Even the most fashionable among us can be stumped over which shoes to wear with their favorite outfit. We all want to avoid being too matchy-matchy but still have a polished ensemble that will have people ogling over our new shoes. 

Before you reach for your go-to black pumps again, here are a few ways to ensure that your shoes go with your outfit and still show off your style. 

 Let your accessories dictate color

If color coordinating your shoes with your dress or pants feels way too monotonous, try matching them to your accessories. 

For instance, if you’re wearing a black outfit with a white purse, opt for white shoes. That way, you won’t look like a sheet of wallpaper, but you’ll also have a perfectly coordinated look that comes off as professional but elegant. 

The same rule applies for statement jewelry. With big, silver earrings on, you can wear those silver or gray heels you bought years ago but have yet to wear. By paying attention to other attributes of your look outside of your clothes, you’ll have more options to match with your shoes. 

 Coordinating with clothes

Whenever you’re in a hurry, check what the dominant color of your outfit is and then match your shoes to that. Even if you’re wearing black and brown tones, find the one that stands out in your ensemble, then choose your boots or flats based on that. 

Otherwise, opt for a shoe color that acts as one of the accent colors on your outfit. For example, if your dress has red stripes against a black background, wear your red heels for an extra pop. 

Remember texture

Aside from color, texture can be a huge factor in how well your shoes mesh with your clothes. Usually, you won’t find someone wearing velvet shoes with a sundress. 

A few easy go-to mashups include patent leather or suede with denim, velvet with winter clothes and anything strappy with your summer shorts and dresses. If you’re wearing a fancier outfit, you’ll want a more refined shoe choice with something like a pair of leather flats, a pointed-toe heel or an understated pair of pumps. 

Comfort matters

Of course, never forget to consider the comfort level of your shoes. If you’re heading off to work and have uncomfortable slingbacks on, it can make for an incredibly long day. Always have a backup pair of comfortable shoes that go with everything (hello, soft slides) just in case you get blisters from the pairs you have yet to break in. 

Your shoes can make or break your outfit, so using your ensemble for clues as to which color and texture to choose is step one. From here, find the option that best compliments your overall look without detracting from it. 

Start with a few go-to staples and consider switching things up with more colorful options that match the accessories you’ve chosen. And, if you have a pair of new shoes you’re dying to wear but can’t find the outfit for it—wear them anyway!

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About Paige Pichler

Paige Pichler is a writer, speaker, Project HEAL National Ambassador and yoga instructor. She writes about wellness, higher consciousness and health trends for a better life.

View all posts by Paige Pichler