With so many styles to choose from, it’s hard to know what to wear and what will be relevant in the seasons to come. Crissi Giamos, style expert from Town Shoes, gives us the scoop on shopping for shoes and how to style these new trends.
1. Assess your current collection
Take a look at the shoes in your closet and make four piles: keep, fix, charity and toss.
Keep the shoes you’re guaranteed to wear in heavy rotation and decide if any of your favourite pairs need a tune-up from a cobbler. (Cobblers can fix wobbly heels or scuffed toes.)
If you have shoes that are in fairly good condition but haven’t been worn for several seasons, it’s time to pass them along. “Donate them to a women’s hostel or a charity of choice,” Giamos advises.
If you have shoes that have been gathering dust but are true classics, consider finding a way to reintroduce them into your fall wardrobe. For example, those pointy-toed pumps you haven’t worn in a while might look great with the flared jeans that are back in fashion for fall.
The key here is to differentiate what you truly need from what you want – the age-old task when prepping for a shopping excursion. In doing so, you’ll be set for shopping success.
2. What style of boot is the best investment?
When shopping for fall footwear, boots are top of mind for most women, and they can often be a difficult purchase due to the sheer variety: high-heeled, flat, motorcycle, ankle-high, knee-high and more.
Giamos suggests simple riding boots for fall: “Tall, leather, mid-heel riding boots are a great investment.”
If you’re looking for something slightly funkier, opt for riding boots with interesting hardware details.
For styling, nothing beats a slim jean or trouser tucked neatly into equestrian-inspired boots. In terms of colour, Giamos says browns and cognacs are a versatile and fashionable choice this year.
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3. Classic or kitten heel?
There are so many heel options out there – finding the perfect heel really just depends on your personal style and lifestyle. If you’re not comfortable wearing high heels but want a touch of height and glamour, the kitten heel is the way to go.
“This sensible style has been photographed on the feet of smartly dressed women, including the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, her sister Pippa and Michelle Obama,” says Giamos. For outfit pairing, get ahead of the curve and take a cue from high fashion: “Chanel featured the kitten heel this fall with skirts and pants: wide, rolled up or slim.”
For higher heels (anything three inches or more), opt for a classic pump. Although high heels have reached record heights in recent years with impractical platforms, you can never go wrong with an elegant black or navy pump. Platform heels aren’t always work-appropriate and can look cartoonish if worn incorrectly.
4. Try out a wedge
Wedges are a happy medium between heels and flats. With slim jeans, a skirt or a dress, the wedge is always flattering to the leg. They’re a great alternative if you find traditional high heels awkward or uncomfortable. “All women can wear wedges! They’re the perfect counterpoint to sky-high, pin-prick stilettos and are available in all heights and widths,” says Giamos.
Wedges look great with most outfits – with the exception of pencil skirts. Choose a dainty heel or flat for that kind of trim, tailored look.
5. Update your flats
If you already have a pair of oxfords in your closet, try this season’s take on menswear: the penny loafer.
Like oxfords, loafers are perfect when paired with cuffed trousers or jeans and are a great way to smarten up a casual, menswear-inspired look. With a feminine blouse, loafers and slacks are a classic way to step out like a tomboy whilst maintaining a touch of femininity.
To add some playfulness to your fall wardrobe, look for a comfortable ballet flat in leopard print. Nothing says style savvy like black separates matched with a pop of animal print. “And don’t forget to carry a pair of flats around with you when wearing higher heels,” says Giamos. After all, nothing is less fashionable than blistered, sore feet stuck in a pair of new shoes.
When adding footwear to your closet this fall, remember to take a look at what you have, decipher what you need and determine what styles suit your lifestyle best. You might also want to pick up some shoe protectant to treat those gorgeous leather or suede shoes that you purchased – the sidewalks will be salty before you know it!
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