How to Choose Shoes that Flatter Your Figure

Did you know that different types of shoes can have an affect on your figure? From high-heeled booties to simple ballet flats, the shoe doesn't always fit all body types; here's what you need to know.

When you're pulling together a stylish outfit, shoes can sometimes fall under the 'accessories' category and become an afterthought. Most women choose a pair of shoes based on comfort, a match for the outfit, and the latest trend, but did you know that different types of shoes can have an affect on your figure as well? From high-heeled booties to simple ballet flats, the shoe doesn't always fit all body types and figures. Determining your body type is the first step; after that, you'll be able to narrow you're your choices to update your shoe closet with ease. Here's how to choose shoes that flatter your figure:

Shoes for Curvy and Petite Women

Curvy and petite women need to stick with the basics and avoid super-high heels that can make them look out of proportion. If you're short and curvy, your best picks are platform shoes with no more than a 3" heel, ankle boots, wedge sandals, and chunky heels. Avoid ballet flats that can make you look even shorter; no matter how cute those sequined flats may be, save them for casual days at home! Espadrille wedge sandals that tie around the ankles and calves can draw too much attention to shorter legs, so pick 'barely there' footwear whenever possible to lengthen the legs instead; think slides and sandals that are beige or skin-colored that naturally enhance the length.

Shoes for Skinny and Tall Women

You can enjoy your model-like lengths with almost any type of shoe, but the best way to accentuate your figure and create the illusion of an hourglass figure is with a sturdy pair of skinny heels. Pencil-thin heels are great for skinny women who want to enjoy a truly feminine look; if you want to cut back on height, look for kitten heels that offer plenty of comfort without the extra inches. You'll still get a little 'lift' from the heel that can make your legs and calves stand out. Other top picks for skinny and tall women include ballet flats, peep-toe pumps, and shoes with at least a 2"-3" heel. Avoid super-chunky heels, platforms, and over-the-top booties that add weight to your legs; you can get a streamlined look with shoes that actually match your figure, not the opposite.

Shoes for Skinny and Petite Women

If you're short and skinny, you have a few more options than your curvier counterparts. Still, there's a 'high-heel limit' on what works for your figure, so steer clear of heels above 2.5"-3" whenever possible. The best bets for skinny and petite women are ankle booties, platform heels, wedge heels, and skintight knee-high boots . Avoid being mistaken for a schoolgirl by wearing ballet flats or Mary Jane's (unless that is the look you're going for), and dress up your look instead with peep-toe pumps, and shoes with rounded toes.

Shoes for Athletic and Muscular Women

Women who have a muscular build can have difficulty with squeezing their super-sculpted calves into knee-high boots and pulling off ladylike stiletto pumps with ease. Nevertheless, there are better choices to show off those curves. Platform pumps are a great pick for women who have strong legs, and work especially well with skirts and dresses that fall above the knee. If you're heading out in jeans or dress pants, pair them up with super-pointed shoes with at least a 3"- 4" heel (your buff legs can bare it), and skip the super-skinny stilettos for banana heels and thicker wedge heels whenever possible; this lets you enjoy the height while balancing your heavier legs.

Whether you're petite, muscular, skinny, or super-tall, you'll find shoes that will flatter your figure and enhance your best assets, while others can actually work against you. The goal is to create a balanced look with your figure so you're not drawing too much attention to shoes that are out of proportion; take the time to try a few of the season's latest styles so you can pull off almost any trend with just the right pair of heels.