The Editor-Approved Mesh Flats Our Team Can’t Stop Wearing

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ICYMI, ballet flats are fully back. However, if you need further convincing, allow us to make a strong case for Dear Frances’ luxurious take on the classic style: The Balla style debuted last year and was immediately a hit among the fashion set, thanks to its sock-like, foot-hugging shape. Flats sometimes get a bad rep for scarifying style for comfort, but not these. The elongated profile and mesh textile make them an obvious choice for the modern minimalist, and recently, Dear Frances unveiled new crystal-studded colorways that have positively set our hearts aflutter. Ahead, read along as three Refinery29 shopping editors take the style out for a spin.


“I’m not much of a flats girlie, but if there was a brand that could ever convert me, it’s Dear Frances. I love a heel for the drama and elegance it lends to an outfit, but you can’t argue with the comfort and practicality of a flat. The brand’s bestselling Balla flat is a fashion editor favorite, and it epitomizes Dear Frances’ mastery of chic yet wearable, impeccably made accessories. It was love at first sight when I laid eyes upon the delicate, crystal-encrusted version, a modern-day Cinderella slipper incarnate. I loved how the sheer white mesh looks almost translucent from afar. They are quite a splurge, as designer shoes, tend to be, but the quality is truly impeccable: Photos truly don’t do justice to how delicate and special these feel — as if they were handmade by a fairy godmother who moonlights as a cobbler. (I have very small feet, and the size 35 fits like a glove.) They were surprisingly comfortable from the first wear, and the mesh upper has plenty of breathability. I plan on switching into these beauties for my wedding reception, so I can spend all night dancing and looking extremely cute doing so.” —Karina Hoshikawa, Senior Writer

“I’ve been seeing mesh flats everywhere, and as a flat shoe girl, I jumped at the chance to try a pair myself. The first thing I noticed about this pair from Dear Frances was just how high quality and lightweight they seemed. I pulled them out of the box and noticed the sweet tiny leather trim at the ankle; it felt buttery soft to the touch. I immediately put them on and was truly shocked at the comfort — unlike a lot of classic ballet flat styles, there was no cutting or rubbing into my foot at weird places, and I could tell they weren’t a pair that needed breaking in. As far as styling, the black colorway I chose obviously goes with almost everything in my neutral closet, but I’ve had a lot of fun pairing these with denim and trousers and really can’t wait to wear them with shorts in the warmer months.” —Kate Spencer, Senior Affiliate Partnerships Manager


Photo: Courtesy of Victoria Montalti

“I’ve always been the type of person who refuses to take off their heels at special occasions, like weddings and Sweet 16’s, to change into comfy, funky socks. I’d truthfully rather get blisters than be caught in socks on the dance floor. But I’ve realized that the better solution to stylishly suffering in heels all night may be slipping into a pair of elevated ballet flats. I’ve been intrigued by the ballet flat comeback, but I have never made the leap before agreeing to review these Dear Frances large black crystal sheer flats.

“These flats are obviously more comfortable than many of my heels, but they’re honestly even fancier than some of them, too. I also appreciate that the sheer black mesh is dark enough that you can’t tell whether I have a fresh pedicure or not. While I haven’t had the chance to wear them out yet, I’m 100% going to pack my Balla Crystal flats, which are pretty flexible and could definitely fit into a large cocktail purse, to my next party.” —Victoria Montalti, Associate Affiliate Writer

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