Gray is one of the most sophisticated colors. Even though it’s neutral, it’s anything but boring. A gray dress takes you beyond basic black and gives you even more versatility. It’s a softer color and can be more flattering than darker neutrals for many skin tones. Learn what shoes to wear with your gray dress so that you can be perfectly prepared for every occasion.
Gray Color Palettes
Gray is like a blank canvas. Its beauty lies in its ability to take on the personality of whatever you pair it with. Look at these color palettes to get a sense of how to compliment a gray outfit.
You can combine bluish grays with other shadowy colors, such as shades of light blue and periwinkle. This gives you a soft look that’s monochromatic, calming, and refined.
You can blend warmer gray tones with earthy shades, such as taupe and brown. You can even bring those to the pastel side by pairing them with pinks and other soft hues.
But gray also makes an excellent backdrop for bright colors. Pair it with white, black, and red for a vivid, modern European look. Combine it with one bright pop of juicy color, such as lime green or turquoise, for a standout style that’s easy to pull off.
Gray also looks ideal when it’s the neutral centerpiece for a variety of colors. Wear a chartreuse jacket, tangerine tights, and a hot pink bag to give off an electric vibe without looking like a clown.
What Color Shoes to Wear With a Gray Dress for Work
Gray dresses are perfect for work because they give off a professional flair. Manufacturers often create suits with gray fabric. Any of your gray suits are ideal for the workplace. You can also take a gray shift dress and pair it with a blazer, cardigan, or jacket for an office-ready wardrobe.
You have plenty of options when it comes to your footwear. You can wear pumps in almost every season. Black heels are classic and chic with a gray professional dress.
If you do wear high heels to the office, make sure that they’re appropriate. Here are some guidelines for the appropriate heels for work.
You should be able to do your job in your heels. If you have to walk across the office several times a day or have a standing desk, you don’t want to experience foot cramps and painful blisters. Most women are most comfortable in heels that are less than four inches high.
You also need to take into account what everyone else is wearing. If most women wear flats or kitten heels and you strut around in stilettos every day, people are going to talk. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you have to decide whether it’s the right move for your office environment.
Employees at a fashion magazine are often encouraged to dress in a fashion-forward manner. If you work in a modern job that attracts millennials in a city where style matters, you can probably get away with wearing the higher heels. If you’re an accountant in a conservative area, you might want to stick to something a little more subdued.
Heels are sexy. But you don’t want to look too suggestive at the office. If you enjoy wearing higher heels, some ways to make them more office-appropriate include:
- Choosing stacked heels instead of stilettos
- Staying away from flashy materials, such as patent leather and metallics
- Opting for neutral colors, like black, gray and brown
- Choosing dark versions of bright hues if you want to wear something more colorful
- Keep them neat and tidy
Navy is one of the most conservative hues to pair with gray. If you choose an outfit that combines navy with gray and brown, you can’t go wrong at the office. For example, a gray dress with a navy blazer, brown shoes, and gold accessories looks luxurious. You can also wear navy shoes, a gray dress, and a brown leather jacket for a style that can take you into the evening without being boring.
If you commute on foot, you might want to change into flats or sneakers while you travel. Change into the pumps once you arrive.
Flats are a popular choice for professional footwear. They’re low-key and comfortable. You can wear them all day whether you head out to lunch or plan to join friends for drinks during happy hour.
Because the shape of flats isn’t as sexy or attention-grabbing as heels, you can get away with wearing flashier colors and patterns. Any hue complements a gray dress. You can choose flats in bright tones, such as:
- Red, burgundy, wine, or purple
- Emerald, hunter green, lime, or chartreuse
- Pink, peach, coral, or rose
- Burnt orange, rust, or reddish-brown
- Yellow, mustard, or gold
- Navy, royal blue, baby blue, or periwinkle
- Purple, eggplant, plum, or magenta
When it comes to patterns, geometric shapes are always appropriate for the office. For example, plaids, checkers, and gingham work well with gray dresses. So do tweeds and textured fabrics. You should probably stay away from animal prints, though. Those are better suited for cocktails and evening outings.
Wearing striped shoes is a fun way to add some panache to your wardrobe without overdoing it. Stripes are classic and timeless. They’re conservative enough for just about any environment.
Florals are also a great option for spring and summer. Asian prints are feminine and sophisticated. Pastel florals are conservative enough to wear to work. You can get creative with your flats because the shoes themselves are unassuming.
You can wear many styles and colors of boots to work with a gray dress. Before we discuss what color boots to choose, let’s talk about types of boots for a moment.
Ankle boots are usually appropriate for the office. Just make sure that they’re not too casual. Opting for some with a slight heel will portray that you’re professional.
Knee and calf-height boots also look refined in the workplace. They also keep your legs warm in the winter. You can easily wear them with tights. Again, choose boots with a slim fit and a refined sole. Wedges and platforms don’t work well in the office environment. Neither do cowboy and riding boots.
You should stay away from boots that stretch above the knee. Anything that looks perfect for clubbing is not ideal for the office.
Most people find black to be a good neutral color with gray. Black boots look chic any time of year. They’re especially appropriate for cool weather. You can pair them with just about any color jacket. Wearing black accessories with the boots can pull the outfit together. It won’t look boring; it will make you look sharp and professional.
If you want to soften the severity of black, though, you can opt for brown boots. Just make sure that they’re sophisticated and polished. Distressed leather is a good choice for a bohemian style, but it might not have a place in the office. Lustrous dark brown or beige work well.
Limit the embellishments on your boots. You can choose some with small studs, embroidery, or cutouts, but you don’t want to wear anything flashy. Sometimes, boots with buckles can look appropriate. Just ensure that they don’t look like something that you would wear on the farm.
Charcoal and other shades of gray look ideal with a gray dress. Try not to match the shade of your boot with the color of your dress, though. Choose boots that are darker or lighter than the rest of your outfit. Use this opportunity to accessorize with bolder colors, such as a burgundy purse or a blue jacket.
Many people wonder if they can wear open-toed shoes to work. The answer is yes. However, you need to match the shoes to the situation. If you’re heading into a meeting with the big wigs, you might want to stay as professional and conservative as possible. In that case, choose closed-toe shoes with a restrained heel.
One guideline that you can follow is this: if you’re required to wear a business suit, you probably shouldn’t wear open-toed shoes. On the other hand, if you wear a skirt and sweater or a one-piece gray dress, you can pair it with peep toes or conventional sandals.
Peep toes and strappy sandals are appropriate for most offices. However, you don’t want your shoes to show too much skin. Two-strap sandals, which have a band across the toes and another around the ankle, may be too sexy for a professional environment. You might be able to get away with those in the summer if your office is casual, though.
Because open-toed shoes and strappy sandals are already a little sexy, choose a toned-down color. Some of the best options include:
Try to stay away from patterns unless they’re preppy, such as stripes or plaids.
Read Also: What Color Shoes to Wear with a Pink Dress
What Color Shoes to Wear With a Gray Dress for Formal Functions
When you’re attending a formal gathering, you can wear flashier shoes than you might choose for the office. Many gray formal dresses have a silvery vibe, making them perfect for wearing with metallic shoes.
Silver is the most obvious choice. But there are many options when it comes to wearing cool-toned metallic with gray. You can find shiny shoes in various shades, such as gunmetal and pewter. Wear silver accessories to complete the look.
You might wonder if you can wear gold shoes with a gray dress. Because gray is so neutral, you can. Just choose gold accessories to complement the outfit.
Formal functions usually call for a little opulence. Don’t be afraid to wear glittery shoes with your gray dress. As long as your dress isn’t too ostentatious, you can let the shoes take center stage. If your dress is highly embellished or glitzy, though, you might want to choose more neutral shoes so that they don’t compete with your outfit.
Black is also an obvious choice to wear with a gray dress. Patent leather can take your look from professional to formal. Black shoes are also ideal for wearing to black-tie events. Your black shoes can have full coverage or be completely strappy. You have lots of choices when it comes to choosing black shoes with a gray dress.
Nude shoes also work well with a gray dress. They’ll blend in with your skin tone, elongating your legs. All eyes will be on your dress. Light neutrals are an excellent choice when your dress is beaded or embellished. They won’t detract from the statement that you’re making above the ankle.
Blush and champagne are beautiful versions of nude. You can play up the color of the shoes by pairing them with other pastels, such as a baby pink scarf or mint green bag.
But you don’t have to stick with neutral shoes for formal functions. Let’s say that you have a gray dress in a tailored, understated silhouette. Dress it up with a fun pair of red shoes. As long as the entire outfit isn’t too racy, you’ll look chic instead of shocking.
What Color Shoes With a Gray Dress for Casual and Everyday
Gray dresses are perfect for wearing every day. You can throw one on to go to brunch, run errands, or hang out with friends. If you’re going to a casual event, you can wear comfortable shoes.
One of the best colors to wear with a gray dress on a daily basis is white. The style of the shoe will dictate its formality in this case. For example, strappy sandals can take you from an afternoon of shopping to cocktails. White tennis shoes are more appropriate for a picnic in the park, followed by a movie.
Don’t be afraid of wearing sneakers with a gray dress. You can wear striped black lace-up soccer shoes or slip-on canvas shoes with a geometric pattern. Brightly colored sneakers are also appropriate with a gray dress.
Don’t be afraid to get sporty. Just about anything goes with this type of outfit, including silver or gold metallic sneakers. Although we don’t usually recommend wearing dresses with socks, you might be able to get away with that style in a gray dress. When everything else is neutral, you can punch up the appeal of your outfit with something a little unexpected.
Loafers and moccasins are also comfortable, neutral, and trendy. These flats can feel like slippers, but they’re conservative enough to wear to the office. If you’re going to a casual event, you can choose a bright color or fun pattern. Brown leather loafers also pair well with gray dresses.
If it’s summer, you can throw on flip flops with your gray dresses. If you want to look more stylish, consider wearing gladiator sandals. Because the dress is so neutral, you’ll show off the intricate nature of the shoes.
In the winter, consider wearing men’s shoes with a gray dress. This is a funky way to take menswear fashion into your everyday life. You might even be able to wear it to the office.
If you want to be playful, choose two-toned wingtips with your gray dress. Brown leather also looks appropriate. Pair it with knee socks for an unexpected surprise. You can also wear opaque tights in a colorful hue with your men’s style shoes to stay warm and comfortable.
What Color Shoes With a Gray Dress for Nighttime or Cocktails
When you head out for cocktails, you might want to dress up. However, you don’t need to look too formal. This is the perfect occasion to wear some animal prints.
Black, white, and other neutrals look great with gray. Therefore, you can wear your gray dress with snakeskin, zebra print, leopard print, and tiger stripes. It doesn’t matter whether you choose tall boots, ankle boots, pumps, or strappy sandals. Most people get creative with their style when they go out for the night.
If you want to create a feminine, delicate look, wear ballet flats with a gray dress. They can be any color, including black, pink, and metallic. Choose shoes with satin ribbons that crisscross up your calves to add interest.
Other black-and-white patterns look attractive with gray. Stripes, checkers, color-blocking all work well in this situation. When you choose a monochromatic look such as this one, punch it up with a bright color somewhere else. Wear a neon purse or a bright jacket so that you don’t get lost in the crowd.
Pops of color are perfect for going out at night. If you have brightly colored shoes and don’t know how to wear them, start with a gray dress. Gray looks great with yellow, purple, and orange. You can’t go wrong if you select bold shoes with your neutral dress.
You can wear just about any shoes with your gray dress. Choose the appropriate style and color for the event that you’re attending. Wearing a gray outfit gives you the chance to try out shoes that you might not otherwise wear. Even if your shoes are over the top, the rest of the outfit will tone everything down.