For many women, shoes and handbags make or break the outfit. Mature, sophisticated women want classy outfits that look great from head to toe – with a classy hairstyle and a nice pair of shoes or boots to piece it all together. Classy and sophisticated shoes that are also comfortable may be hard to find for older feet. Mature women can find excellent shoes and footwear options despite this frustrating process of trying on shoes and scouring the shelves for the perfect pair.
As women age, they don’t need to give up their favorite classy and sophisticated shoes. However, it is a good idea for older women to assess their shoe collections and evaluate which shoes may never see the light of day again…and then replace them with new shoes that are both stylish and comfortable.
Sue Ryder, women’s product director for Aetrex Worldwide (www.aetrex.com), shares tips and recommendations from her vast experience in designing classy and comfortable shoes especially for mature women. Read on for tips on finding and selecting classy and sophisticated shoes for mature women.
Q. Life Love Beauty – What styles and trends in footwear are currently “IN” for the Baby Boomer crowd and mature women in general?
A. Sue Ryder – I think the most important trend in footwear (and apparel) for baby boomers is the combination of flattering comfort. No matter what age we are, we want to be a little bit sexy and look our best.
When we get a little older though, we are less willing to suffer ill fitting or poorly made shoes. This has been a long-term trend launched several years ago and led by baby boomers. It works into the idea that as you get older, you know your body better and know what looks good on you and fits your lifestyle.
You might have that great pair of high spiky heels in your closet, but when was the last time you wanted to wear them? We want it all…great looks and super comfortable.
I was just in Paris shopping for shoes (what a job!). The trends there were very classic. Black is the number one color for fall, which it always is, but a close second was every shade of grey and brown – very neutral colors. Thick strap Mary Janes were huge – especially ones with buckles or other metal hardware.
Even though it was fall, there was patent leather everywhere. Every version, including croc patent, crinkle patent, patterned patent. Suede was big too. I love the suede handbags with fringe that I saw everywhere.
Q. Life Love Beauty – What types of shoes should every mature woman own? (Give us a list of what you would recommend every woman’s closet should have.)
A. Sue Ryder – Every woman needs that go-to pair that fits with everything. This season, it’s a thick strap Mary Jane with a small heel that goes so well with fall length tailored trousers. Everyone should have a great pair of athletic casual shoes that feel like sneakers, but are more stylish.
No matter what the style, when trying on shoes, ask yourself, could I walk everywhere with them? An airport? To work? Out to dinner? If the answer is no (even if they are really cute), pass them up. You’ll be happier.
Q. Life Love Beauty – What about colors for shoes? What should mature women add to their collection, and in what style of shoe?
A. Sue Ryder – Stick with neutrals this season. Wait for spring for a little more color. Definitely add patent, though. As far as style goes, try it on and if it feels great the moment you put it on BUY IT!
Q. Life Love Beauty – When picking out shoes and trying them on, what are the most important elements for women of the baby boomer crowd to consider?
A. Sue Ryder – Aetrex has a unique fitting device you can find in many shoe stores. You step on the electronic mat on the floor and an image comes up on a TV screen in front of telling you where your pressure points on your feet are and guiding you to the correct size. It can also tell you how to customize your Aetrex footbed to relieve your pressure points and make the shoe fit you perfectly. No other company does this kind of custom fitting.
Q. Life Love Beauty – Is it possible to achieve both comfort and style?
A. Sue Ryder – Oh yes! Just look at our new Aetrex line!
Q. Life Love Beauty – Can you recommend some shoes on your site or some styles of shoes in general for this group of women?
A. Sue Ryder – Aetrex designs shoes for baby boomers, so everything we have in the line is appropriate. Check out the Essence collection. We have more tailored and sporty shoes.
Q. Life Love Beauty – What types of shoes go best with which types of outfits?
A. Sue Ryder – You can’t go wrong with the classics. Loafers with trousers, Mary Janes with skirts, cute Velcro shoes with jeans.
Q. Life Love Beauty – When going for a classy and sophisticated look, what should women pick out?
A. Sue Ryder – Go for rich materials – lamb suede, beautiful details, soft leathers.
About the Expert:
Sue Ryder is the women’s product director at Aetrex Worldwide, a world leader in comfort footwear and pedorthic footcare products and technologies. Ryder carries more than two decades of experience as a product designer for the footwear industry, and will be incorporating a fresh design into all of Aetrex’s women’s to better appeal to the women’s and sports fashion markets in her new role. To learn more about Aetrex Worldwide, visit www.aetrex.com.