The Genius Behind TikTok’s Latest ‘Wrong Shoe Theory’ Styling Hack

This unorthodox styling hack has the fashion girlies in a chokehold
Photo: Instagram / @mianne.chan

We’ve all been through the agonising pain of rifling through our wardrobes with absolutely nothing to wear. On those days where every coordination imaginable seems completely irredeemable as the one, perhaps TikTok’s newest ‘Wrong Shoe Theory’ trend may be the sartorial solution for you to make things work.

Challenging the conventional rules of matching appropriate shoes with outfits, this theory goes against everything we once believed in when it comes to coordinated dressing. Gone are the days when the perfect shoe co-ord was the gold rule; today, fashion mavens embrace the unexpected, seeking to create an intriguing visual narrative through footwear choices. Coined by stylist Allison Bornstein on TikTok, the ‘Wrong Shoe Theory’ encourages us to abandon the safety of traditional pairings and embrace the thrill of juxtaposing shoe styles to create a visual difference.

@allisonbornstein6 how to make your look feek styled and intentional….. #stylist #stylingtips #sneakers #summerstyle @Lucy Williams @Lauren Chan @Kendall Jenner @Imani Randolph ♬ original sound – Allison Bornstein

Having hesitations? Picture the scene: a glamorous soirée, where a high-powered executive steps onto the scene, her tailored pantsuit exuding power and sophistication. Yet, defying expectations, she strolls confidently in an athletic sneaker, a playful nod to rebellion and a rejection of conformity. Perhaps the ‘Wrong Shoe Theory’ simply speaks to the rebellious nature of Gen Z, or it’s just high time we ditched the conventional decrees that once governed fashion. Across the board, we’re seeing fashion icons welcoming the trend with open arms, rewriting the rules with audacious elegance and style influencers are donning stiletto heels with casual denim shorts.

Photo: Instagram / @himichelleli
Photo: Instagram / @emilisindlev

For the conservative dresser, the nuanced trend may seem hard to nail down, but never fear—below, find our style picks to pull off the ‘Wrong Shoe Theory’ with ease.

Shop Now:

Rosie Assoulin Plaid bustier, $1,659 on Farfetch, SHOP NOW
Rosie Assoulin Plaid skirt, $2,953 on Farfetch, SHOP NOW
NIKE Zoom Vomero 5, $175 on HBX, SHOP NOW
Gucci T-shirt, $890 on Mytheresa, SHOP NOW
Good American Denim Shorts, $165 on NET-A-PORTER, SHOP NOW
KENZO Kenzosmile loafers, $1165 on KENZO, SHOP NOW
Alessandra Rich Bustier Top, $1125 on Moda Operandi, SHOP NOW
Alessandra Rich Wool Maxi Skirt, $875 on Moda Operandi, SHOP NOW
Toteme Flip-flops, $536 on Farfetch, SHOP NOW
LOVESHACKFANCY minidress, $545 on Mytheresa, SHOP NOW

Read more: ‘Digital Lavender Nails’ Are Taking Over As Tiktok’s Most Coveted Manicure

Isabel Marant boots, $1370 on Isabel Marant, SHOP NOW
GANNI maxi dress, $621 on NET-A-PORTER, SHOP NOW
Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 SD, $220 on Onitsuka Tiger, SHOP NOW
BLACK COMME DES GARÇONS Jacket, $1500 on Dover Street Market, SHOP NOW
SAINTED SISTERS Silk chemise, $230 on Selfridges, SHOP NOW
SALOMON XT-6 Sneaker, $287 on FWRD, SHOP NOW