Tips For Wearing Flats

Later in the day, on Saturday, during our weekend away, we visited another couple of vineyards and wineries. Here are a few more photos from our mini-vacation, but today, I want to share some style tips with you.


My ideal shoe choice includes heels, but on this day, I knew we would be walking and standing a lot, so I wore flats. There are several things I take into consideration when I wear flats. There is so much more to it than just changing shoes.

If you took a tape measure to my body (I have!), you would find that my legs are proportionally short compared to my torso. Anything I wear to make my torso look longer makes my legs look even shorter. My legs would look much shorter if I wore a long tunic or jacket with trousers and flats. So now you know why I almost always wear slim-fitting pants and heels with a tunic or a long jacket worn open with a shorter top. (Heels are also much more comfortable for me physically and psychologically.) The other body truth I had to make peace with long ago is that my waistline is thick. I will never have an hourglass figure, no matter how much I work out or lose weight. It isn’t possible because that isn’t my body shape. To make my waistline look slimmer and my legs look longer than they are, I needed to learn some little dressing tricks to visually balance my body.

When I wear a longer top, I typically wear slim-fitting pants and heels in the same color. I often wear strappy gladiator style sandals (as shown above) or short boots because I find them to be very comfortable. The pump style court shoes are not suitable for me, and I find that I tend to walk out of them since all of the weight gets forced into the toe box area. Whereas if you are wearing short boots or strappy sandals that lace up over the foot and the ankle, your weight is then evenly distributed over your whole foot.

When I wear a short jacket or top, more of the length of my legs show, so I can get away with wearing a flat shoe. I look for slim shaped shoes with a pointed toe to elongate and lengthen.

Later in the day on Saturday, as the temps rose, I took off the scarf and the jacket I wore earlier in the day.


When we had breakfast at the hotel earlier in the day, I wore a short red keyhole detail top with the same shoes and pants.

I hope that sharing the little tricks I use to get dressed helps you discover what works best for your shape.

The white moto-style jacket shown above is years old from Stein Mart. The shoes are from last year by Halogen via Nordstrom.

The Clara Sunwoo tops and Lior Paris pants I am wearing in these photos are from

  1. Love these tips! I can’t wear those beautiful heels like you, so I’ve just put it in my head that that doesn’t work for me. I do like the flats that you show, but always felt my ankles were too fat for straps. But now I think I will try them because I wear lots of slacks as well. Thanks for so many wonderful tips on your way of eating, notice I didn’t say diet! and dressing with style. I have told all of my friends about your blog! Have a great day.

  2. I enjoy your blog and many of your suggestions but just a small thing I have noticed with many of your outfits is that your slacks bunch around your knees and seem to disrupt your clean lines. Not a criticism just an obsrrvation.

  3. I noticed that those particular T-strap flat shoes are cleverly designed with a T-strap that blends into your skin tone. This makes the strap disappear. Subtle!

    If you have ever known a jazz dancer, you may know that they have a special way of lacing those dance shoes to give support to the top of the foot, which in turn supports the arch. That is why you find cage sandals more supportive, I think.

    Some shoes push my foot forward, too. Someone described this to me as “foot burn”. It makes the soles of your feet feel like they’re on fire. This happened in my low, wedge-heel boots. I found that a full-length shoe insert from my sneakers raised my heels, and prevented this problem. I bypass shoes that don’t fit straight out of the box, but in this instance it happened after I’d worn them for a while and the suede stretched, a lot. Suede does this!

    Your posts are never simple. There are many layers of learning. An important one is to work with what we’ve got. Your example is what works for you, but I learn things, too. My body is a curvy pear, with that hourglass waist you describe. Of course this is a shape I’ve inherited in my genes.

  4. I ALWAYS wear heels. I’m going to try your tips on wearing flats. Can’t wait to style a new look for me. Thanks so much!!

  5. Great tips. I have very short legs too! I am 5ft so I always have a hard time finding the right type of pants to wear. ANY suggestions? Thanks and I love your blog.

  6. How do you measure – legs// torso ratio? What is an ideal ratio? You look terrific in red! Always enjoy your posts especially when you use pics to illustrate a better choice in outfits.

    1. If you measure the top of your head down to the bend at the top of your leg (at the hip), then measure from the bend to the floor and compare the two measurements you will find out if you have short legs or a long torso. If the measurement is the same, you are balanced. There is about two inches less on the leg measurement for me.

  7. Please forgive me for going off-topic, but I am reading “Eat to Live” thanks to you, and I’m excited about taking Dr. Fuhrman’s advice to heart (pun intended!) and getting healthier.
    Thanks for writing about your weekly bean prep, and posting the lovely pics of your restaurant meals.
    Let me ask you, if I may, early on when you started this way of eating was there anything in particular you struggled with? Any food you really missed?

    1. I still miss the taste and texture of sharp cheddar cheese so I have a very small piece occasionally and really savor it. Other than that I have always loved fruits and veggies so I don’t miss anything. I love the way food tastes without all the salt, sugar and fat.

  8. My proportions and feet are different from yours. For some unknown reason, I have my mother’s feet on the ends of my legs! Because of arthritis, I HAVE to wear flat shoes and finding stylish ones is difficult—my foot is narrow as well. I LOVE shoes, so I diligently seek out beautiful flats that will also be comfortable. I am thankful for Zappos policy of free returns.

  9. I love it when you wear high heels! I wish I could, but I’m afraid I will kill myself.(haha). I will wear a high heel if it has a block or stacked heel, or just a little thicker heel than what you wear.
    I know you shared with us on your previous blog your height and weight, but would mind sharing your pant size. I’m hoping to get a feel of what looks good on me. I am 5’6″ and 145 pounds.

  10. Susan,
    I really enjoy your fashion tips and I have tried to modify them for my small busted, wide hip body! Long tops are not the most flattering for me, I have discovered. Long leg looks are the best for every size, and cropped pants are unflattering for everyone. Why wouldn’t you prefer a more flared pant leg, as in a boot leg cut? Especially if you consider your calves to be a figure flaw? Just a thought…

  11. Thanks for the tip on measuring, my legs are more than 2 inches longer than my torso. No wonder I can wear a petite top but not pants. I also don’t have much waistline and I am not heavy 5ft5 and 137lb and reading your blog out go those dress pants with the wide legs, I would rather wear a skirt anyway. I mostly wear flats because my hubby is not tall and I wear socks or panty hose unless it’s summer. I am trying to accessorize more and like how you wear scarfs

  12. Thank you for this. When I looked at your earlier pictures I thought that I could never look that good in those clothes. Why, look how long her legs are! Thanks for letting us in on your secret.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.