From Drab to Fab: What Shoes to Wear to Make Your Grey Dress Pop

Nowadays, and despite many #throwback homages to the vibrant neon colors of the 80’s in different mediums, it is undeniable that neutral colors are all the rage. From bloggers and fashionistas, to catwalk models and haute couture labels, the message is clear: neutral is all the rage. All of a sudden, all-black/white/grey outfits are back in, and we are loving it!

Admittedly, many of us can be a little intimidated with black/white monochrome looks, which is why most people choose to go for the middle and invest in all-grey outfits. The only problem? Well, even in this brave, new, neutral color world, grey can be..well…grey.

But instead of seeing grey as a drab, lifeless color, think of it this way: it’s a whole new palette waiting for you to bring it to life! Personally, I’m a big fan of outfits that blend light and dark shades of grey for that Paris chic look (but also because I somehow find a way to get smudges on everything, and heather grey rarely looks dirty!).

So to make your grey outfit pop, you’ll need a subtle, but powerful accessory to really bring a contrasting visual element, and I can’t think of anything better than a nice pair of shoes to really tie your entire OOTD together.

I’ve listed down some of my favorite shoe + grey dress combos that are easy to pull-off and uses shoe types that you most likely have lying around already. I’ve added a purse suggestion as well just to up your accessory game and take your look from drab to fab!

Red/Burgundy Shoes

Most people reserve their grey dresses for the fall, but a grey dress with red shoes looks absolutely stunning any time of the year! It’s all about pairing the shade with the occasion: bright, cherry-red for casual and fun night outs, while wine-hues for that demure and sophisticated look make a subtle but bold statement during more formal events.

Photo from Pinterest

Darker shades of red also work well for a more professional look in the office. Pair dark red shoes with lighter shades of grey, and you’ll have something that’s perfect for a night out or as a power outfit during business meetings.

Accessorize with a black or white purse, as these go the best with the grey/red combo. For darker hues like burgundy, army green would work well for a complimentary look. Brighter colors like orange should be paired accordingly with darker tones for contrast.


Black Shoes

Classic, elegant, timeless, and most likely, already in your closet, black shoes are one of the go-to pairs for grey dresses because, well, like the adage says, everything pairs well with black!

Photo from Glamour

But it’s not just a saying: black provides an edgy contrast to most colors, especially for grey tones on the softer end of the spectrum.

When it comes to black, pair with either another black accessory, or something brightly colored. Personally, I’d go for a bright cherry-red clutch bag for that unexpected pop of color!

White Shoes

Yes, it’s scary to wear white shoes, especially for someone like me who seems to get it stained whenever I go out! But trust me, white shoes with a grey dress? Talk about class, class, class!

Photo from Become Chic

Imagine: white pointed pumps with a flowing light-grey dress? Um, yes please! Pair that with a nice sun hat and you’ll be set for the Kentucky Derby.

Or, you can go with simple white loafers and a grey office dress for that toned-down business casual that’s great for the boardroom or a night out with friends. Want to go even more casual? White sneakers and a grey sweater dress say you’re ready for Saturday!

Contrast and Color Prints

Nothing says “fun” more than a pair of contrasting heels with your grey outfit! And it makes sense: because grey outfits are more subdued, any contrasting or color print shoes you wear will definitely pop! But deep hues like cobalts and magentas also make sense and can take a regular dark grey outfit to new fashionista heights!

Photo from Pinterest

But what about print? What about them? Wear it! Leopard and reptile prints look very cool when paired with grey dresses, and is a must if you’re looking for a subtlely dangerous look!

For accessories, try to go with something that accentuates the hues of your animal print (i.e. caramel for leopard, jade for snake, etc. etc.). If your shoes are a solid color, go monochrome and get a white or black purse.

Black and White

Not up for a monochromatic color? No problem! Two-tone black and white shoes provide a stark and unique contrast to a sheer grey dress. It might take a little more courage to go for two-tone anything, but trust me, you can pull it off!

Photo from Tradesy

Whether it’s color blocking, patterns, or a panda animal print, two-tone shoes can really bring a grey outfit together, and is perfect if you want to go formal to casual in a jiff.

Accessorizing with two-tone shoes is simple: go with color! Bright neons and saturated color clutch bags look amazing with a two-tone shoe + grey dress ensemble. Want to keep it monochromatic? Go for it! A block color black or white purse would up the sophistication levels of your outfit!


Beige shoes are a perfect Fall color choice, but paired with grey, and you’ve got a sizzling hot look that works best in winter. Although beige is considered a ‘neutral’ color, it’s warm enough that it brings a little bit of heat and warmth to an otherwise cool grey dress.

Photo from Jimmy Choo

Pastel-colored accessories would look amazing with peach-beige shoes and grey dress combo! Monochrome or contrast grey would also work, but try to keep the color as subtle as the beige, and above all, avoid pink with these color shoes!

Contrast Grey Shoes

If grey on grey sounds drab, you’re dead wrong! As long as the tones don’t match, anything grey on grey works perfectly to provide a cool, Fall or Winter look. As a general rule, your grey shoes need to be either much lighter or much darker than your grey dress.

Photo from Reiss

Consider charcoal grey boots and a light grey sweater for a subdued weekend look, or light-grey flats with a black-grey sheer dress for a sexy night out.

Heat up your look with a bright-red or burgundy clutch bag to add some warmth!

Silver & Chrome Metallic

Just like grey shoes, metallic colors like silver and chrome should be on the opposite end of the grey tone spectrum. For example, bright and silver shoes would look amazing paired with a dark grey dress, while metallic chrome shoes can make light grey outfits pop. For me, I’d go with a charcoal grey dress paired with mirror silver shoes. Perfect for any kind of night out!

Photo from Rachel Zoe

For accessories, black, white, or a subdued color would be best so as not to compete with your shoes’ luster.

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