Why Do Celebrities Always Ruin Outfits With Boring Shoes?

Every damn time


Let’s talk about a fun red-carpet shoe.

A fun red-carpet shoe, though it sounds like something your Aunt Cathy uses to describe her date-night footwear, is anything other than a thin strip of leather across the toe and around the ankle. It is any color other than black, “nude,” or “identical match to dress.” It has embellishments, bells, whistles, trinkets. It is cool or weird and adds interest to the outfit. It could be the outfit, quite honestly. But a fun red-carpet shoe does not exist. Celebrities love the alternative.

Observe Selena Gomez at the Met Gala.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Selena Gomez attends the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

This is a gorgeous dress.  Not exactly in-theme with Rei Kawakubo’s avant-garde aesthetic, but whatever. No one was. 

Her shoes, however, while certainly nice (I will take them!), are so boring that I fell asleep while writing and have only just now awoke to finish this sentence. Had she gone with something a bit more like this…

….she could have taken her outfit to a whole new level.

From the same event, let’s take a look at Paltrow-comma-Gwyneth.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Gwyneth Paltrow and A$AP Rocky attend the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Huffington Post)

Big fan in general. Top-to-ankle here, she looks great. But her feet ruin the whole thing for me. Black pumps? Was that the only offering?

(Shout out to A$AP Rocky in the back.)

Celebrities have expendable Monopoly money. They also get stuff for free. They have personal shoppers who can hunt down the coolest shoes in town, if scouring Net-a-Porter’s sandal selection is not their cup of tea. Most celebrities don’t live in New York, either, so it’s not like a lack of closet space is their reason for only owning one safe, practical, wear-with-all, foot-focused accessory. They get driven everywhere, so for one night out who cares about comfort and sensibility? After walking red carpets, they’re ushered to seats immediately. It’s frustrating. What is the point of being a celebrity on a red carpet if you are not going to take full fashion advantage?

I could direct my frustration toward the stylists, of course. Before these red carpet events, it’s the stylists who source the dresses and the accompanying accouterment. They arrive with the options they’d like to see their clients in, including rows of beautiful boats sized according to the celebrity’s feet. As all good stylists know, you must also show up with safe options: the leg-lengthening nudes, the height-enhancing platforms, the sexy strappy sandals. This is like going to a scary-fancy restaurant where the chef thinks foam is a food group, then having the waiter whisper to you, “Psst. We have chicken fingers. It’s a secret, off-menu item.” Of course you are going to choose the chicken fingers! I always choose the chicken fingers, the food and the metaphor. Chicken fingers are consistently delicious, just as fail-proof shoes will always suffice. When your risky dress is aesthetically questionable to the masses, these shoes can keep you from crossing the line onto a Worst Dressed list.

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 12: Actress Julianne Moore attends the screening of "Money Monster" at the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 12, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)


If you’re a non-celebrity with maximum one or two “black tie” events a year (if that) and your bank account can’t take consistent thousand-dollar shoe hits; when you’re just a girl, standing before a mirror, trying to get her legs to love her, then sure, I’m right there with you. Do the simple pump, the sexy sandal, the hem-helping platform. I’ve got a pair of tan suede sandals I once bought for a wedding that have become my everything, so boring they work better than Ambien if you’re having trouble falling asleep.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: TV personality Heidi Klum attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

When you have a million red carpets a season and a million dollars to play with, however, why not spend as much attention on your feet? Why not say, “I just got paid for my newest rom-com space thriller. I have this amazing dress that didn’t cost me a cent. I can go one step up from barefoot or, I can use shoes to make this an OUTFIT.” Why not ask, “How can I have fun? How can I get freaky? What shoes are so cool they’d elevate jeans and a tee shirt to icon status?”

I hated her red, thigh-high lace-ups at the Met Gala, but at least Rihanna gets the general concept.

It makes me so mad. Celebrities, we all know you’re beautiful. We all know you’re famous. Why not share the spotlight a little bit and hand the microphone over to your feet?

Photos via Getty Images.

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  • Abby

    I’d settle for just seeing some not-heels on the red carpet on a regular basis.

  • Emmie

    can i get an amen up in here?

    • Mila

      I just posted a comment that said amen lol

  • Rhona Uí Ríain

    This. Needed. To. Be. Said.

    And frankly it needs to be said to EVERYBODY! Not having a million dollar account is no excuse nowadays to go all out in the shoe department! So many brands are creating exciting, thrilling, beautiful footwear that can really lift an outfit.

    I am tired of being considered quirky or offbeat because I indulge in cool shoes. I just wish people would trust their weird side… And have fun!

    • _lauristia

      People are very used to super common shoes: black, brown, silver or gold in common styles like stiletto, pumps or sandals.

      Because we buy shoes in order to use them again, and as often as possible, it’s like under wear, I buy only white, black or nude color in order to combine them with every.single.outfit.I.own

      But if only we were more creative we would see we can bring a fun look with a great pair of shoes.

      • gwendomouse

        Yes, absolutely, if you’re a normal person with a normal – or below average – income, you stick to neutrals and sensible shapes that go with everything. But imagine being able to buy a pair of shoes to wear just once, on the red carpet, and never again, or even being given them for free?! Wouldn’t you go wild? I totally would.

    • Username

      you’ve got your life priorities in order, truly. tell us more sensei.

      • Rhona Uí Ríain

        Take a seat my child… I will tell you everything I know

  • Mila

    AMEN! Selena’s shoes at the Met Gala really bothered me…

    • grace

      prom shoes

      • Mila

        grandma sandals

    • Kattigans

      They really do not work for me especially when she chose to wear fuschia eyeshadow

  • Rheanonn Perez

    they should take a lesson from avril lavigne circa the ’00s! (this had to be ’00s right?) sneakers, although casual, would be more of a risk than anything neutral & strappy!

    (also the name of this tab/window says “celebry” instead of celebrity)



    • chouette

      Kirsten Stewart is the 20teens version of this we need.

  • This is too real. But you know who does a great shoe, in any situation (besides MR)? Alexa Chung.

  • Setare IR

    I guess that’s just their taste, of course they have stylist and everything but they still have a say in it! They’re not daring enough!! They’re all soooo boring! (except for Rihanna tho!)

  • Abigail Larson

    As someone who bases her entire outfit around the choice of footwear, i find celebrities to be an absolute snore and instead gain my fashion inspo from Asian streetwear blogs and the gaggle of elderly ladies who prefer to wear Chanel flats to yoga class rather than flip-flops.

    With the amazing footwear offerings that have recently been parading down the runway, I don’t understand why celebrities wouldn’t be the first to snatch up a fuzzy heel or embroidered platform. And this is why I look to you, my fellow Manrepellers, for trends and ideas. You never disappoint.

    • Gloria Elena Osuna

      Hey Abigail! I would love to follow more Asian streetwear blogs, so bored with the usual bloggers, and their lack of originality these days. Any suggestions on who to follow?

      • emmsy

        Hi Gloria! Not sure about blogs, but there’s quite a few on Instgram that have their own boutiques and labels – kimehwa, ami_bird are two of my favourites. There are a lot more I’m sure!

    • Jill

      With you on the basing your outfit around the footwear. I have my practical shoes, for my practical life. But I *also* have my fun shoes! Color, sparkle, embroidery, funky straps, peacock feathers (printed) on the heels…life would be so dull without them. I wish celebs would take more risks with their footwear. It’s like they go all out with the dress / jewelry, and then forget about the rest.

  • me

    IME, the cooler-looking the shoe, the more they hurt/are difficult to walk in!

    (Unless youre Leandra, that is … as Amelia once pointed out, Leandra has the highest threshold for shoe-induced pain. Her feet always look fab, but my feet in her shoes would kill me after a few steps.)

    The rest of us mortals – lots of celebs included, apparently – need to wear more “boring,” but less painful, shoes on our dainty hooves ….

  • Maximilian

    Sorry, but in my opinion this post isn’t necessary… Most of the celebrities use minimalistic & discreetly high-heels & jewelry to focus the attention on the dress or suit.
    Gwyneth wore Calvin Klein at the Met-Gala so would you put her in crazy Dolce & Gabbana or Vetements heels? The heels which your are propounding here are ugly & would destroy the overall-look.
    So Man Repeller calm down & rather post your great quality content.

  • chouette

    I’m friggin dying to finalize my wedding dress so I can pick killer shoes. I want Margiela Tabi boots and can’t get it out of my head! Celebrity style can be so weird – like, they have access to everything, even stuff we mere mortals can’t dream of, and yet they usually have to be “saleable” or “on-brand” when they’re at these events, lest they wind up on some worst-dressed list.

  • Valerie Barahona

    WHAT ABOUT EVA CHEN???? GURL WORE FREAKING FLATFORMS AND LOOKED GORGEOUS https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/65fd7afa90a816d7d53b0664dbc8eb1d31220b859b7c16c336a825ce46250183.jpg

    • Marta

      Eva and her love of fun and funky shoes makes my shoe-loving heart sing.

  • Kattigans

    I love, love shoes. I will go basic and boring in all other areas except shoes when I can help it. And if you don’t have thousands to spend on shoes, Zara has great, great funky weird options to get me through. Shoes are fun! I agree so many of these outfits could’ve been spiced up with some shoes. Heidi’s outfit is just so weird, she needed to punch it up a notch

  • This is why you begin your outfit planning WITH the shoes!
    Also why I find ‘streetstyle’ so much more inspiring than ‘celebrity style’*


  • Julia Dodson

    Ummm, celebrities are boring af. They are not stylish, they are rich–not the same thing. That’s why they hire stylist who have clearly led them astray by having them wear characterless shoes. I learned a long time ago that the best fashion is right on the street. I recently saw a homeless man swaggin out in Rick Owens hi tops–booyao.

  • Rocío (ro-see-oh)

    Thank you girls for really showing up alternatives and not only whining, you really gave me some inspiration for my future outfits, and showed us how great it is to offer solutions for our problems (cause yes, this whole outifit pairing is a headache for me). Keep going like that, I read you everyday!!!

  • Marta

    As someone who just bought Gucci Princetown loafers in YELLOW GOLD METALLIC instead of black, I agree with this wholeheartedly! The amount of compliments I get and times I go, “not loving this outfit, but WAIT, the Gucci loafers!” has become too numerous to count. The fact that I also got them at a discount is just icing on the cake. Fun shoes FTW!

  • Carly

    I couldn’t agree less. The only thing that strikes me about their shoes is how uncomfortable they all look 😖

  • Emmie

    Aaaand now all i will be doing is looking at people’s shoes for the rest of time. Celebrity or not

  • Lauren Thompson

    This was wonderful but now I’m mid-panic because my eyes have been opened and black platform pumps may forever remind me of hooves.

  • I was just saying this the other day about the Met Ball that no one went crazy bar Rhianna!

    Finally someone said it! 🙂


  • xtyb

    Here’s why: Celebrities are boring dressers. I only want to see YOUR shoes, MR crew!
    And that photo of Heidi, who I think is great as a celebrity, is a perfect example of this because it looks like she got those shoes at a mall.

  • Emma

    As a corporate PR person (and I work for industry, environment and health clients) regularly wearing this type of shoes even in front of said clients, I cans only approve this article.

  • MK

    Where can i find shoes that won’t break the bank and are not boring as hell? I don’t exactly have a bottomless bank acct but yearn for miu miu and d&g…

  • Nicole Balano

    Try Fluevogs! So unique I’m constantly planning outfits that go with my shoes.

  • Charlotte

    Boring doesn’t really bother me.. but what bothers me now and forever is that way too often you see celebrities, street style icons etc, models in editorials with shoes that are just ridiculously big. I’m talking a few sizes. I notice this instantly. And I understand that at shoots you are given several options by a designer. But who wants their designs advertised like that?

  • I LOVE THIS! You nailed it! 😀