February 22nd, 2015

Why Shoes Are Your Most Important Accessory

by Jacqueline Whitmore
Photo credit: Luke White

Photo credit: Luke White

Long ago, footwear was an indicator of one’s prosperity level. People who could afford to regularly repair or reheel their shoes were considered “well-heeled.”

Even today, good-looking shoes can help you step up and stand out, so don’t hesitate to buy the best shoes you can afford. (Yes, this may be the best news you’ll hear all day — buy shoes; buy good ones.)

You have a wide selection to choose from, but when shopping for work shoes start with one or two pairs of classic and comfortable basic black leather pumps with a moderate heel. From there you can branch out to more specialized designs.

To choose the perfect statement shoe for Spring, begin with a simple outfit. Basic clothing such as an A-line black dress or a black or navy blue suit are easy canvases for a statement shoe to match, says high-end shoe designer Mary Alice Malone, who is based in London. “In a corporate setting, pair one with a very masculine pantsuit and you look amazingly chic,” she says.

An eye-catching shoe—one with a dramatic color like hot pink velvet or feature like a ’70s-style disco platform—“just adds a different texture that’s a little unexpected,” she says. “We tend to focus heavily on clothes, which cover big portions of our body, and a lot of times the shoes get lost,” she says. “When you start adding in a statement shoe, it gives your ensemble this whole other level of consideration.”

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