Color, Tips

Style Staples: #3 Colored Shoes

Happy day, dearest reader!

I am having fun with this Style Staples series… I hope you are, too! Two down, a third today, and a few more in the pipeline.If you are looking for a Must Have List, my apologies. Style Staples are not your standard “Must Haves.” Style Staples are the pieces I look for when working with clients to give their Building Basics personality and oomph. You probably have Style Staples in your wardrobe already. Learning to use them makes all the difference! Style Staples create a look, and should always reflect your personality and lifestyle. If you missed the first two installments, you can find them here, and here.

About those ubiquitous Must Have Lists: I take most Must Have lists with a grain of salt. Actually, a huge shake! Perfect example: Not everyone needs, likes, wants, or looks good in a crisp white shirt! Almost every MH list I’ve seen includes one. I think of those Musts in terms of their purpose, rather than as prescribed pieces, i.e. the perfect white shirt. Your perfect white shirt might be an ivory tee because you despise buttons, crisp is uncomfortable, AND you look ghastly in white. Your Must Haves won’t be the same as mine! And that’s just how it should be. So without further ado…

Style Staple #3 is… (Drumroll, please! )

A Colored Shoe! I’m sure some of you may wonder why I waited for number 3 for this one. (Especially if you follow me on Instagram!) A Colored Shoe is (regularly) the first thing I look for in my closet to spice up a neutral or basic outfit. I waited because a Colored Shoe can make people uncomfortable. Some people are self-conscious about the size of their feet, and would rather eat broken glass than wear a colored shoe and draw attention to their feet. Others with foot issues struggle to find any shoes they can wear comfortably, and those most often come in black. Sometimes white. Maybe tan if they are having a lucky day. (None of which are colored shoes, BTW.)

What IS A Colored Shoe?

This might sound simple, but I have had people tell me they are wearing a colored shoe because their shoes aren’t black. Sorry, not black is not the same as colored! White, grey, brown, and tan shoes are not colored shoes; they are neutrals. Even wine/bordeaux is questionable. It’s more of a neutral than a color! Colored shoes are shoes in a rainbow color: purple, blue (not navy), green, yellow, orange, red, pink, etc. They can be solid, color blocked, or patterned. Before you ask, I’ll hazard a guess that your trainers/gym shoes are not colored shoes. Yes, they are shoes, and they may have color on them, but unless they are predominantly colored, they aren’t colored shoes. If you want to learn more about color, here’s a good place to start.

Why A Colored Shoe?

1.  Colored shoes speak: Colored shoes say “I don’t take myself too seriously. I know how to have fun. I am confident in my style.” (Even when you don’t feel it. This is one of those fake it until you make it opportunities!) Colored shoes are also a great conversation starter: The bonus is that you don’t even have to be the one making the approach.  They are a great way to say “My favorite color is…”

2.  Colored shoes are an easy way to add color to an outfit. Or extra color! If your personal coloring is Medium High or High Color Contrast (3 colors), it can be a challenge to get that 3rd color in. Colored shoes are an awesome way to do that!

3.  My favorite reason for a colored shoe? It personalizes an otherwise generic outfit.

Jeans + White Tee + Neutral Shoes = I’m not naked.
Jeans + White Tee + Colored Shoes = I meant to do that!

What Color Shoe Should I Choose?

Ideally, your colored shoes should be a color that you love, that coordinates with your wardrobe, and looks great on you! Shoes the same color as your Short Colored Necklace (Style Staple #2) are even better. Why? When we meet someone, we look them over. This isn’t meant to be sexual or insulting; it’s human nature to evaluate if someone is friend or foe, safe or a threat. When the color of our shoes refers back to a color near our face (hair, necklace, top, or scarf) our eye is drawn back to the face where it belongs. If there’s no reference, our eye can get stuck at the bottom, creating a heavy or weighted look, especially if the shoe is dark and our coloring is not!

Another strategy is to buy a shoe in a color you love, but that doesn’t love you back. In this way, you are keeping the unflattering shade as far from your face as possible. The down side here is that creating the visual loop discussed above won’t happen. Again, for flattery, make sure to wear another color that does look great on you near your face.

What Style of Colored Shoe Is Best?

Unfortunately, I can’t decide that for you… Your Colored Shoe needs to fit your lifestyle! If you spend your day in athletic style shoes, then a pair of colored Converses or Keds may be right up your alley. Are you a ballet flat queen? There are hundreds of color options out there in the ballet flat world! If you work in a very conservative office and pumps are de rigueur, try a more subdued colored pump that coordinates with your business wear. If even that’s too risque, a fabric pump in a suiting pattern (houndstooth, pinstripe) with brightly colored leather trim could be your own little act of style rebellion. (Shhhhhh… We won’t tell!)

I Have Problem Feet

If you have feet that are troublesome to fit, you still have options. Shoes suitable for orthotics are often not the style you would like, and the color selection is extremely limited. No worries! You can still have colored shoes if you want. Three helpful little words: Angelus Shoe Paint. I know; you don’t want to buy a pair of shoes that cost the same as a New York City hotel room just to  paint them. I wouldn’t either. Take an old worn pair that need replacing and paint them. Your worn shoes get a new lease on life. You get shoe painting practice AND you get a pair of shoes in whatever color your little heart desires. This stuff is amazing! I have painted a few pair of shoes previously, and have two more in the works… One pewter, and the other is still undecided. I’m thinking rose gold, blush pink, or magenta. If I choose badly, I’ll paint it again. No risk, all win!

(Disclaimer: I have received no compensation or gifts from Angelus in return for this mention and link. I am sharing because I like and believe in their products. All opinions expressed here are mine alone.)

The Disconnect

Some people will balk at (politeness-speak for: outright refuse) to even consider a pair of colored shoes. When I look in their closet though, they have wildly colored flip flops, water shoes, athletic shoes, and slippers. If this sounds like you, ask yourself, why do those shoes have permission to have fun, but not the others? If colored shoes mean play, then why not add some play to everyday?  I’ve seen lavender steel-toed boots. (And yes, they were customized.)

So how about you? What Style Staples have you found in your closet? Do you wear colored shoes? Why or why not? What are your favorites? What color would you wear if you could find them? Let’s start a conversation in the comments below… I love to hear your thoughts!

Stylishly yours,

My gratitude to Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for generously hosting her weekend Link-Up! And to Shelbee at Shelbee on the Edge for the same!

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4 thoughts on “Style Staples: #3 Colored Shoes”

    1. It is truly amazing stuff! I am exceptionally craft-challenged, and even I have been successful!

  1. I’m waiting for a pair of shoes to arrive that I ordered. They are navy with coloured polka dots ! I also have orange espadrilles, and red brogues, and am desperate to find a shocking pink pair ! What you said about wearing a colour that you love but don’t suit, in the form of shoes is a great idea, also works with a bag, I love citrussy yellow but look awful with it near my face, so I got a bag in that colour.

    1. I, too, love yellow, but it does not love me! My yellow handbag fills the same gap! Your shoe wardrobe sounds frighteningly similar to mine… I have navy wedges with polka dots (although mine are just white), orange flat ‘drilles, and red brogues. Shocking pink sounds fun; I’m painting a pair of pumps magenta; hoping to get started this weekend!

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