Occasionally I get asked about what color shoes to wear with a black dress, and I find that women often assume black shoes are always the best pairing. In actuality, you can wear almost any color shoe with a black dress, and black is usually my last resort.
What Color Shoes To Wear With A Black Dress
Here are 5 options (actually, 6 — I added one at the very end) that aren’t black, and also when I do prefer to wear black shoes with a black dress. Unfortunately, most of these pictures are old and I can’t link a lot of the things I’m wearing, but hopefully you can shop your closet to recreate these looks.
More often than not, I wear beige shoes with a black dress. It softens the look, and because it’s close to the color of my skin, it elongates the line of the leg and make me look taller and slimmer… and who doesn’t want that!?!
This was a formal party I attended a few years ago. The strappy sandals in a light neutral beige are the perfect match for my pale skin, and they have that barely there look that keeps all eyes on the dress.
And here’s a causal black dress with beige flat sandals. Black sandals would have worked, but the beige is unexpected, and I also like the embellishments in this particular pair. I also would prefer this look with a lighter bag, maybe a straw bag or a fun color — something more summery than the black leather.
#2. Animal Print
Animal prints like snake, cheetah, and leopard are a great way to add interest and texture to simple black dress. Here’s a fall/winter look with a black sweater dress and snake print pumps.
Leopard is another great option. The picture below is several years old, but I’ve always loved those shoes. I had to pass them on because I bought them a half size too big and they were hard to walk in. Also note how great the red bag looks with a black dress and leopard shoes. I love a good black/leopard/red combo!
And here’s another one, with a different pair of leopard pumps. These are also an older style — this picture is from 2016! And guess what? I actually still own this dress, AND they still sell it. It’s one of my two go-to black dresses for funerals or other conservative, dressy occasions.
For summertime, I often opt for a metallic shoe with a black dress. Check out this fit and flare tank dress from last summer. I wore it once with flat gold slides for a casual daytime look.
And then I dressed it up with gold strappy sandals for my birthday dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. Like the beige sandals, the gold creates a low contrast against my skin tone, so they extend the line of the leg while keeping the dress the focal point of the outfit. When I wear metallic shoes, I like to repeat the metal tone in my accessories.
#4. Brown or Cognac
Another option is brown or cognac. We used to think we couldn’t wear black and brown together, but this pairing is actually quite chic! I especially like this color combo in the fall, but this is a summer look I styled a few years back.
These cognac sandals with the cork platform sole create a pleasing contrast with the black maxi dress, and I also like how the denim jacket keeps it casual. In this case, I wore tortoiseshell earrings to repeat the color combo, and I also carried a cognac bag.
#5. Bold Color
And don’t forget about a pop of color. I used to love pairing red or hot pink shoes with a black dress, but I haven’t done that in ages. This picture is about five years old… as if the cold shoulder dress doesn’t give it away! But still like the effect of the bright pink shoes with the black dress.
There are times when I wear black shoes with a black dress. I usually choose black when I want a more traditional look, like for a funeral or visitation. Like this outfit, for example. This black sheath is a classic style, and I paired it with black croc embossed pumps for a look that I’d wear to a funeral or conservative work event.
And here’s a semi-formal outfit I wore to a wedding a couple years ago. In this case, the sandals are black, but the rhinestone strap lightens up the look and adds interest and formality to the outfit. I carried an embellished silver bag and wore rhinestone earrings to tie it all together.
Finally, this is a more casual look I wore out to lunch for my birthday earlier this summer. I tried on this ruched knit dress with a few of my beige and metallic summer sandals, but I ended up wearing these black slides with the square toe and woodgrain heel to keep the look bookend the look. The colorblock straw tote and rattan earrings keep the look light and summery and help bring down the level of formality.
I wasn’t planning to make this one of the options, but I found this picture as I was searching my media archives. Don’t forget fashion sneakers! I love to wear a casual black t-shirt dress with sneakers in the summertime.
What do you think? Do you usually wear black shoes with a black dress, or do you like to switch it up?
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17 thoughts on “What Color Shoes To Wear With A Black Dress”
Love all the looks!
Great post! I love to wear leopard with black and red is so fun!
Great post and trip down memory lane (ie cold shoulder Tops). I like the juxtoposition of a casual tshirt dress with leather sneakers. The animal print shoes sure do add an interesting detail. You are right that skin color sandals do elongate legs. Have a fab day!
I love this post! I am such a fan of switching up my shoes when I wear a black dress…keeps it interesting!
Loved this post. So many great shoe options with that LBD! And it doesn’t matter what size you are or age! Thanks for inspiration! Have a great day!
Thanks for these great ideas! I am planning on purchasing a new LBD very soon.
Love this post, just goes to show the shoes can make the outfit!
I really like all of the options you showed, although I don’t feel comfortable at 62 wearing tennis shoes with a dress. Maybe because my teenage granddaughters do that. I am curious, though. You didn’t show any dresses with booties. I have never done that personally, but again, I think it’s cute when others do. I can’t remember if I have seen you do that. Would you?
Funny, I actually came across one, but it was with black booties and I didn’t like how choppy it looked. https://jolynneshane.com/black-bell-sleeve-shift-dress.html
What a fun post–thanks! Do you mind sharing what size you’re wearing in that Tahari dress? It’s such a classic!
Sure, it’s the 8.
I find I never grab my black sandals or shoes much. I use to always think black shoes for wearing with black but over the years found other options like you posted. Great post for sure. I think you look great in all the outfits and you could still wear today. Even the cut out shoulder looks good still, I think. Have fun with Becca. Busy days for you. Just when things settle down the holidays will be coming. Lol.
Haha, so true!
Another great post! I’ve been looking for a black dress preferably with a sleeve of some kind to wear to funerals, but haven’t had any luck. Do you have any suggestions?
Than you Jo Lynne!
I live this post! Thanks Jolynne, for reminding us to always keep even the simplest looks fresh and timeless at the same time!
Great post to get our creative juices flowing. All of your looks were well-put-together, and unless you stated they were old, who would’ve known? Not me!
So many options! For casual black dresses, I have started wearing nude or cognac flip flops or slides. Glad that this is the style now. Thanks for this post!