No matter the season, the weather, or the event, you can’t go wrong with a high-quality, fashion-forward, perfectly fitted dress. Not to mention that the trend of wearing dresses with stilettos and high heels only has been dead for quite some time (which means you might be wondering what flat shoes to wear with dresses right now).
Now, what better way to start the New Year than with something new to wear?
Whether you’re dreaming of knitted ensembles combined with knee-high boots and cream coats or flowy florals broken apart with chunky, combat boots and leather accents, you’re guaranteed to appreciate the versatility that comes with the biggest, brightest, and best wardrobe staple – the dress.
With erratic seasons becoming a thing (thanks to global warming), we would go as far as to argue that you need a couple of dresses that can be worn and styled for different temperatures.
Buying basics you can wear all year round can help you dress more consciously, learn how to experiment with accessories rather than trends, and save money.
White sneakers, chunky sneakers, and Converse sneakers, for example, can make pretty much every dress appropriate for running errands, grabbing brunch with friends, or catching up with family.
Wear the same dress with loafers, a structured blazer, and statement accessories (gold accents, leather belts, etc.) and you’re ready for a day at the office.
Whatever your style preferences might be, you don’t need to wear stilettos to make a fashion statement. We’re bringing you everything you need to know about how to style a dress for different occasions without appearing frumpy, dowdy, or out of style.
How to style a dress with flat shoes without appearing frumpy?
Google searching “flat shoes to wear with dresses” means you’ve probably heard numerous comments about how dresses shouldn’t be worn with anything other than stilettos.
Sure, there are times when you need to wear something more elegant and elevated. But, there’s nothing stopping you from wearing flats and dresses together – lockdown has taught us to value comfort over everything else.
With that out of the way, how can you style your dresses for those on-the-go moments? We would suggest you always style them with a style of flats that works for whatever occasion you’re attending.
Sneakers, for example, work wonders when you wear them on your day off, while you’re running errands, or catching up with your friends and family. Loafers are a better choice for the office, but ballet flats (once hated, now praised) are perfect for an Emily in Paris moment.
Combat boots add an edge to pretty much anything you’re wearing, and they’re super, super successful at making your flowy, floral dresses work for that winter, sweater weather.
Now that you know you have a bunch of flat footwear must-haves to shop for, there are only a couple more things to keep an eye on. When you’re wearing a dress with sneakers or loafers, you’re probably wondering whether you appear stubby.
Stilettos are typically the footwear we turn to when we want to appear taller, accentuate our (long) legs, or better our posture. Sneakers don’t have the same effect unless you know what you’re doing.
So, to achieve the same effect with flats, stick to the same color palette because monochromatic outfits tend to have that elongating effect. Also, don’t forget to create balance when we’re talking about the shape and the proportions of whatever you’re wearing.
What are the most fashion-forward flat shoes to wear with dresses?
Now that we’ve gone over the tips and tricks that are guaranteed to make your dresses stand out, we have to address the fact that you’ve probably been shying away from wearing flats because you’ve been convinced flats are outdated and out of style.
Sure, there’s always a chance you can make the wrong choice and opt for a style of flats that’s not as modern and on-trend as some of the other styles.
But, that doesn’t mean you should give up wearing flats altogether. Simple, white sneakers, for example, always appear polished and put-together because they’re one of those timeless, effortless staples.
On the other hand, chunky loafers are a great way to stay on top of trends while staying comfortable at the same time.
Whether you’re planning an easy-going wedding guest ensemble or trying to think of a sophisticated way to elevate your weekend outfits, we’re bringing you a few flats to accompany you throughout the season, below. Without further ado, here are the ten best flat shoes to wear with dresses.
1. White sneakers
White sneakers speak volumes about your sense of style. Whether you’re wearing them with leather leggings and a white tee, wide-legged trousers, and a matching button-down (or a summer dress), white sneakers scream simplicity.
We might have moved on from Phoebe Philo’s minimalist approach to style, but we embraced the monochromatic moments, earth tones, and clean, pared-back silhouettes.
White sneakers are the embodiment of everything simple, and we’re happy to announce you can wear them with dresses all year round.
Our favorites are The Row Marie H Leather Sneakers, Nike Air Force 1 ’07, and Saint Laurent Court Classic Signature Sneakers, but there are numerous styles you can choose from.
We suggest you go for high-quality, durable, and wearable white sneakers because you’re guaranteed to wear them for years and years to come.
2. Chunky sneakers
When you Google search “what flat shoes to wear with dresses,” chances are you’re torn over whether you should wear them with loafers, ballet flats, or combat boots.
While there’s nothing wrong with these styles (more on them later on), we’re pretty sure you can’t go wrong with sneakers – and, we’re bringing you another style of sneakers guaranteed to turn some heads at the office.
Chunky sneakers are workwear must-haves, but they’re even better for your off-duty attire. Combine them with bohemian, free-spirited dresses for grabbing brunch with your girlfriends or taking a walk with your (equally fashionable) dog.
Wear them with silky slip dresses and clean-cut blazers for work. Style them with fitted, figure-hugging dresses and cropped button-downs or chunky cardigans to play with proportions.
Our favorites are Veja Venturi, Sorel Kinetic Breakthrough Day Low Top Sneakers, and Prada Cloudbust Thunder Lug Platform Sneakers.
3. Converse sneakers
Affordable sneakers and break-the-bank outfits go together, there’s no question about that.
That also might be the reason why celebrities adore wearing Converse sneakers with pretty much everything – from leather-on-leather ensembles, structured suits, and flowy, feminine dresses to tracksuits and workout sets.
Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, Kaia Gerber, and Bella Hadid wear Converse sneakers on a daily, why wouldn’t you?!
Whether you go with Chuck Taylor All-Star Classic sneakers, Chuck 70 Vintage Canvas sneakers, or Chuck Taylor All-Star Lift Platform Canvas sneakers (which also happen to be best-sellers), you’re guaranteed to elevate whatever dress you’re wearing.
We would go as far as to argue that Converse sneakers are our favorites because you can get them for under $100 (unlike some of the other sneakers we mentioned beforehand).
4. Ballet flats
Whether you love them or hate them, ballet flats are pretty much the best flat shoes to wear with dresses because they’re sophisticated, elegant, and feminine. Ballet flats are a wardrobe must-have for a reason – they’re easy to wear and style because of their heelless soles and uncomplicated silhouettes.
While some women consider them too boring or too basic, ballet flats have been elevated by designers galore with ruched and scrunched details, embellishments, and straps.
Tory Burch double-T ballet flats, Wandler Dash lambskin ruched-band ballerina flats, and Hereu Puntera pleat-toe ballet flats would look stunning combined with flowy, floral dresses for a wedding, or even silky slip dresses for a beach brunch.
But, Zara, Mango, and Asos carry similar styles for a fraction of the price, too.
Espadrilles are the only summer shoes you need, and we couldn’t be happier with the way they elevate summer dresses and give them that relaxed, comfortable appearance.
Combine them with straw hats, raffia totes, sunglasses, and cocktails, and you’re guaranteed to have the best summer ever. Espadrilles are comfortable because they’re made with malleable woven soles. They’re sand and lawn-friendly which makes them perfect for weddings.
They’re breathable without revealing your feet which makes them appropriate workwear (for most offices). And, they’re bound to add that vintage vibe to pretty much every style of dress you combine them with.
Loewe Anagram espadrilles, Soludos platform slippers, Castañer Carina 80 wedge espadrilles, and Castañer Chiara satin platform wedge espadrilles are to die for.
Loafers and dresses? Where do we sign up?! Loafers are the best flat shoes to wear with dresses because they’re timeless, effortless, and versatile.
Loafers (whether we’re talking about penny loafers, tassel loafers, horsebit loafers, or chunky loafers) have been everyone’s favorite flat footwear for quite some time and we couldn’t be more stoked to wear them with everything we own.
From chunky silhouettes and souped-up platforms, eye-catching embellishments, and simple, sleek designs to odd color combinations, adornments, and patterns, there are numerous loafers to choose from.
Combine them with sheer tights, sweater dresses, and clean-cut coats for winter. Wear them with knitted socks, shirt dresses, and leather blazers for fall. Or, style them with silky slips and chunky cardigans for whatever weather’s between the two seasons.
Our favorites at the moment are Saint Laurent Le Loafers, Versace platform loafers, and Gucci platform loafers, but you can get them at Zara, Mango, or H&M, too.
7. Strappy sandals
Other than espadrilles, strappy sandals are the flats to purchase when you’re updating your summer wardrobe. Whether you’re searching for a “fresh off the runway” vibe or something more simple but effective, strappy sandals might be the answer for you.
Now, we’re not talking about strappy stilettos that are guaranteed to draw both attention and blood. We suggest opting for strappy flats whenever you’re unsure of what shoes to wear with a dress because they add the same effect without hurting you.
With that out of the way, some of the strappy sandals we witnessed on the runway would work wonders with different styles of dresses. A. Emery Lily Leather Sandals, Vince Kenna knotted leather gladiator sandals, and Valentino Garavani studded gladiator flat sandals will make your dress pop.
What about rope strappy sandals? Rag & Bone Infinity sandals, Loeffler Randall Moriah natural rope sandals, and Studio Amelia Tether satin rope ankle-wrap flat sandals are as on-trend as you might think.
8. Combat boots
Come on, how can we style our dresses with anything other than combat boots after witnessing the amazing Vogue World extravaganza a couple of months back?
Combat boots galore strutted on the cobblestone streets of New York City combined with glittering dresses, metallic accessories, and evening ensembles.
Toughened-up boots and evening, elegant frocks seem to be the fashion trend of the season, and there’s no reason why you wouldn’t hop on the trend and experiment with something you’ve never worn before.
Whether you prefer the classic Dr. Martens or the high-fashion, designer combat boots, we’re sure there’s the perfect combat boot waiting for you somewhere out there.
Our favorites at the moment are Prada Monolith leather and nylon fabric boots, Dr. Martens Jadon max chain platform boots, and Balenciaga Green Lace-Up Combat Boots, but you can get great combat boots at Zara, Mango, or H&M, too.
Whatever shoes you decide to go with, we’re keeping our fingers crossed you get something you can wear on pretty much any day of the year. Good luck!