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Black Tie shoes – Women’s Style Guide

women's black tie dress code

It’s not easy to choose a dress for a black tie event, especially if you have little to no prior experience with such gatherings and dress codes. Well, the dress is one thing, the most challenging part is picking black tie shoes for women.

Figuring out the right design, color, leather texture, and more is nigh on impossible on your own and without previous experience. Luckily, you don’t have to do it on your own. Here is a complete guide on what women’s black tie dress code is and how you can find the perfect pair of shoes for the event.

What Is Black Tie Attire for A Woman?

Before we dive into black tie fashion and look for ways to find the ideal black tie shoes for women, we have to understand what women’s black tie attire even is.

Think of black tie attire for women as a middle ground between the formal attire worn at white tie events and cocktail parties. In other words, you want to dress formally, but you still have some creative control over your look and aesthetic.

Another way to master the black tie dress code for women is with two words, long and fancy. In other words, black tie for women means long (usually maxi) dresses in fancy fabrics like velvet, chiffon, or silk. Same goes for shoes as well as your knowledge of casual shoes to wear with jeans for women, or other casual outfits is not relevant here at all.

Shoes to Wear with Black Tie Outfits

Here are a few of the best shoes that fit black tie for women and outfits you can craft with them. Understanding these specific examples will give you a clear idea of the right types of shoes and how you can integrate them into your outfits. (Stay tuned for general tips on finding the right shoes for black tie for ladies.)



Starting us off is one of the most iconic pairs of shoes for women. The classic stiletto with a patent leather finish and black color is perfect for almost any black tie event. Plus, its near-universal compatibility allows you to rock it under almost any dress you want.

It matches perfectly with dresses in blue, maroon, red, yellow, and even white. Its shiny surface also provides a fun contrast with textured fabrics like velvet and blends well with shiny options such as silk. If you’re going for all-black formal attire, black stilettos are the safest choice.

Platform Heels

Platform Heels

Platform heels have an inherent atmosphere of style and luxury around them – making them a fantastic choice for black tie events. That said, plain black platform heels are not the way to go. They will work fine but won’t have the oomph you need to stand out or craft memorable lady black tie outfits.

Instead, go with platform heels in colors like cyan, red, and copper blue. Match these choices to the color of your dress, but you might be able to be a little experimental depending on the dress code strictness at the black tie event.

Platform heels can also be the perfect shoes with skirts, especially maxi skirts that fit the black tie dress code.

Scarpin Heels

Scarpin Heels

Think of scarpin heels as stiletto light. They offer the glamor and style of stilettos but in a more shallow and comfortable design. They are the ideal choice for black tie events like night parties that require a lot of standing up and walking around.

Even if comfort isn’t an issue, these are still a brilliant choice just based on their design. You can pair black scarpin heels with A-line maxi dresses for a classy and elegant look. Alternatively, rocking a pair of shiny white scarpin heels with a navy blue sheath dress will make you look fancy and up-to-date with modern fashion.



Heels are a wonderful addition to women’s dresses at black tie events, but they are not for everyone. You might feel uneasy wearing heels if you’re taller than average. Plus, some women just can’t get comfortable with heels, no matter the type. For them, flats are a supreme alternative.

A pair of shiny black flats made from patent leather can carry the same charm as pumps or stilettos but in a comfier package. You can pair them with almost any formal black tie dress in your arsenal and look sharp.

Or, you can go fancier with embellished flats and turn up the memorability meter of your attire. The design of flats is (well) flat, so choosing the ones with embedded jewels and pearls doesn’t feel over the top and fits right in with other black tie shoes for women. A pair of black velvet flats with white jewels on the front is a prime example of this.



Yes, you read that correctly. You can wear boots with a maxi dress to a black tie event. These are especially popular for outdoor black tie events in winter as they will prevent your feet from getting cold. Remember that the boots you choose need to be simple in design with a solid color and plain texture.

As for attire crafting, wearing a formal winter dress with ankle boots and tights will give you a subtle high-class vibe that’s difficult to replicate with anything else. Speaking of winter dresses, a maxi sweater dress with boots makes one of the most comfortable cold-season black tie attires for women.

The one thing preventing boots from becoming the top black tie shoes for women is that they don’t work at every event. So, make sure to understand the dress code of the black tie event you’re going to before showing up with boots. Also, boots are a great match for black tie optional dresses as well.

Finding Black Tie Shoes for Women

The examples mentioned above are nothing but a fraction of the black tie shoe options at your disposal. Here are tips on navigating these options and finding the right pair on your own.

Think About the Occasion

Black tie dress code is used for a number of different events, including parties, galas, meetups, weddings, and more. Think about the event you’re going to and plan accordingly. For example, a pair of plain stilettos might be the right choice for a black tie wedding ceremony, while fancy spool heels might work better at an extravagant party.

Keep Comfort in Mind

While style is important, it is not everything. Your feet need to be comfortable in your choice of black tie shoes for women. Remember that many black tie events include standing up for a long period of time and walking around greeting people. So, make sure to pick shoes that’ll let you do all this without hurting your feet.

Focus on Color

The color of black tie shoes for women matters just as much as their design. Black is the safest choice for almost any occasion, but it is far from the only option you have. You can pick colors like red, blue, yellow, maroon, and turquoise as long as they match the rest of the attire.

Just remember to stay away from overly vibrant colors, as they will throw off the balance of your outfit.

Don’t Forget Textures

Textures play a bigger role in determining the vibe of your black tie attire than you might realize. Consider the fabric of your dress and choose a shoe material accordingly. For example, patent leather is welcome with almost any dress, while suede shoes gain a massive style boost when paired with velvet dresses.

FAQ – Women’s Black Tie Dress Code

Can you wear flat shoes to a black tie event?

Yes, you can wear flat shoes to a black tie event if you’re not comfortable in heels.

Do you have to wear black shoes to a black tie event?

No, you do not. Although black shoes look amazing at black tie events, you can wear almost any color as long as it fits well.

Can you wear floral patterns to black tie events?

You can, but it varies from pattern to pattern and the color of the dress.

What is the difference between black tie and formal?

Formal refers to a general style of clothing that’s more dressed up and sharp. Black tie is a specific type of formal with a defined dress code and outfitting conventions.

Final Words

Finding the right black tie shoes for women might seem like a daunting task, especially if it’s your first experience. Luckily, understanding the shoe options for black tie attires is not as difficult. All you need is a basic understanding of shoes that don’t fit the black tie style at all and general rules on finding the ones that do. If nothing else, you can search for guides like this with excellent recommendations on black tie shoes for women.

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February 10, 2024 5:42 pm

What about shoes with some sort of fastener. I like that sort of shoes a lot.