America loves flats again thanks to Michelle Obama

The Huffington Post noted that our first lady loves her flats. True! "Barbara Bush had her pearls, Nancy Reagan her low BMI and Michelle Obama her ballerina flats," wrote Karin Tanabe, who also said that America has suddenly gone "hog wild" for the shoe style. Not to negate Mrs. Obama's sprawling influence on fashion--clearly, we're all obsessed--but let's remember that the trend isn't startlingly new, even outside Washington.

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In fact, thanks to the now-everywhere Lanvin and Tory Burch designs, slippers have been silently padding down both city streets and country houses across the nation for some time now. And unlike some of the spendy originals that spawned the trend, you can easily find adorable versions at mass retailers everywhere. Walk into any Target, H&M, Urban Outfitters, and even K-Mart, and you can find scores of chic and cheap ballerina-inspired footwear. Besides its hearty embrace from the White House, why does the preppy staple endure? Perhaps it's simply a matter of comfort. But of course, not all women feel compelled to give up their stilettos just because flats currently reign. When it comes to the high heels vs. flats debate, perhaps we're a nation divided.

Related: Is Michelle Obama's hair an economic barometer?

--Erin Flaherty

image via chickdowntown.com

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