I’m a colorful person. And, I don’t just mean that I have a colorful personality — although I’d like to think I do. What I mean is, I really, really like color. I can’t even imagine life without it.
I do wear my fair share of black, but even then, I love to accent it with pops of bright pink or red. I’m a sucker for a purple or green dress. And even colors that don’t look good with my pale skin tone (like orange and yellow) work their way into my wardrobe via shoes and tights.
And, even though fashion magazines and blogs assure me otherwise, I sometimes feel as if I’m alone in this. Because, virtually no one I know seems to like color. They don’t wear colorful clothing, or carry vibrant bags. In fact, they won’t even paint their walls in a non-neutral shade.
So, when I hear those same people comment on what a pretty shade some celebrity’s red carpet gown is, or how cool a brightly-colored set of a TV show looks, I’m always a bit confused. Well, let me rephrase: I used to be confused.
Fear of Color
But, finally, I figured it out. These people don’t actually hate color. They’re somewhat afraid it. They’re worried that they won’t be able to live with it on their walls, and they’re concerned that, God forbid they actually wear it, they’ll call too much attention to themselves. Or, they’ll somehow get it wrong.
I get it. New things are scary. And most of us don’t want to call attention to ourselves for the wrong things. Ironically, I don’t even like calling attention to myself for the right things.
But, I don’t wear colorful shoes for other people, I wear them for myself. They make me happy. They make me feel adventurous. They keep me from being bored. They spark my imagination and creativity. And, most importantly, they remind me that some things in life — like fashion — don’t need to be taken all that seriously.
Granted, there are some people out there who really, honestly do prefer neutral colors. Gray makes their hearts soar, and finding the perfect shade of beige is a never-ending quest.
But if you secretly wish you could wear those mustard yellow loafers you saw at the mall, or you wish you had the nerve to pull off a pair of pink pumps, then I’m here to tell you that you can, and you will. The following tips should help.
Tips for Incorporating Colorful Shoes into Your Wardrobe
Start small. Don’t blow a week’s salary on a pair of turquoise designer heels just because they’re the ones you currently covet.
Instead, buy yourself an affordable pair of shoes in a color that goes with at least one item you already own — and more importantly, in a style you wear often. You’ll want to make sure they’re comfortable too. So, if at all possible, choose a brand that you’re already familiar with. You won’t wear any shoes that aren’t comfortable, and we don’t want the color to get blamed for ill-fitting shoes not being worn.
Now that you’ve got your starter pair. Commit to wearing them at least one time this week. But instead of doing a head-to-toe makeover all at once, just add the new shoes into the mix. If your usual outfit is a pair of jeans, white sneakers and a t-shirt; just replace the trainers with your new green loafers. Normally wear a suit and black pumps to work? Wear that same suit with your new purple sling-backs. You get the idea.
The reason for the slow, subtle approach is simple: you won’t attract any of those well-meaning but cringe-inducing reactions from your friends and colleagues. You’ll still be dressed like you, you’ll just have a bit more color than usual. And, trust me, most people won’t even notice. The ones that do will just comment on how cool your shoes are. They’re not likely to even remember that you’ve never worn anything but black shoes before.
Now, you may think that the next natural step is to wear those new, colorful shoes everyday. But, that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, you probably want to switch back to your “old style” for the most part, and just work those new colorful shoes into your usual rotation. That way, the new shoes (which have already received attention) won’t become your new uniform.
Over the next few weeks, work on adding color into your wardrobe via other small accessories, like a simple colorful bracelet; a neutral scarf with a splash of color in its print; or a new purse that has a combination vibrant/neutral pattern.
After that brief “get used to the new colorful me” phase, you’re ready to add in a second pair of colorful shoes. This time the exact color and style don’t matter as much — but, the more variety the better.
Before you know it, you’ll be that person. The one who can and will effortlessly pull off wearing colorful shoes. But, don’t get rid of all those black shoes just yet. They really do go with almost everything.