Footwear is usually the one area of your wardrobe for which it is easy to shop. But come summer, it can be trickier to buy the right smart shoes for outdoor summer events, especially if they are held on luscious green lawns. To save yourself from the sinking stiletto there are three ways to go: the block heel, the wedge and the flat. I’ve rounded up some of my top picks of each style to help you find the perfect shoe to grace garden parties, racecourses and outdoor opera festivals this summer. I’ve stuck to mostly neutral shades as these will go with most outfits, but many of the shoes pictured here are available in other colours too.
This is the smartest option and the closest in style to the classic court stiletto. I prefer ones that aren’t too high as they can look a bit clumpy. This is the best option for more formal events, e.g. when a jacket or hat is required.
Chloe scalloped edge block heel
Rupert Sanderson, Powder patent heel
Faber Novella, rose champagne Carine heel
Ted Baker Qarvaa leather block-heeled sandals
Stuart Weitzman, nearly nude sandals
Dune Meggan black suede sandals
Samuele Failli pink suede sandals
Whistles Tula Twist Block Heel Sandals, Gold
Ted Baker, Kerria bow ankle block heel sandals
Jimmy Choo pink glitter slingback pumps
A more smart/casual heel, so good to pair with summery tea dresses or separates. I’m not a fan of cork wedges; I think the espadrille style is much more elegant.
Russell & Bromley, Candyfloss Peep-Toe Espadrille in Nude Suede
Castaner, canvas wedge espadrille
L.K.Bennett, rose satin espadrilles
Office, Honolulu Dressy Espadrille Wedges
Office, Holiday Cross Front Espadrille Wedges
Office, Halkidiki espadrille wedges
L.K.Bennett, black suede sandals
Avoid the heel altogether and go for a dressy flat – a great option for tall people, and there’s a huge range of styles out there for elegant flats these days. I prefer an almond or pointed toe for dressy flats – they look smarter than round-toe ballet flats.
Jimmy Choo gold leather Lancer flats
L.K.Bennett pink jacquard flats