I received this email from Katie:
“I’m currently in the process of trying to expand my shoe collection (on a budget) – but since I can’t afford my every whim (just-graduating-ex-university-student) I’m looking for a a well-rounded shoe collection. Trainers, heels, flats, boots, sandals, etc… and I was curious to know what you think the ‘basic’ shoes are to have in your closet? I know trends change but I mean those timeless basic shoes a girl can fall back on whenever!”
I guess that really depends on your lifestyle and wardrobe. Obviously being a guy I am taking this from my girlfriends advice, and what I think!
Here are my picks for basic shoes to own: one pair of each.
Just because, quite frankly, in summer you’ll die without them. Of course, you can take your pick as to style — some people like a dressy, elegant, evening sandal while others will be perfectly happy with a pair of flip-flops. I would go somewhere in the middle: flip-flops drive me crazy (they’re just not comfortable and I always feel like a slob in them) and an elegant sandal might not be day appropriate.
For winter, though most of my friends’ get worn throughout the year. I would recommend going for a classic black or brown boot to at least mid-shin (primarily because if it rains, you’ll want some coverage on your leg). You pick the details — laces, buckles, buttons, high heels, flat soles, platforms, wedges — but I would advise that you go for something simple but good-lookin’. This is your basic shoe collection, right? You can buy fancy fashionable boots some other time. Just buy something that you think you’ll be happy wearing in five years time.
While you may hardly ever wear them, I think a good pair of black high heels should be mandatory in every woman’s wardrobe. They are the perfect shoe for almost any occasion, and if you don’t have them, you’ll probably find that some outfits just don’t work properly. Again, you might think heels are an awful torture device, but good ones can actually (gasp!) be comfortable. Buy some of those gel inserts by Scholl’s called “Party Feet“, stick ‘em inside, wear them around the house for days to break them in, and you’re well on your way to owning a pair of perfectly functional shoes. Plus, heels are sexy, but you knew that right? You will be glad you own them, since they’ll take you from a work function to a funeral to a gallery opening with ease.
You don’t have to buy ugly ones!
Essentially, a pair for the gym (or an exercise pair!) and a cuter pair for casual looks I think, would be a good starting point. From there, you can build it up. What do you wear most? If it’s the boots, maybe you can buy a couple more pairs in different styles). If you wear the heels most often, buy some in different colours. You get the idea.
My primary recommendation with shoes, and heels especially, is to spend as much as you possibly can. You only have one pair of feet baby, and if you cram your feet into bad shoes for years, eventually you won’t be able to wear anything but ugly orthopaedic flats… and nobody wants that. So take your time when you buy shoes. If you’re not sure whether they fit or not, ask to take them home. Then walk around your house all night to see whether they’re going to kill you or not. A bad pair of heels will really make you miserable, and it’s hard to be happy when your feet hurt — just ask anyone in retail!
Hope this helps!
(All images sources available by clicking on the picture themselves)