Coffee Break: Air Bacara Ballet Flat

Maria Sharapova Collection by Cole Haan Women's Air Bacara Ballet FlatFall weather is wonderful, but it can make for confusing footwear choices. Is it cold enough for boots? Are flip-flops or sandals totally out for a commute? Endless has some great sales on flats right now — many are an additional 25% off! — including these ballet flats by Cole Haan. We like the wide variety of colors (some marked as low as $77.87, others still at $165). We like this “black python” color for fall — we think it would look great at the office, but would also be a comfortable commuting shoe. This color is $165 at (price drops to $123 once it’s in your cart). Maria Sharapova Collection by Cole Haan Women’s Air Bacara Ballet Flat


  1. Can I just say that among my group of friends, I’m the one who rants about premature boot weather and determines when it’s finally time, so your post made me laugh a bit! (For the record, it’s time when it’s not silly to be outside in the middle of the day/highest temperatures and feel silly – 69 degrees and lower is cool). Flip flop weather it is not, so these shoes are cute and look super-comfy.

    • Anonymous K :

      See, I would feel silly with boots (other than rain boots) in 69 degree weather, which just goes to show that it’s such an individual thing!

      • I am the opposite – I wear boots the first day it’s even remotely fall-like! I love boots.

        • Thank you! I am wearing boots today and when I saw the OP’s post, I checked the weather and saw that it is about 72. It was cold this morning though!

          Kat – I am getting the “you are posting to fast” error message even though this is my first post today.

    • Ha! I put on my boots earlier this week and then decided it wasn’t time yet.

    • I hate it when girls wear boots like Uggs with a skirt. It doesn’t make any sense!

      • This is too funny!! I love boot weather too but can be weird about premature boot wearing– for some reason I think its ok to start wearing boots when the leaves are changing.

      • i'm nobody :

        i’ll take it one step further: Uggs don’t make any sense, unless you just finished surfing Mavericks or Bondi Beach.

  2. Early thread-jack…. sorry…

    My undergrad was at a liberal arts college, and I got my BA in history. Fast forward a few years later, I decide I want to be an accountant. For background, I took absolutely no business or accounting related classes AT ALL in undergrad.

    As of now, after working full time and going to school full time, I’ve almost completed 9 of the 16 classes required by my state to take the CPA exam, and I’m on track to be finished with all the classes in December of 2011. Getting a second bachelor’s in accounting would be extremely difficult and time consuming given my current circumstances. What I’m wondering /neurotically panicking about is this: will accounting firms cross me off the potential hiring list if I don’t have an accounting degree, even though I’ll have taken the “fifth year” classes? What can I do to make myself look better to them? Should I abandon all hope of ever working for a big 4 (which, yes, I know, might not be such a problem after all)? An internship is out of the question for right now because my husband is a full time student and I’m supporting us both on my tiny restaurant manager salary. When he’s done with his second degree in May, I can try to get a different job. Thoughts? Recommendations? Words of cheer?

    • Look into graduate certificates. Many of them are in business-oriented subjects like accounting, marketing, etc. They often require only 4-6 classes. A lot of online schools offer them– I’m currently doing a certificate in International Trade through University of Maryland University College (U of M’s online continuing-education school). Having a certificate in accounting on your resume would show potential employers that you’ve put in the work.

      Alternatively, you could list the coursework you’ve done under the Education section of your resume.

    • My undergrad was in econ and I went into accounting – rather than taking undergrad accounting courses I would recommend getting a master’s in accountancy.

      I regularly get calls from recruiters who tell me that having the master’s in accountancy and being certified make me extremely qualified. (Yes, I know a business/econ undergrad does help).

      Do you have any experience in accounting? Have you worked as a bookkeeper, or moonlighted as a tax preparer? Most of the Big 4 are loathe to invest in someone who is going to decide she hates accounting once she tries it out

      • I second this recommendation. My brother did a 1 year MAcc at USC and is now working for a Big 4, as are many (most?; i’m not sure) of his classmates.

      • I agree with getting a master’s, getting your CPA will definately help but you will be at a disadvantage competing with people who have an accounting degree, unless you can develop a strong network and use a personal connection to get you foot in the door. Also keep in mind the Big 4 are very focused on grades, and have GPA minimums.

    • I was an Asian Studies major. One of the Big Four firms hired me straight out of college and sent me to get my Masters of Accountancy in exchange for a three year commitment. Based on my experience, you won’t be crossed off the list, especially if you earn your masters and/or pass the CPA as soon as you have completed the state education requirements. However, you might feel a little out of place among the accounting majors when you first start working, but that can be overcome 1) with time and 2) an extra strong work ethic.

    • Would getting a second bachelor’s be truly prohibitive though? I’ve been toying with getting a second bachelors or a masters. The schools I’ve been talking to all say that for a 2nd bachelors I’d just need to complete the major requirements (i.e. just the classes for the major, usually 30 credits (i.e. 10 classes) and not the general ed classes).

      • Thanks for all the suggestions!

        The main problem with getting other degrees (at this point) is that we live in a rural area about an hour from the closest university. I’ve been taking my classes online so far, but many of the classes I’d need for the major are not offered online. Also, since I didn’t take ANY related undergrad courses, not only would I need the upper level business and accounting classes required for a major, but I’d need all their prerequisites too…. not a big deal with the accounting classes, since I’m taking them all anyway, but about 10 extra business classes. My school has the major set up so that you major in general business with a concentration in accounting, so it’s not a direct accounting major.

        I think it’ll all work out, I’m just so impatient to get out of here that I keep ruminating on every possible vision of the future I can come up with.

        My current plan is to start temping in accounting once my husband gets a job and we can afford for me to quit mine. Hopefully my temp experience, paired with my continued undergraduate credits will get me somewhere. I’m just so exhausted and ready to be done with school… tough life, eh?

        • When possible you’d probably be better off with an intenship than temp accounting as most state’s require a minimum of 1 year in public accounting to be liscenced. And theres the possibility of a full time position after the internship.

        • Is your school at least a state university? The Big 4 are picky about where your degree came from. When I was with PWC, there were some schools we did not recruit or consider graduates from.

        • Consider a masters in accounting– that is what I did. I have my undergrad in finance, and completed a masters in accounting. I had classmates who had done their bachelors in non business fields. If you had your hopes set on working for the Big 4, make sure they recruit from your school. Also, keep in mind, that you will need public accounting experience (does not have to be at the Big 4) in order to become a CPA. The amount of time required varies by state. In NY if you have 150 credits– you need 2 years work experience, if you have a masters you only need 1 year of work experience.

  3. Haven’t you featured these shoes before. I am wearing these flats in India crinkle right now, and can’t imagine I ran into them on my own.

  4. I think I’ve recommended these shoes here a couple of times – they’re great for travel because they’re so comfy (without necessarily looking like it). I’ve had the black patent ones awhile and recently bought a blue velvet pair from the Cole Haan website when they had an across-the-board sale.

    The last time I was actually in a CH store, 3 of the 4 women working there were wearing them (in different colors) – they told me the style is far and away their best seller.

  5. Unfortunately, I just hate boots. So living in NY as long as I did was challenging, come winter. Mostly I wore my snow boots in the snow because at least they were comfortable enough, but Fall weather was still too warm. I just sucked it up and work flats as long as there wasn’t snow or rain on the ground.

  6. surrounded by lawyers :

    Just felt like sharing: tonight when the maintenance staff empties my office trash bin, they are going to find the raincoat I wore to work this morning.

    Yep, it was so done that I can’t even donate it. Hadn’t worn it in a while. But I kind of had to go Stacy London on myself!

    • The other day, I put on a pair of pants that has been growing just a little “too tight” for me recently, but I wanted to squeeze in and wear them to work. Well, they were so uncomfortable by 2:00, that I went out and bought a new pair of pants and threw the old ones away.

  7. I bought those exact flats! The black python color is great. Really loved how they looked and felt, except that the elastic band that goes around the top really killed the back of my ankle. Had to take them back (and Cole Haan was great about the return). I also have trouble in the same spot with the Tory Burch Reva flats though, so it could just be that I have a weird ankle or something. Out-of-control Achilles tendon?

    • I have a hard time with flats with elastic, they either pinch too tight or constantly slip off the back of my heel. I haven’t found any that work and get upset with myself for continuing to be tempted by them.

      • They are tempting. I had to just talk myself out of trying these again bc I did like them so much otherwise – other than the searing pain at the back of my ankle, that is …

    • you and me both!

  8. I LOVE Cole Haan flats – I have the Maria Sherapova pair pictured above in black, and also a light pink python pair (they’re a very neutral color, perfect for weekends but maybe not so much for work). I actually have the opposite problem from JCB – I have to have the elastic band, or else the shoe completely rips into the back of my heel. So I really can’t recommend those shoes enough.

    Also, for those of you who get blisters from the rub of a flat shoe, Band-Aid’s Blister Block is amazing (it looks like a mini blue stick of deodorant). I keep it in my purse and pull it out whenever I feel my feet start to rub against my flats.

    • Ditto the recommendation on Band-Aid’s Blister Block. This stuff really works. And it’s sooooo much more attractive than my former solution of first aid tape!

  9. Am I the only one that returned these shoes? I got them and wanted to love them- but they dug into my heel so bad. The pain wasn’t worth it.

    • No, see above – same thing happened to me

    • Anonymous :

      They bothered me A LOT for the first week I wore them (blood and all)…then they were really comfortable after that!

  10. I saw the doctor a couple of days ago for a foot issue and she recommended that I wear very supportive shoes for the next month or so. I’ve since been unable to find supportive flats for work that don’t make me look like I’m 80.

    I know there’s been discussion about stylish shoes for people with foot issues like this. How do these shoes stack up in the support department. Any other recommendations? (I don’t want to spend a lot since I hope to return to my regular shoe wardrobe in the relatively near future.)

    • danskos. they are not the most attractive shoes in the world, but under a pair of pants, they’re really good. if it was me, i would either spend the next month in pants with shoes like danksos or buy a pair of really nice supportive boots and wear those with dresses/skirts or pants.

    • The cole haan Air Brias have been great for me this summer. I have only worn them with pants and not sure about how they would look with skirts.

    • Softt may have some cute options and I also like Nurture from Dillard’s.

    • I have very serious back problems and I wear Danskos if I’m going to be on my feet at all. Very supportive and a wide foodbed. I recommend you check out for recommendations on shoes; I think they even have links to different comfort shoe sites where you can search for shoes based on your particular foot problems.

      • Big Firm Lawyer :

        I like Dankos too. Clarks has some really comfy shoes that might work if you have small feet and longish pants. I honestly don’t care how fugly they are anymore, they’re so ridiculously comfortable I still wear them.

        • Ballerina girl :

          Yeah Clarks and Danskos are the way to go. I managed to find cute, patent leather Clarks flats — they don’t even look like Clarks! They’re super comfortable and supportive.

    • I can’t bring myself to buy/wear Danskos. There are just not my thing. To complicate things, I just lost some weight so while I can still wear my skirts, I don’t have pants for work that fit.

      My temporary fix is to put orthodics (sp?) in my regular flats. Then I switch to my tennis shoes as soon as I get home. It’s not ideal, but I can’t bring myself (yet) to wear shoes that I’m afraid will call attention to my already gigantic feet. Maybe I’ll change my toon in my foot thing doesn’t improve in a few weeks.

      • Trust me, you need to take care of your feet. I had to have foot surgery because of bunions I got from wearing dumb shoes for too long. Ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure!

      • i'm nobody :

        Danskos aren’t for everyone. the footbed doesn’t actually have that much support if you have high arches, and the shape and height of the sole is murder if you have ankle instability.

        genetics, years of abuse, and pointe shoes have given me the gift of messed-up feet, too. i’ve had bunion surgery in one foot and should be wearing orthotics all the time, but as you’ve said, it’s *very* hard to find work-appropriate shoes that are either supportive or leave room for orthotics.

        a few brands that work for accommodating my orthotics are Born and Seychelles flats. oxford lace-ups can also be great but it’s hard to find the perfect pair; i also recommend oxford heels & spectator pumps. i can fit half-shoe orthotics into some 2″-3″ heel pumps .

        • They’ve actually done a redesign to address the ankle instability issue. If you bought your Danskos more than a year or so ago, they are the old design. I just got a new pair over the summer and they are way more stable than my old pair.

  11. Threadjack – waited for a shoe posting.

    What is the difference between band-aid brand “blister block” and “friction ease” ? For new shoes and a trip with lots of walking and mild hiking, I just got the “blister block” ordered via amazon. All the stores and pharmacies here (TX) carry only the “friction ease.”

    Do I need both? Paid extra for fast shipping on the “blister block.”


    • ooh – will it work with me wearing socks or hosiery? I can’t imagine hiking without socks.

    • I’m not sure about the blister block or friction ease, but a classmate introduced my to Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister for Fingers and Toes when I wore my 4 inch heels to school; stupid move of course. AMAZING! You can wear them after you get the blister or to avoid getting one if you have a pair of shoes you love, but are killers. You can buy them anywhere and I would seriously suggest buying them. They were a lifesaver for me and now I’m hooked.

      • Oh, I just discovered those – they are AMAZING! I’m hooked too! I went out and bought them in every variation they come in!

      • I LOVE that stuff. It did come off during the summer when I went swimming (I’m cheap and hate spending so much money per band-aid so I tried to keep it on against all odds), but stayed on for about two days otherwise (showering and all).

  12. Parisienne :

    I was wearing (low) boots a few days ago – the weather was a bit cooler and it happened to be raining, although that doesn’t make any difference. Boots seemed fine – with tights and a skirt.

    Love those Cole Haan ballet flats. I cold crave them in every color.

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