The Trouble With Flats


red pencil skirt and denim jacket

nautical summer look

Remember when I said I’d never wear flats, like, EVER, EVER again? EVER?

You all got that I was just kidding myself, didn’t you?

The the thing is, I DO actually like flats, and this year I’ve been wearing them a lot more often than I used to. Not only are they a lot more practical than heels for the various “outdoorsy” things I’ve been getting up to this summer, I find them a lot more casual, too. Let’s face it: even I would feel just a little bit over-dressed wandering along a beach, or jumping on and off boats in a prom-style dress and stilettos. Put that same dress with a pair of flats, and maybe a denim jacket over the top (or, just off the top off my head, maybe a Hell Bunny cardigan? For instance?), and although the dress itself still looks the same, you don’t get nearly as many “why are you all dressed up?” questions. That HAS to be a good thing, right?

While I’m fully on board with the flats-with-dresses however, I absolutely HATE flats with trousers/jeans. (On ME, I hasten to add. YOU look great in flats, seriously. Have you been working out? Because your hair looks amazing!) It wasn’t until I started taking outfit photos, actually, that I realised just how MUCH I hate the look of flats with jeans on myself. In fact, I didn’t realise a lot of things about myself until I started taking outfit photos, now I come to think of it. As strange as it might sound, up until then, I hadn’t really thought much about my body type. I mean, I knew I was a bit shorter than average, and bit more flat-chested than average, too. Anytime people started taking about how they were an “apple” or a “pear”, or whatever, though, my eyes would glaze over, and I’d also start feeling a bit peckish, like I could really quite fancy an apple or a pear around about now, you know?

While I’ve never really been into the whole “what fruit are you,” thing, however,  I  do know I have a long torso and short legs. For most of my life, I’d simply described myself as “short”. Outfit blogging helped me realise there’s more than one way to be short, and MY way makes it hard for me to wear certain things without exaggerating the stumpiness of my legs.

One of those things is flats. Flats don’t MAKE my legs look short: my legs ARE short. Flats simply fail to disguise this fact, the way my BFFs, heels, do. Throughout my life, I’ve always clung rigidly to my heels, come hell or really steep hills, knowing they made me look better, but not really knowing WHY. Now I know it’s because they bring some balance to the force my figure: they make my legs look a bit longer, which makes them look more in proportion to my torso, which makes my clothes look better. (And I should say here that the aim isn’t to look TALLER, necessarily: just to look in proportion…)

But you can’t wear them all the time, can you? Sometimes you have to walk the dog. Sometimes you have to navigate steep, cobbled hills. Sometimes you just fancy a bit of a change. And when those times come, I’ve started to reply on my new secret-weapon in the fight against stump: the high-waisted skirt. Or even trousers, if I’m feeling particularly daring. High waists don’t make everything better, obviously, but they do, at least make enough of a difference to make flats a possibility again. With heels, this outfit would’ve been a bit much for a random weekday, but with flats it felt much more casual, but still very ME.

Oh, and those shoes no longer give me blisters, now that  there’s no possibility of them ruining my entire day with them: it figures…


NOW: ♥  ASOS skirt ♥ H&M top and jacket ♥  Kate Spade bag* ♥NEXT flats

nautical-inspired outfit


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denim jacket floral skirt

Jacket – July 2014

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red pencil skirt

Skirt – September 2013

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  • GaiaT


    I would say that you are a rectangular. Probably not a very squared one. And I have your opposite problem: longer legs and shorter bust. But since I am 156cm tall (or, I’d better say, short) you don’t notice the length of the leg, but totally notice how short my bust is. Yes, I am very lucky.

    September 22, 2014
  • I think I’ve just had a lightbulb moment!

    I am tall, 5″9, but I’m out of proportion and have short legs and a really, really long torso. I have never liked wearing high, high heels that much, because I’m almost 6″ in them and somehow I don’t like towering over everyone that much. The thing is, you’re probably right, I’d probably actually look better in them nonetheless. I know it’s all about flats this year, but I think it might now actually be the year when I start to wear heels. Kitten heels at least. Baby steps.

    September 22, 2014
      • Adrienne


        This reminds me of a few months ago when I was trying on a Sandro dress and the saleslady said “this dress only really looks good on women like you who have a high waist”. I think I stopped breathing for about a minute whilst I was thinking “OMG is she saying I’m deformed!?”. The thing is I didn’t actually know what she meant! Yes, I might be a bit stupid but all I was thinking about was “I’m an anatomical calamity! And everyone but me can see!”. Of course, I ran straight to my friend Google to ask what exactly a high waist is, and if there is a cure (I’m kidding!). I’m still not sure though, some websites say it means you’re an hourglass, others say it means you’ve got a short torso/long legs. I actually totally forgot about the saleslady’s “accusation” until I’ve read your comment!
        As for flats: used to hate them. But I’ve noticed that the older I get, the shorter my heels become.

        September 23, 2014
    • Nicole


      Same here! I’m 5’9″ but have average legs and a really long torso. Dresses that are supposed to be mid-thigh are obscenely short on me and I have never found a romper that didn’t give me a wedgie. (I don’t particularly even like rompers but it would be nice to know I COULD wear one if I wanted to). Also, seams that are supposed to sit at the waist always hit a few inches above mine so I have to get creative with belts sometimes. I’ve started wearing ankle boots with a small heel but I can’t get away with more than 2 inches or so because my boyfriend is 5’11”!

      September 22, 2014
  • Ah the curse of the stumpy legs – my 29″ers know it well. Standard range trousers make a mockery of my body. I find that high waisted pencil skirts and flats look great (as long as the shoes are fairly low vamp, not brogues or something) and it’s also a great way to be casual but still keep a bit more style than jeans and tshirt. But flats with prom skirts – argh, the stumps are back and this time with the added bonus of looking like a child in my mother’s clothes (ironic as my mother is three inches shorter than I am)! Why is it that it’s so hard to buy mid heels right now? Sometimes I think fashion hates the short.

    September 22, 2014
  • Nina


    You look amazing in both heels and flats. You have a devine taste and it really shows in how you put together your outfits. I love your style, it really inspires me and I hope that one day in the future I will have a wardrobe that is nearly as amazing as yours..

    May I ask how tall/short you are? I also have a really long torso and short legs. My mom always jokes and says that we have dachshund legs. 😛

    September 22, 2014
  • I think that taking outfit photos has taught me that I don’t really like any single part of my body.
    I like the idea of dresses or skirts with flats but my calves are too chunky and end up looking like tree trunks. It’s annoying.

    September 23, 2014