Matching footwear to any outfit: How to size up the right colors, style with event, occasion, look, season & activity with your intent.
The type of footwear you’re wearing has the power to bring harmony to your whole outfit. It’s not saying that no outfit would be complete without footwear or because you can’t go out without wearing any shoes, but to many people, footwear comes as an afterthought.
Among some of them, shoes are nothing but a requisite, making a lot of people struggle to maintain a unified ensemble from head to toe. Instead of regarding them as a necessity- although they are- shoes should be thought of as a compliment. A good pair of shoes is an element that can help you add the final touch and bring edge and character to your outfit. Since choosing the right shoes can be tricky, here’s how to perfectly match your footwear to any outfit.
1. The S.O.F.A. Method
Have you heard of the S.O.F.A. method? S.O.F.A. is the easy-to-remember acronym that means season, occasion, formality, and activity. This method is what you should think of as it can be your key to choosing the perfect shoes for your outfit.
In most situations, people think of matching shoes and accessory items and they only consider color as the main factor. A matching outfit means so much more than a complementary color scheme, it means that there is a set theme and that the style is coordinated very well.
Most importantly, an outfit- the entirety of it-should communicate purpose. For instance, you should be able to tell when someone is going to a party or when they’re going to a mall by simply looking at their outfit. This is when the S.O.F.A. method comes in.
For example, choosing the right shoes for a meeting in winter should go like the following: choose between shoes and boots, making strap sandals less of a possibility (unless you’re open to being bold). When you’re getting ready for a meeting, think if the meeting is strictly formal or more laid back? If it’s a formal meeting, then you’d likely consider classic pointed-toe pumps. Since it’s probably a seated meeting, you won’t be walking around much, making the comfort factor less of a priority.
2. The Color
After you have determined the type of shoes that would match your outfit, you should consider the color. Choosing the wrong color can make your shoes look like the odd one out and can throw off just about anyone. You don’t want to wear a pair of purple pumps with your sleek monochromatic beige suit- it’s a jarring combination.
The stylists at Southern Man explain that the wrong colored shoes have the power to attract all the attention, putting all the effort that you’ve dedicated toward creating the perfect outfit to waste. To play it safe and avoid unnecessary clashes, you can always go with either a neutral shade or a solid color that can be found within your outfit. If you are wearing an all-black or an all-white outfit, almost any shoe color (avoid brown and navy) will look great.
3. Loud Shoes
Matching patterned shoes, shoes with prints, or shoes with bling can be very tricky. Many people fall in love with patterned shoes and buy them on the spot just to leave them sitting in their shoe closet for ages. Patterned shoes- or loud shoes in general- are designed to be statement pieces. These loud patterned shoes are supposed to be the center of attention, so don’t match them to your outfit, match your outfit to them instead. These shoes are styled best when you put together a monochromatic outfit that’s pulled from a shade of color that’s found in your shoes.
4. Complementary Colors
Choosing shoes in a color that complements your outfit rather than matches it can be a way to give edge and character to your look and will surely make you stand out. Complementary colors are colors that lie opposite to each other in a color wheel.
If you are wearing blue, you can experiment with shades of yellow or pink. The lighter the blue shade, the lighter the complementary color should be. A sky blue outfit would look great with jewel, cream, white, and gold tones. Baby blue would look best with peach or pink. Royal blue would be awesome with a striking red, pale pink, or yellow shoe. While this can look downright stunning, the slightest mis-coordination can result in a chaotic look.
Footwear, in the world of fashion, falls under the ‘umbrella of accessories.’ While people think of accessories as optional additions to an outfit, they are needed at times to bring life to an outfit. Shoes can change the way your outfit presents itself. You can turn an entire outfit from being formal to smart-casual, and vice versa, through the style of your shoes. This is why you must master the art of matching your footwear to your outfit.