By Angela Bakke

Taupe is a tricky neutral -- not quite brown, not quite gray -- and many people feel unsure about how to wear it. But don't be surprised when a pair of taupe shoes ends up being one of your favorites. Learn how to wear them with the right outfits to create a definitive style.

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Blue laces add a playful accent to a men's taupe dress shoe.

Taupe Dress Shoes

Taupe dress shoes with a light-colored suit -- such as tan, khaki, taupe or heather gray -- create a chic, tone-on-tone style that is incomparable. No other shoe color matches both warm earth tones, such as tan, and the cool, steely tones of gray. For an elegant outfit, women can slip on a pair of taupe heels or lace-up Oxfords with a linen suit and a crisp white blouse. Men can wear taupe suede or leather lace-up dress shoes with a slim-fit light gray plaid suit, blue shirt and a blue tie. A white shirt and bold yellow tie add an extra pop of style to your look.

Taupe Sandals

Taupe is a fantastic shade when it comes to summer sandals, because it blends well with with white, linen and the other pale colors that are fashionable in warm weather. It can also hold its own against vibrant, saturated colors, such as indigo, tangerine, bright yellows and pink. Guys may wear a pair of taupe thong-style sandals with a wide mid-row strap with a pair of cargo shorts and a white-linen shirt. A chic summer style for women is a strappy taupe gladiator or T-strap sandal with a white sundress. For a casual look, slide on taupe sandals with a pair of pale blue and white seersucker shorts and a white blouse.

Taupe Boots

Taupe can be the color mediator when you want to mix warm and cool tones. Both men and women can wear a taupe ankle boot with dark denim jeans, a dark gray wool coat and a warm, ochre-colored sweater. These are the occasions when neither black nor brown can tie a look together as well as taupe. Taupe boots give you the freedom to accessorize with warm tones, such as gold jewelry and rich autumn colors. Taupe also complements cool colors and accessories, such as silver jewelry and winter grays and blues.

Taupe Glamor

Taupe shoe styles can add surprising elegance and glamour to an outfit. Wear a pair of dark taupe suede pumps with a sophisticated black monochromatic outfit. If you're wearing a black pencil-skirt suit with a sheer black blouse under it, add a pair of sexy, stiletto taupe suede pumps instead of the typical black shoe for an unexpected twist.