One simple way to create outfit cohesion is to bookend the outfit by matching your footwear to the colour of your hair. The colour repetition frames the outfit and pulls it together.
The colour match needn’t be exact. Subtle matches can also be striking. Here are some examples for a variety of hair colours.
- Platinum Blonde: White, cream, bone, stone, cool blush, light grey and gold footwear. Patterned footwear that incorporates shades of white, stone and gold are a more subtle way to bookend blonde hair.
- Dark Blonde: Shades of tan, taupe, mushroom and pewter footwear. Patterned footwear that incorporates shades of light brown are the more subtle option.
- Strawberry Blonde: Warm shades of beige, warm tans, blush, light cognac, rose gold, bronze, gold and cheetah footwear.
- Medium Brown: Darker shades of taupe and mushroom, donkey, dark bronze and chocolate brown.
- Dark Brown: Black, ink, mushroom and dark grey footwear.
- Black: Black, ink, dark chocolate and dark grey footwear.
- Red and Auburn: All shades of cognac, mid tones of brown, burnt orange, deep shades of coral, bronze and cheetah footwear.
- Grey: All shades of grey, pewter and silver. Salt ’n pepper hair looks great bookended with black, dark brown and grey footwear. Light grey hair is a match made in heaven with white, silver, light grey and off-white footwear.
- Burgundy Streaks: Burgundy footwear looks amazing with burgundy streaked hair.
- Rainbow Hair: Hair that has been streaked or fully dyed an unnatural colour like pink, blue, green, purple, teal, turquoise and neon looks amazing with footwear in the same colour.
Of course, bookending is by no means the only way to create a cohesive outfit. And it’s possible to achieve great outfit cohesion without it. Ladies with dark hair look great in light footwear, and vice versa. And you don’t need to have rainbow hair to wear non-neutral shoes.
If you have blonde hair, you might like to wear dark footwear when you’re wearing a dark column of colour, or when you’re wearing dark bottoms and need to elongate the line of the leg. Ladies with dark hair might like to wear light footwear when they’re wearing white jeans, again, to elongate the leg line.
Bookending is a highly effective styling tool that I frequently use in my own outfits and when dressing clients. For example, when a client with black hair wears white-out, finishing off the look with black footwear works because it matches her hair. However, adding black footwear to my own white-out looks tends to look off because of my platinum blonde hair. As soon as I add light footwear to the outfit, it’s visually balanced.
Most of my footwear bookends the colour of my blonde hair to some extent because I like the effect of the visual balance. But perhaps just as importantly is the fact that I wear a lot of white, light, and bright colours, which tends to work better with light-coloured footwear thereby creating the soft vibe I’m after. If I wore dark colours almost exclusively from head to toe, I’d have a much larger collection of black, ink and grey footwear.
Over to you. Do you like to bookend the colour of your hair and your footwear to create visual balance?