A single shoe can change your life. Cinderella proved this fact and the importance of footwear has been engrained into most women from an early age. As little girls we put on our mother’s high heels and strut down the hallway, and as adults we get a little flutter in our hearts every time we see a beautiful shoe. I personally pride myself on the ability to walk into any shoe store or department and immediately pick up the most expensive shoe they have (seriously, it’s a problem). There is an allure in footwear that all women should appreciate. The perfect shoe should be both comfortable, and beautiful. There are certain shoes that no women should be without. These shoes will carry you through life with grace, ease, and beauty. Don’t blow this off – shoes are LITERALLY the foundation of our wardrobe.
When building a shoe wardrobe there are certain factors everyone needs to consider – fit, comfort, color, and style. A basic shoe collection should include enough basic shoes to get you through all of life’s events, and enough fun shoes to keep you happy. Here’s my guide for the shoes every women should own:
Every women should own simple, classic ballet flats in black and brown leather. I also find that a metallic (mine are bronze) and a nude pair round out my wardrobe. You can also find statement colors and patterns that should make you smile. There’s a reason ballet flats are so popular in France – they’re chic, sophisticated and comfortable. Check out J. Crew’s selection for a quality pair.
The basic Barbie pump is an essential in every working woman’s wardrobe (and every stylish woman’s). Look for nothing taller than 3 inches – you’re not a hooker. Every women should own pumps in black patent, black leather, and nude. They go with everything and make you look professional without sacrificing your femininity. I also suggest getting a red pair for when you want to make a statement. Leopard Print and a soft blush pink are also good pairs to own for nights out. My personal favorite brand is Ivanka Trump because they are unbelievable comfortable and last forever.
You should have wedges in both sandals and booties. Have sandals in black, brown, and white (leather is best, as always) and booties in black and brown. These are great for going out with friends, parties, and more casual cute events. Be sure you don’t get anything too high, you don’t want to trip and fall (trust me, I’ve done it), but you can go higher than 3 inches if you’re confident in your ability to walk in heels. If not, there’s a post on that coming up tomorrow!
I live in flat sandals in the summer. They’re cute, comfortable and pretty. Be sure to buy a quality brand, or you may end up experiencing the soles falling off (which makes for an unelegant departure from a garden party- seriously embarrassing). Buy pairs in brown, black, gold, silver, white, and any statement color you like. You can never have too many sandals, I wear them daily in the summer. (I’m in black Ralph Lauren’s right now and love them.) Just be sure they’re classic styles – a strap between the big and second toes and a buckle fastening around the ankle. Avoid heavy ankle straps because they make your legs look extremely short
For those casual vacations and running around the house, these are essential. You should have at least one neutral (brown, black or tan) pair, but otherwise enjoy colors and patterns. My personal favorite brands are Yellowbox and Rainbow because they’re super comfortable.
Here is a shoe you can have fun with – mine are black and neon pink. But I have some rules for sneakers – ONLY WEAR THEM TO THE GYM OR WHEN DOING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Don’t wear them to the grocery, don’t wear them on vacation…they’re gym shoes, but that doesn’t mean they’re boring. Get a pair that’s most suited for the type of exercise you do – running, walking, hiking, cross training. Sneakers are one type of shoe that you need to invest in. BUY FROM A REPUTABLE BRAND – I lean towards Nikes. Buy them at a quality department store or the brand’s own store. Seriously, you want the right fit and support or else you can do serious damage to your feet, which will make walking from your bed to the bathroom painful. If you don’t pay attention to anything else in this post, please buy good sneakers.
Boots are for fall and winter, pretty much exclusively. And yes, they’re necessary. I recommend having two pairs of riding boots in black and brown leather, and learn to polish them (yet another post on shoe care will be coming up soon). Make sure they’re comfortable! I definitely recommend Enzo Angiolini, since they’re the first pair of boots I’ve owned that have never given me blisters. You should also have a pair of rainboots in any color you like, my favorite brand is Hunter. And if you’re in the south cowboy boots are a necessity, you can buy them at consignment stores like this one in Atlanta if you want to save money.