White shoes get a bad rap. Sometimes viewed as frumpy and jarringly bright, they are also less practical than darker colours. I won’t defend white shoes on the practicality front, but I will stick up for them in other respects. I think of white footwear as fashionable, crisp, modern and graphic. 

White shoes are an important part of my personal style. Here are five reasons to love them.


White footwear is an effective bookending tool for platinum blonde and very light grey hair. The repetition of a light colour at the top and bottom of your outfit creates a more cohesive whole. Whenever you are stuck on the question of what colour footwear to add to an outfit, try the colour that bookends your hair for a more pulled together look.

Hinge Print PantsTreasure Bond Plaid Shirt

Visual Harmony

It’s easy to add white footwear to an outfit when you’re wearing a white top, topper or belt. Or when you’re wearing a pattern with white components, or a garment with white trim. The white shoes pick up the white in the rest of the outfit, creating a harmonious look.

Keepsake the Label Strappy CamisoleACNE STUDIOS Liona Patent Leather Pumps

Halogen Short Sleeve Tee

Light-Coloured Outfits

If you tend to wear light neutrals and pastels, white shoes are one of the best ways to complement the colour palette. I’ve also found that white shoes are a great way to complement outfits with bright colours. In fact, when categorizing the colours of items, it’s often helpful to think of white as a bright.

NICHOLAS KIRKWOOD Bow Embellished Leather SandalsLANVIN Textured Leather Sandals

White Bottoms

White footwear looks great with white jeans, cropped pants, shorts, skirts, dresses and trousers. It lengthens the leg line when worn with white bottoms.

Paige Denim Skinny JeansCHURCHS Sally Leather Loafers


Last but not least, white footwear often looks more unexpected because it’s still quite fringe. Most people prefer to wear dark colours on their feet because it’s practical, and because black footwear is also more widely available. The dress outfit below would have looked more predictable with black, brown or even metallic footwear. But the white styles it up a notch, especially with the colour repetition introduced by the addition of the white bag.

AQUAZZURA Amazon Leather Sandals