How To Choose The Right Shoes For An Outfit

If you’re trying to pull together a solid outfit, shoes are a crucial element when it comes to getting it right.

It won’t matter how awesome your outfit is if your shoes don’t match the rest of it.

A bad pair of shoes or a pair of shoes that don’t match your outfit can take you down quickly from a solid eight to a tragic four.

Don’t be the person who looks like someone else bought them a good outfit but they don’t know how to sport it so they threw on some ratchet shoes that just make it look sad instead.

Fortunately, we have built you this comprehensive guide to help you not make a fool of yourself. 

In fact, we believe that with our help, you will choose shoes that match your outfit perfectly.

Consider the type of outfit

A big step towards determining what kind of shoes you should be wearing is recognizing the type of outfit that you are sporting.

Different types of outfits go with different kinds of shoes. You wouldn’t want to wear high end dress shoes with sweatpants, right?

The type of clothing that you are wearing can play a crucial role in making sure that your shoes go with it.

In most cases, you will want to pick shoes that would naturally align with the kind of clothes that you are wearing.

We are starting to see many celebrities start to artfully break this rule, but that’s advanced level shoe game that you probably want to hold off on until you’ve gotten some practice under your belt. 

The best way to go about considering your outfit is to think about what kind of outfit you’re wearing. 

Your first step should always be to decide if your outfit is professional or casual.

This can help you choose types of shoes that are more appropriate.

Other considerations include if your outfit is a specific type of fashion or if it is focused upon a specific activity. Certain styles require certain shoes to look complete. 

Related: Are Vans Shoes Bad For Your Feet? 

Think of your personal style

An important thing to focus on when you are working towards picking the right shoes for your outfit is your personal style.

Sometimes we can feel pressured to rock things that just don’t match our vibe, and it generally shows when we do.

You don’t need to dress like someone else. You should dress in a way that is comfortable for you and makes you happy to take on your day.

For most people, this includes some pretty specific things. Unless you’re the kind of person who lives and breathes fashion, you probably have a pretty distinct preference in what you do and do not like.

Keeping this in mind when you shop will help you to choose things that are more likely to make you feel comfortable. 

Understanding your personal style is important for a couple of reasons. The first is that you should always wear clothes that you feel good in.

Wearing clothing that you feel confident adds a little something special to your style. It’s going to make you look more natural in what you are wearing. 

More importantly, you’ll be more likely to be physically comfortable in what you’re wearing and that can help you to enjoy your day or night a lot more. 

The second reason that you want to wear something that matches your personal style is to make sure that you’re not clashing your brand.

Everyone changes their style up every once in a while,and we all experiment with new things, but sometimes we all get the ridiculous idea that there is a right or wrong way to do things. 

This limited way of thinking can force us to wear things that we’re not comfortable in and have no interest in wearing.

Remember, there is no rule that says you absolutely have to wear heels or a certain type of dress shoe to enjoy an event.

Wearing something that isn’t you and that you won’t feel good in can make you look that much worse.

Instead of wandering around in a state of discomfort, always wear something that you’re proud to wear.

Unless, of course, it has been one of those days and there is just no hope, but that’s a different discussion.

Focus on the dress code

A great way to decide what to wear with your outfit is to consider the kind of event that you will be attending.

Though your event might not have a designated dress code, most events have a general outline of what you should wear.

We all know the difference between a nice event and a casual event. In order to choose the best shoes for your outfit, you want to make sure that you’re wearing something appropriate for whatever it is that you’re doing.

shoes with outfit

This isn’t just a matter of social etiquette, but also a concern with showing your best self in appropriate situations.

While we all know you don’t wear gym shoes to a formal black-tie event, there are other instances where reflecting on an unmentioned dress code can be helpful.

An example of this would be when you are going on a date. For most people, going on a date is a pretty exciting time.

It’s an instance where you want to look your slightly-more-than-casual best so that you can enjoy a nice night out.

When you’re dating, people have a tendency to assume that what you wear is a semi-accurate reflection of who you are and what you will bring to a relationship. 

This is a great example of an unofficial dress code. You probably won’t want to wear your busted old gym shoes when you’re wearing a nice outfit, so this is a moment where you’ll want to shirk complete comfort and head for something that’s a little more event friendly. 

Other events like this include holidays, parties, and even time out with friends. You should always dress to impress, and your shoes should be factored into this.

Understand the importance of colors

Choosing the right shoes for an outfit is often heavily dependent on what you are wearing. 

Wearing shoes that are colored appropriately for your outfit is a great way to choose the right shoes for your outfit.

There are a few ways to go about choosing the right colored shoes for what you wear depending on how bold your sense of fashion is and what kind of outfit you’re wearing. 

While your shoes can be used as an accent in a color that does not necessarily match what you have on, this should only be done deliberately and in a way that looks good.

The easiest way to choose the correct color for your shoes is to base it off of your outfit. Popular options for this include wearing shoes that match your shirt or shoes that match a color in your outfit.

Wearing shoes that line up with your shirt are a great way to make sure that your shoes truly go with the outfit.

Remember that when you do this shade does matter. Wearing one shade of red shoes and a different shade of red for your shirt might not look great if the shades don’t line up well.

Transversely, inexact matches can make for a great look at times. Wearing shoes that match a color in your outfit like, say, the color of a hat or accessory is another great way to tie your outfit together with a good pair of shoes.

Business attire has its own set of rules when it comes to choosing the right shoes, particularly for men. 

Assuming that your dress code is business casual or business professional, your choice in shoes might be decided for you.

The best choice for style in both would be to choose the color based off of the color of your pants or your belt.

A good general rule is that your shoes should match the color of your belt. However, the color of your pants also matters. 

When it comes to black suits or pants, black shoes tend to be the best choice. Navy suits tend to look better with brown shoes, but they have more options than other suit colors. 

Tan suits are better off with brown or black shoes. It is also important to keep in mind that some people absolutely do pull off alternate shoe colors, but in most cases, this is a calculated decision rather than someone merely grabbing a random pair of shoes out of their closet.

Another option when it comes to choosing the correct shoes for an outfit is the use of accent colors.

This is a trend that is growing in popularity, but it must be well done, or you will look absolutely ridiculous.

In order to do this effectively, it is best to look for inspiration. Bright shoes are becoming more popular with outfits, but there are still rules.

You can generally get away with these shoes in some instances more than others. For example, you wouldn’t want to wear a pair of neon yellow shoes with a gray suit.

shoes over waterfall

This would stand out too severely and would not look appealing. On the other hand, wearing bright blue shoes with a white t-shirt and jeans can be a cute and acceptable look.

It’s a matter of striking a balance between standing out and not looking like a clown.

Think about what you’ll be doing

A tried and true way to choose the right shoes for your outfit that is easily overlooked is to just consider what you’ll be doing.

Most people know that you should wear running shoes to a 5K, but for most people, the consideration ends there.

We all know the feeling of going to an event and realizing that the shoes that we picked out were not built to withstand the event itself. 

The most common occurrence is people not considering how much they will actually be walking.

You see this kind of thing all the time when people go to bachelorette parties or other events that ultimately end up with you spending a lot of time on your feet in uncomfortable shoes.

Practical shoes might not always be as fashionable as some of the less comfortable alternatives, but there is something to be said about wearing shoes that you can be comfortable in.

When you go to an event, try to think practically about what the event might entail.

You know if you’re going to be spending all day outside at a themed beer event that you probably don’t want to wear heels or dress shoes.

While these shoes might look good, after the second or third hour you’ll probably be wishing that you wore literally anything else.

You should always try to pick shoes that are a healthy balance between fashion and function if you can to avoid that moment of regret later.

There is nothing worse than having to sit down and take your shoes off in public because you underestimated exactly how much time you might be spending on your feet.


When it comes to choosing the right shoes for your outfit, there are plenty of factors to consider. 

While your outfit will generally govern what shoes are appropriate to wear, the lines are certainly blurring.

We can see this with celebrities wearing high end sneakers with suits at galas. 

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want your shoes to look appropriate with your outfit from an aesthetic sense.

If you can find a way to manage your shoes so they not only look good with your outfit, but also allow you to be comfortable and happy wearing them, you will be that much closer to pulling off the right look.

It takes a healthy balance of fashion, function, and an understanding of color to pick the right shoes, but with a few key insights, you’ll be ready to make it work.