This post was most recently updated on July 3rd, 2019
Shoes to Wear with a White Dress
The days of nixing any white clothing after labor day are dead & gone. How you wear your whites, however, is another thing altogether! And although many may never ask the “white dress what shoes?” question, there actually are shoe styles & colors that look better than others (and some that don’t quite fit the bill)!
Which is kind of important to know fashion-wise, considering how much of an impact the Little White Dress is currently having!
Shop White Dresses:
Before considering what shoes to wear with a white dress, you’ll have to consider to what event you’ll be wearing it & what look you’re going for (bohemian, smart casual, cocktail) in addition to dress type.
Will your fashionable outfit be used for work or a fancy dinner? Aside from wedding or gala gowns, which we’re not going to delve into today, there are essentially 3 white dress types & basic ways in which you can style each:
Structured casual dress
Flowy casual dress
- Both casual & flowy dresses can either go the laid-back bohemian route, or depending on shoes & accessories worn, can become smart casual.
- Some casual white dresses can easily become cocktail reception worthy when styled the right way.
- Cocktail dresses, however, almost always require certain shoe types & colors to make them look formal dress code-worthy.
Let’s start with the best color shoes to wear with a white dress. Again, as I always say taste & style is relative. So if it’s not listed & you want to rock it, do it!
What Color Shoes with a White Dress?
So this one might seem a little obvious, with white being a non-color & all. And yes, most shoe colors look fabulous with a white dress.
But because not all white dresses are the same shade of white (and there are many shades!), not every shoe is going to be your best choice. The following are the best shades & colors to match your white hot loo
1. White Dress Black Shoes
Shop Black Shoes:
A white dress black shoes? Well, no matter how bright or off-white will always look great with a black shoe & is one of my favorite white dress/shoe pairings.
It keeps things simple, classy & both the shoes & the dress are able to shine without dulling each other’s sparkle. Add a gold clutch as this fabulous sparkly one below & you’ve got yourself a perfect party outfit!
2. White Dress Nude Shoes
Shop Beige Shoes:
On the opposite spectrum of the contrast of a white dress & black shoes, white dresses & nude shoes are a refined way to create a more understated look. Nude shoes (ones that match your skin tone that is) allow the dress to stand out, while lengthening your legs. The more minimal the nude shoe, the lesser impact the footwear will have.
3. White Dress Red Shoes/Orange, Pink Shoes
Shop Red & Pink Shoes:
- Red Shoes: White dresses & outfits look fabulous with red shoes. A true poppy red will look great with all shades of white
- Orange Shoes: Orange & coral colored shoes look fab with white, especially pure whites
- Pink Shoes: I love me a hot pink shoe with a white outfit! The whiter the white, the more contrasting these will be
4. Gold & Metallic Shoes
Metallic shoes look fabulous with white & work best for a more formal occasion. Gold sandals & pumps in particular will dress up even the most simple white dress & is my metal hue of choice when choosing which color shoes to wear with a white dress:
Shop Metallic Shoes:
- Gold Shoes: A white dress with gold shoes or gold capped shoes are a great combo with a white dress. And especially so with a cream colored dress with warm undertones.
- Silver Shoes: Silver is a great metallic to wear with white. It does, however, look best when worn with a bright white with cool undertones. I wouldn’t pair silver heels with an off white dress.
- Bronze Shoes: Bronze footwear looks pretty with both pure & creamy whites. It will contrast more with a bright white, but look great with beigey-whites too.
5. Leopard Print Shoes
Shop Leopard Print Shoes:
If leopard print, along with white, are considered “neutrals” than why not pair the two? Keep in mind that a classic leopard or cheetah print shoe will make your look more casual, like in the image, above.
6. White Dress, Brown Shoes
Shop Brown/Tan/Caramel Shoes:
Brown is a fantastic shade to wear with white. Best for casual looks, brown is a great neutral tone shoe to pair with your white dress for an office look or wear with strappy brown sandals or blogs for a summery boho style.
7. White Dress Blue Shoes & Green Shoes
As long as the color most blue or green-based hued shoes look fab with white dresses.
- Blue shoes: bold blues such as cobalt, turquoise or closely related purple work best with very bright whites with a cool undertone
- Green shoes: look fab with any type of white, bright or quasi-beige
Shoe Colors to Avoid with White dresses
Of course, this wouldn’t be a comprehensive post if I didn’t chat about my least favorite pairings!
- White shoes: unless it’s an exact white match to your dress, white shoes should be avoided. Even so, it may make your outfit look rather bridal. I’d keep white-on-white strictly for black tie & all white parties, weddings & red carpet events.
- Pale pastel shades: other than a beige if it matches your skin tone, I’m not a fan adding very pale pastels colors to a white outfit. Although a baby blue or baby pink – heck – even light mint green isn’t going to make you look HORRIBLE at all, it just isn’t going to particularly complement a white dress. It’ll sort of wash it out.
- Yellow shoes: unless it’s a saturated, orangey yellow or a bright neon yello pump, yellow doesn’t create enough of a contrast with a white dress as, say, orange shoes would.
Types of Shoes to Wear with a White Dress
Pumps, either a classic pointed toe t-strap or cap toe pump with ankle strap works great. This should be your go-to shoe for all seasons & will literally match any outfit, along with a simple or not-so-simple white dress. A definite “YES” shoe to wear with a white dress!
Strappy/ Gladiator Sandals
For summer, I love strappy or gladiator sandals with white dresses for casual looks. The straps add some fun dimension to the look, & whether it’s adorned or plain, these shoe will look amazing with your little white dress. Try a tall gladiator for short to knee-length dresses like I did, above. See more ways to wear gladiator sandals, here.
Dainty & barely there à la Stuart Weitzman Nudist, these sandals will perfectly compliment your pretty white dress! Minimal sandals are great shoe to wear if you have a particularly elaborate dress & want to keep your shoes understated.
An ankle boot will perfectly transition your little white dress into Fall & for the chillier Winter months? Well, you can always add a pair of leggings or tights to keep your legs warm, but keep you stylish!
Pointed Toe Flats
Pointed toe flats are amazing with little white dresses! You can try an Aquazzura lace-up flats or similar (above right) or even a pointy loafer to update your white dress. The tapered/pointed toe is edgy enough not to make you look like a little girl, which sadly, those rounded toe or classic ballet flats often do!
Of course, there are many shoes to wear with white dress that will create a fantastic look! Some other fashionable shoes you might want to consider when asking yourself what shoes to wear with a white dress:
- Brogues: great for work or running errands
- Sneakers: perfect for a casual outfit
- Thigh high boots: to transition your little white Summer dress for Fall
- Knee high boots: great to achieve that fashionable 70s look
Check out my recent post all about what color shoes to wear with a navy dress!
Photography Credits: by Conrad Collaco (1-6, 9, 10), Pinterest, Net-a-Porter, Asos, Topshop