When you’re wearing high-heeled sandals, your legs appear to continue in one long line to the floor. This visual effect looks better with certain hemlines.
Here’s your at-a-glance guide to which trousers, shorts, dress and skirt styles go best with your favourite heeled sandals and why.
Heeled sandals with…
X Mini skirts – Most sandals expose quite a lot of foot flesh. This along with the amount of leg skin such a short style exposes, creates a very sexy look. Although this can be balanced somewhat by covered up tops, be very selective about the occasion you choose if you wear this look.
✓ Knee-length A-line skirts/dresses – This is a balanced look not only in terms of the amount of exposed skin, but also when you look at the lines of the outfit. The flare of the skirt creates a femininity which complements a large variety of heeled sandals: platforms, wedges and stilettos all look great with this skirt style.
✓ Pencil skirts/dresses – The sleek lines of the skirt continue all of the way down to the soles. Select slimmer heels, as chunky platform styles can create an unbalanced bottom-heavy effect.
✓ Midi/calf-length skirts/dresses – As with knee-length A-line styles, this longer silhouette provides a feminine flare which can carry off most styles of heeled sandal. The minimal flesh exposure can add a sophisticated or slightly conservative element.
✓ Maxi skirts/dresses – Your heeled sandals will rarely be on full show when you have on your full-length skirt or dress. This means that you can add height without anyone really knowing it. Try this with chunky heels or wedges, to avoid stilettos catching on the hem and damaging your skirt, or tripping you up.
X Hot pants/short shorts – With a similar effect to a mini skirt, hot pants and heeled sandals expose a large amount of skin on the legs and feet when worn together. This can create quite a provocative look.
✓ Mid-thigh/knee-length shorts – Longer shorts can look very elegant with heeled sandals. The boyish look created when worn with trainers or other flats is avoided by the femininity of the heels. Also try experimenting with flatforms or wedges.
X Cropped trousers – Whether flared or straight-legged, cropped trousers create an abrupt horizontal line. This can look awkward when accompanied with the angles of a high-heeled sandal.
X Long flared or baggy trousers – This style looks particularly odd when paired with slim-heeled sandals. This is due to the space created around the heel: when the wearer is walking there is a lot of swing created at the hems. Closed-toed platforms, wedges and chunkier heels tend to be more flattering with this style of trousers.
✓ Long straight or skinny trousers – The high heels continue the lines created by slim-legged trousers. This creates an elegant effect. Very chunky or flared heels can look a bit clunky with straight-legged trousers, so stick with sleeker styles.
Also see my blog post Flat Sandals x Which Skirts/Trousers to discover how to co-ordinate your lower heeled footwear with your clothing.
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.