You don’t need to have a plethora of clothes in your closet to feel like you have enough to create a wide range of outfits. A good selection of staple pieces can give you enough styling versatility and remain relevant over time. Shoes are a great accessory that you can use alongside a few classic clothing options to take you through the seasons in a stylish breeze.
Although I would usually advocate to wear what you want to and feel good in at all times, there are a few Do’s and Don’ts that are quite helpful to consider while picking out shoes for your outfits. These can help make decisions faster and, to some extent, less painful too!
Here are my 7 Do’s and Don’ts that will help make it easier to choose what shoes to wear with what and when:
- Pick style instead of comfort: DON’T
Being comfortable in shoes is key to ensure you enjoy your day or event, otherwise, no matter how good you look, the only thing on your mind will be how fast you can get back home to get out of those uncomfortable shoes. So, picking style instead of comfort is always a big DON’T! Always opt for a shoe that is suitable and comfortable even if it might not be your first style option. Also, get creative and style a long summer dress with a pair of bright coloured brogues, like the fun Ain Deep Blue & Lime Oxford below (also available in Aubergine & Lime).
- Consider the duration you will be in the shoes: DO
In an at-home hosting or a quick 1-hour visit to friends, you can usually get away with a slightly less comfortable shoe (and compromise on the above Don’t #1). This is definitely not the case for a party or a long day out walking about the city where you DO want to consider the longer hours you will be in your shoes. DO consider a comfortable walking shoe like the Rehan Ankle Boot (also available in Black)!
- Consider the occasion: DO
Even without an official dress code, you DO want to assess the suitability of your shoes depending on the type of occasion. Although casual dressing has become the new norm for most social gatherings, you still don't want to wear sneakers to a wedding or sexy strappy sandals for a casual coffee meeting. This doesn't mean you have to be boring! For a business meeting, pick an under-the radar shoe that is still unique and fun like the Ain below!
- Consider the activity you will be doing: DO
There are so many cute summer sandals one can choose to wear for hot summer days, but DO consider the activities planned for your day before deciding to slip into a pair. They might seem like a good idea, but if you’re on holiday and expecting to spend a good number of hours walking outdoors, it might be a better idea to opt for a sneaker or closed-shoe that provides the correct support for walking. I love choosing the Iconic Medan Moccasin as the perfect city shoe (also available in Navy and Gray).
- Consider a contrast in color: DO
Wearing contrasting colours isn’t every one’s cup of tea, but there’s always someway to incorporate a pop of contrast to liven up a simple or toned-down outfit. If you’re wearing an all-black, white or nude outfit then DO add a pop of colour with a contrasting bright shoe. If you’ve opted for the fashionable monotone look, you can also mix it up with a contrasting pair of shoes for that extra bit of originality. I love unexpectedly incorporating the Dinieh 5cm Block Heel in Cherry for that (also available in Black)!
- Maintain the same style from head to toe: DON’T
A contrast in style can be just as fresh as a contrast in colour, so DON’T shy away from mixing it up. Your go-to wrap dress will always look perfect with a great pair of pumps for a nice evening out, but it can also work well as a day-time option with a flat slide or masculine brogue. This is perfect for vacation dressing as it will give you the maximum amount of uses for the few items you’ve packed in your suitcase.
- Consider trans-seasonal pieces: DO
Trans-seasonal dressing is a wonderful thing, and there’s nothing better than being able to wear your favorite ankle boots year-round! Consider wearing brogues or ankle boots with a flowy summer dress or shorts for a cool contrasting look. Or consider pieces that are easy to style with or without stockings to seamlessly take you through the cooler and warmer months. The gorgeous Dinieh t-strap below (also available in Forest & Petrol) does that perfectly.
It’s easy to use your shoes to experiment and step out of your comfort zone in dressing. Even for a toned-down classic dresser (like myself), shoes will express your originality and flair for style while remaining under the radar. Most importantly, stay comfortable and have fun while styling your shoes to your outfits!
Signing-off: Rana Cheikha for The Shoe Advisor