April 16th, 2015 at 2:10am

With almost every new trend comes a certain sense of functionality. Take, for instance, the case of the “flatforms.” Finding themselves somewhere between the casual nature of flat shoes and the elegance inevitable with a heel, this hybrid style blurs the lines between casual versus dressed up. And don’t get me wrong, they’re just as whimsical as anything else, if not more so than Birkenstocks, bringing the whole ugly-pretty thing to new heights (literally). But the question still remains, “which places are appropriate and not to break out the flatform?”

Personally, I love when these babies are worn in place of any situation in which you would normally wear flats. Work, school, shopping, coffee? All great options. For the office, I can easily imagine these stunning pair of Stella McCartney platforms being worn with tailored trousers and a silky blouse. And with cool black patent leather and lace-up details, this pair is both sophisticated and playful. Want a similarly chunky heel without the equally hefty price tag? I also adore the way this pair of Jeffrey Campbell oxfords gets the look absolutely right. But if you’re anything like me, which is to say incredibly clumsy, being five inches off the ground is far from ideal. So to achieve the same look, try a pair like these that won’t put you at any risk of twisting an ankle from a minor trip or crack in the pavement.

I wholeheartedly admire the way this particular Fashionista dressed herself in a totally unassuming, all-black ensemble. She looks so put together and yet ultimately allows herself to stand out by standing up above everyone else. Who would have guessed that a simple black crew-neck sweater and black jeans could make such a statement, and yet take a look at this Fashionista. The sky-high platforms below her soles, a structured bag and large reflective sunglasses are the little bits of her look that make it pop.

How To: When sporting any risky or out-there trend like these intense platforms, be sure to err on the conservative side to ground the look in practicality. If your style is typically sporty, stay true to that vibe with a platform sneaker. But if you have more of a bohemian look, try a pair of “flatform” sandals for the summertime. Whatever style you prefer, elevate it with a bold platform shoe.