College Style: The Perfect Everyday Shoes

Recently, a style distressed CollegeCandy reader sent us an SOS for a little style assistance:

I have been wearing my 2-year-old ripped Sperrys all winter because I don’t want to dirty up my new, clean ones and can’t wear my Vans with skinny jeans without looking alternative. What I am wondering is, what are some good everyday shoes to wear around campus that aren’t Uggs, rainboots, or make me look like a stereotype?

Being the sweet, generous, fashionable girls that we are, we knew we had to help her out. So we put our style hat on (it’s a knit beanie, BTW) and got to work. And here is our fashion advice for both this college girl in need, and anyone else who’s sick of wearing the same damn Uggs every single day.


Shoes can be tricky. They can make or break an outfit. They’re not always cheap, though, and cheap shoes won’t last long in the wear and tear of college life. It’s a great idea to invest in a couple of pairs of “staple” shoes that will go with anything.

I’m not sure where this particular lady is emailing from, but by the sounds of it she might be somewhere like me in Minnesota where lots of snow really messes with my footwear choices. However, there are dozens of options that you can wear that don’t involve the cankles caused by UGGs or the sweaty calves that come with a day in rainboots.

If you still have a couple of weeks (or months!) of cold weather left, a great pair of boots would be a perfect, versatile addition to your wardrobe. Ankle boots or knee-high hoots look great with skinny jeans and also look fantastic with dresses and skirts. If you don’t want UGGs or rainboots, there are hundreds of different colors and styles you could go for. If you want a style that will go with everything, a simple black or brown ankle boot is a great choice.

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There are lots of styles you can go for. You can opt for a heel (like the ones above), or stick to something more comfortable. A studded boot can give an edgy look, or you could try the military trend with a lace-up ankle boot. Here are my favorites for under $50…


If you fancy something a little more feminine, you can always go for the standard girly ballet flat. Again, they look great with skinny jeans in the warmer months, or with tights and a skirt or dress in the winter. They come in all kinds of styles and colors, but as with boots, a neutral color would definitely be a good idea.

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As you can see here, black is really versatile for ballet flats as they’ll go with anything, but you can also try some pretty, feminine styles or vibrant colors to brighten up your outfit. Here are my favourites…


Finally, if you want something a little more edgy without being too casual, try a menswear inspired oxford shoe. They look edgy and cool with skirts and dresses, but perfect with skinny jeans. They’re definitely a shoe for standing out from the crowd!

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Oxfords can come in a number of different colors, but blacks and browns are most popular. Pair with skinny jeans and a tailored blazer for a masculine look, or something super-girly for a constrast.


You having a fashion emergency? Email us and we’ll get our team of fashionistas on it ASAP!



  1. dark colors for those light color clothes, and also the opposite way… both works..

  2. Yuuki says:

    I'd love to know where you guys go to school that ballet flats can be worn during the middle of winter. Just for snow and slush alone I'd never wear ballet flats in winter; it'd be like wearing flip flops in winter.

    1. Liz says:

      Obviously since this article was written for those who live in colder climates, then this poster is asking where IN THE COLDER CLIMATES can flats be worn in the winter. You're right, it's impractical with the freezing temperatures, slush, and snow. Obviously, if you go to school somewhere warm you can wear flats…but that was not the point of this article!

    2. Laura Kelly says:


    3. Tina says:

      Almost anywhere in California.

    4. Kate says:

      I go to school in the south, its not a problem.

    5. Vicki says:

      I actually do wear flats and even flip flops in the dead of winter. My feet rarely get cold. Last year during the blizzards, I wore flip flops out to walmart, and someone I knew saw me and I had to assure them that no, I'm not crazy.

  3. taylort1991 says:

    or just go for TOMS! they're super comfy and cute :D

  4. thefrugalbeautiful says:

    I live in Chicago and do a LOT of walking- I <3 my Tom's.

  5. Rebecca says:

    Cowboy boots are my everyday shoes. Comfy and go with everything.

  6. Phillip says:

    Ballet flats are very easy to wear, you can wear them with skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans , dresses, and shorts.

  7. This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Thanks a lot!

  8. Hi there, just wanted to say, I liked this article. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

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