It Starts With your Feet: How to Tie Your Dress and Shoes Together and Always Look Matching

How to Tie Your Dress and Shoes Together and Always Look Matching

When you step out, you need your whole outfit to look complete. Here's how to tie your dress and shoes together and always match, no matter where you go.

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Exactly matching your dress and shoes was a style popularized by the debutante set in the 1960s. Icons like Jackie Kennedy turned their eye toward shoes the same shade as their dress to tie their look together with classic flair. But while matchy-matchy styling is experiencing a resurgence in the fashion world, it's not the only way to pair a dress and shoes.

Here are all the best ways to pair your shoes and dress from matching colors to clashing patterns.
The Art of Matching Color
Trends may come and go, but sometimes they come again. Matchy-matchy styling is seeing another 15 minutes of fame and it's a great time to indulge your inner 60s queen.

There are some dos and don'ts to abide by though.
Rock Shoes One Shade Darker
The human eye is a tricky thing. We can see two colors exactly the same and our brain will interpret them differently. To keep this trick from tripping up your style, opt for shoes that are one shade darker than your dress.

This is particularly important when pairing reds. One shade can mean the difference between clashing and smashing.
Experiment with Texture
Rocking one shade is a fine line to tread. Too similar and you can end up looking like you're on your way to bingo. 

To avoid grandmother syndrome, try experimenting with different materials and textures. If your dress is cotton, add some interest with velvet shoes. Lace shift? Opt for sleek satin pumps. The key is to match the color but add variation with your choice of material.
Get Casual
Matching isn't just for formal attire. Fashion week saw a slew of matching shoes, bags, and dresses for all occasions.

Need shoes to go with a white dress in the skater style? Try pairing it with white sneakers and some cute patterned socks. Patterned sundress need a boost? Find matching patterned ankle boots like these ones from JESSICABUURMAN and take the look from zero to hero.
Make a Statement
Every outfit should include at least one statement piece. Matching your shoes and dress is a great way to tie your outfit together but you'll run into problems if the styles are too similar.

To keep your look fresh, try making a statement with one of your matching elements. Sleek red shift? Add strappy floral statement heels. Plain teal pumps? Pair with a statement dress and make your look really shine.
Play with Contrast
Exact color matching has its perks but it's not the only way to tie your look together. And no, we're not talking about pairing your red dress with black shoes.

Using color theory, you can match your shoes and dress in a way that makes your outfit dynamic and fresh.
Go Monochrome
Skirting the matching line, monochrome pairing can be a great way to add a dynamic element to your look.

Have a sleek caramel dress? Pair with lighter beige heels for interest. Bright red sundress? Work your color theory and pair with darker plumb skater shoes.
Work Within the Triad
Triad colors are those that appear in a triangle formation on the color wheel. They're contrasting colors and, used well, can lend an outfit dynamic harmony.

Rocking a cute yellow skater dress? Pair with pink or blue flats for a popping outfit. Flowy purple sundress? Aim for orange or green shoes to add a dynamic flair.
Pair Complementary Colors
Complementary colors are those that appear opposite each other on the color wheel. The human eye sees natural harmony when they're paired correctly and they can be a great way to tie an outfit together.

Orange and teal, blue and yellow, pink and green - all create knockout looks when applied in a savvy way.
Don't Forget About Patterns
Statement patterns are dominating the runways this season with almost every designer trotting out new, fun prints. So how do you tie together patterns?
Don't Be Afraid to Match
Just as matching colors are in, so too is matching patterns. A dynamic print carried from your dress to your shoes will present a bold statement and pull your outfit from everyday to extraordinary.

So the next time you're shopping online, don't shy away from matching items. Your style will thank you.
Mix Patterns from the Same Family
Similar patterns can make for a fun look but approach this trend cautiously. Too similar, and it'll look like you failed to match a look. Too different and your outfit will clash.

When mixing similar prints, aim to match one baseline. Similar colors but bold, different patterns will work a treat. Conversely, two checkered patterns with different sizes and colors will make your outfit look deliberate and dashing.
Work with Color
Achieving balance while clashing prints is an art form that calls on a solid understanding of color. Matching a lighter print dress with darker, contrasting shoes is a great fool-proof way to stay on trend and balanced.

If in doubt, look for prints that have one or two matching colors and pair them together. The similar colors will tie the look together while the contrasting prints will add flair to your outfit.
Mix Patterns and Solids
A tried and true classic, matching a patterned dress with solid color shoes and vice versa will never steer you wrong.

Just remember to pull your look together with color. If your dress is a pink pattern, tie in matching pink pumps. Floral pastel shoes? Match with a similar pastel dress.
Have Fun with It
Half the appeal in mixing patterns is the fun to be had. If you feel a little ridiculous, that's the whole point.

So the next time you're looking for shoes to match your loudest yellow sundress, don't overlook your equally loud pumps. You may surprise yourself with the look you come up with.
Pair Your Dress and Shoes Like a Pro
Pairing your dress and shoes can make or break an outfit. Whether you're opting for the 60s color match, playing up color contrast, or deliberately pairing patterns there are any number of ways to tie your look together with the right combination.

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