Harper Bazaar’s Shoe Guide

A Chic Woman’s Guide to Shoes

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. Click through for more tips on expressing your personal style — through your footwear.

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.

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.

Choose One Attention Getter

If you are wearing an over-the-top dress, for example, keep your shoes toned down. But if your look is low-key, a standout shoe (and something like this pair would definitely qualify!) adds excitement.


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 like this pair.

Studio D

Wear What’s Appropriate

Studio D

Going Outdoors? Say No to Stilettos

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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February 17, 2010. Feburary.

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