Lovely shoes – so forgiving – however big you’re feeling your feet can always look beautiful. Shoes. And coats. I have too many of both. I have piles of shoeboxes at the back of my dressing room and I know it’s one of many areas where I need to have an amnesty…but some of them I’ve hardly worn and they’re really lovely and I keep thinking the day will come when some great event will mean that I need them. The thing about most of the pairs in boxes though is that they either hurt or are ridiculously high or a difficult colour and thinking about it honestly, I know I’m never going to wear them. So here’s my latest wardrobe essentials, footwear.
I do think that shoes are a way that a woman over 40 can look sassy. Bright colours or great prints are definitely a style statement so there is justification for having a range of shoes as long as you wear them. Let’s say 85% of your collection should have an element of comfort and practicality. That means you can justify having 15% of a shoe collection that are statement only.
So I’m going to do the same as I did with coats and try to devise an essential shoe list for winter – I can’t get in the mood for sandals when it’s freezing outside so I’ll update this in the Spring.
Winter wardrobe essentials, footwear
- Flat pumps – whether ballerinas or pointed toes, I really do think that there is a reason for having loads of these in bright colours, along with some pony skin animal prints and metallics.
- Loafers – ballerinas rarely look chic worn with socks, so for colder days have a great pair of good quality penny loafers or driving shoes
- Meeting shoes – whether you work or not, there’s always a time when you need to look like a woman who knows what she’s doing. These need to be elegant enough to finish an outfit but also practical for managing stairs, escalators, car parks, tubes and trains etc. Nobody looks the part when they’re hobbling.
- Party shoes – 2 pairs of gorgeous shoes (maybe 3) that you can’t wait to take off by the end of the night. Snakeskin are always elegant and go with lots of colours, black for the LBD and possibly a metallic pair to give an edge to an outfit that could otherwise be too classic.
- Ankle boots – especially hot right now, you need relaxed ankle boots for wearing with jeans and some smart casual ones for dressing things up a bit – they look great with skirts and trousers as long as the cut across the narrowest part of your ankle.
- Knee length boots – A simple pair of black and brown mid height heel along with some classic brown or tan riding boots for casual
- Wellies – the weather is changing for the wetter and you need a good pair of wellies for rain and snow. Printed designs are rarely chic. Go for a pair of Hunters in a neutral colour (I never understand why women go for red or pink – you’re not 5) the gloss ones add extra panache. Or, if you live in the country, Le Chameau and Barbour are popular (if you have the budget).
- Slippers – these can be warm and attractive – big fluffy mules from M&S don’t flatter anyone. Try Boden for fur lined velvet ballet slippers or The White Company for faux suede.
And oh dear – my intention with this cold headed analysis was to edit the shoes I have but now I realise there’s a loafer shaped hole in my collection. Might be the topic for a post v. soon!
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