One lovely reader recently posted on a super old blog post (but still evergreen) on how a simple pair of shoes can change your outfit, and asked me if I could do a similar post with skirts (as she’s not a pant/jean wearer).
Trawling through my archives of outfits I came across this leopard skirt styled in two very different ways. Yes the tops are different, but the shoes are the final touch that dress it more smartly (as with these knee high boots), which put this outfit’s level of refinement into the smart casual camp.
Or change of shoes to dress the outfit down to casual.
Now these sandshoes really make the outfit way more casual. Even though I’m wearing a pencil skirt, which could easily be dressed up to look much more formal and ‘office’ appropriate. The sneakers really lower the level of refinement to casual.
So how can you change our ouftit by changing your shoes?
- Heels are more formal than flats.
- The thicker the sole, the more relaxed the shoe is
- The more of your toes you can see, the less work appropriate the shoe is
- You can create a foot focus with a coloured shoe
- You can make your legs look longer by blending the colour of your shoe to whatever it’s next to (skin or hose or pants colour)
- You can express your personality through the shoes you choose.
I remember discussions of this topic, and it’s been unconvincing for me. I think shoes are only an issue if people are regularly seeing your whole body. As a teacher, I think my students usually see me outfit from the waist up. I don’t use this as an excuse to wear trainers/athletic shoes, but I don’t think I can make a jeans skirt into a dressy outfit with shoes if no one looks at my shoes.
However, I’d like to know if I’m wrong. 🙂
Do you walk up the hallways at work? Your shoes still have an impact on your overall appearance. THey are not the only element of an outfit, but they have an impact and can really change the tone of an outfit. Try wearing two very different shoes and photograph your outfit – see how you perceive each.
I am a teacher, and unless you sit at your desk all class long, yes, your students do see/notice your shoes. I have taught K-12 and students (especially those in uniform) do notice what their teachers wear… I have even been caught out wearing the same dress two Tuesdays in a row (by a class I only see on Tuesdays)! I was surprised anyone noticed, but have been more careful since…
When I was at school I would write down the outfit details of my maths teacher in my diary as she always seemed to be wearing something different and I wanted to see how long it took for her to wear the same outfit twice. Must be why I’m doing this now not a mathematician!
I use this tip so much when travelling. It saves a lot of time at the end of busy day of sight seeing and space in your suitcase if you can simply change from a pair of canvas shoes or flat sandals to some heels for dinner.