How to Match the Colour of Your Shoes with Your Clothes

Choosing the color of shoes that will go well with one’s outfit is one difficulty that many people encounter. While the decision on which pair to wear definitely belongs to you, there are certain rules to follow for you to look your best and be in style. Below is a guide that will make pairing easier for you.

The basic rules

1. Go for colors that will compliment and not those that will compete with your clothes.

Matching your wardrobe and footwear is actually all about balancing. Avoid distracting focal points that may divide the attention of people as they look on you. Let only one element stand out over the others which means that you don’t need to match your glimmering metallic shoes with clothes adorned with sequins or crystals, nor with a jacket with bold geometric design.

2. Avoid solid color matching

Red shoes for your pure red outfit or black suede to go with your all black get up are a thing of the past. Do not choose a single solid color from your head to toe.

3. Go for contrasting colors

When wearing a block color, consider wearing shoes that are of contrasting color. A contrasting color refers to the one opposite the original color on the color wheel. For instance, you may try a pair of red shoes, or any shade of it, for your plain green wardrobe. Since they belong to the opposite sides of the color wheel, they will definitely look fabulous. However, you may also use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel to achieve a more harmonious appearance.

4. Pick a color from your printed clothes

If there are multiple colors on the print of your clothes, say it’s a combination of yellow, blue, green and orange, you may pick one color from among them to be your guide in matching the color of your shoes. Don’t confine yourself to just the original color. Try different shades of pink – salmon, old rose, carnation or baby pink shoes for a shirt with a pink, purple, blue print on it. As a safe option, use a single color only twice for that “put together “appearance. If a certain hue is present in your clothes, you may repeat in your shoes, but no longer in the other parts of your ensemble. You may choose an orange (not necessarily the bright shade) shoes, or its variety like peach or melon orange, for your printed blouse with that particular color. But don’t use the same shade for your bag and belt.

5. When in doubt, go neutral

If the clash of colors don’t work for you, choose neutral colors. Neutral colours such as nude, beige, tan or bone are safer to use when you are dubious of the shoes to match a dress.

6. Deep with deep, light with light

If the color of your available shoes is not found on your wardrobe, you may resort to combining ” values ” such as deep shade with deep color, light color to match with an equally light colored material. You may also try other color theory rules.

7. Add life to plain clothes

You can do this by matching your plain dress with brighter colors or those with catchy patterns designs like a funky pattern and texture such as snake or alligator skin for a plain top and slacks or jeans. A solid beige outfit, for instance, matched with a leopard printed shoes will surely look amazing.

8. Invest on the basics

You need not invest your money on all colors and shades for your footwear. Just having the basics – blacks, nudes, neutrals, with just a pair of something playful and fanciful are enough for your shoe closet.

9. Choose standard colors for professional or business dressing

Always go for black, brown, navy blue and grey for the corporate look. Inject other colors only if the office allows a casual dress code.

Color Do’s and Don’ts

For an easier reference, here’s a table showing what color of clothes will be ideal and what should be avoided for the different colors of shoes:

Color of shoes Do pair with Don’t match with

Black almost anything Black, pastels and some earth-toned garments
Brown Shades of tan, beige, greens, orange and other darker shades Solid brown
Tan/Light Brown Blue, beige, white, lighter tone of earth colors Solid tan/light brown
Cream/Taupe Pastel, brights Solid cream/taupe
White Brights, pastels and light neutrals Solid white
Grey Black, red, blue and some yellow and purple Solid grey
Silver Pastels, black, blue, purple, white, red, purple, emerald green Solid silver and  those sparkly and with bold prints
Gold Black, white, reds, greens, browns, purple, blue Solid gold and those with sparkly and bold prints
Nude Almost everything Nude
Other Colors

Blue Anything in yellow, brown or white. The darker shades of blue may be an alternative to black Solid blue and those in a pastel shade of blue
Red Pink, navy blue and neutral shades Solid red
Pink Purple, white, pastels Solid pink
Orange Red, blue, yellow, Â white, other earthy tones Solid orange also with green, purple
Yellow Green, blue, monochrome clothes Solid yellow and  also purple.


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