Nothing styles a little black dress better than the right pair of shoes. As a firm believer that footwear easily makes or breaks an outfit, I think the right shoe type can take your black dress outfit to the next level. And what are the best shoes to wear with a black dress you ask?
Of course, style is subjective & someone’s ‘casual’ can easily be another woman’s ‘office’ look (depending on your office environment, of course). Just keep that in mind when reading this post, which I created as an easy go-to reference guide for the no-nonsense modern lady.
Casual Shoes to Wear with Black Dresses
Firstly, let’s start with shoes that will complement a casual look, consisting of an LDB. Of course, some of the shoes types below are more or less casual than others.
Gold, colorful or a pair of those fashionable white Adidas Stan Smiths will make your LBD ready for a sleek tourist adventure or a grocery store run. Now that sneakers are all the rage, all it takes is a swift shoe swap to take your look from desk dressing to errand running! Sneakers are particularly cute shoes with a little black dress.
2. Over the Knee Boots
Over the knee & even higher boots are a great boot type to wear in between seasons, weather permitting (living in Toronto, Canada, this is of utmost concern, lol!). I’ve put them in the casual section of the black dress styling post, because as they’re a little on the sexy (as worn most often without tights) the higher up leg they show are less likely to be appropriate in a typical work dress environment. However, when paired with a thick stocking or worn with a longer dress, these boots can go the distance in the corporate world too!
3. Knee High Boots
This I’ve added for Fall 2018, as the knee-high boot is definitely coming back in style! Easier to wear than a thigh high boot (and much more comfortable!), you likely have a pair in your closet that will look great with short, to just-above-the-knee black dresses. Check out how I styled my 3 in 1 convertible boots with my LBD!
4. Gladiator Sandals
There’s nothing that screams casual chic more to me than strappy high gladiator sandals with a simple black dress. Even though we see gladiators in magazines so much during the summer months, it’s a sandal type that’s often neglected by the general population & you’ll surely be an original when you wear a pair to a casual coffee date or a window shopping spree around town. See more on how to wear gladiator sandals, here.
5. Black Dress with Ankle Boots
The easiest go-to boot for every season, is the ankle boot. The ankle boot style will definitely carry over to your LBD, so if you want to keep a rock ‘n roll vibe, go for buckles & fringe ankle boots will give a boho-vibe. Ankle boots are also a great shoe type, when worn correctly & depending on boot style, to create not only casual, weekend looks, but office appropriate looks as well. A block heel or wedge will make the boots even more casual.
Chic Office Shoes to Wear with a Black Dress
As I said, there’s a time & place for different shoe types & pairing them with your LBD. The office or a more conservative office environment will give certain shoe types a thumbs up & others, the polar opposite! If you want to make sure you’re staying safe at work, here are my top 3 choices. Of course, if you work in fashion…well, you can throw all of these suggestions right on out the window!
1. Refined Ankle Boots
Yep, ankle boots as stated above, are fabulous for casual black dress style parings, but can also be a great shoe to wear to the office too. Best if the ankle boot is polished & minimal. Block heel or stiletto, as long as it’s a clean, minimal design (and of course styled for the occasion!) it’s a winner even in the most conservative of office environments. That’s why ankle boots are possibly one of the most versatile of shoes to wear with a black dress! If you have a more serious work dress code, I’d stick with simple leather & suede ankle boots in neutral colors (black/brown/tan) vs. say, sparkly disco purple or bright red.
2. Pointed Toe Flats & Pumps
Pointed toes on heels & designer flats are so fashionable in everyday life right now. A pointed toe pump will look polished with your work wardrobe & chic enough to carry you straight to dinner & drinks! Of course, the higher the heel the more ‘fancy’ the shoe becomes. Be careful of showing too much toe cleavage if you’re working in a more ‘traditional’ work environment.
3. Brogues & loafers
Join the boys club & add a dose of androgynous chic to even the most feminine of black dresses at work with a pair of brogues or loafers. Pointed toe, color-blocked loafers, monk strap brogues being the most fashionable of the moment. However, a classic lace-up oxford, brogue & even the most preppy of penny loafer will never, ever go out of style (especially not at the office!).
Just make sure your little black dress is on point with the latter styles, otherwise you risk looking completely out of touch with the present. Or at best. very vintage, but maybe that’s what you were going for all along Check out how I recently styled my black off the shoulder dress with loafers!
How to Dress Up a Black Dress with Shoes
Off to a glamorous evening or champagne & cocktails? Well, then a dainty shoe is your best bet & blocky, sporty looking shoes need not apply! Think classic elegance here, especially if it’s a black tie affair.
1. Classic Stiletto Pumps
With a pointy toe & a sexy svelte high heels, stiletto pumps will never do you wrong on a red carpet, fancy gala or wedding reception! Maybe it’s the toe cleavage or the sinuous design, but in any color, skinny heeled pumps with a black dress will look sensational. Mirror metallic & glitter pumps will dress up your outfit even more!
2. Multi-strap Heels & Sandals
The shoe details of the moment are definitely straps & laces. Even better when combined into one shoe! Multi strap pumps, sandals or booties are a exceptional pairing with a black dress, especially if you’re wanting to kick it up one notch. Even & especially in black, straps will visually shine (especially against a fairer complexion), so don’t be surprised if no one is looking at your cute LBD, but gawking at your shoes instead!
3. Single Sole minimal sandals
The Stuart Weitzman Nudist took minimal shoe dressing to the next level! Seen multiple times on every red carpet in the past few years, the minimal sandal (usual one slight toe strap paired with a similar ankle strap) is your best shoe bet when you want your dress to take centre stage. If this is your case, go for a shade that is ‘nude’ for you. It will lengthen your legs while allowing your black dress to get all the attention, no matter how plain or attention grabbing it is! The sexy nudist is a surefire way of showing off your style savvy manner of knowing how to to dress up a black dress!
So if you came here wondering what shoes to wear with a black dress, I hope you came out of the post feeling good about possible shoe type & dress pairing! Depending on the occasion, shoes can definitely make all the difference.