Menswear shoes for a femwear girl?
September 23, 2011 12:54 PM   Subscribe

I recently bought a pair of beautiful lace-up brown high-heeled oxfords. I have no idea what to wear with them. Help?

So I bought these beauties and am at a loss for how to style them. First world problems indeed, but won't you help me procrastinate my Friday away by daydreaming about fall clothes?

My typical fall style runs to either pencil skirts and heels with tights or knit dresses with tights and flat boots. Not so much a fan of the menswear look (on me, at least) since it tends to not emphasize the waist, which I very much need. I'm having a hard time visualizing the "look" that is appropriate for these shoes.

So...what would you pair them with? Skinny cropped jeans? Pencil skirts? Formal shorts? Just kidding on that last one, but some help would be lovely, oh stylish mefites!
posted by stellaluna to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
They scream "pencil skirt" to me. With a fitted, button down shirt tucked in.

Pencil with a flare at the bottom would be good too.
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:05 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think your pencil skirts would look great with them. Maybe some opaque gray tights? A dress that evokes the Dior "New Look" (though perhaps with a higher hemline)?
posted by ocherdraco at 1:05 PM on September 23, 2011

I definitely agree that they would rock with a pencil skirt, but I also think that they'd be great with regular length skinny jeans with a billowy blouse and some bangles. I feel like those shoes call for structure somewhere in the outfit, so maybe a tailored button down with an A-line skirt would be fun, too.

I think once you get into them, you'll find they go with more than you expected.
posted by chatongriffes at 1:11 PM on September 23, 2011

I am a guy. I love the shoes. I would love to see the cropped (or regular) jeans look with it.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:12 PM on September 23, 2011

Skinny ankle-length corduroys and a silk blouse.
posted by oinopaponton at 1:14 PM on September 23, 2011

I was coming in here to say a skirts (50s-ish A-line or pencil) with a tailored cardigan or button-down skirts, a belt, and colorful or textured tights. Then I saw the more inside, and realized that your normal fall wardrobe is pretty close to perfect.
posted by mostlymartha at 1:17 PM on September 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Pencil skirts. Sweater dresses. Cropped pants and jeans. Go buy a bunch of funky knee-high dress socks (for under the pants) and leggings/nylons (for under the skirts and dresses) right now that colour coordinate. I'm partial to semi-sheer patterns.
posted by Go Banana at 1:37 PM on September 23, 2011

Best answer: I agree with all the skirts, tights, sweaters comments. I have a similar pair in black and I wear them with practically everything. I have a Balmain-inspired dress (massive pointy shoulders!) that I wear them with, pencil skirts, trousers, A-line skirts, loose dresses, tight dresses, etc. I'd go for lots of colorful tights/textured tights to highlight the shoe. If you can pull it off (and if you can, I am jealous), the new harem-style or pleated cropped trousers would look AH-mazing. Add a jacket with a nipped in waist? Perfection.

This is a fun resource for styling advice, if you can get past the blatant commercialism.
posted by mrfuga0 at 1:40 PM on September 23, 2011

Best answer: First of all, are your legs long or short? To find this out, measure the length of your head from the top of your head to your chin. Then take your total height, and divide by your head length.

Next, measure your leg from crotch to floor. If your leg length equals more than four head lengths, you have long legs. Less than four head lengths, you have short legs. If it's about four lengths, your legs are proportionate - not long and not short.

If your legs are short, you need to put some thought into this. The shoes have a high vamp, which means that the vamp is going to make your legs look shorter even though the heels will make your legs look longer. Therefore, you need to keep the join covered, which you can do either by wearing pants with them, or by wearing a long skirt. The hem of the pants should break just about halfway down the heel. The rise of the pants should be just about halfway up your own rise area (area between crotch and natural waist). Wide-legged pants are better than skinny pants because skinny pants, by their nature, have to chop off at the ankle and they also squeeze the butt, pointing out how close to the ground it is. You can wear skinny pants if you have short legs, but you have to do it carefully; in the case of these shoes, I'd make sure you only wore the skinny pants in the same colour and also that you paired it with tops and jackets/cardigans etc that are neither too long nor too short, instead the hem of the top should be about halfway down your rise area (area between crotch and natural waist). If you cannot resist wearing the shoes with a non-long skirt, make sure the skirt ends just below the knee.

If you have long or proportionate legs, go nuts.

In any case, you should go out and get (assuming you'll wear the shoes every other day and you do laundry once a week) 4 pairs of high-denier opaque tights in the same colour as the shoes. If you feel the shoes aren't going to give you blisters, I would also get several pairs of fine-gauge fishnet hold-ups in the same colour as your skin tone, so you can wear the shoes in warmer weather.

These are definitely daytime shoes; you should exclude the possibility of wearing them to evening occasions. They are also at a business or casual-socializing daytime kind of register; you could wear them to work in all but the absolute most conservative of companies (the heel is a bit high for ultra-conservative places) and for lunch dates etc; not for something like a wedding. Other than that, I think they are much more versatile than you'd think; I have a couple of floaty skirts I could pair them with, but that's going against type. If you want to stay in character you should think sexy-librarian, Miss Moneypenny, tweed, twinsets, pencil skirts, 1930s slacks. Or you could also go rock chick with skinny jeans, a goldtone leather or pleather jacket, and a fringey scarf. Or you could be a little bit bohemian with a tiered skirt, maybe even in velvet.
posted by tel3path at 3:02 PM on September 23, 2011 [28 favorites]

What tel3path said. (Great comment, tel3path!)

It also seems to me that your current wardrobe will go well with them, especially if you add some textured, opaque tights.

I'm jealous. I wish I could wear heels, because man, those are great shoes.
posted by deborah at 3:33 PM on September 23, 2011

I'm going to break from the trend a little here, and suggest that these would also look good with a '30's inspiried flow-y dress. The trick to pulling this off in the colder months is lots of layers ... tights, covered with thermal shorts, full slip, dress, then thin cardigan & whatever overcoat you favor. The look has the advantage of making you look delicate and etherial during the seasons of sturdy fabrics.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 6:13 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A few inspiration images:
- dark black tights, floaty but structured blouse, cardigan
- tons of examples here, you can decide which ones you like!
- Amy Adams in a shirt-dress and heeled oxfords
- opaque tights
- Peachy
- I'm warming up to this trend
- Taylor Swift with cute coat and tights
- Keira Knightly
- black miniskirt (cool to see them used in a bit of an edgy style!)
- Tuesday pencil skirt
posted by barnone at 6:23 PM on September 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Navy or charcoal gray knee length skirt or dress.

Navy or charcoal gray cropped trousers. Cropped as in "hits right at the ankle at a point that is flattering," not cropped as in capris.

Jeans at about the same length, or rolled to that length.

Long, slim flowy skirts that hit above the ankle at a point that is flattering.

What they aren't meant to go with is bootcut styles that are full length.

You can probably wear them with the above in black. I know brown and black aren't supposed to go together but who cares. Try it, if it looks proportionate go with it.
posted by citron at 9:21 PM on September 23, 2011

Oh and I should add: if you're going to wear them with fishnets, get some lightweight cotton trainer socks. This will prevent friction and also stop you from wearing through the toes of the fishnets so quickly (of course, you can repair fishnets, but it's a pain).
posted by tel3path at 4:56 AM on September 24, 2011

Best answer: I have very similar shoes (darker brown alligator-esque with a peep toe) and I wore them for the first time just yesterday with a Zara navy cropped and cuffed trouser, matching blazer and floaty lemon yellow shirt. I matched my belt (did a oh-I'm-so-casual half-tuck with the shirt) to my shoes, wore a cross-body brown bag and boy, did I get a lot of compliments. Someone even said I looked like I stepped out of here! Yay, fall fashion! Yay, menswear for women! Boo, heat and humidity at the end of September.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:15 AM on September 24, 2011

Response by poster: Yay! Thanks, all, for the inspiration and advice!

Barnone, I love the examples; it's really helpful to see how other people have styled similar shoes. I'm kind of crushing on the black miniskirt look.

Tel3path, I...have never heard of that formula for determining body proportions, but it's pretty awesome; probably mostly because I turned out on the proportionate side of things! Thanks, too, for the suggestions for appropriate occasions at which to wear the shoes.

Think for right now I'll stick with pencil skirts, tights, and fitted cardigans, but will probably also experiment with cigarette pants, a floaty top, and a fitted blazer. I would love to try button-downs but with my bust that hasn't been very successful in the past. And mrfuga0, aren't you funny! Me pulling off harem pants...not in this lifetime :)
posted by stellaluna at 10:45 AM on September 26, 2011

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