We tend to associate dresses with heels, but the reality is that there are so many other ways to style a dress that don’t involve that classic shoe choice.
Heels are really a love-hate relationship for most women, aren’t they? They look so pretty, but ouch! And while investing in a good pair of heels that fit you well can help to minimize how much pain you feel, exploring some of the other ways you can style a dress is a way to get more creative and make different outfits out of the pieces you already own. Here are some of our favorite ways to style a dress without heels.
I love a good pair of Mary Janes (and this updated version of them)! There’s just something so classic about them. They’ve been seen on the likes of the Queen of England as a child, to fashion runways, to the fashionable Cher Horowitz in Clueless and Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl. So if you’ve ever thought they were just for schoolgirls, think again. Pair them with your favorite dress and some black tights for a super chic look.
Tall Black Boots and Tights
This combination is a classic for a reason and perfect for keeping your feet and legs warm during the winter months. For a couple of extra tips and tricks, check out my article on outfits for the colder months that don’t involve pants. And this outfit is Kate Middleton approved, so if you’re looking for a classy way to wear a dress, this is it.
French Style Loafers and a Midi Dress
The dress and loafer combination is all the evidence I need to prove wrong the myth about dresses not being comfortable. You’ll feel far and away better about yourself than you would in a pair of sweatpants, but probably just as comfortable. So even if you’re just walking the dog, before you step out in your leggings and sneakers, consider quickly throwing on a dress, doing a quick bun, and slipping on a pair of loafers. You won’t regret it!
Make It about the Boots
Tall black boots paired with black tights are a really great way to create a chic line of the leg, but brown leather boots are a great way to let your boots take center stage and really make the outfit.
Keeping within the boot theme, lace-up boots are another great choice. But they give off a totally different vibe! These are very Victorian-inspired and would pair perfectly with a long dress.
Little Black Boots
Forget about the LBD! This is the LBB. All jokes aside, black ankle boots, whether you get a suede or a leather option, are super versatile and will go with a lot of different dresses you have in your closet. I think they look best when you add tights. It helps make a choice less traditional than your typical heels more ladylike.
Now I know I said that this article was going to be heel free, but a low kitten heel is a really great option that blends the flat and the typical high heel together. As a personal favorite of First Lady Jackie Kennedy, these are a classy option that are sure to make you feel super chic. They’re work appropriate but won’t kill your feet!
You heard me right. If you style it right, you can get away with wearing a dress with sneakers. Running shoes even! It’s all about learning how to pair more formal items with more casual items. It’s definitely not a perfect match for every dress in your closet, but some of the more casual ones can be dressed down for a picnic at the park and games by adding a running shoe to your look. You can get away with wearing a dress to do just about anything if you style it right. No more excuses!
I couldn’t end this article without talking about the classic flat. I think in our trend driven society we sometimes forget about flats. But think like a French girl and slip on a quality pair of flats with everything — including that dress you’ve been wanting to wear, but haven’t had an occasion to justify putting on heels.
Dresses and heels are a classic for a reason, but thinking outside the box could lead you to a lot of really great outfits. So whether it’s boots, Mary Janes, flats, loafers, kitten heels, or even sneakers that caught your eye, I hope this helps give you the inspiration you need to wear dresses in your day to day life and make it work for all the different occasions life throws at you. And cheers to no more hurting feet!
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