Last week, Vanity Fair sent out 7,000 ballots for their annual International Best-Dressed List. A far cry from Mr. Blackwell's Hollywood-centric list, Vanity Fair's nominees include politicians, socialites, fashion industry professionals — and men! This year's nominees, who vie to be featured in the September Style issue of VF, include Tory Burch, Demi Moore, Gwen Stefani, French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his new bride, former model Carla Bruni.
Could the model-turned-singer-turned First Lady of France's nom be due to the fact that she cuts the most fashionable political figure since Jackie O.? Often seen in Dior, Carla sparked an upswing in the trend of swapping towering stilettos for chic ballet flats during a recent trip to the UK. That's a feat one Ms. Winehouse hasn't been able to pull off in her native land: bonus points to the stylish Mrs. Sarkozy.
Carla's Dior ballet flats work so well with her long belted trench and pillbox hat, but they instantly upgrade many other styles too. Consider pairing flats with cropped cigarette pants à la Audrey Hepburn, or with full-skirted dresses for an extra dose of feminine flair.
Ready to sink your entire shoe budget into ballet flats? Christian Louboutin's Balacorta patent flats ($535) are timeless classics that will hold up to the elements (now that you don't have to negotiate every step, you may find yourself taking paths less traveled).
Christin Michaels' Hala flats ($200) are pointy toed and have just a bit of a heel, so they're perfect for gals who don't have legs for days like Carla. A concealed gel insole and padded footbed will put even more spring in your step.
For ladies on a budget, BC Footwear Shag flats ($43.50) are lovely. Glossy black patent with geometric cutouts, these fun flats offer a grown-up take on your favorite girlhood jellies.