Have you ever tried on a pair of sandals with your favourite summer skirt, and realised the shapes didn’t work together?

Not all footwear styles complement all trousers, shorts, dress and skirt shapes.

Flat sandals create a right-angle which looks awkward against some garment shapes.

Here’s my quick and easy guide to picking complementary clothing for flat sandals.


Flat sandals with…

✓ Mini skirts – This combination works because short skirts are visually leg-lengthening, and the hem of the skirt and feet are so far away from one another, that the angles don’t clash.

✓ Knee-length A-line skirts/dresses – The flared shape of the skirt visually plays with the shape of the body, so there is no continuous sleek line to break up with the 90 degree angle of the feet.

Pencil skirts/dresses – The line of the legs in a slim-fitting skirt looks quite straight, and flat sandals would create an abrupt angle which can make the feet look bigger.

✓ Midi/calf-length skirts/dresses – Provided this isn’t a slim-fitting skirt, the way that the skirt moves will prevent the appearance of a solid angle

✓ Maxi skirts/dresses – This combination can look fabulously bohemian, just make sure that the skirt is not so long that it catches between your heel and the sole of the shoe. Some sandals have closed backs which works well.

✓ Hot pants/short shorts – Much like a mini skirt, these styles work together because of the leg-lengthening properties of the shorts, and the distance from them to the flat sandals.

✓ Mid-thigh/knee-length shorts – Because your legs are not held together as they are by pencil skirts, the two lines created by your free-to-move legs avoid a visual 90 degree angle forming for any length of time.

✓ Cropped trousers – I would tend to avoid wearing smart slim-fitting tailored trousers with flat sandals, but rolled-up or cropped jeans, chinos or linen trousers can look elegant.

✓ Long flared or baggy trousers – As with long skirts, make sure that the length doesn’t cause the hems to get caught between foot and sandal, but otherwise there’s something rather chic and French Riviera about this look.

✓ Long straight or skinny trousers – Really flat sandals go with all trouser shapes. This is because as I mentioned earlier, your two legs are free to separate, and so don’t create that awkward fixed angle. Sandal straps can be wrapped around skinny-legged trousers, or you could roll the hems up to just above the top strap.


Sandals with heels and flat sandals give two very different visual effects. In the next part of this blog post, I’ll show you which trousers, shorts, skirt and dress shapes complement your heeled sandals.

In the mean-time, to find out more about matching your footwear shapes to your clothing, how to play with colour in your footwear, and the meanings of shoes, download my book Outfits in Minutes: A Guide for Time-Pressed Women.

This essential guide is packed full of tips and methods to help you look your best, without those moments of panic in front of the wardrobe.

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  1. Pingback: HEELED SANDALS X BOTTOMS | The Shoe Consultant

  2. Pingback: HEELED SANDALS X WHICH SKIRT/TROUSERS | The Shoe Consultant

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