Ballet flats are a must-have shoe because they are comfortable and casual but also manage to add a sophisticated and chic touch to any ensemble. Paired with cigarette-leg trousers for the quintessential Audrey look or worn with pretty dresses and jeans, a pair (or more) of ballet flats will soon have you pirouetting down the street in style!
Purchasing a fabulous pair of black ballet flats is a great place to start if you are editing your shoe collection and looking to stock up on quality staples. Black shoes will go with everything, look stylish from daylight to twilight and will probably be worn daily (so you will definitely get your money’s worth). I’ve picked out 5 stunning black vegan styles for you to peruse below (all ethically made with vegan materials). Let me know which ones are your favorite.Joy – Beyond Skin (pictured above)
Handmade in Spain
Also available in red
Beyond Skin £55
Endless Shoes and Handbags
Audrey – Vegetarian Shoes
Made in Portugal
Vegetarian Shoes UK £49.95
Ivy – Beyond Skin
Handmade in Spain
also available in a red & pink colour combination
Beyond Skin £55 sale
Ace – Vegetarian Shoes
Made in Portugal, (red and white shoes made in Spain).
Moo Shoes – Available in black, red and white (US $75).
Vegetarian Shoes UK – Available in black, red, white and olive ( £39.95).
Darcy – Vegetarian Shoes
Made in Portugal
Vegetarian Shoes UK £42.95
If your closet is starting to fill up with one too many black pieces, perhaps you should venture over to the navy side. Navy is just as sophisticated as black, but less harsh. A dash of navy here and there can soften your look but still keep you looking chic. So take a look at my selection of the best navy key pieces for your eco friendly closet.
The Organic Market Bag – Moop
Handmade in Massachusetts
Organic Cotton and Vegetable Based Dyes
Etsy is my new best friend for finding creative and stunning handmade gems from designers such as Moop. Their large midnight blue bag is ideal for the girl who literally has to cart her life around in a bag. At least now it can be an organic, ethically made bag!
Visit Moop’s Blog.
Karida Coat – Amana
Made in Morocco
Hemp, wool, tencel and organic cotton lining
This sophisticated nile blue coat is on sale and available in a long and short version. Grab your style and size now at such a good price and remember you can’t go wrong with a navy coat in your ethical closet. The colour and style will look good for years to come.
Fashion Conscience £99 (was £165)
Amana £105 (many other Autumn / Winter ’08 items on sale also)
Cheryl Cardi – Frank & Faith
Made in the UK
100% Organic Cotton
Bravo Frank & Faith for manufacturing your clothes in the UK and for making them so darn cute! I love a good lightweight cardi to throw on with jeans or over a dress. Frank & Faith are also members of 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of their sales to environmental organisations.
Frank & Faith £52 (Also available in black and green)
Karen Dress – Wildlife Works
Made in Kenya
A stunning shirt dress for those times when you need to look ‘businessy’ and organised. This dress is also extra fabulous because it is helping wildlife conservation in Kenya. Wildlife Works have established a sanctuary and eco factory in Kenya to ‘save endangered and threatened wildlife’ and to also provide valuable employment opportunities for locals. Wow! This dress is going to make you feel really good now! By the way, the dress looks black but is actually a deep navy colour.
Wildlife Works US $150 (was US $300)
Eugina Jeans – Del Forte Denim
Made in the USA
Definitely one of the Top 3 wardrobe items a green girl needs to invest in, organic skinny jeans. Del Forte’s Eugina jeans are Equa’s best selling shape and look ultra flattering and comfortable.
Equa £75 (was £135)
Pure Shoes – Olsenhaus
Made in Mexico
Don’t these shoes just scream, ‘don’t mess with the vegan!’ The mock croc style will ensure seamless blendability with the Net-a-Porter set but will also keep your vegan friends impressed as well.
Olsenhaus US $215
I found this great budget busting, make-it-yourself idea in InStyle UK yesterday and just had to share it with you! What a clever way to transform a sad pair of ballet flats into designer lookalikes!
In the June issue of InStyle, Aleksandra Olenska recommends attaching vintage clip-on earrings to ballet flats and the picture of their cranberry red flats with 4 black and silver earrings did look incredibly chic.
I’ve tried to do my best with my tired and rather self-conscious pair of old black wannabe ballet flats, circa 1999 (at least 20 in shoe years and positively archaic for some shoe loving girls). I picked up the 2 pairs of vintage earrings today in Islington for under £5 and think they look quite pretty.
Once I get some new vegan ballet flats and start adorning them with various earrings for each day of the week, there will be no stopping me. I’m on a vintage earring treasure hunt now…
Need some inspiration to create your own bejewelled ballet flats? Visit Net-a-Porter for some designer ideas (Miu Miu in particular).
Do-Ni vegan ballerinas are the sweetest shoes you will find and one of the few shoe labels out there that have a whole lot of soul and substance behind the style (forgive me, I had to have fun with the word soul just once). I was introduced to these stunning shoes via English Retread’s blog and now my feet and I could not be happier knowing that there are Do-Ni shoes in the world! Do-Ni translates to the word, ‘gifts’ in Italian and when you buy a pair of these precious shoes, 100% of the retail proceeds will be donated to participating non-profit organisations. You can choose from a wonderful range of beneficiaries that all help the planet, people and animals in profound ways (Animal Acres, Medicines Global and FA Home Away from Homelessness are just some examples of the worthy organizations).
Once you’ve selected your organization, the next decision involves picking your favorite shade of ballerina shoe! Not an easy decision when you see how designer worthy they all look with their lovely, French ribbon bows, luscious color range and the option of having an Audrey-esque medallion on either the black or champagne shoes!
Decisions and pretty shoes are never a good combination. I could ramble off numerous reasons for needing each and every pair on offer – black (quintessential classic), champagne (for when you are feeling fancy), grass (to prove green is glam), ruby (for a Dorothy moment) and amethyst (chic alternative to black).
Whichever pair you pick, they are guaranteed to pretty-fy any outfit instantly and will look sublime day or night, with jeans or with a vintage dress. A girl definitely needs a pair of ballet flats in her shoe collection. You will live in them and practically start skipping with delight at how these shoes combine much desired comfort with lashings of style!
Designers Nancy Dong and Carlotta Fiorini not only added their immense amount of talent, creativity and compassion to these shoes but they also added their names to the label (Do from Dong + Ni from Fiorini = Do-Ni). Nancy has previously worked at Charmone and now has her own shoe collection, Kailia (will feature them in an upcoming post soon) and Carlotta has experience at Gucci and also has her own delicious shoe line, Carlotta Fiorini.
Do-Ni ballerina shoes are hand made in Portugal with the ‘best leather-free materials from Italy’, water based glues, recycled insole boards and ribbons from France. Ooh la la! The champagne and black ballerinas are $119 or $135 with medallion and the remaining grass, amethyst and ruby ballerinas are all $119.