The Emperor’s New Shoes – Are Your Shoes Making You Look Foolish?

Aug 28, 2017

According to the fairytale, there was once an Emperor who was “exceedingly fond of fine clothes.”  He was easily fooled by a pair of swindlers who pretended they could weave the most “magnificent fabric imaginable.”  Clothing made from the fabric, they said, was invisible to anyone who was stupid.  People in the Kingdom were not about to be taken for stupid so they praised the look of the supposed clothes on the Emperor.  No one would “admit they could see nothing.”  It took an innocent child to truthfully announce, “But the Emperor has nothing on.”

And so it is with nude colored heels, now proclaimed as a wardrobe essential every girl and woman must wear with everything she owns.  Read the following claims:

  • “Nude shoes go with everything,”–“Bright, white, darks, patterns, denim!”  No they don’t.  Are you really going to believe nude heels enhance the look of a beautiful royal blue dress or an elegant black dress or suit?
  • “Nude heels go with any brightly colored dress or suit for an elegant finish.”  No they don’t.  Nude is a subtle, dulled flesh color in opposition to bright fashion colors.  They make you look like you don’t know how to coordinate your clothes.

  • “Nude heels are the ideal travel shoe.”  No they’re not.  They’re light colored, revealing dirt and black scuff marks.
  • “Nude heels make your legs look longer,” — “give the illusion of added length to your legs.”  No they don’t.  They can make you look like you forgot to put on any shoes.
    Black outlines the foot and carries the eye
    to the tip of the toe.
  • “Nude heels disappear when they match your skin.”  I rest my case.
  • “Avoid a nude heel with an otherwise nude outfit–you’ll simply disappear.”  Again, I rest my case.

It took a relatively “innocent” high school freshman to announce, “Their feet look naked.”  Don’t be like the Emperor, so easily fooled, no matter how many fashionistas try to convince you.

Here’s an interesting contradiction among fashion writers and bloggers:  “Nude heels must match your particular skin tone” vs. “Nude shoes should not match exactly as this can look a little creepy, old lady-ish.”  A contradiction, yes, but for the record, old ladies are not wearing nude shoes with everything.  They know better.

Another claim in support of nude shoes, “…..they’re different, unexpected.”  No they’re not.  Call them nude, beige, tan, or camel, they’ve been an option for decades.  They look terrific, totally in harmony with beige, tan, or camel colored clothing.

I adore nude, cream, and tan shoes, too, worn with nude, cream, or tan colored clothes.

If you have an interview, professional presentation, or formal event, do not-I repeat do not-wear nude heels with a contrasting darker dress or suit.  The light-colored shoes will draw undue attention to your feet instead of your face.  “Showcase your awesome sense of style” in nude heels?  No you won’t.  You’ll communicate that you’re a follower, dependent on fashion trends instead of thinking for yourself.

Here’s another blanket statement.  “Black shoes go with everything.”  No they don’t.  A pretty aqua or yellow dress is overpowered by black shoes.  The contrast is too great.  They weigh you down.  And nude shoes with a yellow dress look like you tried to match but missed.  Black shoes are certainly basic and classic, in harmony with darker colored clothes or repeated in the outfit itself.

When it comes to shoes, here’s another mix you don’t want–white shoes with a black dress.  Light shoes are too delicate to support a dark outfit.  Oh, yeah, I remember the white go-go boots with a dark pleated skirt in the 70s.  The look didn’t last then and won’t work now.

But say, it’s Spring and Summer’s on the way.  Take yourself to the shoe store.  Look around at the lively assortment of colored shoes.  Don’t limit your look to nude or black shoes.  This Spring and Summer, have fun with the huge variety of colored shoes in green and blue-green, blue, plum and purple, red, orange, and yellow-whatever colors work with your clothes.  If you’ve got clusters in your closet, and I hope you do, the wardrobe neutral color of your core pieces are perfect for basic shoes and bags.  Accent colors hint at options to add on just for fun, and now’s a great time of year to find them.  Have fun!

For more direction, order Color in Clothing Design, Selection, and Coordination, Conselle’s Wardrobe Strategy #5. Visit our website  or contact us at Conselle, 801-224-1207 or [email protected].