"Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world" - Marilyn Monroe
Do you love shoes? I certainly do!
I'm often asked: "how do I choose shoes?". Since the right shoes add that perfect finishing touch to an outfit it's useful to understand how to buy shoes that flatter you.
The main considerations are to choose shoes that...
Oh, and I could add: that are comfortable! That would certainly be one of my criteria for how to buy shoes and from the many emails I get asking where to find comfortable womens fashion shoes, I know I'm not the only one. However, that may not be one of your top concerns.
Let's look at each area in turn...
First let's look at the parts of the shoe to consider...
How to Buy
The parts to consider(Image courtesy ShoesofPrey)
The vamp -- this is the opening where the foot goes into the shoe. Straps that come higher up the foot typically give the effect of a high vamp. Shoe boots and ankle boots are classed as high vamp shoes. A lower vamp makes your legs look longer and your foot slimmer.
The toe -- can be open, closed or peep-toe and varies in shape. Closed shoes are typically seen as more formal than open-toed shoes (with the exception of evening wear) and are always suitable for work.
The heel -- heel heights vary from flat to ultra high. Heel styles vary from skinny, such as stillettos, through chunky, stacked styles to a wedge, which is the most supportive to the foot. Thicker heels make the shoe look heavier.
The sole -- varies from thin to platform. The thicker the sole, the heavier it appears.
The proportions you should consider are...
The vertical body shapes are: balanced; short legs, long torso; long legs, short torso,
The balanced body is the perfect vertical proportion. The aim of the person with this vertical body shape is to keep their vertical shape looking balanced. For example, if you have a balanced body and are very slim your best shoes will not be ultra-high heels.
The aim for the other 2 proportions is to give the illusion of a balanced body by making proportionally long legs look shorter and proportionally short legs look longer.
The elements of the shoe that affect perceived leg length are...
Conversely, to make your legs look shorter, wear flat shoes, with a high vamp, rounded or broad-square toes and thin soles, in eye catching colors.
Calves, ankles and thighs
If your calves, ankles and/or thighs are chunkier your best shoes will not be too exteme. That is, not too delicate looking, or too heavy looking, since either of these looks will bring attention to the thickness of your legs. For example, a medium width stack or column heel will work better than a stiletto or kitten heel.
The toe shape of a shoe will affect the perceived length and width of your foot and can make your feet and legs look longer and slimmer or shorter and fatter.
Round toes, such as Mary-Jane styles will make your feet look wider and your legs shorter. Pointed toes will make your feet look longer and slimmer.
Current fashion trends give much broader option than just choosing shoes to match the color and style of your handbag. If your style personality is Classic you may still favor this look, but beware it can be seen as too matchy-matchy and boring!
Here my shoes pick out brown of leggings and dress and echo the snake skin pattern of the dress
These shoes are more like my skin color, so have a nude effect, making my legs look longer
These sandals echo my hair color and so tie my shoes into my overall look and create a balancing effect
However, your best shoes for any outfit will tie in with some aspect of your outfit for one or more of the following...
Of course you should also take into account...
As with clothes, you'll like your shoe choices best if the style of shoes you buy suits your personal style.
For example, if your main personal style is Classic you might like a black, mid-heeled pump. If your main style is dramatic, you might like a pair of ultra high, platform, peep-toe shoes is the latest bright fashion color, or in a snake skin print.
When trying on shoes...
For more help with how to buy shoes, including lots of lovely photos showing examples, on how to choose your best shoes (and to learn a lot more about all types of accessorizing) I recommend "The Finishing Touch" ebook by Imogen Lamport. Imogen also gives guidelines for how to choose the different shoe types for a shoe wardrobe so you always have appropriate footwear.
Custom Made Shoes -- are you having difficulty finding the right shoes? If so, it's worth considering custom shoes.
The Magic of Accessorizing -- do you know these 3 key accessorizing tips to keep your look stylish and contemporary?
"Your style makeover may require a few tweaks or a total re-think. Using a mix of science and art I show you how to discover your style and look great every day.
Hi, I'm Jane Liddelow, the Personal Image Consultant and Stylist responsible for this site. Find out more about me here."