As an avid follower of all kinds of athletics, my husband has a habit of pairing memorable moments with sporting events. He can rattle off the Yankee game score from the evening we first met, no problem, recall family gatherings by his favorite teams’ stats and knows who played who on our wedding day. Not that this random skill helps me one bit: whenever he starts threading scores and dates together, I furiously try to think of the shoes I was wearing during those notable occasions instead. My most vivid memories of celebratory get-togethers are from the ankles down.
When I remember a pair of towering heels, the first things that come to mind are always pinched toes, teetering around and having to pass on dancing. But flats? Those have a unfaltering track record for making parties more enjoyable. Whereas every other woman in the room always seems to be counting the seconds until she can kick off her pumps, ballet slippers, loafers and oxfords mean I get to enjoy myself without worrying about tripping. The switch doesn’t mean I have to downgrade my look, either—there are many easy ways to flatter a formal outfit with comfortable footwear. To prepare for this month’s batch of parties, check the slideshow above for seven foolproof ways to get the look right, all illustrated by celebrities with enviable style. Click through for for a blister-free holiday season.