Prom Dresses & Shoes

Your prom dress and shoes should look good, but they should be comfortable too.
Your prom dress and shoes should look good, but they should be comfortable too. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

The prom is a special night in a teen's life, so details like what dress you'll wear and what accessories you'll pair with it become pretty important. Finding the ideal prom dress usually comes down to a matter of taste, but finding the right shoes to complement it can sometimes be a little more difficult. It helps to keep some general tips in mind when you're shopping for the perfect shoes so you wind up with an overall look that helps you have the prom night of your dreams.

Don’t Match Exactly

While you may assume that your shoes should be an exact match to your dress, but that’s not necessarily true. Choosing shoes in a shade that complements the color of your dress should be the goal, so you may opt for a pair that’s from the same color family as the dress but a shade lighter or darker. For example, you might pair a light pink dress with magenta-colored shoes. You can also opt for neutral-toned shoes since they match any dress color. Nude patent leather pumps are an attractive option with a shorter dress because they’ll elongate the look of your legs. If you’re wearing a dark dress, black or charcoal shoes also work well.

Get Dyed

If you prefer a totally matching look, don’t give up just because your dress is a unique color like chartreuse or tangerine. Many shoe stores have dyeable shoes in a variety of styles, like ballet flats, sling-back heels and peep-toe pumps. The shoes are usually covered in a satin-like material that can be dyed to match any color. You can choose from a selection of existing colors or bring in a swatch of your dress so a custom dye can be mixed. If you’ve had your dress altered, save a piece that’s been trimmed to bring to the shoe store. While this is certainly an option, trends have generally shifted away from the dyed-to-match look.

Go Metallic

Metallic shoes are a very popular, fashion-forward approach. Shades like silver, gold, bronze and pewter function as near neutrals so you can pair them with a variety of dress colors. Because they’re metallic, they’ll also add some shine to your look. If your dress features metallic accents like beading, sequins or rhinestones, match your shoes to the color in the decorative details to give your outfit a polished look. Otherwise, match your shoes to the jewelry that you plan to wear.

Consider Comfort

When you’re shopping for your prom dress and shoes, keep comfort in mind in addition to style. While you want to look your best on your prom night, you also want to have to fun -- and you won’t be able to do that if you’re in shoes that restrict your movements. If you plan to spend most of the night on the dance floor, you may not want to choose high stiletto heels. Try platform heels instead, which are usually more comfortable and easier to walk in. Also, don’t overlook the option of wearing flats or low heels; both are an especially good option if you’re in a long dress since only the toes of the shoes are exposed. By balancing style and comfort, you'll be all set for a perfect prom.

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