Monday, July 16, 2012

Daring to Go Nude

Nude heels are perhaps the most popular, and perplexing shoe to gain popularity recently. Suddenly known as the “must have" color, the question everyone asks the second they get them home and look at them next to their closet is, “What the hell do I wear these with?”

I do that with pretty much every shoe I buy, so I know the feeling, which is probably why I get more emails about shoe pairings than anything else (except sales). 

These Jessica Simpson nude heels are the perfect shade. 
Part of the trick to nude heels is to make sure you get them in patent, or another leather that doesn’t look like skin.  Otherwise the second you put them on you’ll look like a Barbie doll with no shoes on. (I love bringing Barbie into the mix). Also to be avoided is a color exactly like your skin tone, and nude heels with an undercurrent of orange.

If you want orange shoes, buy orange shoes. There is no such thing as “neutral orange” (yes, someone tried to tell me there was) and the last thing you want is to look like you had some kind of foot bath accident with a spray tan.

Back to the closet. So you’re trying to figure out what to wear with your fab new heels. Pretty much anything. Nude heels go really well with slacks or crop pants, particularly with darker colors. While I’m not a huge fan of nude shoes with black, I love them with navy, they can be great with a salmon or red, and anything that’s some kind of pinstripe.

Cork is an alternative to nude - Sam Edelman
Avoid pairing them with orange, as it can create all kinds of havoc. Unless it's a dark orange, at which point it will probably look fine.

Dresses and skirts also work well with nude heels. You can wear them pretty much anytime your outfit calls for a shoe that’s not black. They’re also great with shorter dresses because they create a longer look to the leg. Or maybe that’s just the heel. Just to be safe, only wear heels with short dresses.  And long dresses.

Actually, it’s kind of a rule to only wear heels with dresses no matter the length. We’re not in grade school anymore ladies.

So basically you can pair nude heels with just about anything, except orange, black (there are exceptions), and I’m a little iffy on pairing them with jeans. That can be taken on a case by case basis. If you love the look of nude, but aren’t ready for it or find it dull, go with a cork shoe. It serves the same function as the nude heel but has a little more dimension.

If you hate nude, and cork, then I guess you can just ignore me entirely, not take any risks, and cuddle up with your plain black pumps. Just be sure not to wear them with navy.


Jenna said...

I just bought a pair of nude sandals yesterday. And I was thisclose to buying a pair of nude Nine West sandals with orange piping. I decided against them because I have . .. too much orange! You should devote a whole post to the ins and outs of orange and I'll see if I brake any other rules.

Jenna said...


That was embarrassing.

Cat said...

I just bought my first pair of orange shoes, and now I find myself buying all kinds of clothes to go with them. I think they're actually more diverse than I originally thought.