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The Wrong Shoe Theory On TikTok Is The Style Hack You Need To Try

Since more and more eclectic looks are in for summer and fall 2023, you might be looking for new style hacks that are completely out of the box. Thanks to the viral Wrong Shoe Theory on Tiktok, fashion enthusiasts are now deliberately opting for shoes that are unique and non-traditional, prioritizing creative expression over practicality and changing the overall vibe of their look from simple to intentional. 

Allison Bornstein, the wardrobe stylist who outlined this trend on TikTok, advocates for incorporating alternative-style footwear to add more personality into your look. For example, instead of wearing sneakers with a more sporty fit, wear something more of a contrast (business casual). While pairing some of your favorite sneakers with a dress isn’t entirely new, styling this simple “wrong” combo can make your closet much more interesting.

If loving the wrong shoe theory is wrong, then I don’t want to be right at all. Celebs like Kendall Jenner and Taylor Swift are already rocking this trend, and now you can, too. Here are some cool new unexpected shoe style alternatives that will make a bold fashion statement and set you apart from the crowd.


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

For a bold and daring statement, consider wearing a pair of boots with one of your more dressy outfits. Whether you opt for combat boots, cowboy boots, or even go-gos, these footwear choices add a touch of grit to a more polished look. By exploring various boot styles and dress combinations, you’ll discover limitless possibilities to express your unique style, creating captivating and attention-grabbing outfits that truly reflect your softer-yet-edgy personality.


What better “wrong” shoe to incorporate into your ‘fit than Crocs? You must know about the heated Crocs debate, but if you’re a fan of these classic clogs, you’re well aware of their versatile nature. Their unique style can effortlessly be paired with a wide range of outfits. From this preppy mini skirt to maxi dresses, Crocs complement any look with their softness and comfortable design. Bonus points if you accessorize with your favorite Jibbitz.


By adding flip-flops to your professional attire, you effortlessly blend formal and casual styles, infusing a laid back charm. Flip-flops are a modern, fashion-forward way to break conventional boundaries and showcase your individuality. Pairing a classic power suit with flip-flops also elevates these relaxed essentials to new heights, creating a confident and unexpected juxtaposition.


Incorporating heels with sweatpants, or even your newest pajama set, takes the concept of loungewear to new heights. This instantly elevates your look to one that’s effortlessly chic, as the combination of the casual sweatpants and the sleek heels creates a perfect balance of comfort and style. While the relaxed bottoms matched with the elevated footwear creates a striking contrast, it ultimately makes it a perfect choice for those who want to stand out in a fashionable way.

Mismatched Prints

Don’t be afraid to mix and match unexpected patterns and textures. Channel your own Jess from New Girl by pairing your animal print ballerina flats with your polka dot dress. It’s giving 2013 Tumblr, but these contrasting prints will reflect your unique sense of style. To prevent your outfit from looking completely “wrong,” try to find prints that belong to the same color family.


It’s almost a no-brainer to elevate your outfit by adding sneakers. Pairing your most elegant dresses with comfortable and stylish sneakers creates a chic ensemble. You can walk into any occasion with confidence and comfort. Whether you choose a breezy maxi skirt for those sunny days or a mini dress for a night out, the addition of sneakers adds a touch of individuality and coolness to your overall appearance.

Lily Brown

Emerson '25

Lily Brown is a writer at the Her Campus National Writers Program. She writes for the Style and Culture verticals on the site, including fashion, beauty, decor, digital, and entertainment coverage. Beyond Her Campus, this fall Lily will be a junior at Emerson College in Boston, MA, majoring in Journalism with a Publishing minor. She works as the Creative Director for the on-campus lifestyle publication, Your Magazine, where she establishes and curates the conceptual design and content for the entire publication ranging from style, romance, music, pop culture, personal identity, and college experiences. She has written and photographed for Your Mag along with several other on-campus magazines. Lily was recently recognized for her work on YM and awarded an EVVY for Outstanding Print Publication. In her free time, Lily maybe spends a little too much time keeping a close eye on captivating red carpet and runway fashion, and binge-watching her favorite shows. She also enjoys expressing her thoughts through creative writing, exploring new destinations, serving delectable ice cream and cookies at a local bake shop, and blasting ABBA, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, and Lady Gaga on Spotify. Additionally, she actively contributes to fostering a sense of community among college residents as a dedicated Residential Assistant.