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Ballerina shoes by Esprit

Ballerina shoes long ago shed their little girl image – these days these flat, feminine shoes have become an essential part of our wardrobes and an all-round solution for any outfit. Regardless of whether they're plain or elegant, made of leather, lacquered material or fabric, with bows, straps, pearls or print, whether they're flat or stylish with a bit of a heel: ballerina shoes are wonderfully light all-rounders that look just as good with a skirt or dress as they do with casual Chinos or tight jeans. Totally feminine and yet ultra-comfortable in any walk of life; ballerina shoes manage it with ease.

Sometimes sporty, sometimes elegant, casual or quirky, but always light and comfortable

Great new things are happening in March: one of your friends whom you used to work with is going to be spending a year in Paris where she'll be managing an important project for her company. She calls to ask if you'd like to pay her a visit there. You don't think twice. You touch down at Charles de Gaulle Airport on a warm spring day. In a comfortable travel outfit of lacquered ballerina shoes, black treggings and a knitted cardigan you hug your friend and you set off together towards the taxi rank without delay so that you can first drop by your friend's little flat in the middle of Montmartre. Your friend just dismisses your question about sights worth seeing in the city with a laugh – there's no question of your doing the normal tourist thing with visits to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Champs-Elysée. Instead she wants to show you round her own favourite district so that you can get to know Paris from its most exciting side. It's remarkably warm and so you quickly slip into an A-line skirt and a softly cascading top with a pair of romantic leather strap-on ballerina shoes before your friend whisks you off to the Marais, a historic district riddled with charming windy streets and lanes. She fills you in about her project and life in the metropolis as you stroll by small shops and romantic restaurants. Finally you come across an old-fashioned café in a tiny square between the rows of houses. Over espressos and vividly coloured macaroons you catch up on the most important bits of gossip from the past few months, laugh a lot and make your plans for the coming days.

Good to your feet, perfect for feminine outfits – ballerina shoes are multi-talented

After a lovely long lie-in you head over to the Latin Quarter the next day. The quirky student district invites you to stroll around just looking and doing a bit of shopping and surprises you with its variety. Relaxed but in typically French elegance in coloured ballerina shoes of velour, dark denim skinny jeans and a chiffon top, and your friend in a pair of capri pants, a softly cascading jersey blouse and leather-look ballerina shoes with a decorative bow, you allow yourselves to be jostled along by the crowds, grab a quick lunch in one of the typical little restaurants and spend the entire day just enjoying the colourful life in this part of town. The nightlife of Paris is on the schedule for that evening. Your friend knows a club near the Bastille where you can see and listen to some unusual bands on the weekends. Nonchalantly styled in a pair of bright red skinny jeans, a waterfall top and wedge-heeled ballerina shoes you descend the stairs into the basement den. It's loud and teeming with people but you're immediately grabbed by the compelling mix of chanson and swing that's playing on the stage. You just manage to get a drink at the bar before you too are dancing among the enthusiastic crowd.

The final day of your whistle-stop trip dawns. You take all the time in the world to wake up in peace. After a shower you opt for a comfortable outfit of light coloured Chinos, a short V-neck jumper of cashmere wool and flat ballerina shoes with a punched hole pattern and rubber soles. Then you set off for your friend's regular café not far from her flat. Looking authentic with a large cup of café au lait and fresh croissants you sit at a small round table and try to read your way through a French newspaper with music playing quietly in the background. You recount the event of your great night out and feel like you could sit there forever. But it's time to get moving. A final relaxing walk through Montmartre, a few souvenir photos of the two of you, then you head for the airport – but you're determined to come back soon.

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