Affordable Shoes for Evening Events

When you’re invited to a party, the first thing most women think is, “What am I going to wear?”  But many women sink all of their available funds into the right dress or the right blouse and don’t stop to think about the shoes.

The leather or suede pumps that you wear to work are not party shoes.  Nothing ruins a pretty party dress like a pair of beat-up basic pumps.  Evening shoes add an extra element to a stylish outfit, and when you can find great shoes for less-than-$125, there’s no reason to dance the night away in every day heels.

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Left: Raspberry Satin Bow Sandals ($110) // Zara Open Work Sandal ($99)

Center: Nina Fultan Pump ($50) // Ivanka Trump Anita Sandal ($82) // J.Renee Skylar Pumps ($99)

Right: Zara Block Heels ($50) // Calvin Klein Victoria Sandal ($119)

Left. The Topshop pair were the inspiration for this post.  I LOVE the color combination and the modern, pretty style.  They also come in all black and a mix of black and pale pink.

The second pair is a fairly modern sandal that ties in the back.  I think they would look great with skinny trousers, or to jazz up a simple black dress.  For extra pop, try a white dress like this textured Dorothy Perkins dress.

Center. The Ivanka Trump pair in the center of the photo are the most versatile, a classic black sandal with a bit of sparkle.  If you’d like something less strappy, try this pair of Ann Taylor satin knot heels.  I also added two pair of metallic pumps that would work with most cocktail and evening outfits.  The pewter pair are my favorite.  If you’d like a metallic that’s more leather, less sparkly, try this gold sandal from Badgley Mischka.

Right. Ankle strap sandals add spice to any outfit.  These black Zara shoes are chic and, I can tell you from experience, comfortable for walking.  I also liked the look of these red Calvin Kleins if you want to add a pop of color.  Also, check out these Betsy Johnson Bells sandals with a jewel-encrusted heel and these Nina Earleen shoes in magenta.



  1. KC says:

    I was just thinking about needed evening shoe ideas! Thanks! Do you have any suggestions that would accommodate tights or nylons? It’s sub-20 here and I can’t fathom bare legs!

    December 11, 2013/Reply
    • Mish says:

      KC, that’s exactly what I was thinking! It is snowy where I live and I have to wear tights to the parties I have coming up. I was thinking maybe no one would notice my work pumps, but now I’m not sure!!

      December 11, 2013/Reply
      • Anna says:

        Depending on the attire, booties could work. And if you can handle the height, nothing wrong with a high-heel platform pump that isn’t stripper-esque. Maybe something patent or satin? Go with a little more height than you would for work, or sleeker lines.

        December 11, 2013/Reply
      • Portia says:

        Same – it’s freezing cold and snowy here and I definitely want to wear tights to my holiday parties this year. I’ve been looking at shoes with the same silhouette as work pumps, but with glitter, velvet, sequins, feathers, etc. My favorite right now are these:

        December 11, 2013/Reply
        • Mish says:

          I am loving those glitter pumps! And yes booties would make perfect sense. Thanks ladies!

          December 11, 2013/Reply
    • lindsay says:

      I second the cold weather accommodation, plus any shoes that are ok for snow/slop? I love the Zara cage sandal, but it’s too damn cold and messy for that.

      December 11, 2013/Reply
    • Kim says:

      I am with you on this thought. I am really against the look of tights or nylons with open toe shoes like sandals or peep toes. It just doesn’t look tidy or classy. I always feel just as though a bra strap is showing when I try it.

      It would be fantastic to see a discussion about party shoes for tights assuming that some of us need to walk a few blocks to our venue in -20 degree weather or through significant accumulations of snow. Taxis door to door are not always an option.

      December 11, 2013/Reply
      • Katie says:

        I second this! Would love to see a discussion about party shoes for tights.

        December 11, 2013/Reply
  2. DCQ says:

    Is there a reason these are all open toe? I struggled with this just today — have a work event tonight (dressy cocktail attire) so am wearing a knee length satin black dress and know I should wear pantyhose (black) so forewent my satin open toe evening shoes for a point closed toe black patent 4 inch stiletto. I thought the rule was that you shouldn’t wear open toe with pantyhose?

    December 11, 2013/Reply
    • DCQ says:

      Also — Bagdley Mischka evening shoes are super cute, but super painful. I wore them for my wedding and my feet went numb! Thankfully I had already planned on switching to a pair of Milk and Honey wedges which were a huge relief!

      December 11, 2013/Reply
  3. DC says:

    Hi, All. I am wondering if Belle or any of her readers have advice for this holiday season. Is the office holiday party the same dress code as any holiday party that is being hosted by someone in your office (presumably with other work colleagues in attendance)? Is one more casual and one more formal? Is the party at the office (or rented out space) okay to wear business attire or do you need to take it up a notch?


    December 11, 2013/Reply
    • LS says:

      Hi DC. Our office holiday party invite specifies cocktail attire. It’s definitely more formal than a party at a co-worker’s house. In past years, the guys have worn suits or a blazer and slacks. One guy even wore a tux, haha. Most of the ladies wear a cocktail dress. Belle has made some great holiday party suggestions in the past if you need ideas.

      December 11, 2013/Reply
      • DC says:

        Hi LS, thank you so much for your insight; I appreciate your thoughts. I will keep this in mind, as I prepare for all the holiday festivities. This is really helpful.

        Hope your holidays are happy and warm.

        December 13, 2013/Reply
  4. Stella says:

    Hi Belle!

    If I want to buy a pair of evening shoes to keep on hand, what color/style would you recommend? I always find that these events come up last minute and then all I have is my work flats & work heels to choose from. After seeing your post, I’m thinking of having a pair in my collection just to be safe.

    Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated!

    December 11, 2013/Reply
  5. Jennifer says:

    FYI Belle- if you are still figuring website upgrade issues I could not get it to show up on chrome this morning from the address bar, but I clicked a link from a different site and it worked.

    December 11, 2013/Reply