An anonymous commenter said:
I’d be thrilled if you could talk about how you choose shoe styles and shoe colors to go with the rest of the outfit. I only recently become bold enough to buy shoes that weren’t black and by not black, I mean brown, gray, and beige/cream. I’m very unsure about how to approach colors as well as styles. Like how do you determine whether a pair of shoes goes with a skirt/dress, pants, or both?
Oooh, fun, fun, fun! I’m a huge fan of bright footwear and believe that there are many reasons to move beyond black shoes and embrace vibrant tones. For starters, colorful shoes are fantastic way to wear colors that don’t play nicely with your complexion; Yellow sweaters may make you look ill, but yellow shoes will just make you look bold. Colorful shoes allow you to wear conservative clothing, but still let your quirky side peek through. Bright shoes are a fabulous way to incorporate more color variety into your wardrobe and daily wear. And besides all that, they’re just plain fun. Times three. As indicated by my semi-coherent introductory sentence.
Here are a few ways that I like to incorporate colorful shoes into my outfits:
AS A POP
Bright shoes don’t necessarily need to be worn with bright clothing. If you’re fearful of looking like a child’s finger-painting by overloading on the colors, let your bright shoes be a simple pop of color against neutrals.
Here, white, khaki, and tan are a muted mix allowing the cobalt shoes and necklace to pop. The bright shoes have a bright accessory partner elsewhere in the outfit, which is not required, but helps create a cohesive ensemble quickly and easily.
Why does this technique come up so often? Because it WORKS, people. Just as the necklace/shoe pairing pictured in the first outfit creates a shortcut to cohesion, adding a piece of clothing that mirrors your brightly colored shoes will help those shoes seem like a natural choice. Cardigans, blazers, and shrugs or even scarves and shawls can work wonders toward drawing vibrant shoes into the mix. For a refined look, create some distance between the shoes and their colorful friend. Here the pumps and bolero are separated by the navy sheath and striped obi.
IN A PATTERN
If you’re not much for layering, draw your shoe’s color out by wearing a top or dress that includes the same shade. As you can see here, a little dab will do ya: Just that splash of red in the beige top makes the shoes seem like a natural choice.
IN A MONOCHROME MIX
If you’re interested in doing color all over and want your shoes to join in the fun, a mix of shades in the same value family will do the trick. Here, that means loads and loads of muted, dusky purples and lavenders. With reds, you could include brick, maroon, and even pinker shades like fuschia and magenta. Blues could include cobalt, steel blue, and navy. To make your mix look intentional try to get at least three different tones of the same color into your ensemble.