I included many styles in my overview of trendy footwear for Spring and Summer 2016, but neglected to add a fringe trend that is gaining momentum: the block heel ballerina pump. The mid-height block heel is completely mainstream on sandals, booties, sandal booties and pointy toe pumps. But the same heel on a round toe or round square toe pump is not as popular. The collection below perfectly illustrates the style. The sturdy low block heel is the best feature of the shoe. 

Round and round square toe block heel ballerina pumps with lower vamps are probably easier on the eye because they look classic. The fashion-forward versions from Topshop and Zara with higher vamps are a little harder to get used to. Either way, the block heel ballerina pump, which to some looks staid, unattractive, and somewhat conservative, is having its trendy moment. I think that’s fabulous.  

I love it when so called “dowdy” styles and outfit combinations become trendy, hip and fashionable because it teaches us to have an open mind. It also strengthens five important notions about style, which are more relevant with each passing year:

  • Items and item pairings can seem dowdy right up until the point that they become highly fashionable.
  • It’s HOW an item is styled that makes the difference. As always, it is all about the details of how the outfit is put together. 
  • An adjustment period is often all that it takes to go from doubting a look to liking it.
  • Style is a package deal and very much a sum of the individual parts.
  • The attitude and confidence of the wearer is always the stylish cherry on top of any outfit. 

The block-heeled ballerina pump has a lot going for it. It’s very comfortable and stable to walk in. The higher vamped versions create a more secure fit on the foot. The look is less severe than the pointy toe pump. It also has a fabulous Modern Retro integrity. The block-heeled darling can create a stylish tension with a hard-edged outfit, boho looks, rainbow hair, or on someone with lots of visible body art. They look great worn with trendy distressed denim pieces and cropped flared jeans. They can also look gorgeously sharp and ladylike — even quirky and deliciously costumey — when paired with skirts and dresses. 

I don’t have many examples of outfits to show you, but I did find the ones below. The boho rendition in cropped jeans with matching saddle bag is my favourite. In fact, I think the shoes make the outfit! I would like the next two outfits with the black trousers a lot more if the trousers were two to three inches shorter, but I do like the concept of the outfits with the shoes. The second outfit exudes a demure yet confident elegance, while the third has a marvelous romantic integrity.

CHLOE Lauren Scalloped-edge Block-heel-Suede PumpsSALVATORE FERRAGAMO Vara Bi-colour Leather PumpsCHLOE Lauren Scalloped-edge Block-heel Suede Pumps

I’m drawn to the fresh and Modern Retro vibe of this pump, and almost bought Topshop’s Juno Ballet Shoe in gold. The gold is more yellow than it appears in the photo, so I passed. But I loved the look, and their comfort level was sublime. I frequently wear pointy toe pumps in the Summer time, and most of my styles have narrow heels and ankle straps. The block heel ballerina pump would add variety to my pumps capsule, so they’re on my radar.

Over to you. What’s your take on the block heel round toe pump?