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Picking the perfect party shoes

So, you’ve got the fab dress (or skirt/ trousers and top), now to find the perfect shoes!  This is often the hardest part of putting a party outfit together.  Shoes are a feature of your party wear and can make or break your look.

There are three basic requirements for your party shoes:  they need to give you height, look amazing with what you are wearing and they need to be comfortable – yes, that Holy Grail of shoes!  It should be an easy task with only these three criteria to fulfil, but it rarely is.

When we are dressing our body, the aim is to create a balanced look, i.e. we want to look like we have the perfect body shape.  When it comes to picking the right shoes, you need to focus more carefully on your lower body.  Think about the length of your legs, especially from the knee down, and the shape of your calves and ankles.

We have put together some tips to help you choose the right party shoe styles for you.

Height and Comfort

There is no doubt that a higher heel adds length to your legs but can you really wear them all night?  If you are going to an event by car or cab and are likely to be seated for part of the evening then you can sacrifice comfort a bit.  If you know you will be doing some walking and standing then you need a certain degree of comfort – how much will depend on your comfort threshold.   Shoes with a heel and platform at the front half are usually a good choice to balance height with comfort.  If you are going to sacrifice comfort entirely, don’t pay too much, you are not likely to get much wear out of those skyscrapers.

Mid heels might make you feel as though you’re not making the effort, but there are plenty pretty styles to choose from which won’t compromise your party look.  Kitten heels are perhaps even better than mid heels as they are not trying to be high, they are stylish and glamorous in their own right.

Flats have been a big story this year and there are many decorative styles to choose from, so don’t rule them out.    With the right outfit they can look very elegant and classy.

Styles and Stockings

Those with a shorter length leg from the knee to ankle need to beware of straps and wearing anything too high up the foot.  Low fronted shoes give the illusion of longer legs and narrower ankles, as do open-toed shoes.  Closed shoes shorten the length of the feet and legs.

Low-cut T-straps work for most people but ankle straps will only look good on those with long legs and slim ankles

Stockings or tights add another dimension to the mix.  Flesh-toned tights often work best, but if you are going for sheer black you ideally want black shoes or a black dress, especially if you have shorter legs.  Mixing a different colour dress, tights and shoes will appear to chop up your look making you and your legs appear shorter.   If you are taller with long legs you can afford to mix a  couple of colours. It all depends on the look you want to achieve.


There isn’t as much choice if you want a colour shoe, and if it’s versatility you need then black, silver, gold and/or sparkly are the best options. Colour shoes can look wonderful as a statement or to match an outfit, but as with tights, you don’t want to clutter your legs with various colours if you are trying to elongate them.   Ideally, you want to match your shoe colour to your dress colour.  Alternatively, your shoes might be the colour in your otherwise neutral outfit.

Have a glamorous and feet-friendly Christmas!

Fiona Wellins

Colour Me Beautiful