Shoe Tip: Picking Your Best Formal Shoe

17 06 2014

My handy photo guide lol

Later this week I have the pleasure of attending a gala with one of my besties, and while I was shopping in my closet for the best formal/evening shoes to wear, it dawned on me — it’s summer! Which means it’s also officially wedding season! And officially just the right time to give some tips for picking the best formal/evening shoes for whatever events you all may have to attend soon.

NOTE: I mentioned weddings here, but a) clearly I’m going to a gala, so these work for all formal occasions, and b) if you are attending a wedding at 2pm, formal shoes may not be your best bet. Always, always, always start off your choices by looking at what attire is requested.

Which brings me to my first point…

1) Formal attire has been requested, so yes that includes your shoes — Whether you’re shopping in your closet like me, perusing online catalogs, or traipsing through the mall, the minute you know you need to wear formal attire, certain styles are instantly disqualified (yes, even if you love them!).

These include, but are not limited to:

– chunky heeled shoes

– gladiator heels that extend to your knee

– (most) exposed platform heels

– really wacky and wild colors

2) Make sure your shoes don’t look cheap — This should be an all the time tip, but it’s especially important when wearing formal attire. The last thing you want to do is have on a gown that looks like it cost $500 with shoes that look like they cost $5. They can actually cost $5, but they shouldn’t look like it.

This means no pleather, most likely. And probably not a lot of patent leather looks will work either (although there are exceptions). I wore cobalt blue patent leather and suede stilettos to a wedding a couple weeks ago, but again, that was an exception.

3) Look for something with a sleek, classic style — You know, I’m a fan of a pointed toe or slightly rounded toe classic pump without a platform, but that’s not the only style that fits here. As you saw above, I didn’t even include it as one of my “yes” looks. You could also go for a nice sandal heel, a pump with satin or classic embellishments like flowers or sequins, a slingback, or even in rare cases — a bootie (if it’s dressy)!

4) But whatever you choose, make sure you can walk in them with your dress — True story: While picking my shoes, I was stuck between two pairs of shoes that I really wanted to wear — a pair of black, pointed toe, suede stilettos without a platform and a pair of black suede sandal heels with a bow that ties across my toes. I was leaning towards the sandals, until I tried them on with my dress.

Now, a word about my dress: it purposely sweeps the floor, but it also has a lot of tulle at the bottom. When I attempted to walk with the bow sandals in the dress, I quickly found out a fatal flaw with my plan — by almost falling flat on my face! The bows kept getting caught in the fabric. So while the shoes are beautiful, I will not be wearing them with this dress. That’s not something I would have known prior to simply putting them on with the gown.

But this tip also applies to comfort. Chances are you may have to change into flats by the end of the night, but your chosen shoes shouldn’t be so uncomfortable that you need to change them within an hour. They serve no purpose, even as fierce as they are, lying under the table and not on your feet. Trust me on this.

5) Forget what’s trendy and go with what looks best on YOU — Part of why I love a pump is because I know that style elongates the look of my legs. When you’re 5’1, you learn these things. You also learn that ankle straps don’t work as well. But that’s me — you have to try on shoes to see what looks best on you.

Those are all the tips I have for today, but I know some of y’all probably have more. Share them in the comments!! And let me know if you’re attending a formal event this summer. I’d love to known what you all end up wearing.

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