How to Pick the Right Shoes for Your Outfit

Learn how to pick the right shoes for your outfit from fashion editor Verena von Pfetten in this Howcast video.

When it comes to shoes you can definitely make a statement with your outfit with your shoes. There are so many different options. There are big heels and different colors. Or flats. Sneakers. You can wear booties. There are so many different options out there that it probably can seem really confusing to figure out what to wear with your outfit.

Again, I don’t believe in rules, so I think if you’re comfortable in flats you should wear flats. I don’t think you have to wear heels because you’re wearing a dress. The idea with that is to make sure that the flats, despite not having a heel, sort of fit the dress or the formalness of what you’re wearing. So, make sure if you’re wearing flats with a skirt or a dress that they have nice, clean lines and maybe a little decoration to make them feel a little more dressed up.

When it comes to heels I think it’s really important to invest in a couple of pairs of classic shoes. Everyone needs a pair of black pumps, and everyone needs a pair of nude pumps. The black ones go with everything, and you can wear them to work or to evening. And the nude ones are just so flattering. Try and find one that matches your skin tone, so either a lighter shoe or a darker shoe depending on your skin. What they do is they really elongate your leg. So if you’re wearing a nice, tall pair of nude heels or sort of skin colored heels it’s going to give the illusion that you have four or five extra inches on those legs. And everyone wants that.

If it’s about picking the outfit and wanting to make sure your shoes don’t look out of place, there are very few rules. A couple of things to keep in mind are with the ankle booties that are really popular right now. You don’t want to wear those with a longer skirt, because what they do is they really cut your leg off at the ankle. So, if you’re wearing those you want to make sure you’re wearing a shorter skirt or something that shows enough leg to balance it off.

Otherwise, if you’re wearing something longer, you want something with a large amount of your foot showing. So, a peep toe or a sort of pump that runs really, really deep down your foot, or even like a strappy sandal where you see a lot of skin. The idea is really just balancing, making sure you have enough leg showing, and that the cuts aren’t too close together. So, if your skirt hem is here you don’t want your shoe hem to be that close to it.

When it comes to winter it’s all about boots or things that are versatile that you can trudge through the mud, snow, and rain but you’re still going to look good in. Again, that’s another way to wear a dress or a skirt with some tights and a good pair of flat boots, because you’re going to be the most comfortable in that. A classic black riding boot is never going to go out of style, and it will go with any outfit. If you like a little height, like you really feel more comfortable if you have a heel, for winter time I recommend something with a stacked heel as opposed to a stiletto heel. That way it’s going to be a little more comfortable and a little more secure.

I think my favorite thing to do, though, is really mix and match and sort of surprise people with your footwear. If you’re wearing a really, really dressy, feminine outfit it would be cool if you wore it with an ankle boot or even sneakers, something to really surprise people. The flip side is maybe you’re wearing a menswear inspired outfit or some really tailored pants and a button down blouse. That’s when you should wear like a really strappy pair of high stilettos. Because, again, that balance or that sort of surprise element is what’s going to make your outfit most interesting.