Hi, Who What Wear UK readers!
Summer is almost here, and choosing between flats and heels gets trickier due to the amount of leg potentially on show. To walk this fashion tightrope, I've searched back through some of my most recent outfits to decipher the rules for deciding which hemline or silhouette requires a stacked heel, stiletto, chunky platform, pared-down flat or mules. There's even a little addition of an ankle sock in the mix. So keep reading to see and shop the formulas I rely on when getting ready…
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images
These voluminous culottes needed to be balanced with some height. This outfit was worn to a polo match, so a chunky heel felt appropriate—no sinking into the grass here!
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images
Despite the short hem, this dress still felt reasonably covered up to me. The high neck and long sleeves kept it classy, so I maximized what was on show (my legs!) with my strappy Saint Laurent sandals.
These trousers have a menswear-inspired vibe, so I echoed that with my patent Oxfords for a look that is pulled-together but still relaxed.
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images
I loved the colour of this dress—SO bright! But it was tricky finding a shoe that worked. Black gave me bumble bee vibes and nude shoes just disappeared. I eventually settled on the grey suede pump—just enough colour without conflicting with the dress. Plus, a pointed toe is always flattering with this hemline.
There’s no right or wrong way to dress—it’s just about what looks good and feels good to you. To me, this dress needed a chunky heel—that might have been because I wore this outfit to my birthday party, and I needed a solid shoe for dancing!
Donato Sardella/Getty Images
My favourite shoes right now! It’s hard for me not to wear my Gucci mules with everything, but these Fendi culottes definitely warranted them. It’s all about proportions, and while I think a flat shoe would have worked here, I know that a skinny-heeled strappy sandal would not: The weighty flares need an equally chunky shoe.
This is another case of proportions. When I put the lace-ups on with the skirt my legs felt too bare, so I remedied that with a pair of ankle socks; switching the flats for a pair of ankle boots would have worked just as well.
My instinct is to always wear a chunky heel with cropped flares but a pair of sneakers work just as well! I think the key here is to make sure you show some ankle.
Have Ashley's tips given you the courage to go forth and conquer? Let us know in the comments box below, and shop our edit of the best new sandals.