4 Things You Must Know to Match Shoe Styles with Your Pants


Your guide to matching shoe styles with your trouser style and shape


Just like with skirts, different shoe styles suit different trouser styles.  When you think about how to choose a shoe and heel style to work with your pants, you will want to take into consideration a few aspects.

Guide to choosing shoe styles to go with your pants1.  Trouser Shape and Shoe Selection

From the widest palazzo pant to your skinny leg pant, there is an element of balance you will be wanting to achieve.

  • Larger scale pants – so those with more volume such as palazzo need a more chunky shoe.
  • Smaller scale pants – those with less volume such as straight leg or skinny need a more slim and refined shoe such as a stiletto or ballet flat.
  • Cropped pants are best with a higher heel (as they make your legs look shorter) and a low vamp shoe.
Which shoes to choose to go with your pant style - cropped pant low vamp shoe
Here I’ve chosen a low vamp shoe in a lighter colour which doesn’t cut my legs off further

2.  Heel Shape and Shoe Selection

Heel shapes should relate to the width of the pant hem.

The narrower the pant hem, the slimmer the heel.

  • Kitten heels and stilettos work with slim and straight cut pants.
  • Wedge and stacked heels work best with wider pants such as boot cut, flared and wide legs.
Which shoes to choose to go with your pants - Wide leg pants - chunkier shoe - such as a stacked heel, wedge and wider straps
Here I’ve chosen a chunkier strap and heel – wedge with a wide heel base to balance the scale of these palazzo pants.

2.  Body Shape and Shoe Selection

Choosing the right pants for your body shape helps to make them more flattering (get my tips here).

  • If you want to balance your wider hips, consider that a narrow pant such as a slim leg, may want a slightly more bulky shoe such as a knee-high boot which gives you more balance.
  • If you have narrower hips, choose a wider leg pant or a lighter coloured pant and then team with a matching shoe colour if you have shorter legs, or you can wear an alternate shoe colour if you have long legs.

Check out my tips on choosing the right jeans for your body shape

 4.  Leg Length and Shoe Selection

  • Shorter legs look better in either a longer pant, slimmer cut pant (such as straight leg) or a higher heel.
  • Longer legs are those that can carry off the cropped pant well and can also carry the wide leg of the palazzo pant most easily.
  • If you have shorter legs and you want them to look longer, add a wedge or high heel to add back what nature forgot to give you.
  • If you have shorter legs, then blend the colour of your shoe to your pant or go a little darker to create a column of colour.
Choosing shoes to go with your trousers - slim or straight leg pants - finer shoe with a narrower heel such as a stiletto
Here I’ve chosen a stiletto heel and blended the colour of the shoe to the slim leg pants for ultimate leg elongation and balance.

Check out this post on 6 easy ways to wear cropped pants

More Useful Posts on Choosing Shoes

What is shoe vamp and why does it matter

How to get the low vamp look with a high vamp shoe

Your essential guide to choosing the right shoe styles to go with your jeans

Choosing shoes to go with skirts and dresses – video post

Which shoes to wear with skirts and dresses in winter 

Skirt length and shoe selection guide

Shop for Leopard Shoes

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whats my body shape


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  • Great tips, but I wonder if Palazzos and harempants are possible for petite women (very petite 5’3″) or one should limit the choices to slim cuts.

  • If you have longer legs relative to your body length, but your overall height is petite (5″1 in my case), should you go more by the fact that your legs are relatively long, or by the rules for petites in general (which I gather usually assume the opposite – relatively short legs)?

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