Immediately after I sent out the last style tip, I got a reply from a reader who said,
“You often feature high-heel shoes. Some of us cannot wear them. How can we make flats (which are all the rage now) dress up our image?”
While I often try to feature both heels and flats in the fashion collages I create for you, I didn’t do so in my last 2 posts about choosing dresses for weddings.
Picking the right shoe for an outfit can be tricky! So today I’m going to give you my best tips on how you can look great for special occasions even if you can’t wear heels.
Here’s what to consider:
- It is MUCH easier to pair a flat shoe with a dressy flared skirt or dress! The range of shoes to choose from is much broader than with a straight dress.
- The biggest thing to remember when looking for a flat shoe to go with your dress is that it needs to match the formality of the dress…or in some circumstances it can be slightly dressier than the dress and you’ll still end up with a great look.
- The shoe should have a low vamp. In other words, you want the shoe to start closer to your toes than to your ankle. A shoe with a high vamp will not only cut off your legs, but they can look clunky and more casual.
- Choose a shoe with a slender silhouette. A chunky shoe isn’t going to look right in most cases.
- My personal preference for a dressy flat is a pointy toe; however, you may be able to get away with an almond shaped toe with a flared skirt.
- While this tip may not be popular, I think it is extremely hard to pair a flat shoe with a formal straight skirt/dress. It tends to look frumpy. It isn’t impossible, but even if you can wear a kitten heel or small wedge, it will elevate the look of the dress.
When all else fails, consider a floor length gown when you need to wear flats and want a straight, formal dress.
Recently one of my clients was going to a formal wedding out of state. She was concerned about her feet and legs swelling on her flight, (and she also wanted to be able to dance the night away!) So we chose a floor length formal dress and kept the length quite long. Then we paired it with sparkly ballet flats. The shoes barely showed, but when they did, it was a pretty, sparkly surprise!
I know I’ve given several absolutes, but the fact is that your body type and height will also play into the combination of shoe and dress that’s best for you. Your personal style also heavily plays into your choices.
Many, many years ago I made a statement on my newsletter to the effect that “if you can’t wear heels with skirt suits, stick to pants.” I got a reply from a reader mentioning that she wears all kinds of dresses/skirts with flats.
Her comment to me started a great dialogue, and we became good friends. So I’ve seen her in her skirts and dresses with flats. She rocks flats, and they totally compliment her personal style.
But as I mentioned earlier, it can be tricky. I urge you to spend a lot of time searching for the perfect shoes if you can’t wear heels any longer. I promise your pay off will be grand!
Can’t stand the thought of shopping for a special occasion dress and the “perfect shoe”? I can help. Let’s talk soon!