I haven’t seen so many white shoes since my last visit to the hospital. White shoes, once a fashion no-no, with designers favouring the more subdued nude, cognac or luggage hues (why does the colour name “luggage” make me snicker?) are white hot this year. Footwear in white is the non-colour of the season to see and be seen in. You may want to pick yourself up a pair of Birkenstock (or Birks inspired) sandals, flatforms, flip flops, espadrilles, ballet flats, gladiators, pointy-toed oxfords (my personal pick of the season), city slides, Adidas , woven sandals, heels or Friday night party shoes. Pretty much anything you can dream up, they have whipped up in white and made available for eager buyers.
For my size 10 Frankenfeet, white shoes have always posed a bit of a problem. White gives the illusion of jumping forward, so unless I want to look like my foot is kicking out at people as I take one step forward, the version I want is a delicate white shoe. I have always had to select white shoes with the utmost of thought and consideration. Not any old white shoe that takes my fancy will do. Without this thought, my feet can appear to rival Big Bird.
If you have largish feet like mine, try breaking the look with a strappy sandal so that the whole shoe isn’t all white. You can also select a more delicate looking shoe or sandal, or something with a rounded toe. The two-tone version paired with soft shades like beige, baby pink or pale blue give the appearance of smaller feet. A sneaker is going to make your feet look ginormous. That being said, I recognize that we all need to have sneaks in our life, so if you are going to select a pair, you are better off with something low profile like Keds or Chuck Taylor Shorelines over a clunkier shoe. Avoid boxy loafers or Doc Martin’s at all cost. If you are one of the lucky gals with small or regular size feet, go to town and try out everything this season has to offer.
Two critical points that I want to make when it comes to white shoes is that you want them clean and tidy looking, and you want them to look expensive. White shoes can easily take a bad turn and look cheap. This doesn’t mean they have to cost an arm, a leg and two of your piggies, but they should at least appear to look expensive, even if you only paid $20 for the pair. Things like hardware can make the shoes look really good or really bad depending on how it is done. You don’t want the hardware to be too dull, too shiny or too much. Same goes for embellishments. Even the most expensive designer shoes can look cheap if there are too many extras. Fit is critical too. Nothing cheapens any shoe, but particularly the white shoe, when the fit is off. Things to look for are quality-looking material, a clean, classic shape, and heel material that looks luxe. These elements combined give the illusion of a more expensive white shoe.
To look really current, let the shoe be the stand-out piece. This season you don’t want the shoe to fade into the background. Let it pop by contrasting it against a very dark look like solid navy or an all black outfit. It gives a definite nod to mod when you wear it this way. However, I equally love it with an LWD, a casual sundress or with a sophisticated jogger in a soft, muted shade. The other really current take on the white shoe is by wearing it in its flat version. Pair white brogues, oxfords or lace-up sneakers with pants or a dress for a more casual but extremely fashionable take on the look.
My only other suggestion is do not delay in picking yourself up a pair because while my favourite season may only have just started, the shops are pretty much ready to move it all out over the next month and start bringing in the boots. Errr! Stop crushing my summer.