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Match Your Shoes to Your Dress: Why to Try This Trend Now


Much has been made of Melania Trump’s First Lady fashion, from her robin’s-egg blue Ralph Lauren inauguration outfit (the color, the references to Jackie Kennedy, those long gloves) to her recent U.K. state visit outfits (which drew comparisons to the royals). A common thread has been the matchy-matchiness of the styling: Often her shoes will match the colors of her dress or suit. It’s the kind of outfit choice that, in recent years, has come to be seen as old-fashioned. Also, it should be said, who can afford to buy shoes to match everything in their closet?

Still, the look, which was popularized in the 1960s by the debutante set (Jackie Kennedy included), seems to be having a moment in fashion, even among women who definitely don’t want to take style cues from their grandmothers.

The royals seem to be a fan. Kate Middleton has been employing this styling trick for years.

Match Your Shoes to Your Dress Why to Try This Trend Now
Karwai Tang
Match Your Shoes to Your Dress Why to Try This Trend Now
Danny Martindale

Ever since becoming a duchess herself, Meghan Markle has adopted it too.

Match Your Shoes to Your Dress Why to Try This Trend Now
Karwai Tang
Match Your Shoes to Your Dress Why to Try This Trend Now
Karwai Tang

Even Princess Diana did it.

Match Your Shoes to Your Dress Why to Try This Trend Now
Tim Graham
Match Your Shoes to Your Dress Why to Try This Trend Now
Tim Graham

Simply put, wearing a dress with matching shoes has its perks. First, it makes picking out an outfit a lot easier, and second, it gives a sort of unexpected polish to pretty much anything you’re wearing.

On the runway, designers including Chanel, Balenciaga, and Valentino have been showing clothes with matching shoes in everything from herringbone to intricate beaded patterns, while coordinating heels and gowns has become a bona fide red-carpet trend among celebrities lately. Street style, though, is really where to look for inspiration on how to pull this off like a true fashion person.

Here, a few tips and tricks for nailing matching your shoes to your outfit, while still looking very, very modern.

Choose shoes that are one shade darker than your outfit.

Match Your Shoes to Your Dress Why to Try This Trend Now
Edward Berthelot

To avoid the cringe factor that often comes from mixing two similar but slightly different colors, opt for a pair of shoes a hair darker than your outfit—a fire-engine red dress with pair of cherry-red heels, for example. The difference in color will be barely noticeable to most, but will prevent your reds from clashing.

Try styling an outfit with slight variations on a single color.

Kate Middleton wearing a longsleeved collared polka dot dress
Karwai Tang/Getty Images



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