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Perfect Dress and Shoe Combinations

If there’s one thing that warmer weather brings on in full force, it’s dresses! From a green floral tea-length dress to polka-dot wraps, it seems we’re all a little obsessed with wearing a fun and flattering frock once the weather finally warms up. And what goes best with a summer-fun dress? Strappy statement sandals! Or sometimes sneakers, or sometimes mules, or even sometimes Crocs.

That’s what so great about summer; there are a ton of dress and shoe combinations that feel so right for the season. Another great thing is that, by switching up shoes, you can increase the versatility of your dress wardrobe. For example, simply swap sneakers for kitten heels and that casual eyelet throw-on-and-go number can be appropriate for a country-club cocktail party, or even a wedding. Of course, not everyone may have the time or inclination to experiment with various combinations. Don’t worry; I have you covered. Here are some never-fail shoe-and-dress formulas that go together like summer and sunshine!

Stay to in the midi of the path. For those slightly formal summer affairs (think afternoon wedding), or work-place indoor/outdoor picnic, a poplin midi-dress in a bright color like Kelly Green is right on trend. Stay in the midi-lane and pair it with a low block heel or sandal. You may be tempted to wear a higher heel with a longer dress, especially if you’re on the petite side, but for summer, lean into a more “walkable” mid-height option, like wedges.

Saddle up with cowboy boots and tea-length dresses. I know, boots for summer sounds a bit ridiculous, but cowboy boots are one of the leading shoe trends for this season. Plus, they are perfect for toughening up your pretty dresses and making them more appropriate for daytime. If you already have a pair of authentic cowboy boots, great. If not, there are a ton of cowboy-inspired options at a variety of price points. Think of a flirty floral, just-below-the-knee dress, paired with a brown western-style for a day at the fair, or as a summer-casual outfit for work.

Exercise your right to comfortable footwear with maxi-dresses and sneakers. This works with casual maxis, as well as fancy floor-length dresses that you might otherwise only wear for weddings. A pair of tennis shoes underneath a longer dress is a great picnic-time look, or for running errands. While clunky sneakers are trending this summer, it’s the simpler kicks that work best with dresses. I’m partial to slip-on neutral sneakers with a striped knit maxi for the weekends.

For above-the-knee/mini-dresses go with an unexpected pair of mules. Really, any backless flat will do. A heel-less semi-covered up shoe, i.e., closed-toed, balances out the short hemline of a mini and looks much more stylish than your standard flip-flops or slide sandals. Also, these loafer-esque shoes will elevate those throw-on-and-go T-shirt dresses — that can look a bit sloppy if not properly styled — and bring those questionable tunics firmly into dress territory.

These foolproof combinations that favor practical footwear will keep your style fresh this summer. So, bust out those dresses and have fun!

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