9 Chic Shoe Rules

It's no secret that women adore shoes. When you are blue, buying a new pair is an instant mood lifter. When you feel great, you make a trip to the shoe store in celebration. And on special occasions, you must have something special to wear. The truth is, there will always be a good excuse to add to your shoe closet. Here are 9 tips on expressing your personal style - through your footwear.

Photo Credit: Studio DPhoto Credit: Studio D
1. Don't Be Hobbled by Discomfort Even if you love a pair, if you can't walk in them, don't buy them. Limping around in heels is decidedly ungraceful.

2. Dare to Wear Brights An electric hue can amp up a look, including outfits in colors other than black and denim. Try colored shoes with white, khaki, and pastels. A scarlet-red dress, however, calls for neutral footwear.

3. Wear What's Appropriate Open-toe sandals may be too risqué for a conservative suit, while a flat may be too casual for a cocktail frock. Keep your sneakers relegated to gym clothes or casual jeans. When in doubt, it's hard to go wrong with a classic black pump.

4. Going Outdoors? Say No to Stilettos
Photo Credit: Studio DPhoto Credit: Studio D It will be difficult to walk when your heels keep sinking into the ground, and you'll ruin your shoes. Flats are fine, but if you want height, wedges are an ideal option.

5. Make a Statement
A spindly stiletto sandal is all about looking sexy, while a bow-emblazoned kitten heel veers more toward cute. Know what look you're going for, and go full out.

6. Va-va-voom Shoes Have Their Place
Nighttime is the right time for attention-getting shoes. If you still want to wear a knock-'em-dead look during the day, choose a closed-toe or peep-toe pump.

7. Pair Sky-High Shoes with Tame Hemlines When going for major air, keep your hemlines at an inch above the knee. But when wearing a short skirt or dress, wear a lower heel or flat - it will balance you out and keep you from showing altogether too much leg.

Photo Credit: Studio DPhoto Credit: Studio D8. Wear Flats with Properly Hemmed Clothes Make sure your clothing is tailored or you'll risk looking sloppy. A trouser leg should fall at or above the ankle, while skirts or dresses should end above the knee.

9. Think About Balance
(And we're not talking about the kind you need to walk.) A thicker-heeled shoe grounds a heavily layered look, when something dainty could look off balance. The reverse also holds true. When wearing a wispy frock, a thin-strapped sandal is an appropriate match.



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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.