gone. Now with two in tow, I do some days (most days) just settle for whatever is easiest to wear in my wardrobe. I don't put much thought to it and grab those jeans and cardigan and my version of pumps which is currently a pair of canvas plimsoles from Seed.


I understand why women dress comfortably. I understand how us mums just want a shoe we can flip off our feet as we enter the door with a 20kg child asleep on your shoulder and a tonne of grocery bags. I understand that sometimes, especially as a mum , there is little to no time to ponder your outfit choices, to even look in the mirror. 

But perhaps this is what us mums need? a pair of shoes that make us so ugly that we look cutting edge. And hey, they do slip on and off.. 







So what makes these shoes so ugly? It has to be the similarity with a plastic shoe cover. You know the kind you get at the hospital. 

Let me emphasise that this is not a new shoe. The heeled ballet flat has been around for decades. Chanel have been making monochromatic and tweed versions since god knows how long, Miu Miu came out with a jewelled heel pair in patent leather (remember those?) , Prada the epitomy of ugly shoes have been doing a square toed buckled version for years as well. 


Why is it now that this trend has become so popular this time round? Is it because we know how to wear it better? Or is it because we just love hating ugly shoes? We all remember the Birkenstock trend of last summer that has spanned out to the masses. The love hate relationship that takes a bit of adjusting toghf. Its similar to the adjusting period to a best friend's new boyfriend, you're not quite sure if he is a creep. And now as you sit here smirking while reading this as you are in fact wearing your woollen sock/double strap birk combo that you loathed only months ago but they're oh so comfortable. And you are elated at the idea of your best friend being engaged to that guy who you really thought was a creep because it turns out he's the best and nicest guy ever?  Is it perhaps because with our modern outfit choices we have been able to modernise this shoe and that we can now no longer be associate it "church going grannies"? are we too quick to judge and should we stop being so undecided and just go for it? Should we accept that 'ugly' and 'basic' is the new cool? 

At first I have to admit, it stopped me in my tracks and made me think What The?? Its a shoe that you will love to hate. When Lena Dunham posted a nude pair with red socks, i was like "yo this is a wrong".



A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on



BUT..  when I saw a picture of Pernille Taernsbeck sporting some Celine versions.... 



I was convinced. 




But the ballet Pump V2 is gonna be my go to shoe this summer. That and a pair of delightfully soft leather mules. 




So which ones to buy and how to style them? 


 Fendi has given us glitter heels, Chloe giving us scalloped edging in buttery soft leather, newcomer favourite Maryam Nassir Zadeh giving us delightfully soft suede versions in canary yellow, pebble and sky blue and Argentinian based label Martiniano calls it the glove shoe and having just been named "one to watch" by netaporter and a huge list of ultra trendy afficionados of the label we are expecting to see a lot more of these around. 



The trick is to treat them like ballet flats. A revealed ankle is best. Think 90's mum jeans - like the levi 501s, high waisted, stiff denim and cropped/frayed at ankle.  With a white t-shirt, a long oversized box coat and a red lip with simple makeup and voila! Keep your accessories simple and your outfit modern, and stay away from crazy prints or vintage pieces because no one wants to look like a 'church going granny'. They also look great with a pair of extra wide culottes and chunky knit jumper. 

















A photo posted by Martiniano Lopez Crozet (@martinianoshoes) on

Check out The Ugly Shoes We Love To Hate
by Christabel Saul at Mode

17 comments:

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