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I love watching a trend evolve because it means that the item is moving past being a trend altogether—it’s merely redefining itself as a wardrobe staple in our closets. Last year, ballet flats made a controversial comeback and emerged as one of the top trends of the year. You may be wondering what about a timeless shoe silhouette could be considered controversial and that is exactly the point. Many people believed the ballet flat was too timeless to even fall into a trend category. Whether you agree with that sentiment or not, the mesh ballet flat trend has emerged this summer as an alternative take on a classic style. 

At first glance, the mesh ballet flat style may seem a little confusing. It’s a shoe that completely covers your foot while also revealing the outline of each toe and the color of your nail polish. Mesh ballet flats, especially in a neutral color, almost look like invisible shoes—and that’s what makes them so cool. Some styles have a woven design or crystals sewn onto the mesh, giving your foot the same, dare I say, sexy appeal as a celebrity in a sheer naked dress on the red carpet. 

Celebrities and fashion stylists are so intrigued by the translucent look of mesh ballet flats that they’re willing to drop some major cash for a pair. Designer mesh ballet flat styles by The Row, Alaïa, and Khaite are sold out and each pair retails for over $600. 

On a more practical note, mesh ballet flats are comfortable and provide a breathable summer footwear option that is more appropriate for the office than a pair of sandals. Plus, you won’t have to worry about having your toes accidentally touch the dirty city sidewalk in mesh flats like you would in a pair of sandals. 

Keep reading for the best mesh ballet flats on the market—I’m especially smitten with the new (and more affordable) pair of blue mesh flats J. Crew just released as part of its fall collection.

Courtesy of J. Crew.

The soft blue color of this pair of mesh ballet flats makes them a modern spin on Cinderella’s glass slipper. The color will pop against a neutral outfit and will look great in any setting. This pair is also available in black.

Courtesy of Loeffler Randall.

The crystal detailing on this pair of mesh ballet flats by Loeffler Randall adds the perfect amount of girly flair to the style. The shoe has a true ballerina silhouette with an elastic strap across the top for extra support. This pair is also available in a light blue shade.

Courtesy of Steve Madden.

This pair of Steve Madden flats features a woven crystal design (that gives off major mermaidcore vibes). These would look great with a mini skirt or a pair of jeans.

Courtesy of Margaux.

This pair of partially mesh ballet flats have a small heel so you won’t have to worry about your exposed skin getting too close to the city streets. The classic black color in this style is so chic but I also love the bright yellow color option.

Courtesy of Dear Frances.

These Dear Frances mesh flats are one of the original styles that started the trend. They have a slightly different silhouette than traditional ballet flats which differentiates them from the traditional ballet flat style and creates a modern feel. This pair is also available in black.

Courtesy of Le Monde Beryl.

The berry color of this pair of mesh ballet flats makes them the perfect transition shoe for your fall wardrobe. This style fits more like a sock than a flat.

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