The “Wrong Shoe Theory” Is The Winning Fashion Trend of 2023

The “Wrong Shoe Theory” Is The Winning Fashion Trend of 2023

The “wrong shoe theory” has me in a chokehold, and I’m not mad about it



To me, fashion had always been about coordination. From color-coded looks to uniform aesthetics, every outfit I'd put together had to be cohesive from head to toe. Sounds rigid? Well, it was! And for a while, this caused major friction in my relationship with fashion. As I was always unnecessarily pressuring myself to achieve perfection, one bit of misalignment easily ruined my day. Okay, this may sound too dramatic, but I was pretty miserable! 


Until one day, I decided enough was enough. As I grew increasingly more scared of failing to achieve perfect outfit cohesion, I knew I had to search for some sort of escape—one that allowed me the freedom to break away from outfit coordination and the rigidity of it all. Enter the winning fashion trend of 2023 that changed my life (quite literally): the “wrong shoe theory.”


Meet the wrong shoe theory

This can’t be real, can it?


Simply put, the wrong shoe theory is wearing a shoe that does not match the vibe of the rest of your outfit—be it matching ugly dad shoes with a dainty dress or putting on a sexy pair of stiletto heels over a street look. Sounds weird? I thought so, too. That was until I watched this TikTok explaining the trend.


@truthfullycharlie The wrong shoe theory #fyp #fashiontip #fashionhack ♬ original sound – Charlie ☻


I was flabbergasted. I mean, there was no way this theory worked. After years of forcing coordination into my looks, this new formula was nothing short of unsettling. So I did more research to try to prove my point that this couldn’t be real. But to my surprise, even celebrities and fashion icons took the wrong shoe theory out for a spin and killed it! From Priyanka Chopra rocking the ugliest Crocs with her silk dress to our very own Liz Uy rocking Sambas over the chicest slip dress, these style icons made the theory work.



Okay, my turn

There was no way this would work for me


As a skeptic, I wasn’t entirely convinced until I tried the trend on myself. There were a lot of mental barriers to overcome, so I wanted to start light—trying on my Converse with a little white dress to campus. It was out of character for me to ditch my dainty flats on a look like this, but surprisingly, it didn’t feel too weird. So I leveled up a little more the next time, opting for a red kitten heel over a basic denim jeans look. 



I don’t know about you, but I think I did a decent job pulling off the trend. And as time passed, I began incorporating it more into my looks. Experimenting here and there, I didn’t realize I began patching up my relationship with fashion bit by bit. Suddenly, outfit prepping was fun again! With rigidity out of the way, it was time to play.



And now, it’s your turn

It’s never too late to try it out


If you’ve been struggling with freshening up your style game, I highly suggest trying this trend! But where should you start? From Crocs and Birks to dad sneakers and dainty ballet flats, here are our top recos for you.



And if you’re looking for inspiration on how to style the wrong shoe theory for yourself, some of our favorite icons have been working overtime to serve the freshest looks your way!



2023 saw a lot of amazing fashion trends, but the wrong shoe theory hit the ball straight out of the park! What is your wrong shoe pick?



Words Vanessa Tiong 

Art Macky Arquilla

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