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10 Footwear Rules That Each of Us Has Likely Broken Unintentionally

Oftentimes, buying shoes can be an uphill task. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out which pair to choose so that they are comfortable, stylish, and appropriate in certain conditions. Moreover, when getting ready for an event, it’s worth paying attention to the type of shoes because stilettos or shoes in certain colors are not suitable for every occasion.

We at Bright Side looked closer at the rules of shoe etiquette, and we hope that they will help you when choosing shoes.

Shoes are chosen not only based on the place or occasion but also on the time of the day.

When going out to visit some event, it’s worth taking several important nuances into account that will help you choose shoes.

The rule is: the darker your shoes are, the more official they look. That’s why if you are going to a job interview, you’d better opt for dark shoes with a closed toe.

The time of the day should also be taken into account. Generally speaking, shoes for daytime wear should have heel sizes that are smaller than 4 inches, while in the evening, stilettos are fair game.

Your shoes should be neat on both the outside and the inside.

Hygiene is believed to be an important element of shoe etiquette. Dirty shoes or sneakers, especially light-colored ones, will probably not create a good impression.

Also, we sometimes forget that we will have to remove our shoes and that everyone will be able to see their insides. And it’s not just about the insoles. It’s important to periodically check shoes for the presence of scuffs, stains, and scratches on the inside and fix them in time.

We should choose office shoes based on the work environment.

Dee Cercone / Everett Collection / East News, EVERETT COLLECTION / East News, © tinx / Depositphotos.com

Companies with conservative types of business like accounting or judicial affairs are not very conducive when it comes to wearing fashionable shoes. While a more creative working atmosphere gives you the opportunity to feel freer with your choices. Classic pumps with a pointed toe will look good and are more appropriate at conservative companies.

You should make sure to always wear stockings or pantyhose, even in summer and even if your legs are covered by a long skirt. A pair of heels that are 2-3-inches high are a good choice for summer days. However, you need to make sure that they fit well on the foot and that the heel is closed, so you don’t make noise with every step. It is also better to avoid high heels, strappy sandals, and shoes with jewelry in a more conservative environment.

At the same time, trendy shoes will be appropriate for wearing at companies that have a more creative atmosphere. The main thing here is to opt for a pair matching the overall image of the company. Creative industries like fashion, advertising, or event planning give you a chance to choose shoes that will demonstrate your sense of style and creativity in the best way.

There are certain shoe categories that are inappropriate in any type of office — velvet, silk, sequined, clogs, and deck shoes or tennis shoes.

Patent leather shoes shouldn’t be paired with casual clothes, while the color should be chosen based on the season.

There are several nuances in wearing patent leather shoes. Casual clothes, like jeans, don’t go well with this type of footwear. Also, try to avoid over-the-knee winter boots or patent leather stilettos.

It’s important to take into account that the color should be appropriate to the season — white and bright colors are best worn in spring and summer, while darker shoes look good in winter. Black is the exception though — it suits official or professional events regardless of the season.

Don’t combine bright shoes with bright clothes.

Bertrand-Hillion Marie-Paola / ABACA / Abaca / East News, Bertrand-Hillion Marie-Paola / ABACA / Abaca / East News

Shoes should match the overall outfit and complement it, and they are one detail where it’s OK to focus attention. Neutral shoe colors are the best choice for a bright outfit. If you, on the contrary, like bright shoe colors, they can be matched with clothes in muted tones.

For example, neon shades can enhance the look, except for with black or denim outfits. Brightly-colored shoes will look perfect in combination with white, khaki, and pastel colors.

The whole image shouldn’t be in the same shade.

Jackson Lee / starmaxinc.com / East News, Bertrand-Hillion Marie-Paola / ABACA / Abaca / East News

We should avoid strict color matching. Don’t dress in one solid shade from head to toe. If, for example, you are wearing a burgundy blouse and skirt, you don’t need to pick shoes in the same tone. It is better to consider different patterns.

If you are wearing a green coat, try donning shoes with a green heel or sole, while the shoes themselves can be in any other color. Besides that, monochromatic outfits go well with shoes that have patterns on them — for example, leopard-colored shoes go well with a dark suit.

The height of the heel should match the length of the skirt.

A high heel requires a longer skirt — 0.8-1.2 inches over the knee. But if you wear a short skirt or dress, make sure to don shoes with a low heel or without any heel — it will balance the look.

There are rules for wearing flat shoes too — trousers should be ankle-length or higher, while skirts or dresses should end above the knee.

Shoes with open toes can be paired with tights but it’s important to check the seams.

Pairing open-toed shoes with tights or socks is no longer a fashion faux pas. Tights that match the color of the shoes are the best choice. The main thing is to make sure that the hosiery doesn’t have unsightly seams in the toe and heel area. By the way, these shoes can also be worn with bright socks.

White shoes should be worn during warm seasons only.

Though modern fashion has stepped away from almost all of the rules, wearing white shoes during a cold season is considered to be a sign of bad manners. The ideal time for this color of shoes is the period when the weather is dry, which is the warm season — from mid-spring to mid-autumn. Of course, that’s if you are not a child or a bride, or don’t play tennis — in these cases, there are no restrictions.

Jeans should be cuffed when paired with sneakers and socks should be short.

If you wear sneakers with jeans, it is recommended to cuff the bottom of the legs. Thus, it will be possible to draw more attention to the shoes and visually lengthen the legs.

Also, pairing sneakers with short socks, no longer than ankle-length, or no-show socks is a good option.

Do you follow shoe etiquette or do you give preference to comfort regardless of the rules?

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