Shoes to Wear With Purple Dresses

Purple ranges from lovely light lavender to a lush, almost black hue.

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Sure, princesses wear pink, but purple pops with power. Emperors have worn the color for centuries, and soldiers win purple hearts for their courage. Purple dresses? Well, they're worn by women who are as brave as they are beautiful and as eccentric as they are enchanting. The best pair of shoes to pair with your purple dress depends on the shade of purple, which ranges from lavender to blue-violet, and the type of frock you're about to rock.

Flirty Sundress

Whether your purple sundress is sassy and solid or sprouting a floral design, have some fun with it and opt for a bright color that complements purple. "In light of spring 2011, go wild with bright pops of intense color," suggests Amy Kemler, the stylist behind Fresh Start Wardrobe Consulting, based in Hamden, Connecticut. "Think opposite end of the color wheel and match a purple dress with shoes in bright yellow, tangerine or mustard." As for style, pretty much anything goes: For an ultra-casual stretch knit or thin cotton dress you'd wear to the beach, go for a canvas or cloth flat or even a pair of flip-flops. If it's a dress you'd sport to the mall or on an outing with your sweetie, reach for a wedge, strappy sandal or ballet flat.

Work-Appropriate

Mean business when you wear your purple dress to the office. Exude confidence and class in work-appropriate pumps in a neutral color or black heels. That might sound a little boring, but black leather ranges from the regular, matte variety to the glossy patent leather kind, so you have options. Don't be tempted by cheap imitations. "Leather, leather, leather is always the best choice," Kemler says. If you want a little extra oomph, she says snakeskin or embossed leather are good boardroom basics.

Cocktail Chic

Wear a little purple number out on the town and you just might collect a few numbers yourself. As for shoes, be daring. "Think high-strappy or peep-toe heel," Kemler says. And don't be afraid to experiment with different colors. Depending on the exact shade of purple of your cocktail costume, you can likely pull off a shoe that's neutral or black, metallic or even an eye-popping bright color. See what mood you're in and go from there.

Red Carpet Elegant

It's not often that everyday gals have an excuse to slink around in evening gowns, but if an invitation to a black-tie affair comes along, seize the opportunity to dazzle in your purple evening dress or gown. Kemler recommends pairing it with a stunning metallic high heel -- a slender one. "Metallics are considered a neutral and are extremely versatile," she says. "Gold, bronze, silver or pewter will match perfectly with purple in its many variations." One tip: Choose a metallic that meshes with your skin tone. Next time you're in the mall, conduct a little test. Hold both gold and silver metallic scarves up to your face in the mirror and see which one makes your skin glow, and which one makes it look ghastly. The winner determines your choice of metallic shoe.

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