Achieving that seemingly effortless It-Girl style (think the Jeanne Damas, Alexa Chung, or Garance Doré look) relies on a few tried-and-true pieces: the perfect pair of vintage jeans, a worn-in leather jacket, a midi-skirt that you can dress up or down, and a certain style of shoe you might not immediately consider: the ballet flat.
Some claim the dancer-inspired kicks are making a comeback, while others argue they never even left. First designed by Rose Repetto (of now go-to shoe brand Repetto) in 1956 for Brigitte Bardot (who wanted "a pair of shoes as lightweight and flexible as true ballet slippers," the company's CEO, Jean-Marc Gaucher, tells Refinery29), the ballet flat has arguably become one of the most timeless fashion items to date — and one that channels the laid-back "French-girl style" so many of us love. "If you want to channel the style of some of the great beauties from the '50s and '60s, like Bardot or Audrey Hepburn, just wear ballet flats," he says.
Click through to shop the picks we're currently eyeing — whether your current offering needs a refresher or you're ready to reintroduce the style into your wardrobe, the 12 pairs of ballet flats ahead will fulfill all your requirements.