Style Advice Q & A

Okay To Wear Red Shoes With Black Hose after 40?

Hi Deborah —

I recently purchased a pair of cute red shoes for the holidays, and now wondering how to wear them. I have lots of basic black in dressy and casual fabric and styles — slacks, dresses, etc. But what about hosiery? Is it tacky to wear a black hose with red shoes? Should I stick with a nude hose? Or … am I too old for red shoes (in my 50s)? Thanks for your advice, and happy holidays!
Cynthia L.

Hi Cynthia,

Red shoes are fun and look fabulous, especially around holiday time. If you like them, wear them. Age is not a factor.

With peep toes, wear thicker tights and not sheer hose.

As for what hose to wear with them, here’s what I would suggest: Black Dress – Wear a black dress with opaque black tights or sheer black hose + red shoes for a pop of color. Socks are better suited to daytime looks when you wear heavier material like a knit skirt, while sheers look best in the evening and with finer fabrics.
Tina Fey is a knock-out in these red shoes with black hose!
You could carry a red bag with your red shoes and have that color-blocking look, or wear red shoes to make a statement.
Note: If your red shoes are peep toe, wear tights, not sheer hose. It would be best if you had that heaviness with the peep toe. Remember, the focus will be on your shoes,  so keep the rest of your outfit simple and ensure your shoes are of excellent quality.
Alternatively, you could wear nude hose with a black dress and red shoes. This is a more traditional look. It’s not as sexy or fashion-forward, but it is acceptable.
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12 thoughts on “Okay To Wear Red Shoes With Black Hose after 40?

  1. Hi Deborah. I have a cream and black polka dot dress that I’d like to wear with burgundy pumps. Would sheer or black hose work best?

    1. Hi Jen, Do you mean a cream dress with back polka dots? I’d suggest a sheer nude hose. You can go for a thin black hose if it is a black dress with cream dots.

  2. I have a white dress and red shoes. What color stockings? Should I wear a sheer white or what?

    1. Hi Sherita, I would go with the most natural nude hose you can find, so you don’t even notice the hose. You want people to focus on your shoes and dress, not your hose. Cheers, Deborah

  3. Hi Deborah. I am a flight attendant. We have new uniforms that are dark gray. We have a red and blue scarf and are allowed to wear red shoes. Leather or patent. Would black tights or black sheers work?

  4. I love red shoes and always have since I was a little girl. Glad to hear they are good at any age because I’ll be wearing red shoes as long as I can! I love Tina’s outfit. I have a black pencil skirt that I plan to mimic a similar look. Thanks, Glam Gals!

  5. You’ll look fun! I, too, need fashion advice. I have a risque black dress and leopard print pumps with an highness. Would it look ok if I wore sheer black hose with this outfit for a holiday party this Friday night? Please help me!!

    1. Hi Lory, It sounds like a sheer black hose would work fine. If your dress is form-fitting, you might want to wear some shapewear under it or make sure your hose has support at the top!
      Have fun!

    1. Hi Anna, When worn correctly, the red shoe can be a fun accent. Trying to do the “matchy-match” red shoe with a red purse can become a little over the top. We are all for having fun with your wardrobe, but after 40, you must be careful too… want to keep it classy, not trashy!

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