Beauty is pain? Nope - stop right there. Magazine editors and fashion blogs have been telling us for years there’s no beauty without pain. It’s time to challenge and scrap that idea altogether–especially when we’re talking about shoes.

If you’re attending a formal event like a party, what do you imagine you’re wearing? Maybe you conjured up an outfit involving some sort of glamorous dress paired with sky-high heels–but it’s time to break free of that expectation.  

The fashion world has finally caught on to the fact that not all women want to teeter around in heels for a night on the town or for formal events. Once your freedom of movement is encumbered by a pair of heels, it’s all downhill from there. Enter: dressy flats.

You might think there are situations and events that necessitate the need for heels, but there truly is a pair of dressy flats for every occasion. To make flats work with fancier attire, you need to pay attention to the proportions and cut of your clothes. The right balance of colors and lengths can make or break your look.

Flats add a certain effortless feel to any ensemble so, why not go into your next formal event confidently wearing them, knowing the next couple of hours will be completely pain free?

Read on to find out more about how to properly style dressy flats or skip ahead to the section relevant to you.

Why should I wear flats with formal dresses?

If you wear high heels regularly, we salute you for your dedication! However, there are a few things you should consider before donning your favorite pair of stilettos for the next night of clubbing or dinner out - the most significant of which is your health.

High heels can be beautiful but all of that added height comes at a price. So, exactly how do high heels affect your body? These towering pieces of footwear force your feet into an unnatural angle which throws muscles, ligaments, and joints out of their proper alignment.

As a result, you might suffer lower back, neck, or shoulder pain from prolonged use of heels. If that’s not enough to convince you to say goodbye to your pumps, the extra pressure placed on the knees, the Achilles’ heel and calf muscles may also cause injury over time. Even one night of dancing in bad heels can make you susceptible to conditions like Achilles’ tendonitis, while wearing heels every day can actually shorten your calf muscles.

Woman walking barefoot down the street holding a pair of heels

And this is why, heel-lovers, it’s time to go to the flat side.

Flats allow your spine to be better aligned and encourage an unforced posture that you can’t replicate while wearing heels. Life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes, especially if they limit your movement and cause pain.

Rocking a pair of flats means choosing not to take a break from dancing at your best friend’s wedding, walking those couple extra blocks to get the best view of the sunset, and being able to chase down your niece during an especially competitive game of tag.

But, the question remains: which women’s dress flats do you go for? Not all shoes are created equally, after all.

Cue Rothy’s. Our sustainably-made shoes are perfect for occasions ranging from the most casual of get-togethers to formal, black tie events. You won’t even need to have a spare pair of comfortable shoes at your office - one set of Rothy’s will help you power through the day.  

As a bonus, you don’t need to break Rothy’s in–they’re comfortable from the first time you put them on, to your eighth hour wearing them around the office.

With four styles to choose from, The Flat, The Loafer, The Point, and The Sneaker–you can enjoy a range of flats that complement a variety of outfits. Regardless of the event, you have a shoe to complement it.

What are the best formal dresses to wear with flats?

So, you’ve made the decision to go with a pair of dressy flats instead of heels. Now, you’ve got to figure out what you’re wearing with them to complete the look. Below, we have suggestions for how to balance out the casual elegance of flats with different kinds of formalwear.

A-Line Skirts and Dresses

An A-line skirt or dress is the perfect accompaniment to dressy flats: the fullness of this style elevates your outfit to the next level and provides a perfect base to build on. Its flattering construction nips in at the waist and flares out at the bottom, giving you the illusion of an hourglass figure: a classic look for the girl on the go.

Add a flowy blouse, clutch, and blazer for an easy, sophisticated outfit. Pair a bold A-line dress with an equally bold pair of dressy flats like The Point in Hot Pink.

Mini Shift

The 60s are calling; they said you look great, but to lose the heels.

A mini shift dress is a mod approach to a formal event and we love simple, chic dress flats to complement it. In fact, heels with a short dress can look too disproportionate and – dare we say it? – downright tacky. Balance out the extra skin showing in a mini shift with long sleeves, The Flat in Mink, and statement earrings for a look Twiggy herself would be proud to wear.

Pencil Skirt

Pencil skirts are a workhorse clothing choice for the busy professional who wants to elongate her body with a flattering shape and length. Pair a neutral pencil skirt and a long sleeved button-up with The Loafer in Taupe Heather to take on any board meeting with absolute confidence. We recommend choosing a lighter color shoe to help lengthen your body.

Tailored Pants

If you wear the pants in the relationship, there’s a flat for that. We like a beautifully tailored pair of pants with any style of dressy flats.

For a trendy cropped pant, The Sneaker makes an artful, funky juxtaposition. Go unexpected! Or, if you want to dress like the boss you already are, you can’t go wrong with black tailored pants, a black blouse, and comfortable dressy flats like The Point in an assertive color such as Chili Red.

What formal occasions can I attend wearing dress flats?

The answer here, of course, is another question: what formal occasion can’t you attend while wearing dress flats? All of Rothy’s flats can be styled into an A-list ensemble. In fact, the added confidence and comfort from your Rothy’s will give you that je ne sais quoi to complete your outfit.

Three girls getting ready for prom night


If you want to be the belle of the ball, forgo heels in favor of a pair of Emerald pointed flats. Dancing all night is a cardio workout – even if you’re ironically slow dancing to all of the DJ’s picks. Make sure to enjoy every moment of this high school rite of passage by making comfort your number one priority. The right pair of dressy flats will keep you light on your feet all night long.

Outfit ideas: A full-length chiffon gown paired with The Point in Petal Pink Solid or a tea-length black dress paired with The Point in Red Camo for a pop of color.

A bride holding a bouquet of flowers


At weddings, there’s a good chance you’ll be on your feet for a while: you have to stand for the bride’s entrance, dance the night away on the dance floor, stand in line for food or drinks, and walk to the reception area. Weddings are just barely masked walking workouts which is why it’s important to be wearing shoes that support all of the activities the nuptials require. Give yourself the gift of truly enjoying the experience of a wedding undistracted by foot pain. We recommend pairing your attire with The Flat, The Point, or The Loafer styles depending on the rest of your outfit.

Outfit ideas: For a formal wedding, you can’t go wrong with an understated black dress paired with The Point in Marigold as an unexpected footwear choice that’s bright and colorful. If you’re attending a more informal outdoor wedding, we suggest wearing a floral dress paired with a fun style and color like the The Loafer in Lollipop.

A group of friends toasting during a cocktail party

Cocktail Party

Headed to a cocktail party where you need to dress to the nines? We suggest wearing a classic little black dress to a cocktail party–you can’t go wrong with a time-honored classic, after all. As for your footwear, round toe flats will provide a modern addition to an iconic look.

Outfit ideas: A black mini-dress paired, minimalist gold jewelry and The Flat Black Solid. Or, go for a trendy jumpsuit paired with The Flat in Persimmon Heel Stripe.

Woman walking down the red carpet wearing a sparkly dress

Awards Ceremony

If you’re attending an awards ceremony, it’s time to outshine the trophies they’re giving out that night with some sparkle of your own. Choosing the right pair of pointed toe flats will help keep your focus on your acceptance speech instead of looking for Band-Aids at the eleventh hour before you’re set to walk on stage.

Outfit ideas: A shimmering gold dress would pair beautifully with The Point in Black Solid.

People gathered together for a fundraising gala

Fundraising Gala

For a fundraising event, we recommend a long formal dress in satin paired with a shawl so you’ll be warm but chic if it gets chilly later in the night.

Outfit ideas: We love the understated elegance of The Flat paired with a midi-length cocktail dress. Or, go for a matching set with a crop top and corresponding skirt paired with The Point. Have fun playing with different proportions, but remember, lighter colors will elongate while darker colors provide interesting lines and contrast.

Woman wearing a fancy black dress with a bold red lip

Black Tie Event

It’s time to get fancy. Understated and sophisticated are what you’re going for at a black tie event. Floor-length gowns are standard but if you’re adventurous, go for something daring. A backless dress or a semi-sheer illusion dress, for example.

Outfit ideas: A backless, floor-length dress paired with a clutch, statement earrings, and ladies’ flat dress shoes like The Point in Violet.

Whatever occasion you’re dressing up for, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice being comfortable. If you feel good in your footwear, you’ll radiate a glow that you just can’t get while wearing bad shoes. So choose dressy flats from Rothy’s instead waking up with sore feet once again. Stop the madness, it’s time to embrace flats as the shoe of your liberation.