The very antithesis of traditionally elegant footwear, ladies' white dress shoes offer a different approach to a polished look. Though the go-to hue of choice is almost always black, a white shoe is equally appropriate on certain occasions.
Forgoing the Rules
Whether in response to a troubled economic climate or simply a reason to take a few fashion risks, it has become perfectly acceptable to snub the so-called fashion "rules" and adopt the belief that what looks good is always fair game. So it's fitting that these so-called rules have been all but banished. After all, who really wants to commit one pair of shoes to a lifetime of special occasions? The black heel will always be fabulous and acceptable, the "old reliable" and perhaps the shoe world's answer to the inimitable Little Black Dress. But for every LBD out there, there's another equally becoming dress that works just as well in a given situation. The same holds true for those heels.
Go for the White
White? You may either be envisioning your sullied tennis shoes, worn out flip flops or thinking about that old rule that states white shoes shouldn't be worn prior to Easter or after Labor Day. But remember - rules, schmules. There's nothing quite as liberating as taking advantage of the plentiful choices available out there, at price points that are accessible for everyone.
Best of all, though, is that white shoes are perfectly versatile. As a dressy shoe, it brings freshness and femininity to a glamorous evening look, provided that it's paired with an appropriate dress. That's right - rules may not apply, but the concept of coordination will always be valid. Colors needn't always match to look right with each other, either. Sometimes a pop of contrasting color adds just the right finishing touch to a particular look.
Ladies' White Dress Shoes
As it happens, white dress shoes are few and far between, at least in comparison to other hues, like the ubiquitous blacks and metallics of the world. They are out there, though, and there are beautiful variations available that add a hint of luster to the starkness and a bit of personality to an otherwise staid hue.
- Lace covered white shoes are exceptionally beguiling. They have a romantic quality that's unmatched, and because they're so suggestive of lingerie they can even be sexy. Heel heights vary, but in general a higher rise provides the right balance for the detailed material.
- Jewels may adorn dainty straps or add flash to demure buckles. In either case, the combination of gleaming stones and white satin is intriguing and not unlike something out of a fairy tale.
- Embellishments go beyond just jewels, though - bows, buckles and contrasting topstitching are just a few examples of other elements used to add personality to an evening shoe.
The style you ultimately choose obviously depends greatly on the rest of your outfit. Though in many cases it's possible to dress for the shoe instead of the other way around, the majority of fancy dress occasions lend such special importance to clothing that it would be impossible not to focus on that first. This makes especially good sense in the case of white shoes, which can be admittedly difficult to pull off. A certain style is definitely necessary for dressy occasions, so it's helpful to keep the rest of your ensemble in mind.
When and Where
White is definitely more of a summery color, and you're simply not likely to wear it during the winter, unless it's a warm, cream-based shade. Snow may be the ultimate symbol of winter, but as shoes go you're more likely to slip into something rich and dramatic to pair with your equally opulent dresses during those chillier months.
Events like proms and homecoming dances are perfect for breaking out the ladies' white dress shoes. Light or pastel shades are especially common on these occasions, perfect to pair with a sexy (but easy to dance in) white heel. A pair of glittering white heels encrusted with rhinestones easily balances a low-key dress, but a more flamboyant dress calls for a less ostentatious shoe. Keep that in mind for any occasion.
If you're headed out for a dressy-casual function during the warmer months, use it as an excuse to wear something strappy and sleek with a brightly colored dress. Slides are also a great choice as they're easy to slip into and look appropriately dressy, yet aren't over the top.
When wearing white dress shoes, be aware that certain color combinations may become fodder for serious fashion faux pas. Nix wearing a little black dress, for example, with your white dress shoes, and don't pair them with anything too deep and dramatic. White's best partners belong to the light color family - anything from various shades of pink to blue would work well. Metallic hues are also occasionally acceptable, particularly if there is a gold or silver element on the shoe to match the dress.