Ask Avery: Look on the bright side
blog by Avery Hartmans • October 18, 2013 @ 9:12am
I just bought a form-fitting black dress with cut-outs for a sorority formal, but now I’m stuck on the shoes. I don’t want to wear boring black and blend in with the rest of the girls, but I’m worried that a bright color will look tacky. Can I pull off a colored shoe?
Someone once tried to tell me — in a Buffalo boutique that shall not be named, no less — that a bright shoe with a basic dress looks tacky and cheap. Not only have I never shopped at said boutique again, but I’ve thrown so-called fashion rules like that out the window.
The whole purpose of brightly colored shoes is to accent an otherwise boring outfit. The only way it’s going to look tacky is if you A) buy really cheap-looking shoes or B) wear a dress that makes you look really cheap-looking. Since I can only assume you’d do neither of those things, the short answer to your question is yes, you can totally pull off anything from bright red to eye-catching purple.
But if you’re going to do color and not stick with something low-key and neutral, you have to do it big. It’s more fun and visually interesting if you play with not one color but several. Plus, if you wear a super matchy-matchy shoe and jewelry combination, you actually might look kind of tacky.
So don’t be afraid to go for a big bold statement necklace and an eye-catching clutch paired with fabulous footwear. Your dress is basic enough — albeit classically sexy — that it can act as a blank canvas for anything you want to do. Go wild.
Option No. 1
Someone once told me that yellow is the most eye-catching color there is, that our eyes automatically seek out yellow before any other color. Whether that’s true or not, you can’t deny the wow-factor of the color yellow — when done right, anyway.
Yellow is one of those colors best done in moderation, and a snakeskin pointy-toe pump is the best way to add a pop to your outfit. And when incorporated with fellow primary color cobalt blue, it makes for an electric combination. Add a chunky chain necklace to make your outfit even edgier, and there’s no way you’ll blend in with the other sorority girls.
Option No. 2
The best thing about wearing such a simple dress is that you can go in any direction you want, style-wise. Add a touch of Southwest flair to your look with pink tribal-inspired sandals. Sure, they’re super high, and if you’re not Sober Sister for the evening, you may have a few mishaps. But with shoes that cool, it’s worth it.
As for jewelry, a turquoise necklace will be an unexpected addition to the outfit without adding too much color. Opt for a neutral when it comes to the clutch and choose a silver box clutch to hold everything you need. You may have kept it simple with the dress, but trust me: this outfit is anything but basic.
Option No. 3
I once bought a pair of totally awesome bright blue heels to wear to a high school homecoming that I’ve since worn exactly three times, as they are quite possibly the most uncomfortable, challenging shoes I’ve ever owned. Hopefully, you’ll have better luck if you opt for blue suede platforms.
Cobalt is a popular color this season, for obvious reasons. Not only is it flattering on everyone, it’s an alternative pop of color to the typical red. And by choosing super-high heels but complementing them with a ladylike statement necklace in an analogous color, your outfit will be sophisticated but still hotter than all the other girls’. Add a subtle black clutch and you’re ready to party.