It’s Party Shoe Season: What Makes A Festive Pair?

Photo: Streetstyleshooters/Getty Images.
Amina Muaddi Begum pumps.
Whether you’re making an entrance at a glitzy soirée or dressing up at home just because, the ability to safely toast the season is reason enough to bring some sparkle back into your wardrobe, starting with a pair of show-stopping party shoes. 
According to Nina, a brand synonymous with festive footwear, sales for the label's heels have shot up a staggering 95% in stores and up 145% online, compared to 2020. Chief Creative Director Nina Miner credits the spike to the growing optimism consumers feel for 2022. According to her, swathing yourself in your best going-out attire, complete with fabulously-fancy shoes, can have a powerful mood-boosting effect. “We design our products with the hope of having our shoes be the final touch that makes your event an extravaganza and bring out the confidence in the wearer,” she says. It’s no surprise then that Nina’s top-selling shoes of the season are embellished styles that are adorned with “high-shine materials, crystals, and feathers.” 
Larroude's Marina Larroude says that, while the footwear brand always sees a rise in interest for “sparkly” style around Christmas, “this season, people want to dress up even more and are taking every opportunity to add some bling to their outfits.” She adds, “I’ve noticed that our customers are gravitating toward our most whimsical styles simply because people are ready to have fun again! In real life and in their outfits.” 
In addition to dressing for a burst of serotonin, the return of award show red carpets in 2021, is a major driving force in popularising Bratz-like styles. “Celebrities including Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa, Lil Nas X, and Olivia Rodrigo have embraced sky-high platforms in recent months... platforms are currently the most searched heel style on ShopStyle and are up 35% in sales [from last year],” says shopping platform ShopStyle’s General Manager Alison Stiefel. “This style makes transitioning from sneakers back to heels easier as it provides more comfort than a stiletto while creating a major statement moment." The widely-anticipated Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That… — which saw the return of Manolo Blahnik’s crystal-encrusted Hangisi pump, among other can't-miss designer styles — may also have something to do with the comeback of statement shoes. 
If towering high heels and shin splints-inducing platforms aren’t your thing, this season’s party shoes come in the form of metallic block-heel boots, crystal-adorned flats, and retro kitten heels that also make for serious eye candy without sacrificing comfort. “Design details like sparkles and metallics make everything feel festive, whether a heel or a flat. Personally, I have been living in our Pierre slipper, which comes in velvet, satin, and knit — with a crystal bow on top!” Larroude says. “I have been wearing it for all my holiday parties, since I still want to be comfortable and chic this holiday season!” 
When it comes to styling these flashier looks, allow the party shoe to be the focal point of your look. Opting for a knee-grazing metallic or boldly coloured boot instantly amps up the It factor of the simplest LBD. The quirkiness of a rhinestone-encrusted mule adds a playful touch to a sophisticated evening gown. Meanwhile, chain-adorned loafers can make a casual denim look instantly appear more polished.
We are in the midst of party shoe season. What style will you wear?
Want more? Get Refinery29 Australia’s best stories delivered to your inbox each week. Sign up here!

More from Trends