NET-A-PORTER Limited
NET-A-PORTER Limited

Picking the Right Type of Shoe to Match Your Outfit

As you peer over your shoe collection or shop online for a pair of new shoes, how do you know what to pick for a specific outfit? With all the styles of shoes out there, from strappy stilettos to closed-toe shoes like boots and sneakers, picking the right type of shoe to match your outfit can seem a bit intimidating. You want to look your best, but where do you start? Below, we offer some tips to help steer you in the right direction in creating a fashionable pairing to perfect your ensemble.

Consider the Season

Shoes come in all kinds of cute and elegant styles, so it’s easy to sway toward something drool-worthy over something, let’s say, more practical. However, at the end of the day (literally), your feet will thank you. So we suggest narrowing down your shoe options by season and activity first.

So let’s start with the season. Ultimately, you need to pay attention to the weather, as you probably would already when choosing the outfit. Is it a hot, sweltering summer day? Then think cute and comfortable sandals with slingback ankles that are super light and allow your feet to breathe, sans socks. Are you stepping out on a rainy day or a chilly date night in the evening? Then a pair of comfy boots for women like booties, rain boots or over-the-knee boots will keep toes, ankles and shins protected and warm.

Ideally, you should wear shoes with your outfit but ones that are also versatile, especially during spring and fall when the weather can be a tad unpredictable. Of course, you can always pack a pair of casual thongs when you plan to head to the beach or sneakers when you need to swing by the gym after work.

Hone in on the Heel

Again, your shoes should be practical for the occasion — not just cute! So when it comes to choosing shoes, stick to an appropriate heel that is comfortable and supportive for the activity. For starters, the stilettos you wear clubbing or to a concert may not be suitable for the workplace and those loafers may seem a bit drab for cocktails at an underground speakeasy. In addition, the height of your heel can also make or break your overall outfit. Also, when it comes to choosing a heel type, consider the weight and stability of the shoe.

Boots and flats are also an excellent choice for walking or standing all day long. Flats work especially well with sundresses for semi-formal and outdoor celebrations, pairing nicely with midi or mini skirts and capris — although we recommend wearing a slightly higher heel for fuller and longer maxi skirts to avoid looking old-fashioned. You can always dress up some flats with embellishments and a printed look, too.

Stilettos and tall heels will make your legs appear longer and slender, pairing perfectly with a pencil skirt or slim tapered jeans or leggings. If you need something more versatile to take your outfit from work to play, a low-profile heel like kitten heels are a stylish option. Kitten heels can give off a classy look that’s a touch flirty for date nights and concerts. While heels are often reserved for special occasions and formal events, you can wear them with just about anything, too. Remember that it’s okay to wear stilettos and heels with casual ensembles like a pair of your favorite jeans and tee. It will elevate your outfit in an instant!

Of course, sneakers are another thing entirely. Casual and comfy, white canvas sneakers like some Chuck Taylors can be paired with athleisure wear for those self-care days or errands out of the house. Sneakers are obviously the shoe of choice for running and workouts at the gym; however, they can also be quite fashionable, too, especially in color combinations and lace styles.

Choose Your Shoe Color

Color is a fairly easy decision to make when it comes to shoes and there are two directions you can take. While many choose to narrow down their shoe options by starting with a matching color, you can also do the opposite by choosing a contrasting hue. If you do decide to go with a matching color, don’t go too matchy-matchy. Instead, opt for a more interesting and understated look and select a pair of shoes that offers a subtle color variation like a darker or lighter shade. For example, if you wear a red dress, aim for shoes that are a slightly darker red like a maroon or burgundy hue.

Contrasting colors can also offer a vibrant and unexpected style to your outfit. Red shoes can offer a sexy and dramatic exclamation point to a black or neutral-tone ensemble. And blue suede boots can add some tomboy flirtiness to a breezy sundress or mini skirt. Of course, black shoes are also a timeless classic with just about any color!

In addition, this trick applies to shoes with patterns, too. In fact, a shoe with a striking bold animal print or stripe can add an extra dimension to your outfit. If you wish for your shoes to color match a dress or trousers, at a minimum, make sure they are a different material or texture to set them apart.

Step Out in a Stylish Ensemble with Comfy, Cute Shoes

Hopefully, these tips and tricks can help guide you to picking the right type of shoe to match your outfit. Just remember that when choosing the perfect pair of shoes, comfort and functionality should always come first! Otherwise, what’s the point in stepping out in cute shoes when your dogs start barking and you have to take them off mere hours into wearing them? So aim for seasonal comfort first and then select an appropriately sized heel for the occasion, followed by the shoe color (off-tone or contrasting, if possible). With these steps, you can whip up the perfect look to step out in style!

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