Can You Wear Flats To A Wedding? The Answer.

July 22, 2016 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Style

Finding the perfect outfit to wear to a wedding can be a headache–especially during high wedding season when it seems like you have another one every weekend. If you have back to back weddings and only so many cocktail dresses and heels to wear with them, it’s normal to start thinking about different variations of dresses and shoes you can put together. Can you dip in to your flats collection? This would be ideal, because lord knows your feet can’t handle another long night in sky high heels. But is it appropriate?

The answer is yes–you absolutely can wear heels to a wedding, and in some cases like outdoor weddings it’s actually recommended–but you just need to follow these simple steps for choosing and wearing them:

When shopping, look in the “occasion” section. Many brands from Jimmy Choo to Steve Madden make occasion flats. These have specific design details and fabrics that make them dressy enough for weddings and other events like graduations and parties. These are things like patent leather, metallic, crystal details, pointy toes and more. Not all flats were created equal–some truly are better for dressy occasions.

Opt for ladylike, not kiddish styles. The truth is that some flats look like something a little girl would wear. Generally, you should avoid Mary Jane styles, fold-up flats, very simple ballet flats, and anything that feels overly basic. Look for bold styles that your little niece would NEVER wear–pointy-toe metallic flats, d’Orsay flats, Ghillie lace-up flats.

Dress appropriately for the occasion (duh). Use the dress code indicated on the invitation as your guide. This seems really obvious, but here are some specific examples you might need clarity on: Even if the dress code is “casual” you should never, ever wear sneakers, including slip-on pairs, or flip flops. It’s also unlikely that you can get away with things like espadrilles and casual flat sandals, at any wedding unless the dress code is very explicitly casual. Slide sandals are also off-limits. For black tie weddings you should never wear flats unless they look like this.

As with anything you’re wearing to a wedding, use your best judgement as to whether it is appropriate or not. Ask a friend or your date if you trust him/her) for their honest opinion. If you’re looking in the mirror and having doubts about any part of your outfit, don’t wear it. Change. It’s not worth offending the bride or her guests or feeling uncomfortable all night. When in doubt, over-dress. Or send your specific shoe questions to [email protected] and we will answer them!

Good luck!

[Photo: Viva Luxury]


Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

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