Dinner at the boss’s, a night on the town with the girls or a holiday dinner with your family — wherever you’re headed, your party look isn’t complete without a killer pair of heels. Though men might imagine the phrase “high heels” signifies a single type of shoe, women know that there are as many varieties of heels as there are party dresses. The right pair gives you the confidence to strut into any room.
Go Classic: Pumps and Stilettos
Your great-grandmother wore pumps in her day, and your grandmother probably rocked them, too. Now it’s your turn. Pumps are basic, but that doesn’t mean boring. Wear these classic shoes to an elegant affair like an upscale dinner party or pair them with a wild, patterned dress — a pair in a solid color lets your dress be the star. Stilettos are the slightly more daring cousin of the classic pump, ideal for big nights out like New Year’s Eve or when you need a few extra inches of height to see eye-to-eye with your handsome date. Opt for pumps with round toes, suggests Lisa Kovalovich on the “Ladies Home Journal” website, because they give your toes the space they need.
Show Skin: Slingbacks and Peep-Toes
Your summer party dresses show off some skin, so your coordinating heels should, too. Pair peep-toe heels with a feminine lace party dress or choose a pair in a wild pattern like leopard when you feel daring. Bonus: Just like your purse and earrings, your pedicure acts as a pop of color in peep-toes. Wear peep-toes in cold weather too, paired with colored tights; nude pantyhose look too fussy with these shoes. Slingback heels were once firmly considered mother-of-the-bride shoes, but new styles have beading, texture and shine that make them a perfect complement to the little black dress.
Pick Wedges for Dancing
When a classic Madonna tune is playing, you can’t be expected to sit still. Wedges are the perfect dancing shoe, since your weight is evenly distributed rather than being concentrated on a narrow heel. The wedge is your go-to heel for balmy summer nights out on the town. Pair cork wedges with a bright, retro cocktail dress or pick a pair with woven, espadrille heels. Match these romantic, beachy heels with a flowing maxi-dress or a breezy cotton sundress. Wedges are also the perfect go-to shoes for summer weddings.
Give Every Heel a Chance
Every pair of high heels deserves its moment to shine. Stock your closet with styles appropriate for all seasons and occasions. Pick T-strap heels when you want a ladylike look or want to channel an era gone by; these shoes are perfect for a fringed, flapper-style dress of the 1920s era or a fiercely tailored cocktail dress reminiscent of the ’40s. High-heeled sandals take a casual summer dress from day to evening, but they’re also the right choice when you’re wearing a dress with full coverage and still want to show some skin. Heeled booties in suede or leather are a luxe way to accessorize in autumn and winter; pair them with a fully sequined dress for a look that’s chic and edgy at the same time.