Women's Shoes

There's just something about a perfect pair of women's shoes. They put the ideal finishing touch on an outfit. They have the capability to dress an outfit up, or relax an over-tense ensemble. But just as women need to know what lines and styles are most flattering when selecting pants, skirts or blouses, so too do women need to be mindful of the most flattering style of shoe.If you have short legs or thick ankles, avoid ankle straps no matter what. The horizontal line of the strap makes short legs appear even shorter, and the ankles like stocky tree stumps. Much better are shoes cut with a deep, sexy vamp, which exposes just a little bit of 'toe cleavage.' Not only are they sexy, they lengthen the appearance of the leg, and streamline the stretch from calf to ankle.If you have thick calves, avoid chunky heels. They bring the eye 'down', adding weight to your lower half. Streamlined narrow heels, and the new concave, S-shaped heels are your best bet, as they 'lift' the eye, and lengthen and slim the silhouette.One of the greatest slimming tricks of all time, used by movie stars and beauty queens since the '40s and '50s, is to select 2 to 3 inch-heel pumps or mules, with a low vamp, in a neutral material that nearly matches one's own skin tone. This accomplishes multiple benefits. One, it 'tricks' the eye into confusing the difference between the shoe and the leg. This 'lengthens' the leg by as many inches as the heel is high. Two, because the legs appear longer, they appear considerably slimmer. Finally, the neutral shoe manages to work with any outfit in your closet, making it worth three or four pairs in any other color.

Women's Sandals

Women's sandals are one of the most versatile shoe styles. They can be dressy or simple. Sporty or elegant. You can garden in some, and go to the opera in others. When it comes to sandals, anything is possible. Once upon a time, 'dressy' shoes automatically meant high heeled pumps. Not so anymore. Some of the most elegant shoes seen on red carpets these days are delicately beaded and bejeweled flat sandals, often inspired by Asian fashion. However, just because movie stars and debutantes are wearing them at glamorous galas doesn't mean that these precious slippers are reserved only for fancy occasions. Indeed, being a sandal, and therefore versatile, these same shoes can be worn at Hollywood and Highland one evening, and then paired with a flirty skirt and tee-shirt the next. Versatility like this is what makes an ideal summer sandal.For great resort footwear, consider a low-heeled wedge sandal. For casual daytime wear, look for cork-heeled options. For evening, a silk-wrapped version can match any number of styles. For those on a budget, remember that neutrals go well with everything. Black sandals are always a safe bet with evening wear; white sandals, as long as they're kept clean, always look fresh. The ultimate neutral, though, are nude-colored sandals. Not only will they go with everything, but the closer you can match them to your own skin tone, the more they will elongate your leg. All you'll ever need to go with them is a perfect pedicure.

Women's Boots

After a decade or two on hiatus, women's boots came back into fashion like nobody's business in the early days of the 21st century. Granted, ankle boots made a brief, hiccuping appearance in the mid-80s, but by and large, boots were pretty much left behind after the '70s took their last, exhausted, over-partied gasp. Ah, what a difference a couple of decades make.Today's boot-makers are designing styles that pay homage to those decadent days of yore, as well as designing entirely new variations on the theme. But here's a major fashion tip: whatever kind of boot you desire, be it a wedge boot, knee high boot or other type of boot, go to the expert for that particular style. Looking for cowboy boots? Defer to Texas's craftsmen. Want chunky-heeled goth and urban boots? Deal with the New Yorkers who originated the form. In most cases, the masters are no more expensive than their pretenders, and the original delivers a certain authenticity that only ups the boots' fashion quotient.If trendy sheepskin is your oeuvre, then there's only one: Ugg. For street chic, Steve Madden and Doc Martens are still making the coolest boots around. If you're searching for classic boots, then invest in a pair of equestrian style or classic lace up versions made in New Hampshire by Timberland. If you're a fan of western wear, Tony Lama is your man. Bootmaker to the genuine stars of the American rodeo, Tony Lama makes the hippest cowboy boots deep in the heart of Texas. If you're going for a specific look, whether it's East Village or Western Roper, you may as well go with the original.

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