The ballet flat has long been the cool girl's footwear of choice. It all began with Rose Repetto, who stitched a pair of ballet pumps for her son, the dancer Roland Petit, in Paris in 1947. She went on to establish her shoe company, Repetto, and the style took off when Brigitte Bardot donned a pair in the 1956 film And God Created Woman. No longer just practical shoes for dancers, the ballet pump was worn on- and offscreen by Parisian ingénues, and confirmed as the chic shoe of choice when Audrey Hepburn paired hers with cigarette trousers and a black rollneck in 1957's Funny Face.
Fast-forward to the '00s, when the likes of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller wore classic black ballet pumps with skinny jeans and silk blouses, floaty floral dresses and leather jackets, and women everywhere thanked the fashion gods for relief from four-inch heels. A symbol of effortless, feminine dressing, it suddenly fell out of favour when comfort and style collided in the Balenciaga-led rise of the chunky trainer. The ballet pump ceased to be the only flat shoe option and was relegated to the backs of our wardrobes as other styles — the trek sandal, the hiking boot, the dad sneaker — reigned supreme.
The styles we’re shopping? Repetto's heeled designs (of course), Vagabond's square-toed Mary Janes, and ASOS's two-toned, Chanel dupes. Click through to find the ballet flats we’re pirouetting into autumn in.
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