How To Match Your Shoes With The Dress – Tips Every Girl Should Know

This accessory can make or break your outfit; so know the types and memorize the tips.

Reviewed by Keicia Shanta, Fashion Expert Keicia Shanta Keicia ShantaFashion Expert twitter_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc Pratima Ati MSc
Edited by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijani Roy Chowdhury MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant Experience: 3 years
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“A shoe has much more to offer..than just to walk.” – Christian Louboutin

Diamonds are a woman’s best friend they say. Actually, shoes are! If you were to choose between a diamond ring or fifty pairs of shoes? What will you pick? Don’t think so hard, the answer is obvious. If you ask me, I’d go with the latter and sorry there are no prizes for guessing (didn’t see that coming?). And, I know most women would trade their diamond for a closet full of shoes. And I also know that we are made fun of for the same reason, mostly because men don’t understand the mind mapping and brainstorming we do to match our shoes with the dress.

Yes, there’s a lot more there is than that meets the eye, and yes I’m here to talk all about it. It’s no rocket science; you just need to get the basics right. So here’s everything you need to know about ‘How to match your shoes with the dress.

Match your shoes with your dress
Image: Giphy
protip_icon Ace The Look
  • Colors: Pair bold and patterned clothes with beige or cream shoes and a denim dress or jeans and a shirt with deep purple, bold orange, or metallic blue shoes.
  • Dress Length: Pair short dresses with high heels, mid-calf dresses with wedges, and maxi or knee-length dresses with flats for an elegant look.
  • Occasion: Pair a short skirt or tight jeans with heels or pumps for formal events and a maxi or cocktail dress with flats or wedges for casual occasions.
  • Maintenance: Clean peep toes with a cloth thrice a week and suede pumps with a suede brush twice a week as they tend to accumulate more dust and dirt in the toe area.

Types of Shoes

The word ‘shoes’ mean differently to men and women. Let’s park the men for now and see everything that falls under the category for us women and also how to style them.

1. Peep toes

Peep-toes with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

The easiest way to do this is to remember that peep-toe shoes go well with bare legs. So, any dress that is either short or knee-length will be a good match. If you’re not comfortable in stilettos, go with wedges, and they can be worn with casual wear too. Try the flat peep toes look for opaque leggings or jeggings with tops that come till the hip.

2. Pumps

Pumps with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

Pumps just translate to urban and chic, meaning any outfit with a chic appeal will invariably be a good match. Styles like pantsuits, pencil skirts, cigarette pants and long formal dresses, etc., you get the idea, don’t you? Having said that, short dresses with or without sheer stocking look equally great with these. In winters, trench coats or long fur jackets with skinny jeans take this look to the next level.

3. Stilettos

Stilettos with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

How different are the pumps from stillettos you ask? I was not sure either! Let me tell you they are not very different. Pumps are high heels which are closed, while everything else in high heels fall under this category. These go with pretty much everything—be it formal, casual or party wear.

4. Lower Heels

Small-Heels with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

If you’re one of those who has a love-hate relationship with heels, lower block or kitten heels are your best bet that comes closest to giving you the satisfaction of wearing heels. Meet in the middle between the two and get shoes with a tad bit heel. If you’re looking for something that complements your office wear, this is again your savior. It gives you a nice elevated look and spruces up the look for you.

5. Boots

Boots with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of boots? Winter? Now, that is stereotyping it! Because boots are no more than (just) winter wonders. Yes, they add to the charm during the fall season, but they can do more than that. Sport the ankle-length, knee-length, or over-the-knee ones with a leather jacket and jeans, short dresses or long dresses, cape, skinny jeans, etc. You could probably try anything without forcing it too much. Your choices are limitless.

6. Gladiators

Gladiators with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

From being a complicated piece of fashion accessory to a must-have in every fashionista’s shoe closet, these have come a long way. Nude ankle length sandals are your safest bet and matches most dresses. When I say most dresses—it means something that ends near the calves preferably. The knee length ones with tiable strings go perfectly with boho-inspired dresses and shorts, or also with long dresses with knee length, perhaps. It’s worth mentioning that you can avoid them if you have chunky legs or go with the ones with thicker straps.

7. Ballerinas

Ballerinas with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

Ballerinas and loafers are a blessing in disguise and need no introduction. They go with any dress whatsoever and can never fail you. You can either go with contrast or matching colors, and one dark shade goes with everything. So invest in a pair of Tory Burch or Gucci, and you’re sorted.

8. Slip On Shoes

Slip-on shoes with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

Slip ons were mommy pants of shoes. Shoes that were once considered boring, dated and everything not cool. And, it didn’t take too long to prove us all wrong. Even crocs were considered that when they made their debut. Cut to now, these are considered stylish, comfortable and urbane. Just as the name goes slide them on and you’re sorted. You have neon and fast colors that are such fun. If you can pull them off, go with it. Slip ons and long/short summer dresses are a thing now, amongst many others.

9. Running Shoes

Running shoes with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

Trainers or running shoes, whatever you call them have been most sought-after for their comfort, but now that has changed too. You just need to deal with them fashionably. Don’t shy away from trying the vibrant ones or fast colors, they are the next big thing according to fashion bloggers. They make for great airport looks, hike with friends, running or just about anything.

protip_icon Trivia
Make sure your shoes are not the same color and material as the outfit you wear.

10. Flatform Sandals

Flatform sandals with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

Born in the 70s, these have made a steadfast comeback recently. Thick soles that elevate you just the right amount, but do not tip you off like the other typical heels. They’re ideal for sundresses, shorts, or denim skirts. These give you the style and height of heels combined with the comfort of flats.

11. Chunky Trainer

Chunky trainer with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

The chunky trainer trend might have appeared a fleeting thing, but they have secured their spot in the fashion realm with their “ugly-chic” aesthetic. Pair them with skinny jeans and a crop top, or wear them with a casual denim dress for a playful vibe.

12. Block Heels

Block heel with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

The block heel is your best bet for when you want height and are looking to make a fashion statement but with some level of comfort. These shoes are very versatile and can be easily styled with jeans, cropped pants, summer dresses, midi skirts, suit pants, and even lehengas!

Color Combinations

Shoe color combinations
Image: Shutterstock

1. Blacks

Black heels with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

There is not much of a surprise element here, but black goes with everything absolutely. So, invest in a few pairs of black strappy sandals. Boots, stilettos, pumps or wedges these come a long way and will be your rescue rangers on a rainy day. Or if it’s your first pair of a model you’re venturing into black it is!

2. Nudes

Nude heels with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

Have you heard of this before? Nudes are known to give your feet an elongated look. It sounds lame isn’t it? It might not in the literal sense, but fashion is all about creating an illusion and make-believe. These were added to the shoe closet staple list a long time ago, and you should get them if you haven’t already. Go for nudes if your dress is heavily embellished or swanky to bring a balance unless you want it to add to the sparkle.

3. Matching

Match your heels with your dress
Image: Shutterstock

The fashion rules are changing. Gone are the days when it was considered uber cool to match every single detail of your dressing. So matching your shoes with the dress, unless it’s black is not-so-uber-cool anymore. Go for it by all means but do not overdo it, as it’s a trend with one leg at the exit gate. Complementing colors are a big yes!

4. Color Blocking

Color block your heels to wear with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

I’ll tell when color blocking should be your go-to. If you’re the kind who likes matching your accessories, this works best for you. It needs an eye for details and shows class like nothing ever does. The idea is to choose an outfit and go with contrast colors for all the other accessories. Shoes play a pivotal role in the contrast game! You can get as interesting, whacky or stylish as you want and wear it with attitude.

5. Prints

Printed peep toe heels with dresses
Image: Shutterstock

A style statement with animal prints is big and elevate your look instantly. Imagine wearing a simple black T-shirt, skinny jeans and a pair of printed sandals or an LBD with the same. It’s an impeccable combination. But do not overdo the entire outfit with these, if your sandals are printed let everything be muted and subdued. Prints and patterns are a huge hit, don’t miss out on these!

protip_icon Trivia
If you have short legs, avoid wearing heels with ankle straps or T-straps because these will make you look shorter.

And, as a final checklist, here are the Dos & Don’ts, before we let you go
Dos and don'ts
Image: Shutterstock

Dos And Don’ts

DosDon’ts
Go with contrasting or complementing colors.Match from head to toe.
Light colored dress with light sandals, dark ones with dark colors.Mix dark shoes with light-colored outfits.
Blacks, blues, browns and gray for professional looks.Do red, suede and swanky colors with formals.
Invest in a pair of good shoes.Go for style over comfort.
Nudes for sequined/embellished dressesWear sparkly shoes over sparkly dresses.
Take seasons into consideration.Wear whites and flats in monsoon, and boots in summer.

Infographic: Types Of Shoes To Wear With Your Dresses

It’s not always easy to make a decision when it comes to getting the perfect pair of shoes that match your outfit. If you make the wrong choice, your entire appearance could be ruined. Therefore, choosing the appropriate style of shoes is crucial. However, it’s simpler said than done. But do not fret.

Check the infographic below to understand better the various shoe styles you can wear with dresses.

types of shoes to wear with your dresses (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

When it comes to buying our shoes, we are truly spoiled for choice. From peep toes to pumps, stilettos, boots, gladiators, and more, we have a wide range of options to choose from. So, if you wonder what shoes to wear with dresses, this article will be of great help. But before anything else, pay utmost attention to your comfort. You do not want to wear a pair of shoes that gives you major aches later in the day. So, make sure you try them out and check if you can walk confidently without the fear of hurting yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

What flat shoes can you wear with dresses?

For casual wear, go with basic ballet flats or any classic fashion sneakers. Pointed-toe slides or dressy flats are suitable for any formal occasion.

Can I wear ankle boots with a dress?

Yes. Ankle boots look stylish when worn with a dress or any maxi skirt.

Is it OK to wear flats with a formal dress?

If you are the one who just loves being comfy, you can wear flats with a formal dress. You can also go for slingback mules, platform shoes, or stylish espadrilles.

Can you wear closed-toe shoes with a gown?

Yes. Closed-toe shoes look fabulous with a gown.

Can you wear boots with a dress?

Yes. It is OK to wear boots of different heights with dresses and different skirt lengths.

Key Takeaways

  • From pumps to boots, gladiators, ballerinas, and more, footwear types are certainly innumerable now!
  • Nude ankle-length sandals can be the best go-to footwear to match all sorts of dresses.
  • Black goes with everything, so opt for staple black footwear for an elevated look.
  • Make a style statement with animal-printed footwear as well as for a classy look.
shoes to wear with dresses

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team


Selecting the ideal shoes for your outfit can be tough sometimes. This video guide will help you learn the secrets of matching footwear with different outfits and elevate your fashion game effortlessly. Click play now!
Keicia Shanta

Keicia ShantaFashion Expert

Keicia Shanta is a fashion expert with over a decade of experience. She started her blog FashionCrush in 2012 with the plan of just talking about her hunt for trendy fashion finds that don’t break the bank. That blog quickly grew into much more with her first editorial fashion collaboration with southern retail chain Belk. Keicia soon went on to...read full bio

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