The first step in selecting the best shoes is choosing shoes that complement your clothing, rather than ones that compete with your outfit.
For that reason, I always recommend pairing busier shoes with simple outfits, and wearing simple shoes with clothing that features a lot of prints, embellishments or dynamic accessories. It can be tricky to find shoes that complement your clothing, without dominating or being overpowered by it, but the reality is, it's a simple balancing act.
· When you look in the mirror, does one element of your outfit stand out more than the others?
· Is your outfit too chaotic? i.e. Are the sequins on your shoes competing with the crystals on your dress?
· Do your shoes and clothing blend together too much? i.e. Do your black pants, black turtleneck, and black booties all look like one long body suit?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, then the quickest way to pull together a cohesive look is to simply try on another pair of shoes, and ask yourself the questions again.
It doesn't matter how pretty they are, how comfortable they feel, or how discounted they were when you bought them -- if they don't fit the event, the environment and the occasion, then they are -- at least temporarily -- the wrong shoes.
Glitzy evening shoes have no place in the office, and flip-flops aren't generally considered acceptable for a formal event. So how do you know which shoes you should wear?
Well, the simplest approach would be to wear simple loafers or ballet flats for casual events, and classic pumps for anything dressy -- but that can get a little boring. If you want to play it safe without giving into tedium, go ahead and wear those widely-accepted styles but choose a unique color, or a pair that is embellished with a chic buckle or other accent.
If you want to make a more dramatic statement, then by all means, pair stilettos with your jeans, and sandals with your suits -- but to avoid attracting the wrong kind of attention, you should still stick with shoes that are well-suited to your environment.
Think about the day's events and locations. For example, if an outing to the park is on the agenda, then it's probably not a heels kind of day -- but where you really need to pay attention to which shoes you choose is at work, and at formal events. The following articles will help:
Of course they'll be times when you'll wear a pair of evening sandals when it's cold outside, and you might even wear flip-flops long after the official end of summer -- but if, for example, you're wearing Fall clothing, the easiest way to select a pair of complementary shoes, is to choose shoes that look like Fall shoes.
For instance, a pair of brocade pumps will look far more at home with a velvet evening suit than a pair of skimpy sandals will -- and those suede boots that looked great in all winter should be put away with your heavy coats.
But it is worth noting that some shoes, like leather pumps, that are truly multi-seasonal, and weather permitting, there's no reason you can't wear open toes through Fall.