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Wedge Heels: What to Wear with Them

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Ranging from casual to elegant, wedges come in all styles and heights.

While wedge heels are extremely fashionable and versatile, they won't look great on everyone, or with every outfit. Like any shoe style, they have their pros and cons.

What Exactly is a Wedge Heel?

On most high-heeled shoes, the "heel" of the shoe sits under only the heel of the foot, but a wedge heel runs under the foot, from the back of the shoe to the middle or front.

As you've probably guessed, it has a wedge shape, but not all wedges are high heels. They range from nearly flat to extremely high. It's the shape and the length of the heel that classify it as a wedge.

Pros:

  • These shoes add height, but many find them easier to walk in than stilettos.
  • Worldly and eye-catching, wedges have a very cosmopolitan look to them.
  • A wedge heel looks great with nearly any length skirt or dress.
  • Wedge heels, by nature, are a fashionable choice; by just choosing to wear them, you up your fashion quotient.
  • Wedges will add definition and shape to heavy ankles, making them appear thinner.

Cons:

  • Wedge heels are still heels, with all their pitfalls. Don't be fooled into thinking you can run a marathon in them.
  • Wedges can look a little clunky, especially when paired with very tight-fitting clothing.
  • Wedge heels tend to work best on shoes that are more on the casual side. While there are dressier styles of wedges, finding a truly elegant one can be a bit difficult.
  • Thick wedge heels will make really skinny ankles appear even thinner.

The Basics of Wearing Wedge Heels:

There is no simple way to say for certain whether any style of shoe is going to work with a particular outfit. Shoes are about more than their heel height and shape. Your wedges might have dainty little vamp straps, or really thick ankle cuffs.

And telling people about your "long beige skirt" will conjure up a different image for each person who hears about it.

So. I'm going to give you some basic advice. This is my first suggestion for choosing any type of shoe, but because of the heft of wedge heels, it applies more here than ever.

Do your shoes overwhelm you or your outfit?

If they do, it's simple. Set them aside for now. The trick to successful dressing is all about balance. And when you do want to call attention to a particular piece, you want it to be for a good reason. It needs to be intentional. Not just a faux pas.

Now, speaking very generally, here are some a few items that will and won't work with wedge heel shoes.

Hot With:

  • maxi skirts
  • Some jumpsuits
  • Shorts
  • Short skirts
  • Bohemian styles
  • Thin, gauzy fabrics
  • Wrap dresses
  • Wide or flared jeans or pants
  • Gauchos

Be Careful With:

  • Pencil skirts
  • Capri pants
  • Pants with narrow or straight legs

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