How To Wear: Color-Block Dresses (& Which Shoes to Wear!)

One of the questions I get asked most often through B&B is about color block dresses. Yes, the dress hailed “flattering, stylish, and easy to wear” by 99.9% of the internet.

So why am I getting so many SOS calls from women trying to figure how the #$^! to wear this thing?

The answer is as simple as the dress: shoes. Sure, wearing a dress on your body is easy, no matter what the pattern!

Step one: Put on torso.
Step two: Ensure your ass et al. is covered.
Step three: Congratulations, you’re pretty much dressed.

The problem occurs when you want to a) leave the house, b) look sane. Then, you need shoes. Shoes with a dress that gives you an extremely specific colorset with which to work – what the hell are you supposed to do? Match? Neutrals? Black? What do you do?

After extensive research through street style and fashion blogs, I’ve come to a conclusion:

Yes.

Yes, you can matchYes, you can wear neutrals (and actually, nude is the best!). Yes, you can do black. In fact, after looking through hundreds and hundreds of photos – those are the top three options from most beautiful, stylish women with internet access.

Colorblock Dress + Black Shoes

Colorblock Dress w Black Shoes 1

Colorblock Dress w Black Shoes 2

1, 2

This seems like the easiest, least-cop-out-y option, right? If you’re like me, you have times you want to be boldly dressed, and color-blocking is a rad way to do it, but black doesn’t ever seem like a bold choice.

 The truth is that black is a totally smart move – not just because almost everyone has a pair already in their closet, but in case you don’t, you can safely pick some up knowing that they’ll literally go with everything.

The key is picking a good shape – a really minimalist shape is good, but a really cool, architectural heel looks great, too.

My current favorite black heels:

 

Colorblock Dress + Nude Heels

Colorblock Dress and Nude Heels

Colorblock Dress Nude Shoes

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Nude heels – another choice that’s “too obvious.” Seems like the easy way out! But, Nude Rules state that when you have a loud & exciting situation going on up top, keeping the bottom of life more neutral and passive makes the exciting part even more exciting! & making things more exciting is a good motive to do anything.

Exciting.

This is another purchase that won’t become a fashion unitasker in your closet. Nude heels go with everything.

Here are some of my favorite nude shoes:

 

Colorblock Dress + Matchy Matchy Shoes

Colorblock Dress with Matching Shoes 1

Colorblock Dress with Matching Shoes 2

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Matching your shoes to your outfit – a practice once considered tacky. Nowadays, when matchy-matchy is worn with the appropriate amount of confidence, it can yield an entirely put-together appearance. Clearly this is applicable to everything from oxfords to crazy, architectural wedges – have fun with it!

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Which of these three ways to wear colorblocking is your favorite?

I’m a fan of the matchy-matchy, but I typically like to test the boundaries of my social awkwardness by making a spectacle of myself – my life is like one big psychological experiment. I’m also a big fan of the nude option, but that might be a result of not owning any nude shoes!

  • reyna

    Hi! Where can I get the yellow and grey suede wedges? Thanks!
    onellymar@aim.com

  • Michelle

    I have a burgundy and beige maxidress and I am pairing it with a pair of nude heels by Steve Madden, the platform form part of the heel is a shimmery gold/silver. My dress is halter style and I want to pair it with a jacket or cardigan but I am unsure of what color would best compliment the dress and heels

    • Wow, Michelle, that sounds beautiful!! My first instinct would be to go with something lighter, like a cream colored cardigan or jacket, perhaps? Also, I think a really beautiful, light teal (think Tiffany boxes!) would be gorgeous with those combos too. Maybe even a bright, peachy orange! Since you have some really earthy tones (burgundy and beige) and even your sparkle is neutral (gold/silver – gilver?), you can probably get away with a really light, bright color as an accent. (The famous “pop of color!”)