The holidays are upon us, and that means more occasions than ever that will require dressing up to the nines—office parties, family dinners, get-togethers with old friends and occasions to meet new ones. At the same time, you have to account for possible terrible winter weather, days when you’ll be on your feet all day at a number of different gatherings, and times when you’ll be running straight from work to cocktail hour. Since your trusty old sneakers will clearly not make the cut, you need party perfect shoes that will keep you comfortable but also chic. No worries—there are plenty of shoes out there to perfectly complete your outfit, no matter the situation. Here are the best women’s shoes if you are…
Attending an office party. Here’s a tricky situation; you want to look a little more dressy than usual, but with work colleagues (and, eep, bosses!) present, you still need to look professional. Instead of something super-sexy, try a sturdy colored pump like these burgundy heels. The burgundy shade is trendier than basic black or nude and the colorblock design is a subtle way to stay fashionable without getting too wild. And post-holidays, you can work them into your regular office wardrobe rotation with pencil skirts or trousers.
Planning to be on your feet all day. Maybe you don’t want to wear your highest heels, but you’re not ready to cave in to embellished flats quite yet. Why not try a pair of super-strappy low-heeled sandals with a little embellishment? They’re sexy without being wildly uncomfortable, and they manage to go with everything in your closet without being too plain. Plus, this type of shoe is almost perpetually in style, so you can wear them again next year without looking dated.
Dancing, trudging through snow, or otherwise worried about stability. Stilettos are sexy, but let’s face it, if you’re not terribly accustomed to high heels they can be more hazardous than come-hither. The solution: a cute and sturdy wedge bootie, which pairs great with a flirty skirt and sweater but will keep you solidly on your feet even while you’re getting your groove on. Go for black for a biker edge or nude/light brown if you want a more leg-lengthening effect. The best part: once the holidays are over, these will look super-cute with skinny jeans and a parka for the rest of the winter.
Worried about getting cold feet—literally. Hey, we get it: winter weather is not the kindest to exposed toes. Instead of a strappy high heel, try a festive shootie (like this gold pair). They’ll keep your toes warmer without looking dowdy. Bonus: the low cut of the shoe is super-flattering for your legs than a traditional ankle boot, so you can wear these with a skirt without looking squat even if you’re on the petite side.
Attending more parties than you can count. You want shoes neutral enough to go with a variety of outfits, from colorful to neutral, office-appropriate to cocktail-ready; yet at the same time, you don’t want the same basic black pumps or nude heels you wear all year round. There are actually a few options that can get you through a full party season while still being interesting enough to stand out from the pack. First, you can go with a strappy metallic sandal in gold or silver. Second, consider a grey pump instead of nude—it has the same leg-lengthening neutral effect as nude but is less expected (try this embellished pair for extra pop). Finally, try a basic black pair with chain embellishments—it’s a hot trend this season and a way to add a little extra edge to any outfit.