Sami Lyons poses for a portrait on the steps of the Canfield Administration building on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Some people think accessories like jewelry and handbags make an outfit, while others let their clothes speak for themselves.

For me, however, shoes determine whether an outfit is a hit or miss. I love clothes and purses, but I love shoes even more. A trendy shoe can make your outfit go from basic and understated to fashionable and put together as soon as you slip it on.

It's important to understand the value of your shoes, and not only what they do for your outfit, but what they do for your confidence and daily mood. But a common problem is trying to figure out the perfect shoe for every situation. Here is a list of situations you might find yourself in and the pair of shoes that best fits the circumstances.

A job interview

The task of landing a job looms over our heads while we’re in college. We’re one step away from starting down our career paths, which can be nerve racking and overwhelming. Some college student might want to wear heels or booties to an interview, but that could be a disaster waiting to happen. If you aren’t used to walking in heels, you’re more likely to look uncomfortable, trip or even fall. And you also don’t want to be thinking about your throbbing feet while the interviewer asks you questions. I recommend wearing a nice pair of black loafers or mules to the interview. These will be dressier and more professional than regular flats but a safer and smarter choice than heels. This way you can focus on killing your interview rather than killing your feet.

A wedding

Finding the perfect dress for a formal event is exciting and all, but finding shoes that go with it and are also comfortable to walk, dance and have fun in can be a challenge. I would recommend wearing block heels instead of wedges or stilettos. Wedges can sometimes make an outfit seem more casual, which is not what you want if you are going to a wedding. And stilettos hurt your feet like no other, and it’s nearly impossible to dance in them. Trust me, I’ve tried. That leaves us with block heels, which will give you the formal look you are wanting with better support than a stiletto. These are super popular right now, and you can find them just about anywhere. My favorite pair is from Steve Madden, and I wear them all the time.  

An airport

Airport style has just recently become a trendy concept. We see our favorite celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid going for a more dressed up look at the airport, which is not what most are used to. It is convenient to be dressed ready for anything when getting on a plane because you never know what you might have to do when you land. It is also a perfect opportunity to finally wear that popular street-style outfit you just bought. I think platform sandals are perfect for the airport because you can quickly take them off when going through security, and they don’t hurt your feet at all. This will dress up your look effortlessly and leave you comfortable and ready to do whatever you need to do when you land.

A family event

When it comes to family events like birthday dinners or holiday celebrations, I struggle with feeling too dressed up or not dressed up enough. You never want to look like you don’t care, but you also don’t want to show up wearing heels for your sister’s birthday party. This is when heeled booties really come in handy. Booties can be paired with jeans, dresses and skirts, and the little heel will dress up your look just the right amount. My favorite are my snakeskin booties. I wore these for my brother’s 30th birthday last month and not only did everyone love them, but I was not too dressed up or too casual.