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Best Shoes to Wear with Cocktail Dresses to Get Your Party on!

Best Shoes to Wear with Cocktail Dresses to Get Your Party on!

Cocktail dresses and party, just like holiday style, come in many fabrics & finishes. So the shoe & dress combinations could seem rather endless.

So here's an easy guide to finding the right shoes for various cocktail dresses & party frocks alike, so you can shine bright in your holiday party look!

One may think that sparkles & sequins are THE holiday party dress type. But there are sooo many more dress & suit fabrics that are cocktail party-worthy, whether for a big bash or holiday party alike. 

So in this post, I'm going to list off the best shoes to wear with a party dress, according to cocktail dress type. And the more festive the party, the more fun your cocktail party styling should be! Especially during the holiday season.

Best Shoes to Wear with Cocktail Dresses of all Styles

If you're short on time & want the condensed version of my “what shoes to wear with an evening dress” post, you're in luck!

First off, the more ornate your party dress outfit, the simpler I would suggest your shoe choice. These are my favorites:

7 Shoes for Cocktail Dresses:

  1. Black Pointed Pumps – like this one
  2. Minimal Neutral or Metallic Pumps – like this one
  3. Stiletto Ankle Booties – like this style
  4. Metallic Minimalist Sandals – like these
  5. Black Strappy Sandals – like these
  6. Sock booties – like this style
  7. Clear Heels – like these
Holiday Style - Shoes to wear with a party dress

Simple, yet elegant cocktail dress shoes:

Conversely, if your dress is made of a solid, simple color & the dress style is classic and simple, you can take your holiday shoe game to the next level! This means flashy, voluminous, maybe even shiny, statement-making footwear. Like these lovely heels, or these bejewelled pumps.

All the designer dresses featured in the dress images below are from Net-A-Porter, but I've linked to more reasonably priced dress & shoe options below in every dress category!

Shoes with a Simple & Sleek Cocktail Dress

If you're going to wear a simple, clean-lined dress with no extra embellishments as part of your holiday style, you can definitely play around with more festive shoes. Or a glittery, rhinestoned clutch!

You can go for the glitter or even feathered, bejeweled shoes, boots & sandals to make your maybe already luxe everyday, more casual dress more party-like & festive.

Even super strappy shoes will make a statement here if you're bedazzle-shy!

If you want to keep your shoes simple, but still exude some party spirit, you can easily sink your feet into a patent or metallic boot, heel or sleek flat. Still shiny, but not as “crazy”!

This option is perfect if you're going from the office right to a holiday party & don't have time to change.

If you're curious about what color shoes to wear with a specific color dress, check out more of my shoe and dress styling posts! Or read on below to style your black, red, gold or green cocktail dress for the holidays!

Shoes to Wear with Gold Cocktail Dresses

Gold, whether sequin, metallic or embroidered is a likely the most festive holiday cocktail dress you could choose to wear! It's a cocktail dress that will get you noticed.

That's why I would play it simple with the shoes style (basic stiletto bootie, strappy sandals, pointed pump are best). You can opt for black or white shoes.

However, you can have fun with doubling the metallic fun. Maybe match a gold sequin dress with a matte metallic gold or silver shoe.

In the end, it's really what you feel most comfortable with & what flatters you and your dress best! Check out my comprehensive post with more info on what color shoes to wear with gold dresses.

Shoes to Wear with a Lace Cocktail Dress

Whether you're looking to pair shoes with a black lace dress or a colorful one, there are many options. Since the dress itself is likely already ornate & busy because of the lace. A simpler shoe is the standard route to take. 

As a shoe type, you can pick a sleek stiletto bootie, pump or minimal sandal. You can decide to pair your lace dress with a satin, suede or leather shoe. 

I would keep the color of your shoe with a lace dress simple and opt for a uniformly colored shoe (ie, no patterns or multi-colored).

Patent shoes can definitely work & if you have some metallic in your dress, you can match it to your shoe color! Learn more about what shoes to wear with a lace dress, in my dedicated post.

Nothing says holiday time more than a plaid dress, am I right? How to wear a plaid dress really starts with what shoes to pair it with!

Since the pattern in your plaid dress is already busy, I would suggest wearing a uni-colored, non-metallic shoe. A fave is pairing is a black or white patent pointed pump or bootie, which adds the perfect amount of shine to your plaid dress outfit. 

In terms of shoe color, why not match your shoes with a secondary color in your dress? If not, you can always opt for black, skin tone nude or white heels, which pretty much go with anything!

Shoes with a Sequin Dress

Holiday Style - Shoes to wear with a Holiday Party Dress

I've gone pretty in-depth about what shoes to wear with sequin dresses in a previous post, but here's the rundown: sequin dresses are high octave on their own.

Wearing flashy shoes with a sparkly dress is a tough styling choice, so unless you're a pro at overkill style, I would suggest keeping it simple. Plain stiletto boots, pumps, mules or simple minimal sandals work best.

If you want extra oomph, you can always opt for a metallic that matches your dress, especially at during the holidays & at any New Year's Eve party! 

In terms of shoe color, you can go with black, white, or any metallic, really. You can even color match to your dress or opt for a contrast heel.

Check out my guides on what color shoes to wear with what color dress posts for more shoe color and dress pairings.

Shoes For Black Cocktail Dresses

So with a LBD, I really say go big or go home! A fun, embellished shoe in a contrasting color & material is just so exciting for a cocktail outfit. However, if you feel like sticking to black, why not choose a lace or bejeweled little black shoe?

Of course, the more ornate the dress, the simpler your shoes should be. Technically. So if your dress is fringed/laced/frilly to the max, a simple strappy heel such as these pretties from Sam Edelman is a basic that will look refined & polished.

However, you can always opt for a simple strappy sandal with an ornate black cocktail dress. These gorgeous metallic sandals by Paige, for instance. Or even a minimal red or green sandal!

Looking for something more neutral? Clear heels outfits with black or colorful dresses are always a good idea to look chic and modern!

For more color choice, please visit my post where I chat about what color shoes to wear with a black dress. More on what shoe styles to wear with a black black dresses <– here.  Below are some fave black dress & shoe pairings:

Shoes with a Red Cocktail Dress

Of course your shoe choice with a red dress will depend on how ornate your dress is! However, in term of color, red dresses pair really well with metallics (silver, gold, pewter), black & white.

If you're going holiday tacky, this is your chance to pair your red dress with a green shoe! Since red is a bold color, I would keep the shoe fabric simple, opting for suede, leather, velvet or satin.

If the red dress is quite simple, you can go crazy with strappy heels and more intricate shoes. I have a full post dedicated to what shoe color to wear with a red dress, if you're interested!

What Shoes with a Velvet Cocktail Dress

Love me a velvet dress during the holidays, but they serve as a fabulously lush cocktail dress all throughout the Fall/Winter season.

And as this fabric has become more popular in the last few years, it's a good time to know what shoes to pair with them.  

As the fabric is overly rich, I would suggest contrasting the matte finish of the fabric with a shiny shoe (patent or metallic). The more fancy your dress, the simpler your shoe type should be, so you don't take away from the Va-Voom factor of the dress. 

Shoes For a Green Cocktail Dress

As with wearing a red dress with green shoes during the holidays, you can totally get away with wearing a bright red pair of heels with your green dress!

If your green dress is simple, check out the “shoes to wear with a streamlined dress” above.

If your dress is a sequin, metallic or lacey number, take a look at my above sections too! Remember, the simpler the dress, the crazier you can go with your shoes (intricate materials, embellishments etc) and vice versa.

Unless you're a styling guru, where you're skilled enough to pair any holiday dress with any shoe type! But if that's you, you're likely not reading this 😉 

Not feeling so Christmas color-ey? Choose a white pair of heels, to show off 2 of the less obvious Christmas colors together.

I've also written extensively on shoes to wear with a green dress, which you can take a look at here

Shoes For a Metallic Cocktail Dress 

Your metallic dress or outfit may or may not be a sequin dress, so let's chat about metallic non-sequin dresses specifically.

Metallic & shiny materials are statement-making on their own. If the fabric is ruched, flounced or embellished, it's all the more extra

So why not play up the fun in your dress with a more subtle shoe? A plain pump or minimal sandal can go a long way.

However, if your metallic dress is rather simpler in nature, you can always choose a shoe with more shine, like a patent or metallic material or even opt for a boot or shoe with rhinestones.

If you're specifically curious about which shoes to wear with metallic silver dresses, check out my in-depth posts all about shoes with silver dresses and shoes to wear with Champagne dresses, shoes for gold dresses, for rose gold dresses, silver dresses and bronze dresses!

So that wraps up my selection of shoes for cocktail dresses post! Although there are no rules to styles (especially with out-there street style becoming more commonplace), I thought I would guide you through with some styling advances.

Final Words on Shoes to Wear with Cocktail Dresses

Have a cocktail dress styling question that I haven't covered above? Feel free to ask me, in the comments, below!

xo ShoeTease

Photography by: Bruna Rico

Holiday Style - Shoes to wear with a party dress

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