Probably the most basic distinction in footwear is between shoes, sandals and boots. Here we'll take up that first division, shoes, in more detail. A useful way of thinking about women's shoes is to see a division between 'dressing it up', 'extreme fashion' and 'keeping it casual'. Whether you prefer shoes or flats, gloss or suede, open-toe or Mary Jane, any shape or style of shoe can be fitted into one of these three categories according to what qualities they bring to your outfit.
'Dressing it up' includes dress dress and office-wear, of course, but also a lot of the more sober fashion items of the season and sometimes the top end of 'smart casual'. If your shoe has a tidy and / or narrow heel, displays sleek and formal lines in a classic finish and adds sophistication to your wardrobe, it's a 'dressing it up' shoe. You've wear it to make an outfit look smarter or to show that you're making an effort – like a little extra make-up, for feet.
'Extreme fashion' includes the extremely voguish or fashionably over-the-top shoes which are making a very loud statement about your look's close engagement with the trends right now. You could distinguish a high-fashion shoe from a 'wearing it up' shoe by asking yourself whether you're still likely to want to wear it when this season's hot new looks have become passe. Sequinned Elvis slingbacks? Extreme fashion. Fur stilettos? Extreme fashion.
'Keeping it casual' shoes tend to have a softer, chunkier, sportier or more broken-up shape. They are often flat or low-heeled, made in comfortable materials with impact-reducing soles, and emphasize practicality over glamor. They show that you're relaxing and taking it easy with your look, even though they may also be reasonably smart or fashionable shoes to wear, and so they can sometimes be used to dress down an outfit.
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Source by Roslyn Lacorte