Dress Up Shoes and the Older Woman

What shoes should women wear to fancy dress up events?  Looking at the images presented in most media, it would seem that sky high heels are the preferred option.  That might be okay for the younger set, but by the time you have put a lot of miles on your feet, this solution might no longer be possible.  It’s not just a question of comfort—with all the foot problems that come with aging, many older women cannot squeeze their feet into heels.

Enter fashion rebel, Frances McDormand with her own solution.  In her early sixties, she has decided that the normal dress up standards do not apply to her.  At recent Red Carpet events, she has arrived wearing Birkenstocks—custom-designed to be sure—but not at all similar to her other female companions.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I wore high heels.  Although no one has ever invited me to appear on the Red Carpet, I do go to the theater, weddings, and other occasions that require a little sparkle.  I’ve found that my standard comfort brands—Clarks, Arche, Mephisto—work just fine.  What do you wear when you dress up?

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9 Responses to Dress Up Shoes and the Older Woman

  1. Palo Verde says:

    Flats. High heels are the devil’s tool.

  2. Judith Rickard says:

    What Palo Verde said. I gave up any kind of heel whatsoever in my early 50s.

    I have a pair of lace-up Dansko sandals with a small platform sole (flat) that are comfortable and look dressy *enough*. All my formal wear is based on dressy pants (no dresses), so the sandals work. For slightly less dressy occasions, I find that my Alegria Paloma mary janes are just fine, especially the ones I have with the blingy colorways. Comfort, comfort, comfort.

  3. squeakytiki says:

    I wear black suede flats, but I have 3 or 4 different pairs of decorative shoe clips to dress them up a little. Shoe clips should make a comeback.

  4. Denise says:

    This topic caught my attention as I need a somewhat formal dress and shoes for my daughter’s August wedding. Should be interesting. Thank you for your informative and entertaining posts:).

  5. Fabrickated says:

    I wear trainers most days for work etc. I have sensible sandals foe hot weather. For a posh event I have some nude flats and also a pair of girls silver sandals – both from marks and Spencer’s.

  6. bellneice says:

    Fortunately, I never have to dress up any more. I have two more children that might get married, but aren’t engaged, so no worries. Sandals don’t have enough support for my ankles. I also have an extremely wide foot (triple E, XXW) and have trouble finding any shoes at all, let alone dress up shoes.

  7. Julie Zuckman says:

    Many comfort shoe brands are aware of this issue and make styles in metallic leather or otherwise blinged up. I wore a pair of simple Munro platinum “snakeskin” low heeled sandals to the last wedding I attended, purchased for a great discount on eBay. I stopped wearing heels in my late 30s. Now I can’t wear any kind of hard leather shoe or boot.

  8. JS says:

    I might wear a heel no higher than 1 1/2″. If I had fancy loafers I’d consider them. When I was younger, I had several pairs of the classic Ferragamo Vara pump, the one with the grosgrain ribbon. https://www.ferragamo.com/shop/us/en/women/shoes/us-vara-shoes/vara-539449–1

    It wasn’t because I loved them so much but because I have small feet and could always find that shoe in a 4 1/2 B.

  9. Lizzie says:

    Several years ago I went to an exhibition featuring the wardrobe of the late Fran Keuling-Stout. Fran loved clothes, and bought high-end ready-to-wear, especially Alexander McQueen. At the time she assembled this wardrobe, Fran was in her 60s. Most of the shoes shown were sneakers. Not that she schlepped around in Converse; her favored sneakers were Prada. But she had no problem wearing them to fancy events.

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