Make My Outfit Work: Silver Gladiator Sandals… Try our Inspiration Board with Three Style Variations!

silver gladiator shoes

Q:Personal Stylist, Please Make my Outfit Work: Silver Gladiator Sandals. Try our Inspiration Board with Three Style Variations!

I have a date coming up and I don’t know what to wear. Well, I kind of have an idea already, but still not sure if it works and hope that you can help me.

I have attached a picture of the outfit that I would like to wear so you can please advise me if it’s right and if the silver gladiator shoes match the dress. Ohhh, my dress has a star print and is a black strapless tube dress. Hope to hear from you… thanks!(via email)


When you are wearing something rather glaringly outrageous, like your super rockin’ silver gladiator stiletto sandals, that item must be the focal point of your outfit. Also, going a theme like matching silver gladiators to a star print dress is a bit too Gallatic for my taste.

What we need to do is deconstruct your outfit to make it work. We have three style variations on your inspiration board.

I would take the shoes first since they are obviously special and something that is more of a one-season trend than a long-term wardrobe staple. To look both modern and chic, you want to balance the shininess of the shoe with more muted colors to tone it down and have it be the focal point of your look. The weightiness of gladiators makes them a bit more sporty than dressy, even though yours are almost as shiny as aluminum foil!

Inspiration Board Ideas- Three Ways to Style Your Outfit:

Elizabeth and James at ShopStyle

On your inspiration board, I have paired your shoes with a very lightweight and loose fitting heather grey blouson T-shirt and tan shorts with a paperbag waist. If need another layer, try a well-worn denim jacket.

The softness and non-fitted cut of these separates makes the shoes look more elegant and the look more off-handed than something tight that would look tarty. The only jewelry you would need is a fun silver charm bracelet that has a bit weight to it, yet still delicate.

Now for yourstar-print tube dress that is, frankly, a very weird length on you and rather shapeless. I am really hoping that this is a more flattering fit in person. I would take the hem up a couple of inches to look fresh. You can also try a low-slung hip belt and gather the dressup to mimic the silhouette of the light blue dress on your inspiration board. It you gather the dress up, keep the look fun and casual with short, well-worn western boots.

From what I can see, your dress looks bluer than black but that’s the easiest thing to work around. Let’s 86 your very flimsy chain bracelet and long dangling chain necklace—they look too much like trinkets and are not in balance with you gladiators—more is merrier when it comes to very delicate jewelry. If you want to wear jewelry with your tube dress try chandelier earrings or a chunky bracelet.

If you are going on a more dressy route, I would try a black chunkier sandal with a platform that still has a feminine touch without being girly. For a lower key look, try an ankle wrap flat sandal. If you keep to an all black look, punch it up with a blast of colorlike the shocking pink clutch, which will also look cute with your beige shorts.

Always stay in balance and never get too matchy-matchy and try to over coordinate. You have the basic elements for a few great looks if you lay with the pairing. Have fun on your date!

Oh, and when you date come by, remove the toilet paper roll that’s sitting on your computer in the photo… just a suggestion, wink, wink!

Need fashion advice? Crave a stylist? Ask Sharon!

–June 11, 2009