Dressy Evening Shoes

Crystal Schwanke
Jimmy Choos

Stylish Evening Shoes

Dressy evening shoes can be bold or barely there. They can have high heels or none at all. Styles range from looks with straps, buckles, and other details to designs that are simple and sleek. One aspect that tends to unite a successful pair of dressy shoes is their ability to tie together an outfit and lend a touch of beauty, class, or even whimsy. These Jimmy Choos, for example, offer a balance between a delicate gold chain and the functionality of a pair of black pumps.

Donna Karan

Versatile and Interesting

You can't go wrong with a pair of basic black dressy shoes. To keep the shoes interesting, choose a pair with cutouts, zippers, buckles, or straps. The style, like these Donna Karans, will make a statement while the color stays versatile enough to be paired with just about anything.

neutral dress shoes

Neutral Choices

Once you've chosen a good pair of black shoes for your evening wardrobe, it's time to turn to another neutral color. These shoes, also by Donna Karan, are similar in style to the last one shown but nearly opposite in color. However, it's almost as versatile as black and quite often a better choice during warmer months when you want a pair of evening shoes in a lighter shade.

playful shoes

Room to Play

Once you've filled the slots of black and neutral shoes, you can afford to have a bit more fun by choosing shoes you might not normally even think of as dressy footwear at all. Take this bold shoe style, for example. Pair a footwear design that features a playful print and a dash of bright color with a flared-skirt dress and you've got a great going-out look.

Dior shoes

Spice Up Your Outfit

Somewhere between the two extremes of conservative and playful falls this type of shoe. This Christian Dior design has sleek lines and flirty patterns. If you're looking for a shoe choice that adds a little pizazz to an evening dress, try something like this that includes a unique design as well as sophisticated style.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Elongate the Body

By choosing shoes that come close to matching your skin tone or your ankle-skimming dress, you elongate the body, as demonstrated here by a pair shown during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. This works best when your shoe style is slim, not chunky, and even better when there is at least a small heel.

strappy shoes with a twist

Bold, Yet Simple

If you're not concerned with making your high heeled shoes look like part of your very long legs, you can play with design a bit more. A bold twist, like the dramatic lace and crystal details shown here, on a "plain Jane" style makes a traditional style look more modern.

Gorgeous Roberto Cavalli metallic shoes

Metallics Never Go Out of Style

Metallic shoes are easy to wear during any season. They're not fall and winter's black, nor are they spring and summer's pale neutrals. They slide effortlessly from one season to the next, mixing well with almost any style or color of dress. Consider a metallic look, like this Roberto Cavalli design, for your go-to evening shoes.

socks with sandals

Breaking Fashion Rules

Depending on how casual you can get away with at your "dressy" evening function, you could pair dark trouser socks with dressy high-heeled sandals to get warmth and more wear out of your summer shoe wardrobe at one time. Because wearing socks with sandals is usually a huge fashion no-no, this isn't easily pulled off. However, it can be done and it can give a boots-like vibe. Just keep what kind of event you'll be attending in mind.

soft velvet boots

Dressy Boots

If it's very cold and you don't think your toes can take the chill or that the crowd can handle the socks-with-sandals approach, you can look into a pair of elegant boots. Steer clear of leather with buckles and zippers and instead look for styles in softer materials, like velvet with laces.

bold Manolo Blahniks

Bold Colors for Evening

Need an icebreaker? Let your shoes do the talking when you choose a bright shade, like vivid green, as seen here on a pair of Manolo Blahniks. When you choose a stunning color, you don't necessarily have to choose a fancy design. A simple style with heels will garner enough stares on their own, whether they're worn with a little black dress or an equally vibrant sundress.

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Dressy Evening Shoes