Nude shoes are just about the most versatile women’s shoes you can buy – no fashion icon would be without them. Nude, blush, skin-tone, beige – call them what you will, these shoes never go out of style.
If you’re still not convinced that a pair of nude heels could be the best footwear investment ever, we’ve got all the best tricks and tips here for you to ensure that you’ll never again be stuck choosing the right shoes to complement your outfit.
What are nude shoes?
Nude shoes are any type of beige-coloured footwear – usually ballerina shoes, heels and flats. The term covers a wide palette of skin colours, from pale porcelain to rich espresso – depending on your skin tone, of course.
Nude shoes are well-known and well-loved for being:
- Versatile – nude shoes effortlessly pair with almost any ensemble, from casual to formal wear.
- Flattering – adds the illusion of length to the legs, contributing to an elegant silhouette.
- Subtle – allows them to act as a neutral canvas, directing attention to bold prints or vibrant tops, showcasing your style without overshadowing the overall aesthetic.
What are the benefits of wearing nude shoes?
Wearing nude shoes offers several benefits, making them a versatile wardrobe staple. Firstly, nude tones effortlessly elongate the legs, creating an illusion of height. Better yet, their neutral hue complements a variety of outfits, seamlessly blending with different colours and patterns. Nude shoes are also extremely versatile, transitioning seamlessly from casual to formal occasions.
Additionally, they give the appearance of slender feet and are an excellent choice for achieving a polished, refined look.
So, whether paired with dresses, skirts or trousers, nude shoes contribute to a timeless and elegant aesthetic, making them a must-have in any fashion-conscious individual’s collection.
Which outfits go with nude shoes?
From a night out dancing to a formal wedding, nude shoes can provide the perfect finishing touch to an outfit – giving you the latest on-trend look with little effort on your part. Nude shoes are among the most versatile shades, blending well with numerous outfits and colour combinations. Here are some of our best recommendations:
Nude heeled shoes with a black dress
In this case, you don’t want your shoes to compete with the rest of the outfit, but they will add an elegant, sensual tone to complete the overall silhouette. Style icons like Amal Clooney and Gigi Hadid know how to make the most of a unique design by teaming it with an understated nude shoe.
- Top tip: If you do decide to pair nude shoes with a skin-tone outfit, add some textural interest to your clothing with voluminous details or an unusually structured silhouette.
Nude block heels with a smart skirt or dress
This is the perfect combo for a professional work look, creating a leg-lengthening effect with all-day comfort and ease of walking. Beige footwear partnered with dresses in strong shades of red, purple, navy, blue or black can provide the basis of a comfortable but business-like wardrobe – without the worry of having to buy different shoes to match each item.
- Top tip: Wear a pencil skirt for ultimate elegance.
Nude ballerina shoes with tapered trousers
Cropped, tapered trousers or capri pants look fabulous with nude kitten heels or flat shoes such as ballerina shoes – as world-famous style mavens from Audrey Hepburn to Michelle Obama will attest. Avoid wide-legged trousers with kitten-heeled nudes, as the heel will be lost. In this case, choose wedge heels to offset the wide leg.
- Top tip: Flat nude shoes are ideal for tall women who don’t want to draw attention to their height.
Nude wedge heels with holiday shorts and miniskirts
This combo is superb when going for a more casual, sporty look. Nude wedge heels suit holiday shorts and miniskirts. This kind of beige shoe comes in all kinds of materials and heights, so you can go wild with your choices. Cork or hessian heels and wedges look particularly good with floaty summer dresses and long swishy skirts, complementing whatever shade of nude you’ve chosen for your shoes.
- Top tip: Make sure you know your shoe width before buying a pair of wedge heels – who wants to be uncomfortable on holiday?
Nude flats with dark leggings
Dark or patterned leggings and nude flats are a match made in heaven, looking elegant and feeling snug and wearable all at the same time. Bows, gems and other embellishments can lift the humble flat above the status of plain. Often a simple, chic ballet flat in beige, blush or nude is all that’s needed to make that special little difference to a casual outfit.
- Top tip: High-waisted fitted jeans are also great choices to style with nude flats, as these can add to the illusion of longer legs.
Nude stiletto heels with skinny, ankle-length jeans
If you really want to make the most of the nude shoe’s leg-lengthening power, opt for a stiletto heel. This is a favourite of the likes of Kylie Minogue, Kate Moss and Eva Longoria. The combination of a tall, narrow heel with a neutral shade provides the illusion of longer, slender limbs adding poise and sophistication to a wide range of outfits for any occasion.
The latest ankle-length jeans are designed just with this shoe in mind. The heel is on view but the jeans remain the focal point of the outfit, just as with ever-popular skinny jeans.
- Top tip: Check out our guide to heels before deciding which pair you want to buy.
Nude shoes with a wedding dress
A wedding gives everyone an excuse to wear nude shoes, whether high or low-heeled. Blush shoes, with their subtle pinkish beige tone, have become especially popular for wedding attire among guests, bridesmaids and brides themselves.
Shades of blush and beige can complete a spectacular overall neutral theme along with rose gold accents. Traditional brides opting for white or ivory dresses can choose from an almost unending array of nude shoes, which will not only look the part on their special day but will do double duty by allowing the wearer to make full use of them after the ceremony.
- Top tip: If you’re planning on using fake tan, take that into account when choosing your shade of nude shoes.
Do nude shoes go with everything?
Nude shoes are renowned for their versatile nature and can complement a wide range of outfits. They work exceptionally well with neutral tones, such as whites, blacks and greys, creating a sophisticated and cohesive look. Nude shoes also pair seamlessly with earthy tones like beige, camel and olive. However, they may not be as flattering when worn with extremely bright or bold colours that contrast sharply with the nude shade.
Given this, it’s essential to consider the overall colour scheme of your outfit. But in general, nude shoes are a reliable choice for a variety of looks, offering an elegant and elongating effect on the legs.
What shade of nude shoes is right for me?
When selecting the right pair of nude shoes for you, take top shoe designer Christian Louboutin’s advice on board – pick shoes one or two shades lighter or darker than your own skin for the most magical effect.
A perfect match with your skin tone is not what you need here – unless, of course, you want to look like you aren’t wearing any shoes at all. Choosing a patent look will also help avoid the shoes blending in with your skin. However, if you go for too much of a colour difference, you won’t get that miraculous leg-lengthening look that’s every celebrity’s secret weapon.
So, if you haven’t decided on which pair of nude shoes to buy yet, why not? If you’re on a budget, they really are your best friend – you’ll be hard pushed to find an outfit that you can’t wear them with.
Stick to a classic style for good value, long-term wearability, but don’t dismiss the impact of a high fashion nude shoe to give that special outfit some extra pizzazz.