7 Iconic Ways To Wear Ballet Pumps

Ballet flats may be back, but how you wear them will always be inspired by these iconic women

7 Iconic Ways To Wear Ballet Pumps

by Lucy Morris |
Published on

Recently there has been so much talk of loafers and trainers the new wave of ballet pumps almost took us by surprise. Miu Miu started the groundswell last summer when they showed rugged, buckled ballerina slippers. Then the high street took notice, and now everywhere you look from Net-A-Porter to Zara has been deluged with the flats.

Veering between preppy, pretty and over-partied, this feminine foil of a shoe has outstayed many trends over the years. Bridgitte Bardot may have been the first to take the sophisticated footwear off the stage, but courtesy of Amy Winehouse and most recently Bella Hadid, it’s proved that it has staying power. While it’s cut, colour and fabrication have undergone more reinventions than Madonna, the way it's been worn has barely changed over the years. Though their hair and make-up may chance, the iconic ballet pump wearers tend to like pair theirs with slim-cut trousers or micro dresses. Take note…

1. Bridgitte Bardot


We have Bardot to thank for taking the pump off the stage. As the French star was formally trained as a ballerina at Conservatoire de Paris, she was able to persuade shoe makers Repetto to make her a pair fit for the street and the big screen.

2. Audrey Hepburn

The quest to look as angelic as Audrey Hepburn in her ballet slippers will forever end in despair. But, take note of her introduction of colour and accessories to make her pumps the centre of attention.

3. Jane Birkin

The ingénue who never ages wore hers with flares and a white top. Sounds simple, but it strikes the right discordant note because it’s a world away from the tutus and tiaras these pumps are traditionally associated with.

4. Winona Ryder

The ‘90s wild child made the leap between grunge and ballet pump feel natural. With a cigarette pant (not too dissimilar from the shape of Bardot’s further up the page), this look feels elegant and renegade.

5. Amy Winehouse

It would be impossible to write about ballet pumps without mentioning the Queen of Camden. Winehouse carried on Ryder’s ballet pump torch and added her own rebellious insouciance.

6. Alexa Chung

A flat shoe is a perfect antidote to a dress that’s questionably short. For Chung, her metallic slippers bring a piece of innocence to her party frock.

7. Bella Hadid

Trust a Hadid to make a nude ballet slipper work with a pair of lace-up corseted trousers. It’s the juxtaposition between the ladylike and the risque that makes this outfit sing.

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Follow Lucy on Instagram @lucyalicemorris

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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