Wardrobe

The Hunt: Ballet Flats

Just like every other preppy millennial female, I too have spent a great deal of time searching for the perfect ballet flat–a universal quest, it seems, just like the perfect day-to-night dress that somehow magically incorporates pockets. Ballet flats are a great basic (in both the colloquial and literal sense of the word), and while I am loathe to use the phrase “you can dress it up or dress it down,” well, you can.

I’ve tried them all, or at least all the mid-range, not-a-full-paycheck ones–Margaux, J. Crew, Stuart Weitzman, Sam Edelman, French Sole–and there’s been something off about each of them. They’re not comfortable or they’re too inflexible; they have awkward branding; the tie hasn’t been usable; and so on.

Enter Porselli, the Holy Grail of ballet flats. They are nearly impossible to find ready-to-wear; each pair is handmade to order. There are a handful of stores that stock them, like APC and, on occasion, Ann Mashburn; otherwise you can order them via Pierotucci. Pierotucci also has a small number in stock, but in most cases, you’ll have to special order your shoes, with a wait time of between eight to twenty weeks per pair.

So is the wait worth it?

YES. I’ve really rarely found a more comfortable pair of shoes. The pair pictured here are the “total flat” style, which don’t come with predefined left and right shoes, and have no heel and limited cushioning. I bought these before a trip and literally wore them into the ground over the next few years. They are (were!) the perfect color, were so comfortable, and after a few wears fit so perfectly it felt like I was walking barefoot, except far more comfortably, of course.

I had to toss these a few years ago as they had been worn beyond repair, so I just, finally, placed an order for a new pair, this time in black. I’ve found myself deviating a lot from my #navyornothing wardrobe, but I have no black shoes that are actually functional for everyday life. I’m trying the “ballet flat” style this time, which does have predefined left and right shoes and has a slight heel, as fall is approaching and these were in stock in my size. I’m eager to test them out, and will report back. If this style doesn’t work, I guess it’s back to an eight- to twenty-week wait… but it’s worth it!

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