Who Can Resist a Sexy Black Shoe?

Kate Spade Suede Bow

Three of my favorite fashion muses — Cinderella, Dorothy Gale and Carrie Bradshaw — taught me it’s all about the shoes.

Here are four reasons why they were so-o-o right:

1. No matter my age or weight, shoe size is never an issue.

2. I may never wear a plunging neckline again, but toe cleavage? Always!

3. New shoes update my old togs without the need for a single additional purchase.

4. Shopping for shoes is a feel-good high — an endorphin rush that requires no exercise.

Topping the list are b


lack shoes, the one accessory guaranteed to make us look both more elegant and contemporary. They sharpen everything from jeans to colorful dresses.

Get discounts on hotels, airfare, car rentals and more — AARP Member Advantages. »

Five new styles of black shoes are currently making a fashion statement. Their updated proportions are likely to catch eyes and win hearts:

Winter sandals. Stocky, strappy, stacked-heel sandals that feature peep-toes and slingbacks are a new cold-weather option. Not everyone in the country has to worry about snow and freezing temperatures, of course. But if you’re unaccustomed to flaunting your heels and toes after, say, Columbus Day, this cross-season trend looks cool with wide-leg pants. (It also nicely upgrades all your leggings, skinny jeans, dresses and skirts.) Consider showing off your winter polish with Vince Addie Peep-Toes (above), Franco Sarto Gabba, Stuart Weitzma n Commodore Studded Slingback Mule or Via Spiga Fabrizie.

Chunky pumps. Tell your bunions and hammertoes to hit the road. Sturdy block heels, with rounded or roomy oval toes, are suddenly chic; could it have anything to do with the fact that Queen Elizabeth II favors the style?

Don’t confuse chunk with frump, however; these are sleek and modern as a Tesla. The wider heel distributes your weight more evenly, easing the pressure on the balls of your feet. Depending on your taste — and tootsies — choose a height from 1 to 3 inches. Candidates include Tory Burch Lowell Logo Pumps, Minnie Pump by Lands’ End or Clarks Tarah Sofia Pumps (above).

Black suede kitten he

French Connection Kodee

els. These narrow, 1- to 2-inch heels are commonsense classics. Though they’re available in leather, suede feels newly luxurious. Choose a simple, no-frills closed pump: a d’Orsay style, perhaps — that is, one scooped at the sides — or a “femmed-up” version featuring bows or scallops.

Their low rise notwithstanding, kitten heels are every bit as leg-lengthening as stilettos — so long as they have an almond or oval toe. Some options: French Connection Kodee (above), L. K. Bennett Phoenix Scalloped Suede Pumps or Michael Kors Suede Pumps.

Adrianna Papell Heather
Shooties. No, the words “shoe” and “bootie” never should have been combined, but think how much ghastlier this portmanteau could be: “booshoes,” anyone?

Popular games, new recipes, movie reviews — AARP Leisure Newsletter »

Carved lower on the ankle than true booties, so-called shooties  feature a slim, low to medium heel. The snug fit offers extra support and comfort for feet that are narrow or bony. Even better: They’re sexy in a witchy way. Among your choices are Adrianna Papell Heather (above), Bella-Vita Dylan or Banana Republic Anise Shootie.

H & M suede

Superhero booties. For anyone who owns a pair of plain black ankle boots, think about what’s missing: kick-butt power booties with gutsy heels that are tailor-made to ratchet up your style for work and weekends. Look for extra hardware — I’m talking buckles, major zippers or studs. These particular black shoes always make me feel taller, slimmer, leggier and stronger, morphing my 5-foot-2 “mini self” into statuesque Jane Doe from TV's Blindspot. A few possibilities: Stuart Weitzman Zipitty Suede Side Zip Booties, Coach Felicia or H&M Suede Booties (above).

For more beauty and style tips for women 50-plus, look for AARP’s new  Beauty & Style digital magazine, coming in November.

Photos: zappos.com (1, 3, 4, 5); neimanmarcus.com (2); hm.com (6)



Also of Interest

See the  AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more.  

Search AARP Blogs