How to Choose the Right Pair of Shoes for Your Outfit

Happy Friday ladies! Can you believe it is already June? This year is flying by, but I must say I am happy to see the summer weather starting to settle in. With that in mind, I want to talk about an important topic today. When styling an outfit, you can never forget the base... your shoes! The right pair of shoes can make or break an outfit. They can give you confidence and perfectly tie your look together. Now that it's starting to feel like summer, let's talk about summer shoe styles and how to choose the right shoe to complete your outfit. Follow these tips to look stylish from head to toe! 

The SOFA Method

If you're totally unsure about where to start when it comes to pairing shoes with your outfits, then the SOFA method by style blogger Rachel Walker will be your best friend! SOFA stands for season, occasion, formality, and activity. Season refers not only to the seasonal weather conditions, but also to the patterns and fabrics that are characteristic of the fashion seasons. Occasion refers to the commitments you have for the day or the events you will be involved in. Formality refers to the category your outfit falls into: formal/dressy, semi-formal/dressy casual, and informal/casual. Lastly, activity refers to the level and type of activity that you will be doing throughout the day (i.e. sitting at your desk at work, working out, going shopping, etc.) When picking out the right shoes for your outfit, ask yourself the following questions: "What season am I dressing for?", "What's the occasion that I'm going to be wearing these shoes for?", "How formal is the occasion?", and "How active will I be while wearing these shoes?". Asking yourself these questions will help you narrow down the type of shoe you will want to pick out (i.e. heels, flats, sandals, sneakers, etc.) Wearing the right type of shoe ensure that you look great while feeling comfortable all day long! 
Once you know what type of shoe you want to wear, you can focus on picking out a color and style. When it comes to color, you'll want to pick something that will complement your outfit. If you're wearing a colorful top, pick a complementary solid color shoe to accent it. If you're wearing something patterned, pick out one color in the pattern to match your shoes to. If you're wearing an all-black or all-white outfit, have some fun and add a pop of color with your shoes! Note that if you are wearing shorts, a dress, or anything that leaves your legs bare from the knee down, you'll want to pick out a pair of skin-toned shoes. This doesn't mean that they have to be skin-colored, but opting for a shoe that is the same tone as your skin will help elongate your legs rather than shorten them. If you're unsure what skin-toned means, picture your outfit in black and white. If your shoe would blend in with your skin, then it's skin-toned! 
When it comes to style, you'll want to pick out shoes that create symmetry within your look. For instance, if you're wearing shorts, cropped pants, a dress, or a skirt, your legs will be bare and you'll want to opt for shoes with an open design. Shoes with an open or low front design elongate the leg, creating the symmetry that you want! A general guiding rule for shoes is the more of your foot you can see, the greater the elongating effect they'll have. If you are concerned about your legs appearing too wide, avoid shoes with chunky heels or an ankle strap and instead opt for a skin-toned sandal or wedge which have a slimming effect! 

What to Do For Statement Shoes and Themed Outfits

Every now and again you'll come across a statement shoe that you LOVE and just have to have! But if we're being honest, the statement shoes we love can be difficult to style. So how do we style these shoes practically and without too much effort? It's easier than you might think! Simply implement the principles we discussed above in reverse. If your statement shoes are patterned, pick a color out of the pattern to match your outfit to. If your statement shoes are a bright, bold color, let them pop by wearing a solid neutral colored dress or monochromatic top and bottom combo! 
Finally, let's talk themed outfits. Themed outfits can be anything you want them to be. A primary color theme, a stripes theme, a polka dots theme... you can pull style inspiration from just about anything and make it the theme of your outfit! But what does that mean for your shoes? When in doubt, always opt for a classic nude shoe. Nude is ever practical, always flattering, and ultra versatile. You can count on nude to look good no matter what you pair it with. However, certain themes lend themselves well to certain types of shoes. For example, if you're going for a nautical theme with navy and white stripes, adding a red flats or sandals is a very appropriate and stylish choice! When it comes to themed outfits, you want to create balance. With a little bit of practice, the art of picking the perfect shoes will be second nature in no time! 
 I hope these tips are helpful to you and I wish you the best in choosing the perfect shoes for your outfits!
Madilyn at Fruit of the Vine Boutique 

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