We’ve been saturated with colourful footwear choices this season and it’s a breath of fresh air. Pink, blue, green, yellow, red, purple, orange, turquoise and lime. Name the colour and you’ll find the shoe. So how do you integrate bright shoes into an ensemble?

  • Pick up a colour in a top with your shoes. This is the obvious way of wearing bright shoes and my least favourite because it’s predictable. I personally prefer to mix it up. But matching in this way continues to make a stylish statement, so don’t feel obliged to mis-match if it’s not your style.
  • Match bright shoes with the same colour handbag. This rule is flop proof because a matched shoe and handbag pulls an outfit together. Some stylists feel that this type of matching is passé but I believe it works, as long as you don’t try to match anything else of the same colour in the outfit. “Matchy-matchy” ensembles are not stylish.
  • Wear bright shoes with a neutral ensemble. You don’t need to match shoes with your handbag or pick up another colour in your ensemble. Bright shoes make a statement on their own. They pack extra punch if you’re wearing neutrals like black, brown, white, cream, grey, tan or navy.
  • Wear several brights of the same intensity. I’d limit an outfit to 3 brights at a time. A pair of jeans worn with an emerald tunic and cobalt blue handbag works with a pair of yellow shoes, if the brights are of the same intensity. Throw in a pair of baby pink shoes and you’ve lost the harmony.

Multi-coloured bright shoes complicate matters so stick to a single toned bright shoe. Red shoes are a particularly good choice because they’re bright, but operate like a neutral. And I’m beginning to have the same opinion about yellow.

Match Shoes and Bag Mix your BrightsBrights with a Neutral EnsembleYellow Shoes with Red as a Neutral

The first example is matching the shoes with the bag, which pulls together an outfit with multiple brights. The other examples show a purposeful mismatch, where the brights make a statement of their own. This topic originated as a question on the forum. Go there for more discussion on integrating brights.