Six Stylish Essential Shoes for Autumn

Sunday 15 November 2015

The leaves are falling, the skies are misty. Halloween and pumpkin spice lattes have come and gone. Bare feet and toes roaming free in flip flops and sandals are but a distant memory. But don't despair, because autumn brings with it lots of opportunity to parade around in badass footwear. I say bring on the boots, tackle those trainers and go wild for wedges.

I absolutely love autumn dressing, and get a little thrill packing away my summer shoes for some more cold weather friendly options.  So here are my essential, must-have shoes to get the wardrobe ready for autumn.

The Chelsea Boot


A borrowed-from-the-boys classic, there’s something very enduring, very charming and very Mod about the Chelsea boot. Wearing them conjures up a Pantheon of cultural associations, from the equestrian vibe to The Beatles in their suited and booted incarnation.

In classic black leather, these pair up brilliantly with opaques and A-line skirts, t-shirt dresses, slim jeans or tailored trousers. And if you're brave enough to try this season’s kick flare shape, they're a natural conclusion.

They bring a smart uptown look to any outfit that is a step above a grungy biker boot but just as comfortable. And the traditional elasticated panel means they pull on with no fuss. I've wanted a pair for ages, and last year I scored this simple black pair from Zara. If you feel more daring, try a pair in velvet or patent grey, burgundy or navy blue.

The Neutral Loafer


The next essential in my autumn shoe-drobe is a neutral flat that pairs with anything. You may be thinking ‘But those are leopard print?’ but then you should know that I subscribe to the Vogue ruling that leopard is the sixth neutral. It fits into every look, but also adds a good dash of knowing boldness to any look.

My winter outfits can be a little dark,  and quite plain. Adding and leopard flat elevates my look in an instant and just adds a bit of extra dimension.

And leopard is anything it's finest on a flat, especially a relaxed slipper shape.The loafer shape is a step on from your run of the mill ballet flat and gives a modern feel to any outfit.

I found this really cute pair in Primark for an absolute bargain price, and they're just perfect for the changing season.

The Go- Anywhere Long Boot


Another absolute essential is a quality pair of boots, and I find a dark brown to be the most versatile shade. I like a pair of boots that multitasks and these are ideal.

They have a small kitten heel that means they're comfortable to wear and yet dressy enough to go somewhere nice in, plus this gorgeous lace up detailing at the back that gives them a point of interest.

The slightly pointed toe elongates the foot and the leg as well, which helps. My lovely husband bought me these boots quite a few years ago and although I wear them a lot and have had them re heeled several times, they're still in gorgeous condition.

The knee length style will never date and they look amazing over skinny trousers or with midi skirts. 

The Party Flat


Nine times out of ten, I will choose a flat over a heel. I'm quite tall anyway and I get super grouchy if my feet hurt, plus, you know, I always like to be ready to run away from dragons at any given moment.

There's an element of subversion and the unexpected in the style I favour, so I love to make unexpected contrasts. If I'm wearing a short skirt or dress, I much prefer flats to balance the look out and make it less obvious.

The challenge,however, is to find flats that are dressy enough to work with an evening look. That's why it was love at first sight when I spotted these ‘Amerie’ pointed flats, again from Dune.

They're the latest addition to my shoe wardrobe and I’m obsessed with the elegant shape and the beautiful finish with its soft sparkle. They shine silver in some lights and gold in others, so they go with pretty much everything as well. They make me want to twirl and dance about - definitely party shoes!

There's not many outfits these elegant flats wouldn't go with and there's something Parisienne about flatties with a skirt.

The Trainer De Luxe


Over the past few years, trainers have crept back into the fashion spotlight, and this move from banishment to the gym to front and centre in discerning wardrobes has been spearheaded by the arrival of luxe trainers with added design bells and whistles.

Trainers are now a sporty punctuation mark to a look rather than an outfit killer, and even the Frow mavens have been ditching stilettos for track shoes for several years now. In response, the trainer has seriously upped its game, with bright colourways, patterned fabrics, contrasting laces and details designed to be seen (although the pointedly plain white sneaker also has its place, such as the Adidas Stan Smiths worn by Celine’s Phoebe Philo).

This pair of ‘Ennis’ trainers, again from Dune, are my response to the trend. I’ll admit I was slow getting on board, as the idea that trainers were anything but slovenly outside of the gym is a firmly rooted idea of mine. But these fancy sneaks won me over, partly because they are so blatantly not designed to be worn for exercise!

Featuring a soft ponyskin finish - again in leopard print, OK so I might have a slight problem, I love the stuff - with nude leather and gold metallic toe caps. These shoes are pretty enough even to convince a trainer phobia like me. They're so dressed up,  they eliminate my concern about trainers looking too sloppy.

Popped on with a pair of black skinnies and a classic camel coat, they enliven a dark winter outfit while still looking fresh and being supremely comfortable into the bargain - and of that isn't winning, I don't know what is!

The Sculptural Showstopper

Maison Margiela x H&M

And finally, although most of the time I prefer flats, sometimes a heel is most definitely called for, and on those occasions, I like to choose something a little bit different. Nothing says ‘confidence’ like a pair of heels that stand out, after all.

I like to choose something a little bit subversive -  something design-led, that’s ever so sexy without being at all obvious. These shoes from the collection Belgian design house Maison Margiela produced with H&M are just about my ideal heels in that respect.

Always experiemental and bold, this twist on the classic black patent court shoe features a chunky clear perspex wedge heel that really makes them stand apart. They’re so sculptural, it feels like wearing a piece of art on my feet. The black patent, clear heel and the almond toe are really provocative, but doing them in the chunky wedge shape keeps it the right side of obvious.

What I really love is how you look like you’re floating from the side!

They also made these shoes in a nude colourway and an ankle boot, which I’m still coveting. The collection is from a few years back but I’m still eBay stalking a pair of the boots.

So, that’s my edit of the essential shoes in my wardrobe for the colder months.What shoes are you buying and digging out of the back of the wardrobe for now?


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