The Skirt And Shoes Combo You Need For A Trendy, Preppy Look This Summer

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For those of us who have a love-hate relationship with heels, this is our summer. The rapidly changing trend cycle may not always be in favor of those of us who love to look comfy and cute, but most fashionistas will be happy to see the latest accessory that's making a comeback and helping us step into the warmer season. The resurrected footwear trend of the day is the kitten heel. Kitten heels are short heels that have much of the effect of high heels without the unstable height or discomfort that taller versions can bring.

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So, how do we style the kitten heel for summer? Combine it with another trend, of course. Preppy looks are "in" these days with more whimsy and uniqueness than before. To lean into this look, the kitten heels and maxi skirt combo is the way to go. "For [complementing] a longer hemline look, 91 percent of our stylists predict that low heels will dominate women's shoes," stylist Gillian McHattie told Marie Claire. "There are endless patterns, silhouettes, and styles" for maxi skirts, she said, adding, "For clients looking for an effortless and chic work outfit, a maxi skirt is top of my list ... I'm loving the resurgence of laidback, 70s-inspired maxi skirts, especially with the new release of the Daisy Jones & The Six series." It's clear that there are more than a few ways to nail this combo, and we've got 'em all.

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Matching skirt and shoes

If you're sporting the winning maxi skirt and kitten heels combination this season, consider making the two pieces match. There's something about shoes and a matching maxi skirt that elongate the silhouette and leave the outfit looking put together in an unexpected way. This white pencil skirt with white peep-toe sandals shows just how chic this look can be, but don't be afraid to embrace color. The idea of these pointed-toe slingbacks peeking out from beneath the hem of this matching green maxi skirt is such a bright, springy combination.

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Denim maxi skirts

While we may not have been expecting denim maxi skirts to be one of the vintage trends making a comeback this season, it's safe to say that they are here to stay all summer. You can pair one with countless kitten heel options — booties make for a particularly cohesive look. "Denim maxi skirts are one of my favorite looks this season," stylist Gillian McHattie told Marie Claire. "For more adventurous clients, I recommend going all out and opting for a denim-on-denim look ... and adding a pop of color with a suede bootie."

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Body-con maxi skirt with strappy sandals

A bodycon maxi skirt can be a sleek and chic way to go long for the summer. This style can be elevated and dressed up a bit with a strappy sandal for a look that's fit for a summer night out. This monochrome ensemble paired with a block heel sandal is a chic twist on an all-black outfit. You can also pair your bodycon maxi or midi skirt with a skinny-heeled strappy sandal in a pop of color

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Add socks to kitten heels

It may seem like a challenge to pull off the tricky trend of wearing socks with heels, but a maxi skirt is an easy way to make this controversial fashion moment your own. Layering up your ensemble can make the visible sock style look congruent and maximalism-inspired. And, if you're feeling extra bold, try this particular look by grabbing some higher socks and folding them down over the back of your heels. Otherwise, consider layering a sheer printed sock under a simple black slingback for the ultimate pairing of fashion-forward and sophisticated.

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Sandals with flowy skirts

Most of us have at least one lightweight and voluminous maxi skirt in our summer wardrobes that we're sure to bring out every year. Styling this type of skirt with sandals is a summertime classic, but this year, why not kick things up a notch? Swapping out a flat sandal with one with a kitten heel can elevate your flowy maxi skirt, both physically and fashion-wise. Try a beige or tan strappy pair with a Bohemian skirt to keep up the easy breezy vibe throughout the ensemble. 

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Classically cool

There's something very classic about a kitten heel, which is what may leave some of us worried that we won't be able to pull off the look in an updated way. Yet, with certain outfits for certain occasions, a classic pair of kitten heels can look chic and sophisticated. Paired with this creamy white skirt and navy blazer, this black and cream pair of pointed toe kitten heels looks perfectly preppy and classy. Get a similar look by pairing a sleek maxi skirt with chic buckle kitten heels

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Add an unexpected color pop

A pop of color is always a go-to when it comes to elevating your ensemble with your footwear. While we may be used to seeing kitten heels in neutral shades like nude and black, choosing a pair in a bold hue can make the look feel updated and fresh. No matter what your style is, we all wear neutral-color outfits now and then. Having a pair of brightly colored kitten heels on hand in your closet is such an easy way to make a neutral look have way more impact.

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Statement shoes

We should all take the opportunity to channel our inner Carrie Bradshaw a bit this summer, and this outfit is the perfect way to do it. When most of us want to add interest to a neutral outfit with our choice in footwear, we're likely to opt for a pop of color. This is, of course, a great choice and can really add some oomph to your outfit. Yet, a statement kitten heel can do so in a much more unique way. A pair with large bows would look so chic with a black-and-white ensemble. 

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Experiment with your color palette

While most folks style their brightest shoes with neutral outfits, there's no better time than summertime to embrace color. Not every colorful outfit needs to be match-y match-y in order to work, and sometimes thinking outside the box can make you shine. This ensemble pairs a baby blue skirt and a blue checked top with a yellow pattern. Rather than doing what most folks would do and opting for a neutral shoe, bringing out the yellow is a uniquely fun pick. Picture green heels with a bold printed skirt. Who could argue with that eye-catching palette? 

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Match your metals

Another unexpected way to add a bit of pizzazz to your kitten heels is by choosing a metallic pair that matches your jewelry. This ties together your accessories and elevates your look by playing with finishes. Plus, if you're looking to pull off the trend of mixing gold and silver jewelry, adding a silver or gold shoe into the mix is sure to make your mixed metal moment even more memorable. These amazingly cool mirrored pumps are definitely on our wishlist. 

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Slingbacks

Kitten heels were "out" for so long that it's easy to see why some folks may be wary of wearing them now that they're back "in." If this sounds like you, we get it, and our recommendation is to try styling a pair that doesn't look quite as much like the ones you may remember from your grandma's closet. A slingback feels a bit fresher and less stuffy, and they lean into the more open and free styling options that summer provides. Plus, they're less likely to give you blisters, which is always a plus.

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Pointed toe

Another style of kitten heel that can make your footwear feel a bit more updated is choosing an option with a pointed toe. This outfit is simple with a black sweater, a beige midi skirt, and black heels. Yet, it's easy to see how this shoe shape takes this simple ensemble and makes it look just a bit more sleek than it would otherwise. Having a black pointed-toe kitten heel in your closet will definitely be a staple moving forward. This classic slingback pair is a perfect go-to that you can style with countless different looks. 

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Coordinate with your print

We all love a bold print for summer, and when it comes to choosing a printed maxi skirt, the options are endless. A great way to coordinate a maxi skirt with a pair of kitten heels is to opt for a skirt in a big, vibrant print, and choose one color to accent with your shoes. For example, this red-and-pink set is so bold and summer-y. Style it with these pink mules for a perfectly colorful and coordinated look. 

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Monochrome metallics

Metallic shoes are a great way to add a subtle boost of interest to your ensemble. That said, if you're ready to channel your inner Swiftie and "make the whole place shimmer," it's time for a monochrome metallic moment. Pair a metallic maxi skirt with a matching shoe like this Badgley Mischka pair for an unexpected way to dress up for a night out. Add on a white T-shirt or black tank top and a boldly colored bag, and you've got a sparkly summer fashion statement. 

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Go chunky with your heel

A low heel doesn't always need to be a skinny one. As the summer season approaches and platforms reign supreme, a low, chunky-heeled sandal is a great way to elevate your maxi skirt look just a bit and hit many trends all at once. Consider swapping your regular flat sandals out for one with a small block heel. It's a quick and easy switch, and it will take your summer outfit to the next level. 

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