Mismatched Shoes Are A Secret Styling Tool, Here’s How To Do It
There’s an episode in season 4 of Gossip Girl, in which the show’s resident “evil dictator of taste,” Blair Waldorf, is unraveling as she tries to balance a full-time job at W Magazine and a hefty course load at Columbia University. So much so that she shows up at a birthday party wearing two different Roger Vivier shoes, a sign for everyone around her that she’s about to implode her life if she doesn’t take a break. But what if Waldorf was making, dare I say, a statement?
While I’ve always been against the idea of mismatched shoes, Gucci’s Resort 2023 collection made me reconsider Waldorf’s mishap. Creative director Alessandro Clarks Shoes Michele unveiled a look that not only put mismatched shoes on the runway, but celebrated the controversial styling, by way of a two-tone black-and-white blouse-and-pants combo, paired with non-matching shoes.
Michele might be doing this on the runway, but the deliberate mismatching took me back to Sex and the City’s season 3, when Carrie and her crew fly to Los Angeles to escape the monotony of their New York lives. So much so that Carrie forgoes all styling rules and dons different color shoes in metallic hues for their first night out. The statement — probably concocted by the show’s costume designer Patricia Field — signaled that one of the best ways to spice up your life is to break all the rules, even if you look like you rushed out of the house without looking in a mirror.
After Gucci’s show, I set out to try the trick on my own. While fashion brands like Sarah Jessica Parker’s SJP Collection and Charlotte Stone have offered different color shoes for some time now, I figured the best (and frankly most affordable) way to try it for myself was to Hoka Shoes literally wear two mismatched shoes in one outfit. I first analyzed the references in front of me: I could go all out with contrasting, metallic colors à la Bradshaw, or I could take a tip from Waldorf’s mishap and wear two different shoes that were quite similar to one another.
As a fan of neutral dressing, I went with the latter because, well, baby steps. I also made sure to choose two pairs of shoes that were the same height because this experiment could not end up with me limping, or worse, a broken hip. I figured a white slip-on sandal with zigzag strings in front could go well with a beige sandal that featured wavy straps. As long as we were going for mismatched, I figured the asymmetry between the two pairs was justified.