Menswear-style flats new, comfortable fall trend

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Stella McCartney’s version of menswear-style flats is more extreme than the typical loafer or oxford.

Women are filling men’s shoes this season — literally.

Ballets flats are no longer an essential, as oxfords, brogues and loafers are stepping onto the scene. Many are opting for a menswear-inspired shoe that offers the same comfort as your average flat but is still one of fall’s top trends.

The classic oxford is recreated by staying away from the standard black or brown mold. This season’s oxfords feature cutouts, color-blocking and metallic accents, along with platform heels and vibrant laces. While they were typically worn as workwear in the past, oxfords are now a fashion focal point in everyday use. Many are styling outfits solely based on the modernized shoe, transforming it from an overlooked accessory to a statement flat.

Thick soles are essential for this season, which makes brogues another menswear-inspired shoe to covet — then purchase. Brogues are similar to oxfords, but they accentuate the sole. Stella McCartney plays off this trend with her line of platform flats. The collection portrays a more extreme version of the style, with color-blocking, wood and rubber platforms and lace-up patterned leather. Less exotic brogues are produced in the trending colors of the season, such as red, navy and gray and are printed with one of fall’s most popular patterns: snakeskin.

Everyone loves slip-ons because they are a hassle-free way to complete an outfit.  Loafers are the preferred slip-on flat for fall because they are easy, comfortable and classy. The pointed toe loafer is a versatile trend that can be worn with an array of looks. Pair the shoe with jeans and a T-shirt to dress for a nice brunch, and throw on a black blazer or a leather jacket for a night out. The loafer comes in a wide range of styles, with varying heel heights, shapes and accents. Strappy, d’Orsay and studded versions are showcased in designer collections and high-street stores.

Menswear-inspired flats allow women to show a masculine edge. If you are willing to splurge on these flats, they can be found at Bloomingdale’s, Saks and other designer boutiques. For cheaper, college-appropriate price points, Zara, H&M and Forever 21 offer a broad selection.

Now that fall is in full swing, it is time to pick up a pair of menswear-inspired shoes and follow in the footsteps of the season’s newest trend.

A version of this article appeared in the Oct. 22, 2014 print edition. Email Caroline Ogulnick at [email protected]