Business in the front; party on the feet! This seems to be the newest ethos for many of today's style stars, who have taken mesh flats—the hotly-debated, transparent take on the classic ballet shoe—to the streets. Jennifer Lawrence emerged as the trend's latest endorser, stepping out in The Row's sheer sock flats this week. However, that wasn't the only controversial trend she co-signed: alongside her divisive pair of mesh flats, Lawrence endorsed the business casual style comeback in an outfit that would be above board at any 9-to-5.
Lawrence is a noted fan of the era's understated, corporate-approved aesthetic (this past fall, she wore the modern working girl's uniform of a white button-down and black trousers while in New York City), so it's unsurprising to see the 'Hunger Games' star spotlight it yet again. This time around, however, she wore beige trousers overlaid with thin black stripes, a white tank top, and a buttoned black cardigan. A thin gold pendant necklace and large, brown-tinted aviator sunglasses completed the look and offered a subtle nod to the '70s while remaining equally versatile and contemporary.
And then, of course, there were her sheer shoes. Her pair was crafted from transparent, nude nylon and featured a sock-like silhouette with flat soles for streamlined wear. In fact, the style was so sheer that you could easily presume that Lawrence wasn't wearing any shoes at all, which is the exact tongue-in-cheek look that's made the style so popular—and so controversial.
"What we're seeing in fashion right now is, instead of this whole ethos of reinventing the wheel, there's a lot of simply updating the wheel," trend forecaster Kendall Becker tells Marie Claire. "There's a lot of ticket staple items—whether that's flats, denim, a white button-down—and adding new details, updated fabrications and simply making the piece more interesting, but ultimately very wearable."
Case in point: Lawrence's mix of everyday, office-friendly pieces with her see-through shoes, a pairing that made her outfit feel both relatable and bold. The combination of core neutral colors—black, beige, and white—created a palette that's easy to replicate with vast mix-and-match potential, while her trendy shoes added an edge compared to the traditional ballet flat.
As for the longevity of feet-baring flats? "Mesh flats, in particular, raise the question of wearability and seasonality; those two factors always dictate the longevity of a trend," Becker says. "It depends on how [mesh flats are] worn; you're not going to wear it out in the snow in New York City, but for someone walking around in L.A., this shoe is still seasonal and easy to wear." Ultimately, Becker sees that the shoe trend has legs. "This idea of the mesh shoe will hang around for a while" because, at its core, the shoe's ease and revamp of a humble silhouette help carry it forward in the future.
We're keeping our eyes peeled for Lawrence's next business casual-coded outfit—and whichever shoes she pairs with it. In the meantime, you can channel your own dynamic look with mesh flats—which we've rounded up for you below.
Shop Jennifer Lawrence's Mesh Flats
The Row Sock Mesh Flats
Tony Bianco Marvel Flat
Senso Dena mesh ballerina shoes
Jeffrey Campbell Danse Mesh Flat