How to Wear Spectator Shoes

Updated April 17, 2017

The spectator shoe, also referred to as the correspondent's shoe, is traditionally a two-toned oxford. Originally a man's shoe, the style became fashionable in the 1920s and 1930s, as it was a flashy fashionable accent to the Charleston, according to the book "Shoes: What Every Woman Should Know." In contemporary women's fashion, the spectator has been spotted on the runways in many styles --- from the flat lace-up shoe that mimics its male predecessor to sky-high two-toned stilettos bearing the signature M detail across their flanks. A designer favourite, the spectator pump is often paired with the little black cocktail dress.

Find a pair of black and white spectator stilettos that is suitable for evening. One of the designers most known for spectator pumps is Coco Chanel, according the article "Loco About Coco's Brand," as black and white is a concurrent theme in the fashion house's collections. However, Chanel shoes aren't mandatory, as many designers offer their own versions of the two-toned shoe. Thus, many evening shoe choices are available that reflect various personal styles and budgets.

Select a little black dress that is figure flattering. Stiletto pumps can be a perfect accoutrement to a cocktail dress and are often seen on the runways of designers, such as New York-based Betsey Johnson. Her past collections have featured the shoe with every length of skirt, from mini to calf-length, but the style really accentuates a flirty dress. Pairing spectator pumps with a short cocktail dress --- especially one with a lot of movement, such as a flouncy skirt or fringe --- helps evoke the free spirit of the 1920s in a modern way.

Accent the evening look with strands of chunky pearls. Dramatic shoes, such as the stiletto, pairs with statement jewellery to add balance to an outfit. Jewellery that is big and bold allows the wearer to easily add an air of confidence and drama to a cocktail dress, according to Chloe Findlay-Harder in her article "How to Wear Statement Jewelry." An easy way to wear chunky jewellery is to pick up the colours in the outfit. Thus, a chunky pearl necklace could pair well with the spectator, playing off the white portions.

Carry a bright clutch purse to add a punch of colour to the duo-toned outfit. Stylists use jewel or electric-coloured purses to add sparkle and life to monochromatic outfits, says Sylvia Rubin in her article "Personal Style: Tips From the Mundane to Marvelous." This rule of thumb can also be applied to accessorising spectator pumps, as a colourful accessory may pump up the neutral black-and-white combination. An electric blue or pretty plum-coloured evening bag can be the final touch to a spectator shoe-themed look.

Things You'll Need

  • Black cocktail dress
  • Chunky pearl necklace
  • Bright-coloured clutch
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About the Author

B. Maté has been reporting on creative industries since 2007—covering everything from Fashion Week to the latest artist to wow the Parisian art scene. Her experience stems from a marketing background, with more than 12 years of experience consulting fashion-forward entrepreneurs.