The 10 perfect shoes to wear with a white dress*
*guaranteed there’s one for you
What shoes to wear with a white dress? We’ve nailed the perfect shades and styles.
White dresses? Simple and chic. The perfect choice for the beach (contrasts beautifully with sun-kissed skin), the office (nothing says I’m in control like a white shift) and evening (see Kate Middleton winning at summer soirée style with her Barbara Casasola off the shoulder midi dress).
But white is a shade that can send even the most sartorially confident into a spin. Lots of us are fazed by the underwear issue (no show essential). Plus there’s the anxiety of keeping it pristine? One encounter with salad dressing or a child under twelve and it’s game over. And then there is the question of what shoes to wear with your white dress?
Now fashion has chucked out the rulebook, the politically correct answer is anything goes. But we all know that’s not true (unless you are Lady Gaga). Do you go chunky or dainty? Keep it monochrome or mix it up? Well, shoe choice changes with the type of dress (slip, midi, maxi, body con) and the occasion (garden party, festival, picnic).
So here’s our guide of what colour shoes go with a white dress.
Black: why chunky black sandals are the bold choice
Teaming a floaty white dress with chunky black sandals would have your grandmother clutching at her pearls. But it’s so wrong it’s right.
And monochrome is always chic, whether for a midsummer party or at a cool bar on a hot night.
Barra Leather Back-Strap Sandals go perfectly with a white dress. Wear them to add edge to a structured white midi dress.
Brown: why earth-hued shoes go with a white dress
Brown shoes and a white dress feel as natural a combo as sun and sea. Entirely summer appropriate, shades from sand to tortoiseshell via camel look great with a crisp cotton frock. Pair with a midi, maxi or mini dress, just make sure it has a casual vibe. Perfect for festivals, beach days and party nights.
White dress shoe pick: Hoopla Tortoiseshell Gladiators add a hit of holiday chic to your white dress. Their masculine edge brilliantly dials down any girliness.
Brights: our how-to colour block tips
Jewel-coloured shoes instantly add elegance and interest to a white dress. A flash of red, orange, pink or green elevating the whole outfit. Perfect to wear to lunch, dinner, the office or the theatre.
White dress shoe pick: Allegro Leather Ballerinas in psychedelic pink. They vibe confidence and are flattering on sun-warmed skin.
Metallics: choose shimmering shoes
No longer just for special occasions, gold and silver shoes add a hit of high-octane glamour and are the perfect twist to wear to an all-white party. Think Ibiza pool party (or failing that, garden BBQ).
White dress shoe pick: Loosh Luxe Metallic Leather Cross Slides. Chunky straps and a paired back design keeps things cool. Oh, and the built in comfort means you can dance till dawn.
Nude: Why neutral shoes go with a white dress
Sophisticated and flattering – what’s not to like about nude shoes? Wear to lunch or dinner, or whenever you want to look smart and sexy. And match them as closely as you can to your skin tone.
White dress shoe pick: Incastone Slides in nude. The sparkling micro-mosaic embellishment on these flattering sandals adds eye-catching prettiness. Perfect for dressing up a plain white dress. Takes you seamlessly from beach to bar.
Printed: we love patterns with a white dress
A plain white dress can look, well, plain. Enter a patterned shoe to raise your style game. Take advantage of the dress’s blank canvas and go wild. No pattern is too loud, no colour too bright.
White dress shoe pick: Sola Palm-Print Slides. Adding a tropical twist, these slides contrast a stand out pattern with a sleek, simple shape. As good by the pool as they are at a party.
Our guide to what type of shoes go with a white dress
Consider the appeal of ballerinas
This pairing has a restrained elegance that feels effortlessly chic. Ballerinas work best when the white dress isn’t overly frilly or feminine. (PSA: There’s a risk here of looking like an overgrown toddler). Long and casual works, but then so does a structured knee length shift à la Audrey Hepburn.
White dress shoe pick: Allegro Floret Ballerinas in black. The lace edging adds interest and the monochrome pairing is enduringly chic. They will dress down smart dresses brilliantly. And work perfectly on inclement days.
Slide sandals for sports-luxe vibes
Understated, cool, sporty – all adjectives that can be used to describe both slide sandals and white dresses. Throw on your dress, slip on your sandals and you’re the ultimate in casual chic. Slides look as good with floaty beach dresses as they do with a body con number. Wear them to dinner, wear them to work, wear them anyway but formal.
White dress shoe pick: Airmesh Pool Slides in white. Team with a sleek racer back white dress and slicked back hair for the ultimate in sportif style.
Play opposites with sneakers
Dresses are ultra-feminine, sneakers the opposite. Which is exactly why they work so well together. The best dresses for this look? Kate Moss-style slips or strappy sundresses. Another plus? They’re so comfortable, they make the perfect party wear.
White dress shoe pick: Rally Leather Sneakers in white. When the temperature rises there’s nothing cooler than the white dress/white sneaker combo.
Wedges: for a height and confidence boost
Leg lengthening and confidence building, wedges add height and style to your look. The ideal shoe to go with a white dress, and an easy way to amp up the glamour factor without looking overly dressy. On a yacht, at a party, or just for brunch, they’ll dial up interest and elegance.
White dress shoe pick: Naia Rockstud Leather Back-Strap Sandals. Channels the backstage vibe we love. Wear with a vintage dress for maximum cool.