What Color Shoes Go With a Purple Evening Dress?

Natlie Portman's Academy Awards' gown was perfectly paired with her simlarly-hued heels.

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Hollywood starlets from Queen Latifah to Jennifer Love Hewitt have busted out dramatic purple gowns for their red carpet walks. If you've snagged yourself a killer evening dress in the royal hue, your next consideration should be your shoes. A purple dress is going to make a statement, but if you pair it with the wrong heels, people will be chatting about your look for all the wrong reasons. Get savvy with color matching before you strut your stuff.

Creating the Perfect Match

It's no surprise that you can pull off a purple heel with a purple evening dress, but the wrong purple will send your outfit straight to the Worst Dressed list. It's unlikely you'll be able to find a perfect color match for your dress, but you can take a fabric sample from your dress and have a pair of heels professionally dyed to be a precise match. If matchy-matchy is too tame for your style, you can still pull off a purple heel. Aim for a shoe that is in the same hue family -- don't pair a magenta gown with a royal purple heel. Go for a shoe a shade darker rather than a shade lighter, to create the illusion of matching.

Going Neutral

Not all neutrals are created equal when it comes to pairing with purple. White might be a neutral option for a bedroom wall, but the brightness of pure white shoes will clash and compete with a floor-length purple evening gown. The same rule applies for black; it's too harsh for a purple dress. Luckily there is a land of happy purple-appropriate mediums between the two color extremes. Dark neutrals like gray or charcoal are sophisticated options for a purple evening dress. If you want to keep the look summery and light, opt for creamy off-whites and beiges instead of eggshell.

Add Some Shimmer

A purple dress is a surefire way to turn heads, and equally stunning shoes are a suitable complement. If you like a little sparkle, go for strappy silver shoes with a bit of shimmer to reflect light when they peep out from your hem. Adding bling is even easier if your dress has some shiny embellishments. If the bodice of your dress has rhinestones, look for a pair of silver or closely-matched purple shoes with similar additions around the toe or ankle strap. For an even bolder look, check out silver shoes with a T-strap embellished with oversized purple gems for a modern, geometric design.

Making a Statement

Fashion-savvy girls aren't afraid of calculated risks, and purple evening dresses give you ample opportunity to add some "Wow" with your shoes. If you can think back to your elementary art classes, you might remember filling out a color wheel that showed you the way that colors relate to each other. Opposing purple on the color wheel is bright and sunny yellow, a complementary color option for your shoes if you really want to make a statement. You can also check out shoes in colors that are analogous, or adjacent, to purple on the color wheel, including red and blue.

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