The most basic shoe for a woman is a low-heeled closed- toe pump in your key neutral- typically a color closely related to your hair color. Black to be the universal neutral, it isn’t a great shoe choice if it isn’t part of your personal color fan. With a skirt, a lower vamp (top opening of the shoe) leaves more of your foot visible and elongates your legs. Peep-toe and sling-back styles expose more skin. With pants, a higher vamp brings the shoe color up to meet the pants hem. Avoid ankle strap styles unless you have very long, trim legs and can afford their shortening effect. Lighter weight styling and higher, thinner heels make a shoe dressier. Heavier material, thicker soles and shorter thicker heels move the styling in a more casual direction.
The relative proportion of color or design elements can make or break a look. A balanced 50:50 ratio is usually dull and uninspiring. Unbalanced proportions are more pleasing to the eye. For example, pair a shorter jacket with a longer skirt or trousers. A longer jacket works best over a short skirt, not a mid-calf one. The ideal is to create a 3:5 ratio – the so-called Golden Mean. But a simpler 1:2 ratio is almost equally effective. In evaluating proportion in an ensemble be aware that components other than the actual garment may need to be considered. For example, black tights appear as an extension of a black skirt. Dark brown hair extends the visual area of a dark brown jacket.