Using Colored Shoes to Make an Outfit Pop

How to Wear Colored Flats for Spring

I love colored shoes this time of year!  As weather gets warmer and it becomes more difficult to rely on layers and completer pieces to make outfits interesting, colored flats and sandals become key–especially as we head into summer.  Swapping colored shoes in place of neutral ones can take outfits to the next level and really make them pop!  Plus, they let you show off your personality a bit.

Here are a few ways to use colored shoes!



Making Neutrals Pop with Colored Flats

One thing colored shoes do really well is elevate basics and add a twist to an outfit.  For example, above on the left is one of my go-to bases of a striped tee + jeans, paired it with neutral flats.  On the right I swapped the neutral shoes for yellow flats.

Striped Twist Tee + Jeans + Nude Flats

While there’s nothing wrong with the outfit with neutral flats, it’s fun to see how changing the shoe can add a twist to the outfit.  Colored flats give the outfit a little more dimension and overall help it stand out a bit more.

Striped Twist Tee + Jeans + Mustard Flats

If you don’t like the particular style of shoe I chose, that’s fine!  This is where you can let your own personality, style and tastes come through.  You can use flats of any style or color here, like green, red, or yellow ballet flats that don’t have a pointy toe.  You can even use shoes that make more of a statement, like a colored sandal with a bit of a platform.  With just your shoe choice, you can put your own spin on an outfit of basics and show more of your personality!

Shop the Looks:
Top: Amazon (similar, similar, similar)

Jeans: (my favorite non-maternity–I size down to 4; exact maternity)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Nude Flats: Nordstrom (exact)
Yellow Flats: c/o ModCloth (exact–wearing size 9)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact–wearing size M)



Another way I like to utilize colored flats is to bookend the outfit with the same colors.  Bookending is when you use one color somewhere on the top half, like in a cardigan, earrings, necklace, or belt, and echo it somewhere on the bottom half, like in your belt or shoes.  (A belt is halfway down your body, so in my book it can be for either the top or bottom half!)  I love how bookending often helps outfits look a little more complete, cohesive, and balanced.

Here are a couple examples:

Bookending an Outfit with Colored Flats

I’m wearing nude and blush flats in these two pics, and while the color difference is subtle, to me the look on the right is a bit more polished and cohesive.  Plus, with the second outfit, even if I took off my cardigan, the blush flats would help elevate my basics of a striped tee + black jeans, just like in the very first outfit example.

Shop for the Look:
Tee: H&M (similar, similar, similar)
Cardigan: Nordstrom (exact–sized way down to XS)
Jeans: (my favorite pair of black denim–I wear size 6)
Nude Flats: Nordstrom (exact)
Blush Flats: Amazon (exact, similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Black Bucket Bag: Nordstrom (similar, similar)


Making a Business Casual Outfits Interesting With Colored Flats

Here’s another example of the outfit on the left being fine.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with the outfit with nude flats.  But I love how in the outfit on the right, the coral flats give the outfit that extra oomph and a bit more style!

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (exact–size M)

Pants: Old Navy (exact non-maternity; exact maternity–sized down to 4)
Nude Flats: Nordstrom (exact)
Coral Flats: c/o ModCloth (exact–size 9)

Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: c/o ModCloth (exact)



While the previous outfit examples didn’t have a ton of color going on apart from the colored flats, this last example shows the difference colored flats can make even in a outfit with color.

Using Colored Flats to Make Outfits Pop

One trick I love when wearing a printed top is to incorporate colors from the print into other pieces in the outfit.  The outfit on the left only pulls out the green from the top, but the outfit on the right pulls out both the green and the orange.

green cardigan + jeans + nude flats + floral print top

Even with color and print, I think the colored flats provide the *pop* that helps the outfit stand out more as well as show a bit more personality.  I really love this outfit and wore it on repeat towards the end of my pregnancy!

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (exact–wearing size L)
Cardigan: H&M (similar)
Jeans: (my favorite non-maternity–I size down to 4; exact maternity)
Nude Flats: Nordstrom (exact)
Orange Red Flats: Nordstrom (similar, similar)

Bag: Nordstrom (exact)

Playing around with colored shoes can be fun, and I’d totally encourage you to do it to see how they might change up your outfits!



Here are several colored flats out there at a variety of price points.  I didn’t include any colored sandals because we’ll save that for later when summer rolls around!

Colored Flats for Spring
Shop the Shoes:
one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  |  six
seven  |  eight  |  nine
ten  |  eleven  |  twelve
thirteen  |  fourteen  |  fifteen

(Fun fact: In all the pics against the grey wall, I was 38 weeks pregnant when we took them.  I looked very pregnant from the side, but it’s so weird that you can hardly tell from the front!)


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