Having been an English lit girl and lover of period piece cinema, I'll just confess now that I've oft dreamed of hand selecting a bespoke wardrobe (in it, I sit atop a tufted setee, surrounded by bolts of lustrous fabric <sigh. . . >) , so when ANMJ reader Valerie L. wrote in with the uncommon dilemma of styling her custom made olive green ballet flats (pictured at left), my ears perked right up. She writes:
I'm an Air Force wife stationed in South Korea right now so I had a pair of shoes custom-made for me – olive green ballet flats. I like them (olive green is one of my most favorite colors), but they didn't turn out ~exactly~ like I had in my mind. I'm at a loss. What can I wear them with? I don't want to be too match-y match-y. I feel like it might be a delicate balance and with my luck, I'd go the wrong way.
Please help! What would you recommend?
I know. We here at ANMJ love reader questions for precisely this reason–never in a million years could we invent the style challenges our readers come up with. Seriously. Never : )
Valerie, your gorg olive ballet flats can literally go with anything. Olive is as close to a perfect neutral as it gets. Olive green is one of my favs, too, and it was a great choice for a custom-made item–sensible, but unusual–you'll get a ton of wear out of them! It's tempting to pair olive with khaki and black, but the best way to pop it is with brights and bold pattern that will let it sing rather than stagnate. I've put together four kid-friendly, off-duty looks using a flat approximating yours, and I'm sure you can shop your closet for other similar items.
As a disclaimer, I will note that I've included some high ticket items, like the Eugenia Kim fedora, which I drool over, but would never buy (if you really love it, you could probably have one made for peanuts!) and the $530 Dolce & Gabbana jeans (order from Gap instead, please!)–these are just the items that fit the bill on Polyvore and are only intended to give you an idea of how to style your fab flats. They are definitely not shopping suggestions.
Have fun with those fab flats, Valerie, and send us a snap shot of your whole self when you have a chance!