The Wrong Shoe Theory Will Instantly Up Your Styling Game

Wrong Shoe Theory
@fratellipetridi_official / @afischer91

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One of the biggest secrets to looking effortlessly cool? The Wrong Shoe Theory, according to stylist and wardrobe consultant, Allison Bornstein. “If your look feels boring…you want to choose the least obvious shoe or the one that feels dissimilar to the rest of your look,” she says in a TikTok clip.

In another TikTok, Bornstein further explained the theory, saying it’s key to making a look feel styled and intentional. Bornstein shared her experience with a client who wanted to make their outfits look less sporty when wearing sneakers. Instead of building the look around the sneakers, she said she asked the client to choose their favourite pieces and then added the sneaker later on.

“The sneakers became this kind of interesting through line,” she said, “It ended up looking really interesting and cool. And while they are still functional… the look feels more genuine to her style. It gives your look personality.”

Pairing a maxi dress with block heels might feel like the clear choice. But if it’s an outfit you’ve worn time and time again, you can easily make it feel new and fresh again by pairing it with chunky sneakers. The same goes for a mini skirt and sandals, a classic outfit combo. But if you pair the mini skirt with leather loafers instead, that’s unexpected.

Ahead, we’ve rounded up some shoes to add-to-your-cart for an elevated footwear game, and therefore, better outfits.

ASOS Design Lullaby Bow Ballet Flats

ASOS Design Lullaby Bow Ballet Flats - ballet flats
ASOS Design Lullaby Bow Ballet Flats ($32)

Ballet flats are trending right now, so it’s a good time to add them into your footwear collection. These ASOS Design Lullaby Bow Ballet Flats ($32) would pair well with a long denim skirt black tank top.

New Balance Classics 530

New Balance Classics 530 ($160)

Throw on the New Balance Classics 530 ($160) and a pair of long white socks with a maxi dress and a cross body bag. It may look like a dad sneaker but you can can’t look past the comfort of these shoes.

Ugg Express Square Toe Leather Ballet Flats

Ugg Express Square Toe Leather Ballet Flats

We suggest pairing the Square Toe Leather Ballet Flats ($75, was $210) with a small shirt, big jeans and big sweater outfit for a more casual winter look. Or go heavy on the ballet core staples by wearing them with some lace cutout tights and a mini dress that has a pleated or asymmetrical ruched skirt.

Spurr Sim Mules

Spurr Sim Mule Loafers - Wrong Shoe Theory
Spurr Sim Loafer Mule ($49.99)

This black croc Sim Loafer Mule ($49.99) is a simple mule option, that will give your outfit that loafer look without rubbing the heel. Pair it with a mini or midi denim skirt and white crop for an elevated street-style look.

Country Road Dallas Sneakers

Dallas White Sneakers - Shoe Styling Tips
Country Road Dallas Sneaker ($179)

The chunky dad sneakers trend was one of our favourites (controversial, we know) and the Dallas Sneaker ($179) from Country Road nicely walks the line between sporty and fatherlike. Each of the three available colourways can give your outfit a pop of colour and comfy athleisure vibes.

Cloud Slide Anti-Slip Unisex Claude

Ugg Express Anti-Slip Unisex Claude Slides ($36)

Not just for boots, Ugg Express has stepped into the slide game with these Anti-Slip Unisex Claude Slides ($36). Because of the smoothness of some slides, it can be a bit difficult to walk in wet weather. However, the brand has created this pair with a textured sole that helps increase friction and reduces skidding. And you can get them in 7 colours — yellow, orange, green, pink, grey, dark grey and navy blue.

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