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How to Choose Evening Shoes

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The Difference Between Dress and Evening Shoes
One of the reasons a lot of women aren't happy with their dressiest outfits is because of the shoes they choose. In short, they're trying to pair regular dress shoes with an evening dress -- sometimes this works, but it often falls short.

What Makes them Evening Shoes

It's not the style of the shoe that's wrong. In fact, evening shoes can be had in nearly every style that dress and casual shoes come in, including mules, pumps, sling-backs, sandals, kitten heels, t-straps, ankle straps, and even flats.

Instead it's the materials and details that make a shoe more appropriate for evening wear.

Here are a few things to look for in evening shoes.
 
  • Embellishments: Most heels that feature brooches, rhinestones, crystals, pearls or sequins fall into the "evening shoe" category, while studs, zippers, and heavy hardware are more associated with casual or dress shoes.

  • Luxurious Fabrics: Though some of the most dynamic evening shoes I've ever seen have featured leather uppers, the easiest way to choose footwear that will work for eveningwear is to look for shoes with satin uppers. Velvet and suede are also good choices, provided that the shoes are very dressy, and not necessarily something you'd wear to the office.

And speaking of shoes you'd wear to the office, they're usually not the best look for evening wear. Just as you probably wouldn't wear a pair of crystal-studded sandals to work, those chunky heeled pumps that are ideal with a suit typically aren't dressy enough to pair with that little black dress.

The differences are often subtle. One way to get a good idea of what to look for in an evening shoe is to observe what celebrities are wearing to evening events, but remember, you don't have to spend as much as they do to have a pair of smashing evening shoes.

Next: Evening Shoe Colors

POLL: How often do you wear evening shoes?

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