There is an episode in Season 4 of gossip girlin which the show’s resident “evil dictator of taste,” Blair Waldorf, disbands while trying to juggle a full-time job W Magazine and a hefty course load at Columbia University. So much so that she shows up at a birthday party wearing two different Roger Vivier shoes, a sign to everyone around her that if she doesn’t take a break, her life will implode. But what if Waldorf, may I say, made a statement?
While I’ve always been against the idea of mismatched shoes, Gucci’s Resort ’23 collection has me reconsidering Waldorf’s mishap. Creative Director Alessandro Michele unveiled a look that not only brought mismatched shoes to the runway, but also celebrated the controversial styling, through a two-tone black and white blouse and trousers combo paired with mismatched shoes.
Michele might have done that on the runway, but the deliberate mismatch brought me back Sex and the CitySeason 3 in which Carrie and her crew fly to Los Angeles to escape the monotony of their life in New York. So much so, in fact, that Carrie ditched all styling rules and donned different colored shoes in metallic tones for her first night out. The statement — likely invented by the show’s costume designer Patricia Field — signaled that one of the best ways to spice up your life is to break all the rules, even if you look like you tumbled out of the house without getting into one to look in the mirror.
After Gucci’s show, I set out to try the trick myself. I thought the best (and frankly most affordable) way to try it for yourself was to try it yourself literally Wear two mismatched shoes in one outfit. I first analyzed the references in front of me: I could go all out with contrasting, metallic colors à la Bradshaw, or I could take a cue from Waldorf’s mishap and wear two different shoes that are quite similar.
As a fan of neutral dressing, I chose the latter because it’s baby steps. I also made sure to choose two pairs of shoes that were the same height because this experiment couldn’t result in me limping or worse, a broken hip. I thought a white slip-on sandal with zigzag laces at the front might go well with a beige sandal with scalloped straps. As long as we didn’t want to agree, I thought the asymmetry between the two pairs was justified.
Then came the styling, which was easier than I imagined. I paired a white tank top – one of the season’s top trends – with a denim jacket and high-waisted shorts, a relatively blank canvas for the craziness going on with my feet. I added a beige shoulder bag and white sunglasses. If you follow the colors there, you can see the formula: match each of your shoes with something in your outfit so that they match the look, just like Gucci. And it worked: no one — not even my boyfriend I wore the outfit with — noticed I was wearing two different shoes (or at least they were polite enough not to stare).
While this might be a quirky styling tool, much like Bradshaw’s, it works wonders when your closet — or even your life — is feeling stagnant. And even if you’re feeling smashed and accidentally wearing two different shoes, join us. It’s a statement.
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