1. Lace-up oxfords
The casual go-to, lace-up oxfords hold on to their place in the world of flats in spring 2012. Introduced last year (despite being a staple for vintage aficionados since their ‘40s-era inception), lace-up oxfords work perfectly alongside sleek cigarette pants or full A-line skirts for a ‘50s feel. The only rule? Avoid wearing them with wide-legged pants or midi skirts. Since long skirts tend to shorten the leg, you’ll want to extend them by wearing heels.
Believe it or not, low and high-top sneakers fall under the “flats in spring 2012” umbrella thanks to designs by Christopher Kane and Chanel. Paired with ankle length skirts, silky trousers and coloured denim, they help balance the ultra-feminine styles of the season. Ideal for a casual afternoon out (although they’ve been spotted with sweeping floral print dresses), sneakers work best with a denim jacket or leather bomber, and despite fashion stars like the Man Repeller donning them with slim-fitting dress pants, balance with an oversize blazer or simple tank top.
3. Ballet flats
It’s no surprise that ballet flats maintain a place in spring 2012 – especially since ultra-girly trends like peplums and ruffles have made their mark on the fashion spectrum. However, like with oxfords, you’ll want to wear your ballet flats in spring 2012 with skirts and shorts that hit slightly above the knee. Despite ballet flats being slightly more casual, they won’t create a sleek vibe unless you’re showing just a little bit of leg. (And if you’re not comfortable doing that, pair them with print or opaque tights.)
4. Boat shoes
While less common than the former, boat shoes help maintain a preppy, clean look ideal for relaxing evenings spent on the patio, or mornings spent running errands on a Saturday. Pairing the likes of Sperrys with cropped skinny jeans and a white hoodie will create a laid-back nautical vibe that, while lacking somewhat on the runways, is still popular when it comes to collegiate-inspired clothing. Of course, since mixing and matching is a must, you could also pair boat shoes with a pastel-toned sheer top and pleated shorts, therefore combining the tried-and-true trend with one of spring 2012’s biggest.