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5 Reasons Those Party Shoes Are SO Worth It

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    Going into 2016, we’re refining our approach to shopping. There will be no guilt-tripping inner voices and no defending our actions when we make a purchase that doesn't fit onto some bogus short-list of essentials. Our newly affirmed motto: Do you. Or, more explicitly, buy as long as the investment is worth it to you.

    The first challenge for our outlook: new party shoes. Sure we need them for a handful of holiday blowouts right this minute, but we wondered if we could really get enough use out of them to make acquiring a fresh (albeit amazing) pair worth it beyond a single party. Our answer is that — surprise — we absolutely can. With a less rigid approach to the categories in our closets and some creative styling, we could get plenty of mileage out of even the most special-feeling soles.

    So, we're making a case for buying fancy footwear (or any other item that might not be deemed a true essential) by taking five lust-worthy night-out styles from buzzy shoe startup M.Gemi and incorporating each into an unexpectedly less-dressy look. See how it's done ahead; then go on and check "shoes" off your party-prep list.


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    The Dainty Heel
    When deliberating between a plain black dress shoe and a more interesting option, we’ve definitely talked ourselves out of the latter, sighing that it’s just not practical enough. But worn with easy daytime essentials, a glossy red kitten heel feels less like a one-outfit wonder than a useful pop of color. Balance out its demure silhouette with oversized pieces like high-waisted boyfriend jeans, a cozy sweater, and a shearling-lined coat.

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    The Fancy Flat
    A bright metallic slip-on is a blessing for a long night on the dance floor, but electric violet can feel a little intimidating pretty much anywhere else. Take a cue from this style’s sleek shape and pair it with an equally svelte trousers-and-turtleneck combo to steer it in a more buttoned-up direction. While black pants would feel too after-hours here, glen plaid lends the right preppy-polished touch.

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    The Sparkly Pump
    Half the time we go out it’s because we get to wear something glittery (#noshame). But that doesn't exclude a shimmery shoe from more low-key looks. A showstopper like this one blends in among other standout textures, such as pleated faux leather and plush, furry trim. A graphic crewneck sweatshirt and soft-knit beanie further neutralize any formal-feeling vibes.

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    The Barely There Bootie
    With its beautifully clean curves, this skinny-heeled suede option is a solid anchor for a party dress or slinky jumpsuit. Take it for a second (or third) spin while the sun’s still out by layering a long, tie-waist denim jacket — worn as a dress — over striped pants. A playful printed bag and modern pearl-drop earrings round out the arty, eclectic look.

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    The Pin-Up Peep-Toe
    A gold, ankle-strap pump doesn’t immediately seem like something you can pull off outside an occasion involving Champagne and shrimp cocktail. Thankfully, the fashion world (and its many street style stars) is still all about juxtaposing socks with a dressier shoe. A slim, not-too-tall pair softens the bombshell style of this heel just enough.