In the exploration of finding flats for every outfit, I was hoping to find clearcut guidelines emerge- something like "Flared midi skirts always look good with x shoe shape, never look good with y, and may or may not work with a, b, and c." For both better and worse, what I found is that flats are every bit as flexible with style as garments are, and you really need to consider what you're wanting to express in order to choose the right flat.
For authentic style, (style that echoes how others perceive you while also expressing who you feel yourself to be) there is a flat for everybody- you in a shoe. You could find those shoes and build outfits around them. The other option is to find the combination of shoe and outfit that adds up to expressing your authentic style. It's the difference in finding the number five, versus finding 2+3 or 1+4. Either way you get your 5, and there are multiple ways to go about it.
For our flats, there are tendencies that can be found that you can use to find the flat that adds what you need it to toward your authentic style. If you are lush, linear, playful, tall, and busty (likely Panther and Dragon Princess or Mermaid), and your outfit is plain, finding a shoe that has as much of that personality as possible will really elevate your look (as will adding the right jewelry and accessories). If your outfit is already shouting your style, finding a shoe that is in line with it, but quieter will be supportive of the look.
MORE CASUAL: suede, fringe, all sandals, all sneakers, nudes
MORE DRESSY: patent, sparkle, all closed toe, leather, velvet
MORE ROUND: florals, polka dots, rounded toes, ballet flats, mary-janes
MORE LINEAR: stripes, bars, pointy toes, oxfords, loafers
Fantastical Beauty Details
Valkyrie texture, cutouts, embossed, embroidered, fringe, over the knee boots, all boots and booties, large details, strappy, slouchy, velvet, suede, leather. Texture is the name of the game, from rough to plush. Knits, corset detailing, and anything that has both textural interest and a bit of bite to it. Valkyrie's version of sweet is rounded detailing cutouts or embossed into their leather. Possibly also tapestry fabric as a softer side of Valkyrie.
Fae a lightness to every shoe- nothing chunky (unless also ethereal such as a clear heel/sole that is otherwise slightly chunky). Even nixie's need lightness, even if that is conveyed with a sharp toe and patent to their black flat. Cutouts, sheer panels, and anything that adds air is a good idea. Details that shimmer or add lightness. Ballet flats round or pointed (depending on the individual's shapes) are an easy choice.
Magic Queen classy, powerful, bold florals, higher contrast (within your coloring), usually rounded toes, satin, twist bows/pleats, peep toes. Satin is especially good in her version of red. She needs to keep her textures smooth. Patent is good, possibly a velvet slip on. We need detail here, but minimal in execution to maintain a regal appearance. Avoid anything very casual. Be careful with sandals- the Queen must be careful with the skin she exposes- it is best when it has a feeling of mystery, which the openness of sandals can't really maintain. Off shoulder is better that open shoes for her.
Maenad open, eye-catching, a bit earthy, moccasin slip ons and fringed booties and boots, fairly large details, some textures. Suede is good, especially in a color. Gladiator sandals. No ballet flats here, no mary janes, and unlikely peep-toes. Slingbacks are good. All varieties of boots and shooties are good. Oxfords yes, probably not loafers. She has that effortless boho party and festival flair that is equally at home on a red carpet.
Nymph all manner of sandals, be careful with most closed toes except boots which are good. Pointy toes are likely to be best. If doing a closed toe, ask whether it pairs with a pencil skirt- if it does, it passes. Sandals with criss-crossing straps (not gladiator). Suede, leather, velvet. Nothing very shiny or sparkly. Neutrals more often than colors. She maintains the balance of earthy sensuality and corporate powerhouse in her shoes, with nothing being too loud or too plain. Alligator texture, with a semi-gloss finish.
Angel classy and light/delicate. Over the knee boots for dark angels. Ballet flats, slingbacks, simple sandals, jelly sandals for fun, possibly gogo boots, metallic detals. There's a bit of youthfulness or at least never-aging to Angels that is nice to see in their shoes. Even androgynous Angels should veer away from menswear inspired details. Light colors/pastels (for your coloring) except for dark/avenging/fallen angels. A bit of innocence and an undercurrent of timeless power.
Dragon Princess metals, metals, metals. Gold, bronze, silver, pewter, copper, sparkle, and bling. Peep-toes, boots (unlikely to be booties or shooties), and sandals. Shiny and sparkly is good. Sometimes dull works if it is also lush- high quality suede, for instance. Cupcake princesses can play with ballet flats as long as they have large, lush details (bows, prints, scalloping). Bold and rich are important words here. If her outfit already says this, she can try a lesser shoe, but it needs to stand up to the outfit- nothing too classy. Gild this lily.
Mermaid unexpected and playful is best here. Sequins, pearls, holographic, colors, and anything pearlescent is an obvious yes. Funky if not also chunky. Menswear inspired if sleek and with something fun to it- tassels and color, maybe. A shimmery peeptoe with some twist in the detailing. Sandals are more difficult for her than you might think, because they are often too plain. A two-tone sandal with an ankle strap might work. Shield sandals with color or print. Ombre would be especially beautiful.
Seer metals, glitter, sandals, peep-toes, leopard print, and satin. The metals here aren't as shiny as for DP. Glitter, not sequins. The scale for Seers is bold, but smaller in details- a cluster of gems instead of a few large ones. Diamond trim in a row instead of allover would be especially effective- on a sandal or closed toe. Ankle straps are good. Ruffles. Anything that has a smoky, mysterious, and bit expensive feel to it. Nothing menswear inspired, and nothing that could be called sweet or cute or understated.
The post series on How To Get Away With Never Wearing Heels Again has concluded.