Classic ballet pumps are back – these are the best styles to buy now

The retro shoe adored by everybody from Audrey Hepburn to Amy Winehouse and every fashion lover in between is back in a big way.

As we take our first baby steps out of lockdown, let’s spare a thought for the shoes on our feet as we hit the streets and even the office (remember the office?) once more.

Yes, chunky sandals, stomper boots and dad trainers are all good and well, but for those craving something a little bit, well, daintier, and a little bit softer, then may we introduce you to the fashion-approved trend rearing its head just in time for our office return: meet, the ballet pump.

Of course, chances are you will already be well acquainted with the thin-soled, soft leathered shoe, first crafted by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1957 and championed by every fashion lover worth their salt in the years since. From Audrey Hepburn to Amy Winehouse and Alexa Chung, the pump’s practical and perennial appeal is clear: here’s a shoe that will take you from desk-to-dusk and slot perfectly into your handbag, should you choose to swap them out for a statement shoe come evening.  

Adwoa Aboah at London Fashion Week

Designers have thrown their weight behind the revival. On the feet of a slew of models cast in her spring/summer 2021 show, were Simone Rocha ballet pumps, worn with her signature ethereal dresses and whimsical tailoring, while at Lanvin, they were reimagined in feisty animal prints and paired with vertiginous hemmed dresses.

The best part of the ballet pump lies in its versatility; wear with dresses, skirts, trousers (although, best to make them tailored and tapered with such a flat-soled shoe) and watch the most hard-working shoe in your arsenal carry you from noon to night with minimal effort. You’re welcome.  

  • Repetto Cendrillon ballet flats

    Repetto Cendrillon ballet flats

    Simple silver ballet pumps might seem like a step in the wrong (see: metallic) direction, but in fact they offer even the most committed monochrome lover a splash of colour, albeit minimal. Pair with true blue jeans and a plain white T-shirt for optimal style points. 

    Shop Repetto Cendrillon ballet flats, £215


  • Jigsaw Lois soft leather flat

    Jigsaw Lois soft leather flat

    With a slightly more pointed toe, these buttery soft leather pumps from Jigsaw are a perfect entrée to the trend if you have wide-set feet and need slightly more support. We’re loving the brown hue for tonal ensembles, which we’ll be wearing with ankle-length jeans.

    Shop Jigsaw Lois soft leather flat, £99


  • Accessorize two-tone ballerina flats

    Accessorize two-tone ballerina flats

    A purse-friendly take on the classic Chanel two-tone pump, these Accessorize offerings are perfect for on-the-go fashion lovers. 

    Shop Accessorize two-tone ballerina flats, £17


  • & Other Stories leather square toe ballerina flats

    & Other Stories leather square toe ballerina flats

    For anybody whose personal style is a nod to yesteryear, these square-toed ivory pumps courtesy of & Other Stories were practically made for you.

    Shop & Other Stories leather square toe ballerina flats, £69


  • Hobbs Flo animal ballet flats

    Hobbs Flo animal ballet flats

    Feeling feisty? Inject a healthy dose of feline fun with these leopard print Hobbs ballet flats; perfect for adding a bit of sartorial pizzazz to an all-black outfit.

    Shop Hobbs Flo animal ballet flats, £69


  • Asra Francis contrast strap ballet flats

    Asra Francis contrast strap ballet flats

    With a chunky statement strap across the foot, this ivory and black pair of pumps are a great option for anybody craving a little bit more substance in their shoes.

    Shop Asra Francis contrast strap ballet flats, £48


  • Marks & Spencer leather soft toe ballet pumps

    Marks & Spencer leather soft toe ballet pumps

    A classic for a reason, you can’t go wrong with a black ballet pump. Timeless, chic and refined. We’ll be needing more than one pair!

    Shop Marks & Spencer leather soft toe ballet pumps, £35


  • FitFlop Allegro soft leather ballet pumps

    FitFlop Allegro soft leather ballet pumps

    The ultimate fold-and-go fashion; these FitFlop pumps are available in a septet of versatile colours, and are fully foldable. Perfect for throwing in your handbag before you change into your heels!

    Shop FitFlop Allegro soft leather ballet pumps, £80


Images: courtesy of brands.

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