As I’ve mentioned many times before, I consider red shoes to be something of a neutral. I own more pairs of red shoes than I do any other colour except “nude”, and if I’m stuck for a way to make an outfit seem a little more special, red shoes is often the way I’ll choose to do it. I know a lot of my readers share my love of red shoes too, but lately I’ve noticed that quite a few new visitors to the site arrive here after typing the phrase “What to wear with red shoes” into Google, so I thought I’d put together some suggestions.
Now, I should probably begin here by saying that “red shoes” can mean anything from thigh-high boots, to spindly stilettos, to wellies, and what you wear with them will obviously depend very much on the style of shoe you’re wearing, and where you’re wearing it TO. For the purposes of this article, then, I’m choosing to focus mostly on the colours you might want to consider wearing with red shoes rather than specific outfits. Let’s start with the most obvious ones…
What to wear with red shoes
1. Red shoes with black
It doesn’t actually work with everything, despite what some people might say, but black does look good with red, and is probably the easiest type of outfit to incorporate a pair of red shoes into. I love the fact that Reese Witherspoon’s black dress has little polka dots which pick up the colour of her red shoes, but plain black will be just as easy to wear, and will allow the shoes to be the focal point of the outfit.
2. Red shoes with white
What to wear with red shoes: Kelly Brook in white
White works just as well with red as black does, in that you don’t have to worry about clashing colours, but the effect will be a lot more dramatic, making it a little less easy to pull off. It IS a combination which is guaranteed to turn heads, though, even if you don’t look like Kelly Brook…
3. Both together
What to wear with red shoes: Danni Minogue in stripes
Well, if black works with red and white works with red, it makes sense that black AND white would work with red together, no? Bold black and white stripes are one of my favourite looks with red shoes: this photo of Danni Minogue is actually a few years old, but it looks totally up to date, thanks to the monochrome trend of this summer. I hope she kept that dress!
4. Red shoes, red outfit
What to wear with red shoes: Katy Perry in red
Red should be one of the most obvious colours to wear with red shoes, but it can actually be difficult to pull off, unless the colour of your shoes is an exact match for the colour of your dress. There are so many different shades of red out there that it’s easy to end up with a mis-match, which can simply look like a mistake. I personally love wearing outfits where everything is either the same colour, or shades of the same colour, but while you don’t have to be totally matchy-matchy, it’s a good idea not to stay too far away from your base colour if you want this look to work.
5. Red shoes with grey
What to wear with red shoes: Beth Ostrosky in grey
Red with grey is basically a variation on the “red with black” theme, but if you don’t want to wear black or white, grey is a pretty good compromise, and another one of my favourite ways to wear red shoes.
6. Red shoes with pink
What to wear with red shoes: Audrey Tautou in pink
Red and pink is one of those colour combinations which used to be considered a fashion no-no, but which is now very fashionable. It’s one of the more fashion-forward ways to answer the question “what to wear with red shoes”, but when done well, it can look stunning.
7. Red shoes with blue
What to wear with red shoes: Sylvie Van der Vaart in blue
This photo shows red shoes worn with navy blue, but red will work really well with just about any shade of blue you can think with. I love red shoes with either cobalt or sky/baby blue, especially in summertime, when it creates a very bright, fresh look, but navy is a more toned-down option, which could work for the office, say.
8. Prints and patterns
Images: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
Prints and patterns are another great option to wear with red shoes. If you’re worried about the colours clashing, or looking too “busy”, make sure your shoes are a solid shade of red (as opposed to a pattern), and stick to patterns and prints which contain a hint of red themselves.If the pattern has some red in it, chances are it’ll work with red shoes.
9. Can you wear red shoes with green?
What to wear with red shoes: Bridget Marquardt in green
It’s often said that red and green should not be seen… without something else in between. The two colours actually look good together as colours: when worn together as part of the same outfit, however, the combination CAN look a little garish… or make you look like Santa’s Little Helper. If you do want to wear red shoes with something green, try going for a shade of green that isn’t too bright. The jade green shown above, for instance, would be easier to wear with red than a grass or emerald green would, while a pale mint would be even easier. These two colours will always be a little tricky to pull off, though, so if you’re in doubt, they may be best avoided.
10. And if you’re STILL wondering what to wear with red shoes…
…there’s always good ol’ jeans!
Jeans are my fallback option any time I find myself really stuck for something to wear with a particular pair of shoes. They really do work with almost anything, but look particularly good with a pair of bright red shoes: right, Christina?
What do you like to wear with red shoes?