How many times have you flicked through the latest gossip magazine wondering how the celebs manage to look so effortlessly poised and stylish both on the red carpet and even when zipping out to the local shops? Take a closer look at those pics. You’ll be surprised at just how often they’re wearing nude shoes. Fashion stylists list nude or skin-tone shoes at the top of their list of style secrets, and for good reason.
They’re just about the most versatile women’s shoes you can buy and no fashion icon would be without them. Nude, blush, skin-tone, beige – call them what you will, they’re the shoes that will never look out of place. If you’re still doubting 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 on choosing the right shoes to complement your outfit.
What are nude shoes?
So what colour exactly do stylists mean when they talk about nude shoes? The term covers a wide palette of skin colours from pale porcelain to rich espresso depending on your own skin tone of course, just as beauty brands supply make-up in a diverse range of flesh tones.
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 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. Too much of a colour difference though, and you won’t get that miraculous leg-lengthening look that is every celebrity’s secret weapon.
What are the advantages to wearing nude shoes?
That visual enhancement of your legs is what it’s all about – nude shoes are the magic ingredient to every outfit which can be the difference between looking frumpy or fabulous.
- Longer legs! Your legs look like they go on for miles.
- Nude or beige shoes are universally flattering – everyone can wear them.
- They draw attention towards a fabulous print on a dress or top.
- They are versatile – you can wear them with anything.
- They are the best choice for those on a budget – they will always go with everything else in your wardrobe.
- If they’re good enough for the Duchess of Cambridge… need we say more?
What goes with nude shoes?
Well, everything is the simple answer! Not sure when to wear your nude shoes? Have a look at some of these ideas to help you put together that stunning outfit.
Let’s start with those film star red carpet occasions. Nude heeled shoes allow all the focus to settle on a glamorous evening gown or cocktail dress for that special event when you’ve blown the budget on something extravagant. 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. Women from Amal Clooney to Gigi Hadid know how to make the most of a unique design by teaming it with an understated nude shoe.
Whatever the event or time of day, nude shoes will allow that special outfit to shine. If you want to draw attention to an unusual print in a dress or top, or you’re wearing something kooky or individual, skin-tone footwear is the way to go. You can update the classic black and white combination with beige shoes for a sophisticated look. From a night out dancing to a formal wedding, nude shoes will provide the perfect finishing touch giving you the latest on trend look with little effort on your part. Beware of matchy-matchy outfits however if you don’t want to fade into the background! If you do decide to pair nude shoes with a skin-tone outfit, add some textural interest to your clothing with voluminous or diaphanous details or an unusually structured silhouette.
Nude, blush, beige or tan shoes are the perfect choice for a professional work look. Team kitten heels or low block heels with a knee-length pencil skirt or elegant, tapered trousers to combine 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. If you need to wear something more formal for the office such as a navy suit, nude shoes will be your friend again.
Choose your heel with care if you’re planning to wear your new purchase with trousers. Cropped, tapered trousers or capri pants look fabulous with 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. Choose wedge heels to offset the wide leg here.
Wedge-heeled nude shoes also look superb when going for a more casual, sporty look. They 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 especially look good with floaty summer dresses and long swishy skirts and complement whatever shade of nude you’ve chosen for your shoes.
Flat nude shoes are ideal for tall women who don’t want to draw attention to their height, but less lofty women don’t need to worry as they too can style flats effectively if everyday comfort is high on their list of essentials. 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, but 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. Fashionable, high-waisted jeans and short skirts are also great choices to style with nude flats as these can add to the illusion of longer legs.
If you really want to make the most of the nude shoe’s leg-lengthening power, opt for a stiletto heel. The likes of Kylie Minogue and Eva Longoria can’t be wrong! 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 the ever-popular skinny jean. Where would Kate Moss be without a pair of skinnies and nude heels? A slight platform, which may be hidden, can add to your height if you really want to go all out in the quest to look taller while retaining the overall sophistication that a stiletto nude heel gives.
That most special of events, 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, from guests to bridesmaids to brides themselves and 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 too.
Finally, to make the most of nude shoes leg-lengthening power, choose your skin-tone hosiery with equal care, or if you’re planning on using fake tan, take that into account when choosing your shade. Make sure to keep that tan smooth though – you want to enhance your overall look, not draw attention to streaky legs! And if you are going for an on trend caged or peep-toe style, get a nude pedicure too.
So, if you haven’t decided on which pair of nude shoes to buy yet, why not? If you are on a budget, beige shoes really are your best friend as you will be hard pushed to find an outfit that you can’t wear with them or an occasion where they look out of place. 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.