How To Choose The Right Color Shoes To Rock Your Dress



How To Choose The Right Color Shoes To
 Rock Your Dress

You’ve fallen in love...

Not with the butcher, the baker, or the candlestick maker, but with that drop dead gorgeous dress that you snatched up when it went on sale online. The box arrives, you try it on, it hugs your curves, shows off your assets, camouflages the flaws.

It’s a dream come true. Until you go to your closet and are hit by the cold harsh reality that none of your shoes seem to match just right. Short of going barefoot, what’s a girl to do?

So Lets Talk Color

So, let’s talk color...

The Color Wheel


Color WheelWe’re going to take a little detour here to talk color theory. Remember back in primary school when you were taught about the three primary colors of red, yellow, and blue? You then got out your Crayolas and discovered that when you mixed red and yellow you got orange, and red and blue made purple, and blue and yellow made green. Keep going and you can create the entire color wheel at the right with just the three primary colors, plus the addition of white (as you go towards the center) or black (as you go towards the edge).

Now that you’ve got your wheel created (at least mentally – you’re fine just looking at the one here of course), a few more concepts will round out the basics of color theory for our purposes:



Complimentary Colors are those found opposite each other on the color wheel. See how purple is directly opposite yellow? Purple is yellow’s compliment. If you mix the two of them together, you get something close to black.

Triad Colors are those found when you create a triangle on the color wheel. Red, yellow and blue form one set of triad colors, as do purple, orange, and green.

Analogous Colors are beside each other as you go around in a circle on the color wheel. Take any color and look one column to the left or one column to the right and you have found an analogous pairing.

Shades and Tints are beside each other as you go in and out of a spoke on the color wheel. Shades are created when you add black to the basic color and tones are created when you add white.

Neutrals are colors that aren’t built from the three primary colors. These include white, black, gray, and shades of tan or sand.

Got it? Now, let’s talk about how the color wheel can be your key to choosing the shoes to help you rock that new dress.

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How To Choose The Right Color Shoes To Rock Your Dress

Lime green works well with a darker shade of pink

Choosing Shoe Color Based on the Color Wheel

These lime green shoes work well with a darker shade of pinkYou want your shoes to look fabulous with your new dress, but we've established that nothing you have already looks quite right. Why is that? Let’s give you some strategies for choosing shoe colors that also help you to understand why some pairings look good and other do not.

When you want your shoes to really stand out, to ‘pop’, find the color of your dress on the wheel and then look directly across to find the color that is complimentary. The complimentary color represents the highest contrast choice. Your shoes will look like they go with your dress, but will also stand out as statements on their own.

When you want a bit of contrasting color, but not so much that it draws undo attention, start with your dress color and then seek out the colors that form a triad set. You’ll have contrast, but not in the extreme.

When you want your shoes to blend in, to give you an overall head-to-toe refined look, choose shades and tints based on the color of your dress. These will look like they match beautifully.

When you need to purchase shoes that will go with the widest range of your wardrobe, choose a neutral color. Select a variant of white or light tan if your dress colors tend to cluster towards the center of the wheel. Similarly, if your dress colors tend to cluster towards the rim of the wheel, choose a black shoe for the widest use.

If your dress itself is black or white, because it is a neutral, almost any color shoe would be an acceptable match. For black dresses, colors towards the center of the wheel will provide higher contrast. For white dresses, colors towards the rim of the wheel will provide higher contrast.


And what about analogous colors? While they may look beautiful when painting, they usually should be avoided when dressing. Shoes chosen from among analogous colors often look like you tried to match, but failed.

You’re ready to rock it! Leverage the color wheel to choose shoe colors that are either complimentary, triads, or shades or tints based on the color of your dress.



[Note: The color wheel used here may be found at and is a government image and therefore available for public use.]