StyleBakery.com | Ask The Style Chefs: Shoes Archives

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Q. Well, here I am, 75 (and a half), and still not exactly a fashion plate and increasingly wondering what IS appropriate attire for my age. Even my favorite - jeans - seem to have been taken over by the very young, very fit, who can wear the low waistlines I could wear years ago. I love, love, love flat knee high boots but have never owned a pair. I’m 5’5”, 130 pounds. Would I look ridiculous stepping out in a pair of those boots I’ve so long longed for?

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A. Yes! You can absolutely wear flat knee high boots. In fact, a classic riding boot can be a very sophisticated look, suitable for someone of any age. Avoid styles with trendy embellishments like studs or excessive hardware, as these tend to look more youthful. Try pairing a simple, clean boot with slim jeans (yes, you can wear those too!) or pants and a button front shirt and blazer for a gorgeous age-appopriate look. Now is the perfect time to shop for knee high boots which are not usually considered a summer item, so there will be many styles available on sale.

Q. Ok, this is another “I love how this looks on other women, but can I pull it off?” question. Gladiator sandals- love ‘em! My concern with wearing them is that I’m a curvy gal with curvy legs and thicker ankles. I’ve always gone by the fashion book of never wearing sandals that cut off my leg line. Does this mean that gladiator sandals are a no-go for me?

Specifically, I’m considering purchasing these (holla at my plus-size online outlet Fashion Bug!), but since they’re pretty ankle-restrictive I’m considering giving them the Roman thumbs down.

A. You’ll have to keep your Roman thumbs down, I’m afraid. Your instincts are correct that ankle strap gladiator sandals are a no-no for curvy women with thicker ankles. However, that doesn’t mean you have to forego the trend entirely. There are plenty of gladiator options that don’t climb up your leg, offering a more flattering alternative. Instead, look for slim straps that hit around your ankle bone or lower. And since the gladiators you were looking at were such a great price, we’ve found some equally affordable picks for you - all under $50:

Q. Is it okay to wear a black suede peep toe 3.5” heel in June? I’m standing in a wedding. We were asked to buy our own floor length black dresses.

A. We love putting old fashion rules to rest: suede is no longer reserved just for fall and winter and can be worn year round. What’s more important than the color or fabric of your shoe is the style. For instance, a knee high black suede boot would be too heavy for warm weather. Since your black suede shoes have a peep toe, they are perfectly appropriate and comfortable for warm weather. If they look great with your black gown, then wear them!






Q. I know that a nude/neutral shoe is on trend for this season. Honestly, I’ve been searching for a great classic nude/flesh tone shoe for a couple of years and have yet to find one that I really love. I am tall, with long muscular legs and bigger ankles. I know this shoe would be great for my legs.

Do you have any other feedback on where to find classic, basic pumps (peep toe/sandal prefered) in a true nude?

A. It’s hard to say what exactly is a “true nude” since nudes can be any range of light tan, blush, sand or light beige with yellow or pink undertones. The good news is, nearly any of these nude or light beige tones will have the same leg lengthening effect, even if it doesn’t match your skin tone perfectly.

A pump, d’Orsay or sling back style is your best bet; avoid any straps or details which will draw attention to your thicker ankles. Here are some of our favorite nude pumps that will help make your legs look great:

Q. I am wearing this white dress to my husband’s military ball. I don’t want it to look too bridal, so I would prefer not to wear matching shoes, but what color would look best? I would like the shoes to go with the overall soft, feminine look of the dress.

A. What a pretty, feminine dress! In keeping with the soft look of the dress, you should look for pretty heels in nude, gold, silver or a soft champagne color. Here are a few affordable options:

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