Flats are the Holy Grail you’ve been searching for. With so many different silhouettes and styles to choose from, you’ll feel just as fashionable in a pair of cute work flats as you did wearing heels. Plus, your toes will welcome the much-needed break from being pinched.
No matter how formal or casual your work environment may be, flats are always a fantastic way to express your personality as you progress through your career.
The benefits of wearing flats to work.When you consider the benefits of wearing flats from a comfort standpoint, you’ll probably begin to wonder why you ever left the house in a pair of pumps. Heels force your body to mimic the movement of walking down a steep decline, pushing your entire posture out of alignment. Excessive pressure is placed on your knees, your lower back is tilted forward, and your calf muscles are tightly engaged for extended periods of time.
Over the course of many years, these changes in the alignment of your spine can cause some serious injuries. Arthritis in your knees, weak hip joints, stiff Achilles tendons, and joint disease in your toes can all build up to significantly affect the overall health of your body.
Why put yourself through all that pain when you can look just as good in flats? Here are some of our top reasons for wearing comfortable flats to work.
Relaxed calf muscles
Flats don’t push your feet forward with an elevated heel construction, so the muscles in your legs don’t have to overcompensate like they do in high heels. When your feet are planted firmly on the ground, your calves can relax.
When you first make the switch from heels to flats at work, you’ll probably notice that you’re less sore. The constant strain of clenching your calves to help you balance in high heels can be exhausting for your legs, and skipping the heels may help you feel more comfortable throughout the day.
Even weight distribution
You know that pain in the ball of your foot after a busy day of walking around in high heels? Flats typically eliminate that ache by encouraging your spine to conform to its natural alignment. When your weight is evenly distributed over the soles of your feet, your entire posture improves and puts less strain on the joints of your feet.
If that isn’t reason enough to invest in a pair of work flats, aligned posture also improves your balance and the strength of your core. That’s right—wearing flats can help you master that difficult balancing pose in yoga class!
When you’re at the office for 8 or more hours a day, it’s important that your shoes are breathable so you come home with fresh feet. Cue: women’s work flats.
Even though some flats may enclose your foot more than a pair of heels, they’re often designed to accommodate the natural bend and flex of your feet. By hugging your feet in the proper places, it decreases sweat and hot spots—unlike heels that are often purely designed from an aesthetic standpoint.
For an extra layer of comfort, look for cute women’s flats that are made from breathable material. Rothy’s shoes are designed using recycled water bottles to create an ultra-soft, porous fabric that keeps your feet cool and dry throughout the day.
Tips for wearing flats to work.
At this point, it should be abundantly clear that wearing flats to work is the best decision you can make to keep your feet happy. But how exactly do you pull together a polished and professional look? Keep these four points in mind when deciding on your outfit in the morning.
Consider the toe
Just like high heels, women’s work flats can feature several different toe shapes. Depending on your outfit and the dress code of your office, you’ll want to pick out flats with the appropriate toe style.
For companies that require a business professional dress code, opt for work flats that have pointed toes. The clean, angular lines of the shoe are perfect for formal industries, such as finance or law.
Many podiatrists warn against pointed high heels because of the excessive strain they place on your toes, but pointed toe flats don’t have the same detrimental effect on your joints. Because your feet are placed firmly on the ground and your center of balance is correct, pointed flats won’t force your toes to carry the burden of a misaligned spine.
If your office is less formal, there are plenty of cute and comfortable work flats with rounded toes. A less angular toe shape will give off a professional yet relaxed look, and can be paired with clothing that is more business casual.
Ballet flats are a great choice for women who sport a more feminine style at the office, while women’s loafers are perfect for those girl bosses who like to add a bit of flair to their wardrobe.
Check your hemlines
The key to pulling off flat shoes at work is making sure the hemline of your clothing is properly proportioned to accommodate the lower heel. High heels accentuate your leg line by making you taller, so you’ll need to adjust your clothing to ensure your legs still look sleek and long.
No matter what style of flat you wear to work, the hemline of your skirt or dress should always hit at or above the knee. Keeping fabric above the lower leg elongates your leg line and keeps the proportion of your thighs and calves the same. If your skirt hits mid-calf, the small section of skin that shows between the shoe and the fabric will cut off your leg line and make you look much shorter than you actually are.
The hemlines on pants also matter when you’re wearing looking for the perfect pair of cute work flats. It’s critical that you never let your pants drag on the floor or cover up the heel of your shoes. Not only will this damage your pants, but it will also ruin the visual line of your leg by creating messy creases at the ankle when the line of your outfit should flow seamlessly down the pants to the shoes.
Another popular style of work pants: cropped ankle capris. These can look incredibly polished with a great pair of colorful round toe flats because the higher hemline draws attention to a unique shoe. If you’re in love with this look, make sure your pants are cropped to hit no more than three or four inches above the ankle.
Skip the standard socks
Typically, flats are meant to be worn without socks because they often feature open-top designs. But if you absolutely must wear socks, look for a pair specifically designed for the sleek construction of a work flat.
A good indicator of high-quality work flats is a shoe that doesn’t require any socks. If it’s soft, comfortable, and well-ventilated, you’ll never notice the difference.
Add a pop of color
After you’ve mastered the basics of structure and fit, it’s time to think about the fashion of your work flats. Depending on your own personal style and the rules of your office, adding a bright color or pattern in your shoes is a great way to set your flats apart from the endless sea of black pumps.
For a more reserved office environment, opt for a rich navy blue or a deep maroon flat to keep your outfit professional but stylish. Wearing a color other than black indicates a higher level of thought in the planning of your outfit because you had to specifically choose pieces that were cohesive. Black might go with everything, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice.
If you want to have a little more fun with your wardrobe, try a bright color like pink or yellow to accent a similar color in your blouse or dress. A playful shoe always adds an eye-catching element to any outfit, and adds some fun to your work day.
When many of your clothes are neutral colors, it’s never a bad idea to throw in a funky print to spice things up. Pick up a pair of leopard print flats to step up your look so you’re always runway ready. Remember, prints don’t always have to be bold to be effective. A subtle chevron design or small polka dot pattern can do wonders to elevate your work outfit to a new level of chic.
Outfit inspiration: Professional looks for the office.
Wearing flats to work doesn’t mean you have to clean out your closet and buy an entirely new wardrobe. Keep all the clothing you love and your same unique style—just subtract the foot pain. Still not sure how to put together the perfect business professional outfit? We’ve got you covered.
You can never go wrong with a sharp pair of slacks. When you’re wearing them with flats, make sure that the cut is straight and slim without ever being too tight. Wide-legged pants and slouchy slacks have their place in the business world, but when paired with flats, they can make you look shorter. Stick to dress pants that are tailored to create a straight leg line so the eye naturally moves down the leg to the shoe.
The outfit: Pick out a pair of navy blue dress pants, perhaps with a light pin-stripe pattern. Put on a crisp white blouse or button down and tuck it into your pants with a dark neutral belt. Slip on a pair of Rothy’s loafers in a color that’s similar to your belt. To add a feminine touch to the outfit, put on a dangly metallic necklace to create a visual line that leads the eyes from your neck down to your hips. Not only will this add a personal touch to a formal outfit, but it will make you look taller and compliment your expert use of flats.
For pant suits, choose a pointed toe flat instead of a loafer. A matching blazer and suit can look heavy especially when you’re on the shorter side, so a streamlined, angular work flat will ensure your leg line doesn’t get lost in all that fabric.
Pencil skirts offer elegant, professional appeal. To take this classic piece to the next level, make sure it’s tailored to hug the curves of your hips without being too revealing. And like we mentioned earlier, never wear a hemline that is below the knees.
The outfit: Put together a look featuring a dark purple pencil skirt and a flowy black and white polka dot blouse. Add in a pair of Rothy’s black pointed toe flats or an ankle bootie and some simple hoop earrings, and you’ll be ready for anything.
As you figure out your favorite outfits to wear with work flats, keep in mind that wearing darker colors on the bottom half of your body and lighter colors on the top half is always a good rule of thumb. The light colors will brighten your face and provide an elegant contrast to the dark colors—making for a flattering silhouette.
A feminine twist on the classic pant suit, skirt suits are one of the best outfits to convey your unique sense of fashion in a business professional environment. The right skirt suit should be tailored to give you an hourglass figure and still be loose enough that your arms have a full range of motion while you’re locked into your blazer.
The outfit: Find a light gray skirt suit that features a blazer with three-quarter length sleeves. The jacket should hit you right at the top of your hips and come together with either one or two buttons. Any more buttons than that and you run the risk of looking too bulky. Keep in mind the skirt can be pleated, pencil, or tulip-shaped—be creative with your style! Layer a floral blouse underneath and grab a pair of Rothy's red flats, and you’ll look like a million bucks.
Depending on your office, the kind of dresses you can wear might differ greatly. But no matter if your closet consists of sleek, bodycon dresses or breezy sundresses, pairing flats with your work outfit is always the way to go.
The outfit: For the formal office, put on your favorite lightly patterned dress and a few silver bangles to signal your professional prowess. Then pick out a Rothy’s pointed toe flat in a neutral color like Maritime Navy or Ecru to add depth to the outfit. If you work for a more casual company, throw on a denim sheath dress and step into a pair of funky rounded toe flats in a fun pattern like Cheetah.
Dresses are the epitome of feminine fashion, so feel free to run with the girly aesthetic or make it a little more androgynous by keeping the angles of your shoes sharp and the tailoring of your dress a little boxy.
Jeans and a blouse
Whether it’s casual Friday or an incredibly relaxed startup environment, there’s always the possibility you’ll be able to wear jeans and a T-shirt to work. But just because it’s a laidback office doesn’t mean your outfits should look messy. Cute work flats are the perfect shoe to give an everyday outfit a little bit of a professional shine.
The Rothy’s outfit: Wiggle into your favorite pair of jeans, a flowy top, and a pair of Rothy’s loafers. This is the perfect look to take you from the office to happy hour, and it’s bound to keep you comfy all day long.
Different flats for different seasons.As the seasons change, so should your wardrobe. But just because you’re adding or shedding extra layers of clothing doesn’t mean you have to ditch the comfort of work flats. Unless you live in deep snow, flats can give you the professional look you’re after in just about any weather.
Pair some patterned ballet flats with a pastel skirt suit. When your clothes mimic the colors of the natural landscape around you, you look more in tune with your surroundings. Plus, as the weather gets warmer it’s the perfect time to experiment with fashion—so mix and match your work flats to create some eye-catching new looks.
Grab a pair of loafers to keep your outfits easy breezy, even when it feels like you might melt in the heat. When it’s time to shed the dress pants for skirts and short-sleeved blouses, the angular lines of these women’s work flats will keep you looking your best.
Nothing is cozier than bundling up for crisp autumn days, but you don’t want to be bogged down at work. Opt for a pair of heavier dress pants, a cashmere sweater, and patterned loafers. Mixing textures and fabrics in earthy tones will reflect the seasonal mood and is bound to get you major style points around the office.
When the days are cold and dark it can be hard to find the right balance of style of comfort for the office. And if you’re avoiding puddles or slippery patches on the sidewalk, you definitely don’t want to be wearing high heels. A pair of ankle booties or loafers will give your feet enough coverage to protect you from the cold winds. If you still want to wear skirts or dresses at work, you can always throw on a pair of tights to give your legs a little extra warmth. Add some fun patterns to your wardrobe to keep your style bright even on the dreariest of days.
No matter your style, work environment or the weather, there’s always a pair of cute work flats that can add the finishing touch to your professional outfits. At Rothy’s, our versatile styles come in a wide array of colors and patterns to suit the needs of your work wardrobe year round.