Dear Style Fix: My black shoe rut

Dear Stylefix,

I’m in a black shoe rut. In fact…I think almost every shoe in my closet is black! I always see other women around the office wearing really cute, unique and colourful shoes and they were mine but whenever I go shopping I always end up picking a black shoe or…*gasp* a brown one when I’m feeling crazy.
Can you help me break out of the ‘everything goes with black shoes’ mindset?

Ms. E

Dear Ms. E

You’re definitely not alone in this. For those of us that are not ‘shoe addicted’ and shoe shop purely for function or necessity (ie. your other shoes have a hole in them the size of a quarter), it can be difficult to justify a purchase of a non-neutral shoe.

And it’s true, if you don’t have a pair of black shoes for work (one high heeled and one flat) then that is a good place to start when shoe shopping. But assuming you have checked those boxes, why reach for more of the same?

Fact #1 – Browns and Metallics are also neutral

First things first…let’s ease you out of your comfort zone. you want shoes that you can wear with anything?

Try brown or silver!

Aside with clothes with black in them, really anything you wear from grey to navy to jeans to khakis (taupe or olive) will go with brown shoes so you’ll really get some bang for your buck.

 

Rockport ‘Faye’ Croc patterned flats
$100 (shoes.com)

 

And silver…well think of it as grey. Despite the shine, the colour really is still a neutral – the bonus? – silver shoes will give a sparkle pop to black, brown or navy centered outfits. Now that’s value!!!!

product image
Kenneth Cole Reaction – $89.99
(sterlingshoes.com)

Fact #2 – No one needs 100 pairs of work shoes, but you can get some serious variety with 6-8.

As I said, when you have your (1) flat pair of black shoes and (1) high heeled pair of black shoes then you’re ready to expand your collection. If you are new at breaking out of the black mode then I suggest adding to your shoe collection in the following order to slowly increase your shoe choice tolerance level.

1. Black flats

Blowfish – $49.95
(sterlingshoes.com)

2. Black heels

DOYSCHER
Aldo ‘Doysher’ black heels – $80

3. Brown heels

 

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Karla
“lauren’ by Ralph Lauren
on sale for $43.99
(gothamcityshoes.com)

 

4. Silver Flats

Roberto Vianni ‘comfort’ – $69.95
(sterlingshoes.com)

5. Animal print flats or heels

nuncio
Nine West “nuncio” heels
in snake skin – $69.99

6. Red flats or heels

ARNOLDOA
Aldo ‘Arnoldoa’ heels
on sale for $37.49

7.Pop flat shoes – try pink, yellow, orange or teal

loredana
Nine West ‘loredana’ flats – $79.99

 

olivetoo
Nine West ‘olivetoo’ flats – $89.99

7. Brown heeled boots

8. A crazy fun ‘out there’ pair of shoes (modern/retro/or edgy)

MONROW
Aldo ‘Monrow’ flats – $50
Ed Hardy Batu Pump - Indigo
Ed Hardy ‘Butu’ pump – $69.99
(heels.com)
Guess Shoes Alessa 2 - Natural Multi LL
Guess Shoes “Alessa’ – $100
Naughty Monkey Flirt - Grey
Naughty Monkey -‘Flirt’ in grey – $94.99

Fact #3 – Shoes are accessories and are meant to pop!

Try not to think of shoes being that those things that rub and the ground and get all scuffed – something to fade into the background and not be noticed. Yes….in the practical sense we NEED to wear shoes…unlike other accessories that we could really survive without like watches, necklaces or scarves. But shoes can bring an awesome and unexpected pop to an outfit like any other jewelry or accessory could.

If you’re new with shoe experimentation – start at the beginning.

A) Try wearing all black and adding a statement zebra print shoe.
B) Try wearing a cream top, grey trousers and a pop colour shoe in green, yellow or pink.
C) Try wearing a white & navy striped top with navy pants and silver flats

Once you start to get more comfortable with wearing shoes that get attention you’ll also start to see and combine other options in your closet. If you are trying out pop colour shoes, just keep the rest of your outfit in the neutrals (they can be different neutrals) and use your shoes as the feature.

If you are more of an intermediate when it comes to spicy shoes… try mixing two bold pieces together:
A) Colour & sparkle – a sparkly long chain necklace with pop colour shoes
B) Colour & colour – a bold coloured top or bag with different coloured pop shoes in the same colour intensity like a green bag and purple shoes.
C) Colour & texture – Mix a multi-coloured/textured shoe (like the Ed Hardy pump above in denim with a pink bow)with a bold coloured top (like lemon yellow) and neutral pants or skirt (ex. white or grey).

That’s it for now! You are all a little more inspired to step out of the (shoe) box on your next shopping trip.

WWS

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