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  • Writer's pictureSara Marsden-Shreeve

What Shoe, Which Outfit?

Which Shoes & How to wear | The Image Tree Blog
Don't Be Confused by Shoes

Ooh I love shoes don’t you?

They can help you feel sporty, sexy, comfy, tall, confident and downright fabulous at any given time or occasion and even protect our tootsies from the elements.

Of course, our wardrobe/style personality may dictate how much we spend, how many we have and what styles we choose but they are a necessity, for the most part, and so we need to nurture them and wear with pride.

You may well keep them in neat little boxes, organised and admired or, like the majority of peeps, chucked in the bottom of your wardrobe or shoe cupboard to mingle and get funky (literally). Ooh, maybe they hang out in the back of your car too? Ahem.. yes, well my wellies get lonely sometimes.

Anyhoo, whatever your storage preference, you may well need to go take a ‘shoe stocktake’ and sort out the ones which need a re-sole, re-heel, a recycle or ditch and whilst you’re at it, partner up your pairs. You may well unearth those beauties still in their box awaiting “that” party or ‘sit down do’ in order to wear them. If this has happened, then you’re seriously eating into cost per wear profits here darrllling, so take matters into hand and either go book said event now, yourself! Else let them go my love, saves on guilt.

Sometimes, your shoes just aren’t worn because you’ve no idea what to wear them with or you think they don’t work with the clothes you have. If this is the case and you truly love them, please read on… I’ll give you some shoe tips on leg flattery, what to wear and how to wear them, good eh?

I’ll even shout out a few seasonal trends just in case you need to refresh a few gaps for work, social or that hard working cross over pair.


If you’re a lover of the more practical shoe and sensible looking walk, then you’re in for a treat. There are so many great styles out there at the moment to suit all looks, from brogues to loafers and tied ankle lovelies to animal print slip-ons.


Now, if you love a jean and fitted trouser then you’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t have to be a heel that pimps up your look because a flat works just as well, whether it be textured, adorned or classically simple. Just don’t go too chunky and flat-form on the footwear if you have really slender legs and favour a skinny jean, else you may look a heavy footed and golf club-esque.

How to wear statement flats , The Image Tree Blog
Statement shoe with a bit of ankle

If you like your ankles naked and on show that’s even better because a cropped trouser or jean adds a bit of chic this season but if you don’t, then that’s fine too because a cracking pair of patterned, opaque or textured tights goes a long way with a jumper dress or flippy skirt.

My only word of hosiery warning would be, to keep them in tones similar to the shoe colour else, if you’re shorter in the leg or indeed in height a bright shoe will optically shorten you.

Keep Shoes Tonal with Tights, Mary Janes and Skirts, The Image Tree Blog
Keep shoes tonal in colour

Also, with regards to flats and longer skirt/dress hem lengths I would say that it is quite an editorial driven look which is quite tricky to pull off, but I'm not saying you shouldn't try it, especially if you love the look and feel confident wearing it. I would say a bit of interest or detail goes a long way in this seasons embellished shoe.

Flats and longer hems, The Image Tree Blog
Midi lengths and flat shoes | Photo by Aizhana Aldanova from Pexels


Now, I don’t know about you, but I quite like a heel from time to time. I feel it gives me a swagger in my stride and a sense of confidence when I want to feel good, though I never go too high because I can’t walk in them and tend to adopt a weird stooped totter which is not very flattering AT ALL.

This season, heels are a mixture of widths and heights with interesting shapes and adornment being a key factor. The best advice I would give with pairing the right heel with the right outfit is to go with the flow and feel of your look so, a slinky, strappy and delicate dress would not pair harmoniously with a hugely clunky and heavy looking shoe, it should work with the garment.

Heel Trend

Definitely, work with your scale too, so if you have strong shapely calves and broad ankles, keep your shoes harmonious to this and avoid fine ankle strangling straps and tiny delicate heel shapes as they just throw off your gorgeous proportions.

Instead, keep straps angled, broader and/or below the ankle bone and look for more open shoes with block, cone or sturdier looking heel shapes.

If you’re outfit is busy, decorative and colourful keep the shoe simple so as not to distract and alternatively, if you’re outfit is simple, go to town with the shoe and accessories to lift the look.

Shoes and print dress
You don't have to match your shoes with your bag

Photo by Godisable Jacob from Pexels

You don’t even have to be ‘matchy-matchy’ either with your handbag but I would suggest if you do go rogue, drawing in one element of your shoe somewhere in your outfit, whether it be a colour, an embellishment or a texture, as this will help your shoes look less like an after-thought. You could even just use a lippy, nail polish or piece of jewellery to bring in your shoes subtly.


Well, the skies the limit really because heels can dress up a casual look in an instant whether high or low, so go for it, just make sure you can walk in them and they fit properly.

Block heels and jeans


With this time of year, the boot becomes our seasonal saviour once again and has the ability to be practical, chic and downright sexy ranging from shoe boots to knee boots and higher (yes they’re still about), they come in all manner of styles. However, there is a bit of unknown territory as to how to wear them and obviously our legs come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s handy to know a few things.

Bootilicious | The Image Tree Blog
Bootilicious Styles for All Personalities

Shoe boots are a great in between style and work great with both skinny jeans, ankle grazers and dresses and skirts. Bare legged or with hosiery they are a great hard working shoe. For outfit ideas check out my Pinterest Board.


Firstly, a bit about proportions.

I observe a person holistically. That is I take the clients personality and tastes then tie in with their height and frame along with their upper and lower body proportions. This helps determine hem lengths, styles and boots.

So, longer legs as opposed to shorter legs, shapely calves opposed to more linear calves are all treated differently and have their own styling and fit foibles.

If you have problems finding knee boots to fit around a wider lower leg, then it’s worth looking for styles which have elasticated panelling, adjustable straps, use a slouchier textile or have been specifically designed for a better fit. Thankfully, there are now many brands and department stores that include these improved boot designs and stock wider fittings.

Here are a few I have suggested to clients in the past:

On the other hand, if your experience of knee boots includes a baggy top, then I would suggest looking for the stretchier or indeed ruched pull on style (sock boot) that moulds to your leg more snugly or a laced boot you can adjust. The structured riding boot variety can give a good fit and allow for a reduced gape-age around the top if worn over a skinny jean. Failing that a fluffy topped sock boot goes a long way to fill in the gaps. Who says they are just for wellies?

Autumn boots outfit, The Image Tree Blog
Longer Boots with shorter hems

Secondly, dress your proportions with hems and boot lengths.

So, if you are longer in the leg than the body then your boots can be higher up your leg and your hems shorter (above the knee or above the ankle. This is largely because you have more length to play around with on the bottom half.

Whereas if your shorter in the leg and longer in the torso, then hems lengthen (below the knee or below the ankle) and the boot lengths go lower down your leg. Throw in similar toned tights and shorter boots with jumper dresses or natural coloured hosiery and neutral shoes for the evening and you optically lengthen legs. It’s all about balance really.

Follow the curves of your leg and try not to have tops of boots sitting on the broadest bits, so for example, I don’t wear calf length boots because they make my legs look stubby (as already short) and shapeless (which they’re not). My long boots sit just under my knees where the curves go inwards, hello shapely and more slender looking lovelies.

Ankle boots and sheer tights, The Image Tree Blog
Give Your Legs some Love

So there are a few things to think about to be going on with…. It’s a lot I know but I want to open things up a bit and let you have a look in your wardrobe and decide what style of shoe it is that you need and maybe could try.

Go have a look and see what’s missing, maybe you have clothes you don't wear because you don't have the right shoes and if you have any questions feel free to post them below in the comments.

Thanks for reading my lovely and hope to see you around either over on Facebook, Twitter or visit my Pinterest Board that gives further styling know how to this blog.

Bye for now……

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Sara xxx

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