'How the "wrong shoe theory" completely changed my style.'

A fashion stylist shared a tip on TikTok that I haven't been able to stop thinking about. The video has since disappeared from my algorithm so sadly I can't credit her, but I digress.

She basically said that when choosing which shoes to wear, go for the ones you least expect to go with your outfit - the 'wrong shoe'. They'll make it more interesting, surprising, and cool. 

It makes sense - that's probably why sneakers have been popular styled with skirts and dresses for so long. But that look has become so mainstream it's lost its shock factor.

Last year, I bought two pairs of shoes I insisted I would never own, and they confirmed the stylist's theory. They also completely changed the way I get dressed.

The first pair were Birkenstocks - my entire family owns them and I've always refused. 

But after seeing celebrities and fashion influencers wearing the Birkenstock Bostons, and hearing they're all the rage in Europe, I spent months trying to track them down.

Image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg. 


The clog-like style that was extremely popular in the '90s and early '00s has made a comeback - there's a good chance you or your parents once owned them.

After getting my hands on them, I've worn my Birks to death, putting the theory to the test and trying them with various outfits I would usually pair with sneakers or boots.

I'm loving them with a t-shirt and jeans for a casual look, tailored pants and an oversized blazer for something a little more polished, and when it's cold, I'm even wearing them with trackies.

Image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg.


And it's made fashion fun again!

By buying something out of my comfort zone, and something I vowed I'd never own because they're "ugly" or "I couldn't pull them off", it has pushed me to be more experimental.

This is where we get to my second pair of shoes - the ones that really changed my style. 

Crocs. Yep, I mean the waterproof, slip-on rubber shoes usually reserved for kids, chefs, or the very edgy.

Crocs recently released a platform version of their classic clogs in various bright colours, and I knew immediately I wanted a pair. So odd, yet so enticing.

They arrived just before my recent trip to Bali and I wore them on the plane over and most days on the trip - with a bikini while hanging around the villa or denim shorts and a tee when heading out.

Image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg. 


And although I got a few strange stares, I LOVED them - they're fun and different (not to mention unbelievably comfortable) and somehow make me feel more confident.

I wear them with activewear when ducking to the shops or taking my dog out, but I haven't been brave enough to wear them to the office... yet.

The thing is, for me this is about so much more than some divisive shoes - it's about getting creative with fashion and trying things I usually wouldn't.

I'm leaning into bright colours too, when previously my wardrobe was almost entirely neutral, and I'm upping my accessories.

My sunglasses collection has grown and now features fun, oversized, colourful shades that bring some energy to an otherwise simple outfit. 

And I'm mixing up my nails - swapping out my trusty nude for colour.


I know none of these looks groundbreaking - most are just on-trend - but it's a good reminder to shake things up.

Try new things. Experiment. If you don't like it, you don't have to do it again.

In a year or two, I might look back at these fashion decisions and think I was mad.

But fashion should be fun, and right now I'm just having a blast wearing my weird shoes.

Charlie Begg is Mamamia's lifestyle writer. For more beauty, fashion and homewares recommendations, follow her on Instagram.

Feature image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg.

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