Using Colored Shoes to Make an Outfit Pop

How to Wear Colored Flats for Spring

How to Wear Colored Flats for Spring

I love colored shoes this time of year!  As weather gets warmer and it becomes more difficult to rely on layers and completer pieces to make outfits interesting, colored flats and sandals become key–especially as we head into summer.  Swapping colored shoes in place of neutral ones can take outfits to the next level and really make them pop!  Plus, they let you show off your personality a bit.

Here are a few ways to use colored shoes!



Making Neutrals Pop with Colored Flats

One thing colored shoes do really well is elevate basics and add a twist to an outfit.  For example, above on the left is one of my go-to bases of a striped tee + jeans, paired it with neutral flats.  On the right I swapped the neutral shoes for yellow flats.

Striped Twist Tee + Jeans + Nude Flats

While there’s nothing wrong with the outfit with neutral flats, it’s fun to see how changing the shoe can add a twist to the outfit.  Colored flats give the outfit a little more dimension and overall help it stand out a bit more.

Striped Twist Tee + Jeans + Mustard Flats

If you don’t like the particular style of shoe I chose, that’s fine!  This is where you can let your own personality, style and tastes come through.  You can use flats of any style or color here, like green, red, or yellow ballet flats that don’t have a pointy toe.  You can even use shoes that make more of a statement, like a colored sandal with a bit of a platform.  With just your shoe choice, you can put your own spin on an outfit of basics and show more of your personality!

Shop the Looks:
Top: Amazon (similar, similar, similar)

Jeans: (my favorite non-maternity–I size down to 4; exact maternity)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Nude Flats: Nordstrom (exact)
Yellow Flats: c/o ModCloth (exact–wearing size 9)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact–wearing size M)



Another way I like to utilize colored flats is to bookend the outfit with the same colors.  Bookending is when you use one color somewhere on the top half, like in a cardigan, earrings, necklace, or belt, and echo it somewhere on the bottom half, like in your belt or shoes.  (A belt is halfway down your body, so in my book it can be for either the top or bottom half!)  I love how bookending often helps outfits look a little more complete, cohesive, and balanced.

Here are a couple examples:

Bookending an Outfit with Colored Flats

I’m wearing nude and blush flats in these two pics, and while the color difference is subtle, to me the look on the right is a bit more polished and cohesive.  Plus, with the second outfit, even if I took off my cardigan, the blush flats would help elevate my basics of a striped tee + black jeans, just like in the very first outfit example.

Shop for the Look:
Tee: H&M (similar, similar, similar)
Cardigan: Nordstrom (exact–sized way down to XS)
Jeans: (my favorite pair of black denim–I wear size 6)
Nude Flats: Nordstrom (exact)
Blush Flats: Amazon (exact, similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Black Bucket Bag: Nordstrom (similar, similar)


Making a Business Casual Outfits Interesting With Colored Flats

Here’s another example of the outfit on the left being fine.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with the outfit with nude flats.  But I love how in the outfit on the right, the coral flats give the outfit that extra oomph and a bit more style!

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (exact–size M)

Pants: Old Navy (exact non-maternity; exact maternity–sized down to 4)
Nude Flats: Nordstrom (exact)
Coral Flats: c/o ModCloth (exact–size 9)

Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: c/o ModCloth (exact)



While the previous outfit examples didn’t have a ton of color going on apart from the colored flats, this last example shows the difference colored flats can make even in a outfit with color.

Using Colored Flats to Make Outfits Pop

One trick I love when wearing a printed top is to incorporate colors from the print into other pieces in the outfit.  The outfit on the left only pulls out the green from the top, but the outfit on the right pulls out both the green and the orange.

green cardigan + jeans + nude flats + floral print top

Even with color and print, I think the colored flats provide the *pop* that helps the outfit stand out more as well as show a bit more personality.  I really love this outfit and wore it on repeat towards the end of my pregnancy!

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (exact–wearing size L)
Cardigan: H&M (similar)
Jeans: (my favorite non-maternity–I size down to 4; exact maternity)
Nude Flats: Nordstrom (exact)
Orange Red Flats: Nordstrom (similar, similar)

Bag: Nordstrom (exact)

Playing around with colored shoes can be fun, and I’d totally encourage you to do it to see how they might change up your outfits!



Here are several colored flats out there at a variety of price points.  I didn’t include any colored sandals because we’ll save that for later when summer rolls around!

Colored Flats for Spring
Shop the Shoes:
one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  |  six
seven  |  eight  |  nine
ten  |  eleven  |  twelve
thirteen  |  fourteen  |  fifteen

(Fun fact: In all the pics against the grey wall, I was 38 weeks pregnant when we took them.  I looked very pregnant from the side, but it’s so weird that you can hardly tell from the front!)


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  • Reply
    May 1, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Love this post- very helpful for the summer months …. no wonder my outfits before PMT were very bland…. I didn’t have any colored shoes… all were, Brown, tan, metallic or navy.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Any recommendations for girls with large feet that try not to have them be noticed 😉

  • Reply
    May 1, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Do you have any recommendations for flats with arch support? I have extremely high arches and standard ballet flats usually kill my feet. (Sad fact, I actually hate shoes and shoe shopping.)

    • Reply
      Michelle Graham
      May 3, 2018 at 6:47 am

      I am the same! I have to use orthotic insoles and the cute options are limited. I started searching with the removable insole option so I could put my own in. The options still aren’t as cute as these but it helps.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I only have a couple of pairs of colourful flats as I find them so tricky to wear – I can wear bright handbags easily but shoes seem trickier. Thanks for sharing some different things I can try 🙂

    Hope you are having a great start to your week so far 🙂 We have got some autumn weather here at last so I’m excited to get all my winter knits out!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  • Reply
    May 2, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Hello! Do you have any pictures of the purse on the shoulder or is it not supposed to be worn like that?

  • Reply
    Diana @ Bumps Along the Way
    May 2, 2018 at 11:54 am

    I had green flats that I used to wear a lot, until the were worn out. Now I’m inspired to look for a replacement!!

  • Reply
    May 3, 2018 at 4:02 am

    Oh, yes – I think you can see from my latest style post that I am a big believer in the “add a twist to the basics” properties of a colored flat. So of course that first outfit is my favorite of the bunch here – love the literal twist on the tee, and the fabulous flats! “Dimension” is such a great way to put it.

    I decided years ago to make the orangey poppy red color my signature for shoes, and I’ve worn through 3 pairs already before landing on my current ones. I like seeing that you have a few options in that color that I haven’t seen yet, because I almost feel like I need to have my next pair on backup in case places stop making that color – though I don’t know why they would! 🙂

    • Reply
      Audrey @ Putting Me Together
      May 3, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Yes, that’s totally your style! It’s why your outfits look timeless and classic but fun and not cookie cutter.

      The orangey red is my favorite color for shoes too! I prefer it over saturated red, which was my go-to for a long time prior. The orange red looks great with all your outfits.

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