Fashion Tips How to Wear the Hottest Fall and Winter Shoes

Say goodbye to your winter boots. They just don't have what it takes anymore. Dressed up, closed toe shoes, whether pumps, platforms, or flats, have hit the scene in a big way, and they are absolutely everywhere.

Say goodbye to your winter boots. They just don't have what it takes anymore. Sure, there is a small, less popular trend out there right now that is leaning toward semi-chic biker boots and the flat-heeled Western variety, but there is another trend that is quickly beating it out. Dressed up, closed toe shoes, whether pumps, platforms, or flats, have hit the scene in a big way, and they are absolutely everywhere. Whether they are metallic and bright, or dark, velvety and subdued, there is a style, color, and design out there for everyone and anyone. Before you go out and load up on designer duds, however, read this quick tutorial on how to wear each style, and whether or not some styles are really for you.

The newcomer for winter and fall styles is the ballet flat. Sure, they've been around for quite a while for spring and summer months, but someone finally realized that these closed-toed cuties are great for cold months, too. Don't confuse them with those dressed up white leather flats from the eighties that your mom used to wear to church, though. These come in all sorts of vibrant colors, and most have toe cutouts and heavy hardware, along with delicate accessories that could make them stand out as "hot" among a lineup of stilettos. Who are they for? Well, unfortunately these are only flattering on a select few.

The fact that they are flat makes them hard for the average person to wear them well, as most of us need a bit of a heel to even out our proportions. Basically, if you are really, really thin, ballet flats are for you. Also, they seem to work better for those who are quite tall (5'9" or taller) or a bit short (5'3" or less). People of average heights and weights look a bit dumpy in them. I guess 90% of us, myself included, will probably have to skip this trend and look for something more body-friendly. If you do happen to be in that lucky group of people who can wear these fun beauties, do so with dark jeans or a super short mini.

This is where a platform may come in handy. That's right, those platforms from the seventies are back again, but they look a bit different than they did back in the 90's, where they also made a comeback. This time, the look is more streamlined and structured fabric uppers are everywhere. Last time they were around, the heels were made of wood, which is still in some designs, but we're also seeing platform heels that are covered with fabrics as well. Also, they are more conservative than before. Instead of wearing them out on a Saturday night, you'll wear these on casual shopping days, or even to the office if the style is appropriate. Who are they for? Just about anyone. They have some of the comfort of flats, because the heel isn't so sharp, but they also give a little height. They won't make your legs look as toned as high heels might, but they can help. Wear them with plaids and clean, straight-laced looks, or with punky hard edged clothing.

Finally, we've gotten down to the most popular shoes to give winter boots the boot- high heeled pumps. These can be ultra shiny and sexy, or super soft and perfectly appropriate for the office. Either way, they provide just the right amount of style with comfort and warmth, a combination usually impossible to find. Toes are usually rounded, which, luckily for us, means even more comfort. Square heeled toes are acceptable, also, but they usually look best on platform heels. The only downfall to pumps? Closed toes can make women with wide hips look even wider. To solve the problem, select a pump with a peep toe. It's perfectly fine to wear pantyhose with peep toed shoes (when it would never be ok with other open toed shoes), as long as they are black or colored. Wearing them can help out with the warmth factor. The open toe also keeps the leg from having a blunt endpoint, meaning that women with wide hips look longer and leaner. Wear both closed and open toe pumps with, well, just about anything. From jeans, to skirts, to suits, it all works. Keep in mind, though, that they look best with well tailored, fitted outfits. Wearing pumps with loose, flowing fabrics can look a bit dated, so keep the outfits fresh and crisp.

Whatever style of shoe you prefer, rest assured that the feet are holding the spotlight right now. With the surge of sexy, comfortable, and completely wearable shoes coming out, it's likely that shoes will make or break outfits for many years to come. In other words, these styles are so versatile that they probably aren't going anywhere any time soon, so go ahead and hit the boutiques with reckless abandon. You know you want to.