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What to Wear: The Best Shoes for Skinny Jeans

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Detailed shot of Cristina Pedroche's studded black pumps, worn with dark skinny jeans.
Eduardo Parra / Getty Images

Just hearing the term "skinny jeans" is enough to send some women into hiding. They're just so... well, skinny. Surely they're going to call attention to every flaw we've worked so hard to hide.

Be that as it may, the popularity of pencil, cigarette, and other skinny jeans seems to rise and fall every few years or so. Consequently, we're regularly forced to decide whether or not we're going to wear them. And if we do, what we're going to wear with them.

There are lots of tops you can pair with skinny jeans that will make them more flattering. But even so, your outfit will be ruined if you choose the wrong shoes.

To insure that doesn't happen, check out my picks below for some of the best (and worst) women's shoe styles to wear with skinny jeans.

Flat Shoes with Skinny Jeans

If you have long legs and narrow hips, ballet flats and skimmers are great for pairing with skinny jeans. Since they're not at all bulky, they won't stand out or call too much attention to your feet, and they also help continue the lean silhouette created by the skinny jeans.

Flats with pointy toes are also a good option, but only if you're not self-conscious about the size of your feet. While the look is ultra-slimming, shoes with pointy toes can also make your feet look very long -- and they're not always the most comfortable choice either.

If you're not long and lean, pairing flats with skinny jeans only emphasizes that fact.

Wearing Boots with Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans were practically made for tucking into boots -- and there are very few boot styles that don't work with them.

Tall, wider boots with lower heels are the easiest to pull off because they will actually make your denim-coated legs look thinner, but ankle boots and heeled boots can work well too. Just remember to avoid boots that are both short and bulky.

Since skinny jeans are so form-fitting, they can be easily overwhelmed, and boots that are too hefty will call too much attention to your footwear, and not enough to your entire outfit.

Booties and Skinny Jeans

Booties with skinny jeans can be hit or miss, but generally speaking, they're a good choice.

The easiest way to pull them off is to remember that it's a balancing act: if the booties have platform soles or chunky heels, you need a bit of volume on top as well.

If you're going for a slim head-to-toe look, try a pair of more refined booties with less bulk.

Skinny Jeans and Heels

Basic pumps with slightly pointed toes work best with skinny jeans, but if you're not wafer-thin, you need to give consideration to the rest of your outfit as well.

Wearing high heels with skinny jeans helps to elongate the legs, so it's natural that shorter women, and those with a few curves, would be attracted to the combination.

But wearing skinny jeans with stilettos also creates a very narrow "base," which means the middle of your body is going to look bigger by comparison.

If you want to avoid calling too much attention to your thighs and hips, or looking too much like a 50s pin-up girl, try adding a top that extends to at least your hips. Simple mini dresses, long casual tops, loosely-belted shirts, and longer jackets all work well with skinny jeans and heels.

Choosing Sneakers for Skinny Jeans

A popular combination since the 1950s, skinny jeans and sneakers can offer a cool and casual look, but some sneaker styles work better than others.

Puffy cross-trainers are far too weighty for skinny jeans, but trim low tops look cute with fitted denim. And, on the right person, even old-school high tops can add a fun touch to skinny jeans.

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