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Desiree Stimpert

Orange Shoes and How to Wear Them

By May 19, 2007

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You know what a sucker I am for outrageous footwear, so it's probably no surprise that I'm head-over-heels in love with these shoes. I adore the heels, the style, the hardware -- and most especially, the color.

It wasn't until recently that I became such a huge fan of the color orange. My original disdain for the sunny hue, probably had something to do with my sickly, pasty skin tone -- I look absolutely horrible in it.

There in lies just another thing to love about shoes -- they're a great place to work in all the colors that we don't really want near our faces.

But I digress.

This season, orange shoes are hot with a capital "H." But unless you have a wardrobe full of orange and brown dresses, you might need a few color coordination tips to pull these stunners off. Here are some of the best and worst color choices for orange shoes.


Best Colors for Orange Shoes

  • Blue is complementary color to orange. Essentially, what that means, is if you wear the two colors together, they'll really pop. Denim would be a natural choice, and navy would also work well, since tonally, it's a good match for this darker shade of orange.

  • Earthy Neutrals like browns, creams and tans would wonderfully, due to the trim and the heels. For a summer look, choose a lighter shade as the main color, and pull in darker chocolates for your accessories.

  • White would rock with these sandals, because of the light colored heels, and because it works really well with nearly anything. To tie the look together, add accents in brown, tan or white.

  • Yellows and Reds could make for a harmonious look, but given that the shade of these shoes is so vivid, those color combinations might be a little overpowering for anyone with light skin -- proceed with caution.

Even without the brown trim, you probably want to avoid wearing orange shoes with black, unless of course, you don't mind hearing endless references to Halloween.

Pictured: Antik Denim "Leigh"
Image provided by Shoes.com


May 22, 2007 at 3:48 pm
(1) RNGfreckles says:

Thank you for the hints! My sister just bought a pair of orange sandals for me. But I wasn’t sure what I could wear them with. Now I know – thanks!

May 23, 2007 at 1:44 am
(2) shoes says:

My pleasure! Orange is such a dynamic color, when it is well-coordinated, there’s nothing like it.

May 24, 2007 at 12:36 pm
(3) mana says:

first thank you. and i can say:it is best for all women.

June 4, 2007 at 11:34 am
(4) shomore says:

great guide!I need to buy a pair of orange sandals to play with all the color choices. :)

What do you think of orange and purple? Too much? Only suited for an easter egg?

June 14, 2007 at 1:25 am
(5) shoes says:

>>>>What do you think of orange and purple? Too much? Only suited for an easter egg?<<<

lol — Actually, I think if they were the only two colors in an outfit, they'd seem a little harsh, but then you have to remember, I'm the pastiest shade of pale that's ever walked the face of the earth … so vivid colors aren't usually kind to me.

June 14, 2007 at 3:09 am
(6) shomore says:

oh, i’m sure that you aren’t THAT pale. :) but thanks for the feedback.

May 19, 2008 at 10:45 am
(7) Ruth says:

Fantastic and I am also getting into orange for the season. I have just bought a bright orange silk dress (which I hope works, i’m quite pale but with more like an Anna Friel colouring…) Anyway, how do you think I can accessorise successfully with shoes and bag?

September 18, 2009 at 12:06 am
(8) Icha says:

I’ve been hunting orange shoes these several months. The reason was that I bought a lovely velvet chocolate dress and was looking for the right colour of shoes for it. Pink came to mind (so sweet…), but orange was just so striking that it brings out the best of my chocolate dress (and the bright orange shoes as well!). Haven’t received my new Guess orange, but I’m excited already!

I LOVE orange shoes! (okay, not the croc!)

September 18, 2009 at 3:39 am
(9) shoes says:

Hi Icha,

glad you found some orange shoes you like — I love them too. Pink would also be great, and another color I love paired with brown is turquoise .. you can see an example of the combo here:


Enjoy your new shoes!


October 22, 2013 at 11:57 pm
(10) carmen says:

hi!! can you help me???

i bought an amazing pair of orange high heels and dont know what sort of dress to wear with them…

what sort of colour for a dress??? It’s a wedding I have soon


October 23, 2013 at 11:04 am
(11) shoes says:

Hi Carmen!

I have loads of suggestions for you.

First off, even though white and cream go great with orange, I’d definitely stay away from those colors, since you don’t want to wear them to another person’s wedding (bad etiquette).

Same with black — it looks great, but could come off as too Halloweenish. Especially at this time of year.

So, my favorite colors to combine with orange are: gray, pink, blue, and turquoise or aqua. Not all together though. I’d pick on (maybe two) and go from there.

It really depends on a few factors.

1) The shade of orange that the shoes are… are they peachy, burnt orange, bright orange, yellow-orange? That will dictate which shade you pair with them. For example, if they’re really light, like more of a peach, then you might want to try them with a pale blue or light gray. Brighter shades of orange can handle a shocking pink, or navy.

2) The tone of your complexion. Some people look fantastic in brights, others are better in pastels or primary colors. I’m sure you already have this part figured out, so just stick with the colors that work best for your skin tone.

3) Type and time of wedding. Some weddings are more casual than others… and evening weddings are generally more formal too. So, if it was really a really formal, evening wedding, I might go with a darker gray, pink or blue. If it were a daytime, or more casual wedding, then I might be thinking more along the lines of lighter to medium blue, or even aqua/turquoise.

Also, the other accessories you choose are going to go a LONG way in making any combination work. For example, if you were to choose a simple blue dress, but add an orange belt, bag, or jewelry, the whole outfit is going to come together instantly. Especially if you can find other accessories that are closely matched to the color of your shoes.


October 23, 2013 at 11:04 am
(12) shoes says:

Carmen — part II

I’ve gathered several links for you. The first one is just to a bouquet of flowers. I use them a lot for inspiration… you can see a wide selection of colors that work with orange, and how they react when they’re next to it…


Next, I repinned a few items onto a Pinterest board called “Orange and…” You may get some ideas from those pins too. Try to ignore the styles of the shoes/dresses, and concentrate more on the colors. It’s tough sometimes, but I find that if I kind of squint my eyes, I can remove the distracting details and just focus on the colors…


And finally, I’ll link you to a few sets on polyvore that other people have created. Same as above, as far as trying to focus on colors/patterns.

I’m pretty sure whatever you decide, that you’ll come away with some ideas after looking at all of these links.

Orange and Pink:

Orange and Pink:

Orange and Turquoise:

Orange and Blue:

Orange and Gray:

I’d love to know what you decide, and let me know if you have any other questions.


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