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Flat Dress Shoes for Women

Top Picks for 2012

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It's not always easy to find women's flat shoes that are dressy enough for evenings, but this season, flat lovers are in luck, because one of the hottest shoe trends for fall and winter 2012 is women's dress flats -- and there is an array of styles to choose from.

In fact, this year, you have your in classic ballerina flats, chic pointy-toed flats, and the trendy and chic smoking flats that are inspired by retro men's smoking slippers. And, there's even more in the dress shoes category to choose from, thanks to the season's trends towards luxurious materials like suede, velvet and satin, and the increasingly-popular use of rhinestones, bows and crystals on flat shoes for women.

The following list includes a wide variety of women's dress flats, ranging from simpler, more casual styles that would be ideal for dressing up jeans or leggings, to bona fide evening flats that could be worn with dresses, gowns or dressier suits.

Steve Madden 'Vegass' - Chic, Pointy-Toed Dress Flats

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Image: Zappos.com
If I could recommend having one pair of flats in your wardrobe, I'd suggest a pair of pointy-toed flats in black (or red) velvet, suede or satin; they're absolutely idea for dressing up casual outfits, and they're so similar to high-heeled pumps that they usually also work with dresses, skirts and dress pants.

I'm absolutely crazy about these chic, simple, and all-around fantastic flats from Steve Madden. In addition to their less-than-80-dollar price tag; these shoes look luxurious, thanks to their rich, suede uppers; and the color choices - black, blue, glitter, leopard, or red -- can't be beat.

Sperry Top-Sider 'Emma' - Cute Dress Flats with Rhinestones

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Image: ShoeBuy.com
As the makers of famous boat shoes, I'm a bit surprised to be adding a style from Sperry Top-Sider to this list of dressy flats, but never the less, here they are.

Granted, the 'Emma' isn't the dressiest style on this list, but the soft suede uppers and tiny, shimmering rhinestones make these shoes the perfect choice for dressing up otherwise-casual outfits, and they come in three great colors that are easy to pair up: black, gray, and berry. They're also pretty reasonably-priced at just under $110 per pair.

Kate Spade New York 'Nadira' - Women's Flats for Special Occasions

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Image: Zappos.com
These luxurious flats from Kate Spade New York are the kind of dress flats you can only dream of finding, and often can't.

Available in pewter or gold metallic leather, these stunning dress shoes feature 3/4" heels, flat vamp bows, and rhinestone-encrusted embellishments that are so shimmery, they could nearly double as Christmas tree ornaments -- but of course, that's not nearly as fun as having them on a pair of shoes..

Steven by Steve Madden 'Valantne' - Smoking Flats for 2012

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Image: SteveMadden.com
These flats are a bit different from many of the other styles on the list, as they're of the loafer variety, and they play perfectly into 2012's trend of smoking-inspired flats for women.

Available in black, blue, dalmation, or leopard, these shoes are simple and classic enough in design that, even long after the trend has passed, you could chicly pair them with jeans, leggings, or dress pants.

Vera Wang Lavender 'Lara' - Classic Ballerina Flats

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Image: Piperlime.com
Here's a gorgeous pair of flats that are on the dressy side of casual. In other words, they'd look chic and stylish with jeans or leggings, but they're not a great match for anything really "dressy."

If that's the kind of flats you're looking for, then you'd be hard-pressed to find a more versatile and attractive pair than these suede ballet flats from Vera Wang's Lavender label.

Available in loads of great colors, these shoes have barely-there heels, and a design that transcends trends.

Salvatore Ferragamo 'Varina' - Classic Flats for Women

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Image: Zappos.com
The 'Varina' from Salvatore Ferragamo is a footwear icon, from a iconic footwear designer. At about $425 per pair, they're pricey -- but still not as expensive as a lot of designer shoes, and their legendary status in the world of shoes has earned them legions of fans, despite their price tag.

The 'Varina' comes in a wide and ever-changing variety of materials and colors, so what you'll want to pair them with depends largely on which style you choose. And, while I personally adore this bordeaux suede version, I urge you to look around before making your final selection. As I said, there are loads of different finishes to choose from, and with a big purchase like this, you want to be certain you made the right decision.

Sole Society 'Sadie' - Budget-Friendly Dress Flats

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Image: Nordstrom.com
With satin uppers in pink or black, and a liberal sprinkling of rhinestones, these pretty flats aren't just ideal for special occasions, they're also a real bargain at less than $50 per pair. And their softly-pointed toes make them look just like elegant pumps from above.

Miu Miu 'Moccasin' - Designer Dress Shoes

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Image: Nordstrom.com
Taking the title of "the most expensive flats on this list," these $650 designer shoes are also among the dressiest, and certainly the most unique.

Offered in blue or black suede, these Miu Miu loafers feature elaborate vamp bows, and metallic, crystal-embellished heels. In addition to turning heads just for their originality, these dress flats would be the perfect way to take a pair of dressy pants or a suit to a whole new level of evening wear.

Vince Camuto 'Timba' - Versatile Flat Dress Shoes

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Image: ShoeBuy.com
These simple flats are feature a timeless design and come in easy-to-wear colors like black or gold.

Perfect for adding a polished look to jeans, or for a chic alternative to high heels with dress pants, these versatile flats ring up at just under $100 per pair.

Boutique 9 'Aldenia3' - Flat Glitter Shoes

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Image: Piperlime.com
There are two ways to wear flats that are this glittery. The first is to wear them with something totally casual and understated, like your favorite jeans, or a pair of simple, black leggings. The other way to wear flats this elaborate is with a very simple, basic dress outfit, like a black suit or simple black skirt. Anything too overdone is -- at a minimum -- going to compete with the shoes, and even worse, could actually create a nasty conflict. And let's face it, nobody wants their pretty new shoes involved in any kind of combat... so, it's best to not take any chances.

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