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?
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?
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
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!!!!
|Kenneth Cole Reaction – $89.99
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
2. Black heels
|Aldo ‘Doysher’ black heels – $80|
3. Brown heels
|“lauren’ by Ralph Lauren
on sale for $43.99
4. Silver Flats
|Roberto Vianni ‘comfort’ – $69.95
5. Animal print flats or heels
|Nine West “nuncio” heels
in snake skin – $69.99
6. Red flats or heels
|Aldo ‘Arnoldoa’ heels
on sale for $37.49
7.Pop flat shoes – try pink, yellow, orange or teal
|Nine West ‘loredana’ flats – $79.99|
|Nine West ‘olivetoo’ flats – $89.99|
7. Brown heeled boots
8. A crazy fun ‘out there’ pair of shoes (modern/retro/or edgy)
|Aldo ‘Monrow’ flats – $50|
|Ed Hardy ‘Butu’ pump – $69.99
|Guess Shoes “Alessa’ – $100|
|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.