Jennifer Lawrence Has Me Convinced These Ballet Flats Are the Any-Occasion Shoe My Closet Has Been Missing

Photo: Getty Images/Anthony Harvey
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It's true that ballet flats are back for Spring 2023, but for me, they never went away. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for over a decade, but I moved here from New York City, and so I’m a born walker. I will always be a flats girl because you can’t quickly dash across town in a pair of platform wedges or rush to make your train in stilettos (without risking injury, at least).

That said, it can be tricky to find the perfect pair of ballet flats that are comfy enough to pound the pavement in but also dressy enough to wear to a cocktail parties or work events. Finding a true, any-occasion ballet flat is like finding a needle in a haystack; Most are either too dressy or too casual, with few, in-between Goldilocks styles that can earnestly do it all. Unless you've got $800 spare cash to dish out on Jennifer Lawrence's Mary Jane-inspired flats, that is...

ICYMI, Jennifer Lawrence has had shoe lovers drooling over The Row's Ava Flats ($790) this whole winter. She's been seen wearing multiple pairs out-and-about in very different occasions: Once while on an afternoon stroll in New York (in black, of course) and then again in a dressy day outfit while out in Beverly Hills, trading the black for a brighter cream. They're adorable! And, as Lawrence proves, versatile! But there's just one hiccup…they’re $790.

The Row, Ava Leather Ballet Flats — $790.00

Available sizes: 5-12, in half sizes

Colors: 2

Now, unlike Jennifer Lawrence, I’m not one of the highest paid Oscar-winning actresses in the nation. $790 for a pair of flats just isn’t in my budget. Good news is, there's plenty of affordable alternatives to Ms. Lawrence's any-occasion flats. Scroll for five options that'll get you the look for much, much less.

Get Jennifer Lawrence's look for much, much less

Rekayla, Mary Jane Flats — $35.00

Available sizes: 5-11

At just $35, these ballet flats are a staggering 22(!) times cheaper than the $750 pair from The Row. Now, these are made of patent leather, and so the material is much cheaper than lambskin leather. But judging from reviews, they’re just as comfortable. They come in eight colors, so if you’re not feeling the cream, you have other options. If you want a pair of “walking around” shoes that you can keep in your purse to swap out your heels during the day–these are a perfect pick. One note: most reviewers recommend sizing up, as they run a bit small.

Colors: 8

Rothy's, The Point Mary Jane — $159.00

Available sizes: 5-13, in half sizes

Leave it to Rothy’s to launch a trendy ballet slipper that’s as fashionable as it is functional. From a fashion perspective, this style is timeless and, while slightly different than the rounded Mary Jane Lawrence wears, is polished nonetheless. But from a function perspective, I think these have The Row’s beat tenfold. Rothy’s shoes are known for their comfort thanks to the sustainable knit they use in their products that’s flexible and almost give feet a custom fit. The straps are flexible, too, and don’t dig in after hours of wear. And, of course, they’re washable—something The Row’s shoes most definitely aren’t. If they get dirty (which white tends to do) pop ’em in the washing machine and they’ll look good as new.

Colors: 2

Sam Edelman, Michaela Flats — $68.00

Available sizes: 5-11, in half sizes

These ballet flats from Sam Edelman will make you do a double-take for the flats that Jennifer Lawrence loves, and are $700 cheaper to boot. From the color to the buckle to the pointed toe, they’re basically the same shoe, minus the exorbitant price tag. I also like that they have a very slight stacked heel. And the leather is soft, not stiff; which I think is really important in terms of comfort, because a stiff leather heel tends to rub and leave blisters. And the whole point of flats is that they’re supposed to be comfy.

Only downside is the cream is nearly sold out. But the black and black patent leather will give you a look just as chic as Lawrence’s.

Colors: 2

Steve Madden, Violette Metallic — $60.00

Available sizes: 5-11, in half sizes.

If you’re looking for a pair of ballet flats that are fancier than your standard neutral-colored flats, you’ll love these vegan leather metallic shoes from Steve Madden. People think of flats as casual, but the material and color of this pair can elevate just about any look for any occasion. They’re dressy enough to wear to a wedding or formal event, and your feet will thank you for it.

Colors: 3

Vivaia, Elle Flats — $90.00

Available sizes: 5-10.5, in half sizes

Sustainable fashion brand Vivaia makes a mule-inspired version of the ballet-Mary Jane combo that’s worth a spot in your closet. These swap the rounded toe for a point and, more noticeably, a closed heel for an open one that slides on and off. But they’ve got not one, but two, Mary Jane straps to keep your shoes in place comfortably. Like Rothy’s, they’re machine washable so you can give them a rinse when they start go get grimy. At less than $100, they’re an affordable, stunning alternative to JLaw’s designed shoes.

Colors: 3

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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