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

Written by Pratima Ati

“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.’

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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

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The easiest way to do this is to remember that peep toes 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

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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

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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. Small Heels

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If you’re one of those who has a love-hate relationship with heels, small 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

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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 and knee length ones with a leather jacket and jeans, short dresses or long dresses, cape and skinny jeans, etc. You could probably try anything without forcing it too much. Your choices are limitless.

6. Gladiators

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Color Combinations

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1. Blacks

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There is not much of a surprise element here, but black goes with everything absolutely. So, invest in a few pairs of black 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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

And, as a final checklist, here are the Dos & Don’ts, before we let you go

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Dos And Don’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.

Wearing the right footwear can be a deal breaker. Don’t trust me? Then try spending an entire day wearing uncomfortable shoes. The trick is to strike a balance between style and comfort. Hope this article helped. Feel free to drop in a text for any questions or share your thoughts; We’d be delighted to hear from you! Until then, remember—When in doubt, wear red!

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After working in Marketing and Business Development for a few years, Pratima Ati jumped ship to pursue two things she loved – fashion and writing. She’s now a full-time Fashion & Lifestyle writer and has never looked back ever since. She sleeps early, reads often, and when she can't, she finally gives a closure to all the characters living in her drafts. Sometimes, they pass off as poetry too! That, and her training in Indian classical music and playing (learning) the veena keep her sane, civil, and bearable.