When it comes to matters of fashion, nothing quite speaks of how knowledgeable you are like being able to coordinate and match outfits. It says even more when you can actually match your shoes and bag to your pants or top.
The truth is, there are many schools of thought regarding whether or not women should match their shoes to their outfits. Some think it is a show of prowess and fashion finesse while others do not find it necessary.
So, should women match their shoes to their pants or tops?
Well, yes and no. While it is not always necessary, it goes a long way in making sure that your outfit looks deliberate from head to toe. It also depicts elegance, especially when it is not overdone.
The truth is, finding a proper balance is not an easy task for most people, but to some, it comes very naturally. It takes years of practice and a keen eye to tell what works and what does not.
There are so many factors to consider when trying to match your shoes to your pants or tops, and a bad one could make for an unforgettable fashion disaster.
Why should you match your shoes to your pants and top?
There are several reasons why it is important to try as best as you can to match your shoes to your outfit. We have outlined a couple below.
1. It gives structure to your outfit
Having your shoes match either your top or pants makes sure you look organized in the fashion sense. This is to mean that there will not be too much going on, and people will be able to see the outfit in its fullness as opposed to bits and pieces of it.
This normally happens when what you are wearing does not coordinate which eventually makes each piece work individually as opposed to together in a flawless manner.
2. It is elegant
When done right, matching our shoes to your pants or top gives you a certain look of maturity and elegance because you essentially look like you know what you are doing.
It is particularly stylish when you are attending certain events, whether social or work-related. Many public figures such as Kate Middleton manage to add this elegance to their looks by matching their shoes to their outfits without making them come off as extremely serious and unapproachable individuals.
3. It can add a level of playfulness to your overall look
If you are dressing for a completely informal occasion, doing certain fashion matches can add to your playful nature if you have one. You will agree that shoes say a lot about an individual, and matching certain fabrics and colors could help to reduce the seriousness of an outfit.
For instance, you can wear a black skater skirt and pair it with a tucked denim shirt, and instead of pairing it with heels, you can pair it with sneakers to make the look more playful and casual.
When should you not match your shoes to your pants or top?
There are certain factors that can make matching your shoes to your pants a bad idea. Here are a couple;
1. When the prints do not match
Matching prints can be a nightmare, even for the best fashionistas in the industry. Unless your top and shoes share a common theme such as animal print or polka dot, do not match them.
For instance, never mix fabric such as Ankara pants with animal print or flower print shoes. They are both likely to be busy prints and would work against each other on an astronomical level.
2. When they have the exact same print
This may sound contradictory but trust us. We are all about matching and looking great but matching themes and matching prints are two separate things.
We have seen fashion trends from back in the day, and matching prints is from back then. Case in point; If you are wearing a plaid top or plaid pair of pants, do not (no matter how tempted you get) wear plaid shoes along with it. It will have you look like you came back from the past, and not in a good way.
3. When they are meant for different seasons
If you live in a part of the globe that experiences all four seasons, you might want to be very careful when mixing seasonal outfits. For instance, you should never wear autumn boots together with a summer top. That clash will be bigger than that of the Titans. The weather alone can be one of the best tools you can use to determine what shoes will go well with your top or pants.
Tips for Wearing Shoes to Match Your Pants or Top
Seeing as we have given you a couple of don’ts when picking shoes to match your top or pants, we have also prepared some quick pointers to help you pick the best shoes for the same. Here goes:
1. Wear shoes with a darker shade of color if the top or pants are the same color
While we are all for matching colors, wearing the same shade of color does not always work. A darker shade of shoes creates a nice balance, allowing the shoes and top or pants to stand out on their own.
If, for instance, you are wearing a purple top, couple them with purple shoes that are a shade darker to create a subtle ombre albeit of two colors.
2. If you have larger feet, wear oval or square-toed heels
Some fashion items, such as skinny jeans, have the tendency to make us look leaner and taller. Wearing flat shoes with such pants, especially if you have large feet, makes them look larger and stubbier.
If you can, wear heels or wedges instead of flats, and make sure you purchase or select a pair that is either oval or square-toed since they give the illusion that your feet are smaller and slimmer than they actually are.
3. Pick shoes that are a different material from your top or pants
One of the corniest fashion trends there is involves matching your top fabric to your shoe fabric.
To make your outfit look more deliberate and well thought out, try wearing shoes that have a different fabric from your top’s. Do not, for instance, wear a denim shirt with denim shoes as this does not work.
It gives off the impression that you are trying too hard. You can, however, wear a denim shirt with canvas shoes as these styles complement each other.
4. If you are wearing a bulky top, pair it with slender shoes
It goes without saying that bulky tops will make you look bigger than you really are, so they need to be paired with a ‘slender’ pair of shoes.
For instance, if you are wearing a large flowy top and skinny jeans, you can combine this look with strap sandals or slender doll shoes that have one color.
This will make your frame look smaller. Bulky shoes such as platform shoes or thick boots will have you looking shorter and stubbier, and it may look as though a lot is going on.
5. Create a color column of shoes and pants if you have shorter legs
Dressing short legs can be tough, but picking the right shoes to go with your pants can help a good deal. Seeing as it is not a great fashion idea to wear the same exact color of pants and shoes, you can go a shade darker with the shoes, but make sure you remain within the same spectrum.
This way, you will create the illusion that your legs are slimmer and longer with ease. If possible, try and create this color column using a pair of wedges or heels, and try as best as you can to stay away from bulky shoes.
6. Consider the shape of your pants before selecting a pair of shoes
Matching does not stop at color or print; it also involves the shape of your pants. If you are wearing chunky pants such as palazzo, pair them with a chunky pair of shoes, but make sure your top is fitting.
For smaller scale pants such as slender official pants or skinny jeans, pair them with stilettos or heels, and if you have to wear flat shoes, go for ballet-style flats as they have a trim profile.
With cropped pants, you need to wear high heels as this will make your legs look longer. You can also wear low vamp shoes as they also bring out the same effect.
Your taste in and choice of shoes says more than enough about you and your fashion style, and it speaks even more when you can easily pick shoes that go well with your outfit.
Seeing as there is a wide assortment of attire and shoe styles, it is important to find a proper balance to avoid looking strange.
If, however, matching is not for you, do not worry. Do not, however, be afraid to try a few fool-proof hacks that could elevate your fashion game a notch higher.
Read more fashion tips here or here!
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.