What Shoes to Wear With Long Dress?

9 min read

Long dresses are elegant, graceful, and feminine. They come in various styles like maxi, midi, and ankle or floor-length dresses. Choosing the right shoes to complement your long dress is essential for an immaculate look. The wrong pair of shoes can ruin the aesthetics of your dress.

When deciding what shoes go best with long dresses, you must consider factors like dress style, fabric, color, occasion, season, and body type. I will provide tips on what shoes to wear with long dress.

Consider the Style of Your Long Dress

Consider the Style of Your Long Dress

The style of your maxi, midi, or ankle-length dress determines what shoe styles work best. Here are shoe recommendations for different long dress styles:

Flowy/A-Line Long Dresses

A flowy, A-line long dress with a defined waistline and flared skirt requires shoes that balance out the bottom-heavy look.

  • Wedge heels or espadrilles with ankle straps add weight to your lower body for an evenly proportioned silhouette. Like wedge heels, Espadrilles have thick soles and are more comfortable than stilettos. The ankle straps provide stability as you walk.
  • Peep-toe or d’Orsay flats show off some skin and harmonize with the dress’s breezy style. Flats keep you comfortable yet chic.
  • Block-heeled sandals, mules, or pumps inject some elevation without overwhelming the floaty fabric. Opt for a chunky block heel versus a skinny stiletto for optimal balance.

Bodycon Long Dresses

Bodycon dresses hug your figure, so you want shoes that elongate your legs versus shorten them. Avoid anything that cuts your leg line.

  • Pointed-toe pumps visually lengthen your legs. Go for a pump with a stiletto heel to get maximum height. The single sole also helps extend your legs compared to a chunky block heel.
  • Strappy-heeled sandals are a sexy option, exposing more skin. Look for criss-crossed straps that run along the length of your foot to generate a leg-lengthening effect.
  • Over-the-knee boots create the illusion of longer, slimmer legs. Pair it with a Bodycon mini dress for a more daring nighttime look. Over-the-knee boots worn with a midi or maxi dress provide ample coverage for daytime wear.

Slip Dresses

Slip dresses are slinky and form-fitting. Footwear that exudes a delicate femininity works best.

  • Pointed-toe or dainty strappy flats complement a slip dress without detracting from its effortless allure.
  • Minimalist sandals mirror the pared-down aesthetic, like a two-strap slide or barely-there stiletto sandals.
  • Ballet flats or loafers give French girl chic vibes, perfect for a slip dress.
  • Kitten heels offer some lift while remaining low-key like your dress. Go for a style with slim straps or transparent material.

High-Low Hemline Dresses

The uneven hemline on these long dresses means you can show off your shoes. Capitalize on the opportunity to make a shoe statement.

  • Chunky heels that are eye-catching yet polished, like a wooden clog heel or lucite heel, display beautifully under the shorter front.
  • Men’s style oxfords with a modern twist like metallics or satin impart a borrowed-from-the-boys vibe.
  • Brightly colored or uniquely detailed flat sandals peek out from under the short hem, adding playful pops of color or whimsy.

Consider Fabric and Texture

Fabric and texture impact a dress’s overall vibe, which you want your footwear to match.

  • Delicate fabrics like chiffon, lace, or satin require equally dainty shoes. Stick to strappy sandals, pointed-toe flats, or minimalist heels.
  • Flowy fabrics like challis or georgette pair nicely with espadrilles, wedges, or chunky block heels that ground the look.
  • Knits and jersey blend well with menswear-inspired oxfords, loafers, or smoking slippers. Sleek Chelsea boots also complement the casual nature of knitwear.
  • Opaque fabrics like brocade, velvet, or heavy polyester can handle substantial footwear. Try platform heels, wedges, tall boots, or bold patterned peep-toe flats.
  • Sheer fabrics demand barely-there shoes like single-strap sandals, lace-up stilettos, or pointed-toe pumps. Let the dress take center stage.

Coordinate With the Color Scheme

Make sure your footwear works with the color scheme of your maxi dress.

Monochromatic Looks

Sticking to one color family creates an elongating effect. For monochrome dresses, choose shoes in the same hue or a shade darker/lighter. Black dresses can be matched with nude shoes for a leg-lengthening contrast.

Complementary Color Combinations

Some examples of complementary shoes for bold-colored dresses:

  • Red dress: Metallic shoes like silver, rose gold
  • Yellow dress: Purple footwear
  • Green dress: Red shoes
  • Blue dress: Orange, yellow, or pink shoes

Neutral Dresses

With a neutral-colored dress, like tan, taupe, blush, or gray, you have free rein on shoe color choice. Go bold with red, emerald, or cobalt blue heels. Or keep it neutral with black, white, blush, or metallic shoes.

Printed Dresses

Extract one color from the dress print and match your shoes to it. A pink, yellow-green floral dress can be paired with green sandals. Or opt for a metallic like rose gold that incorporates all the colors.

Consider the Occasion and Venue

Shoe choice for long dresses also depends on where you wear the dress and for what occasion.

Casual Daytime

For daytime casual activities, comfort trumps style. Prioritize flats and low-block heels:

  • Espadrilles
  • Canvas sneakers
  • Sandals
  • Loafers or ballet flats
  • Flatform sandals or oxfords

Maxi and midi dresses worn casually pair nicely with boot styles like ankle boots, knee-high boots, or cowboy boots.

Cocktail Parties and Special Events

More formal occasions call for heel heights ranging from 2 to 4 inches.

  • Classic pointed-toe pumps
  • Strappy stiletto sandals
  • Peep-toe booties
  • Metallic or lace-up heels
  • Wedge sandals or espadrilles

High-low hem dresses can incorporate fun heels like clog wedges or lucite heels.

Black Tie and Evening Weddings

Formal floor-length gowns require equally elegant shoes like:

  • Satin high heels (3 to 4 inches)
  • Glittery or jewel-encrusted pumps or stilettos
  • Ankle-strap heels
  • Metallic sandals

Stick to heels over flats for black tie and weddings. Finish off the dressy ensemble with clutch purses versus casual shoulder bags.


For a conservative office environment, modest heels or flats are best:

  • Closed-toe pumps
  • Low wedge heels or thick-heeled pumps
  • Loafers
  • Smoking slippers
  • Pointed-toe flats

Maxi or midi dresses paired with knee-high or ankle boots create business casual looks.

Factor in Season and Weather

Factor in Season and Weather

Some shoes work better in certain seasons and weather conditions.

Spring & Summer

The warmer months call for open-toed shoes and lighter fabrics:

  • Sandals (flat, heeled, strappy)
  • Peep-toe pumps or booties
  • Espadrilles and wedges
  • Flatforms
  • Slides

Linen, cotton, chiffon, or lace dresses suit warmer temps. Pair with pastels, tropical prints, or metallics.

Fall & Winter

Cooler weather requires closed-toe shoes and weather-appropriate dresses made from wool, velvet, corduroy, or cashmere:

  • Ankle booties or tall boots
  • Loafers or smoking slippers
  • Oxfords or monk strap shoes
  • Pointed-toe flats

Look for rich fall hues like burgundy, hunter green, rust, or navy. Muted florals or plaids also complement the colder seasons.

Complement Your Body Type

Focus on highlighting your best assets and camouflaging problem areas.

Pear Shape

Balance out wider hips and thighs by drawing the eye upward:

  • Wear nude or neutral-toned pumps to elongate your legs.
  • Try wedges to add height without narrowing your feet.
  • Pointy-toed flats make feet appear smaller.

Apple Shape

Put focus on your legs and slimming your torso:

  • Over-the-knee boots give the illusion of longer, leaner legs.
  • Peep-toe or ankle strap styles reveal skin to lighten up the shoe.
  • Kitten heels add some elevation without bulk.

Hourglass Figure

Accentuate your natural curves:

  • The hiking boot trend complements your shapely legs.
  • Peep-toe booties show off a bit of toe cleavage.
  • Wrap-around ankle straps flatter curvy ankles.

Tall and Lean

Take advantage of your lengthy limbs:

  • Go for a higher stiletto heel to make legs appear even longer.
  • Try a chunky clog heel or platform to balance height.
  • Lengthen an already long frame with nude heels.


1. What heel height should I wear with a long maxi dress?

Opt for heels from 2-4 inches for ideal proportions for maxi dresses. Kitten heels, wedges, or chunky block heels ranging from 1-3 inches also work well. Meanwhile, flats can shorten your leg line with such long dresses.

2. Can you wear boots with a maxi or midi dress?

Yes, boots pair perfectly with ankle and midi-length dresses. For daytime, try ankle boots, knee-high boots, or cowboy boots. Over-the-knee boots work well for a nighttime look. Go for chunky lug soles or stacked heels with bulkier dresses for extra lift.

3. Should shoes match the dress color?

Shoes don’t need to match the dress hue directly. Complementary or contrasting colors can work well. Just ensure the overall palette aligns with the dress color scheme. You can pick out an accent color in the shoe dress print. Neutrals like black, nude, or metallics complement most colors.

4. Do you wear pantyhose with maxi dresses?

Pantyhose helps create a polished finished look, especially for formal events and cooler weather. They provide coverage and warmth paired with open-toed shoes. Look for sheer pantyhose that match your skin tone.

5. What bag styles pair with floor-length dresses?

Handbags like small clutches or wristlets suit fancy evening maxi dresses. Opt for crossbody bags, shoulder bags, or totes for daytime and casual maxi dresses. The bag should not overwhelm your frame but rather complement your dress.


Long, flowing dresses make fabulous fashion statements. But having the right shoes to do your dress justice would be best. When selecting footwear, pay attention to factors like dress style, fabric, color, occasion, and body type. The proper shoes can make your legs look miles long and accentuate your assets. Flats, heels, sandals, boots, and other styles work with maxi, midi, and ankle-length dresses. When delving into the realm of professional women’s clothing, remember to prioritize comfort, coordination, and seasonal appropriateness. Just keep these factors in mind, and with the tips above, you can confidently choose dresses and accessories, ensuring your outfit is not only stylish but also perfectly suited for any occasion.

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