10 Pairs of Party-Ready Shoes To Elevate Your Basics

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In my mind, there are two kinds of holiday parties: there’s a HOLIDAY PARTY, which requires wearing something fabulous (like this, perhaps), and there’s The Holiday Party I Wear Jeans To.

Frankly, I like them both.

The ‘Jeans + A Cute Top’ formula works for *almost* every holiday event I find myself attending, but sometimes I’m too tired/cold/late for even the cute top part of that equation. Instead, my usual move for that situation is Jeans And…

A Sweater!!!!

Whomp whomp, I know. But it turns out that with the addition of some major earrings, a smokey eye and (this is the key) — some glam, party-ready shoes — I’ve got myself an outfit that is comfortable, festive and even gets a few compliments. This combo hits that nonchalantly cool, effortless vibe so well.

But really: it’s all about the shoes.

It’s Party Season. 10 Pairs Of Fancy Shoes To Elevate Your Outfit

For holiday parties, I love a pair of statement shoes with some sort of visual heft. A deep rich tone, perhaps (emerald is my favorite), or a shoe with extra texture or embellishment (studs, crystals, pearls, etc). Also, plaid. For some reason, year after year, once we hit November, I’m all heart-eyes for plaid heels.

After browsing through many (MANY) pages of statement shoes, I’ve narrowed it down to my top ten. The shoes below are ones I’d happily wear this holiday season, and, true to form, none of them boast 4″ heels (I don’t do that kind of thing).

By adding major earrings, a smokey eye & (this is the key) -- some fancy party shoes -- I've got myself an outfit that's comfortable, festive & even gets a few compliments.

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1. Loeffler Randall Knotted Sandals

By adding major earrings, a smokey eye & (this is the key) -- some fancy party shoes -- I've got myself an outfit that's comfortable, festive & even gets a few compliments.
photo credit: Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue

These are the shoes I have — and love. They somehow don’t feel nearly as high as they are, and the peep toe is so small that I can easily wear them with tights. That said, I most often wear them with jeans. They’re such a statement-making shoe that it makes getting dressed really easy.


2. Sam Edelman Brocade Pumps

By adding major earrings, a smokey eye & (this is the key) -- some fancy party shoes -- I've got myself an outfit that's comfortable, festive & even gets a few compliments.
photo credit: Nordstrom

Nordstrom

Black sweater, jeans, these shoes, done. I love the combination of vintage-y brocade and the sexy lines of this pump. (They’re actually pretty comfy, too.)


3. Kate Spade Dotted Maren Pumps

By adding major earrings, a smokey eye & (this is the key) -- some fancy party shoes -- I've got myself an outfit that's comfortable, festive & even gets a few compliments.
photo credit: Kate Spade

Kate Spade

I’m a longtime fan of Kate Spade shoes — I still have an old pair of Kate Spade glitter pumps in my closet (and ooo…these Mary Janes come in glitter, too). I’d pair these with either flares or a cropped bootcut/flare situation. The pointy toe is perfect for those denim styles.


4. J.Crew Plaid Pumps

By adding major earrings, a smokey eye & (this is the key) -- some fancy party shoes -- I've got myself an outfit that's comfortable, festive & even gets a few compliments.
photo credit: J.Crew

J.Crew

These are on pre-order, shipping at the end of November. Ordering now seems like the only way to ensure they’ll be here for the holidays (and I just ordered them myself). I’m planning to wear these with jeans and an ivory sweater. Scotti or Linzi would add a red lip, but I’ll probably just double-down on the smokey eye situation and add blingy earrings (I’m still wearing this old pair, also from J.Crew).


5. Kate Spade Pearl Flats

By adding major earrings, a smokey eye & (this is the key) -- some fancy party shoes -- I've got myself an outfit that's comfortable, festive & even gets a few compliments.
photo credit: Kate Spade

Kate Spade

Ah, nobody does kicky little flats quite like Kate Spade. I don’t always identify with preppy style…until it comes to Ms. Kate and her particularly delightful brand of insouciance. Dying to wear these with leggings and a cropped black turtleneck (for day), or cropped, straight-leg jeans and silky cami for night.


6. Kate Spade Sheela Slingbacks

By adding major earrings, a smokey eye & (this is the key) -- some fancy party shoes -- I've got myself an outfit that's comfortable, festive & even gets a few compliments.
photo credit: Kate Spade

Kate Spade

If I were to make a category of Shoes That Make Me Smile, these would be at the top of that list. There’s something almost casually haphazard about that bow…which means that they’d pair just as well with serious, dark-wash denim as they would ripped jeans.


7. Boden Velvet Ankle Strap Heels

By adding major earrings, a smokey eye & (this is the key) -- some fancy party shoes -- I've got myself an outfit that's comfortable, festive & even gets a few compliments.
photo credit: Boden

Boden

Oh dear…Boden is another preppy retailer. Evidently, when the holidays roll around, my feet go full prep. I’m embracing it. And these shoes, in particular, have a very walkable heel height and an ankle strap for more security. I like that they’re cut to show a bit more foot. It’s v. sexy, you know.


8. Jeffrey Campbell Bow Heeled Mules

By adding major earrings, a smokey eye & (this is the key) -- some fancy party shoes -- I've got myself an outfit that's comfortable, festive & even gets a few compliments.
photo credit: Anthropologie

Anthropologie

I love how these Jeffrey Campbell shoes manage to be low-heeled, but still look wildly over-the-top. Maximum priss, but in the best possible way. These are the shoes I’d carry to a friend’s house for a dinner party, swapping out my winter boots once I arrived. They’re gorgeous.


9. J.Crew Green Velvet Mary Janes

By adding major earrings, a smokey eye & (this is the key) -- some fancy party shoes -- I've got myself an outfit that's comfortable, festive & even gets a few compliments.
photo credit: J.Crew

J.Crew

I was about to type, “emerald green is having a moment” but frankly, I’ve been typing that shit since 2018, so let’s just call it a classic and move on. I really feel like one cannot have enough emerald green, especially during the holidays. I wish more brands would realize this. When they’re feeling the urge to go, say, pink or — ugh — purple…maybe just…stop. Emerald green instead.


10. Swedish Hasbeens Shearling Clogs

By adding major earrings, a smokey eye & (this is the key) -- some fancy party shoes -- I've got myself an outfit that's comfortable, festive & even gets a few compliments.
photo credit: Anthropologie

Anthropologie

Ahhhhh so cute!! And while I know some of you are rolling your eyes, I know two people in particular (*cough*Linzi&Laura*cough*) who would rock the hell outta these clogs at a holiday party.


Happy holidays!

xo,

S

This one’s for the Pinners…

By adding major earrings, a smokey eye & (this is the key) -- some fancy party shoes -- I've got myself an outfit that's comfortable, festive & even gets a few compliments.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I have learned to *not* build my holiday party outfits around shoes because just about everyone I know has a shoes-off policy, which I get but also is kind of a bummer.

  2. Agree! In my younger days, I used to get annoyed at asking to take my pretty shoes off (+ I’m short, so I need the heel). I can specifically remember one party where I went to great lengths to scrub the bottom my shoes in the sink so the host would let me keep them on. But, now I’m (mostly) grateful to be comfy in socks (assuming I remember to bring them).

  3. Hi Tina! I have those SJP shoes and they are 100% worth every penny. They’re absolutely gorgeous in person and surprisingly comfortable. I have a wide foot so I sized up from a 38.5 to a 39 and they fit really well. They’re also super fun to wear during the day. Any bit of sunlight turns your feet into disco balls. 🙂

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