The following 5 shoes were recently recommended by www.whowhatwear.com as the 5 must-have wardrobe styles that every woman should own. It’s true that having these 5 styles will give you plenty of mileage and allow you to create a variety of outfits. I do have each of them in my wardrobe (or slight variation of them) and I thought I’d share with you how I, as a personal fashion stylist make them work for me, and of course some how-to advice for you.
Would they be the only shoes I recommended you to have in the wardrobe? Absolutely not!
1. Leopard Print Pump
I have to admit I was a bit slow to embrace the leopard print trend, and only purchased my first leopard shoe a couple of years ago. Mine is a Nine West kitten heel in a darker shade of leopard but nonetheless have been a great addition to my wardrobe. I bring out these babies when I want to spruce up my look and add a point of difference.
A leopard print pump works really well with blue denim jeans, a classic white tee or shirt and a pop of red lippy. Understated, stylish.
It’s also a great addition to an all black ensemble; black dress, black pants or jeans, a black silk blouse and black jacket. Add a leopard pump and you have instant style cred.
If a heel is not your deal, you can achieve the same look with a leopard ballet flat or loafer. And don’t forget- only one piece of leopard print per outfit!
Sally’s Nine West Leopard Print Kitten Heels
2. Ankle Boots
The ankle boot trend has been with us now for about 4 years and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Autumn/winter, spring/summer… it seems the ankle boot works across all seasons. Team them with your jeans (skinny or slim are best choice) or with bare legs and a summer dress or skirt.
I’ve had a few ankle boots over the past few seasons but the one’s that probably get the most wear are these ones from Scanlan Theodore. I first bought the white (yes, white!) and loved them so much a purchased the black the following season. I’ve worn the white a lot more.
As discussed in previous posts on ankle boots (here and here) it’s important to choose an ankle boot for your style and shape. I can’t count the number of taupe ankle boots I’ve bought with clients over the years, but you know what? I’ve never owned this colour myself!
It’s a great colour choice if you only need one pair in your wardrobe. It works with all colours, from brights to pastels to the neutrals like denim, black and white.
Sally’s Scanlan Theodore White and Black Booties
3. The White Sneaker
Weekends, holidays and casual days with friends and family call for comfort. The white canvas trainer is perfect on a Sunday morning brunch with relaxed jeans and jumper or tee. You can’t go wrong with the classic ‘Chuck Taylor’ or Converse All Star in canvas white, a style popular since the 1920’s (yes seriously!) when it was first created to capture the basketball shoe market.
I have a pair of white Converse ‘high tops’ in white that I mostly bust out on Sundays. I team mine with skinny jeans or boyfriend jeans, blue denim, black denim or a pair of Bassike drop crutch pants. You can’t really go wrong with a pair of shoes that hasn’t changed for almost 100 years! That’s a very good return on investment I’d say.
My tip is to opt for the classic All Star (rather than the short boot- the high top) for more versatility in your wardrobe.
Sally’s White Chuck Taylor All Star High Tops
4. Black Ballet Flat
I’ve owned a pair of black ballet flats for probably 15 years. I can’t recall my first pair, but my current ones from Sambag have been hanging about in my wardrobe for about 3 years. Simple, classic, chic and refined, the ballet flat is a stylish shoe that works with just about everything.
Wear in the office with a slim crop pant or pencil skirt, casually with jeans or a denim skirt and a t-shirt or with a pair of jeanie pants and tank top. You can’t really go too wrong with a black ballet flat in your wardrobe; there will always be multiple uses for them. Though a black ballet is the most formal of colour choices, it will provide you with a chic flat option when you need to smarten up an outfit.
I don’t wear mine much anymore (all my ballet flats are currently enjoying time out in a trundle box under my bed) but I haven’t ruled them out from making an appearance in the near future.
Sally’s Sambag Black Ballet Flats
5. Strappy Heels
Summery, sexy and requiring a bit more effort (i.e. pedicure, toes painted, brushed heels) the strappy heel is number 5 on the list. It’s fair to say that this is my least favoured or worn style. I don’t do tall and sexy and I’m too lazy to regularly use a pumice stone on my heels!
I did however, at the last minute because I had to find a pair of shoes for a birthday outfit, buy what was probably my first pair of strappy high heels late last year. My Filippo Raphael for Edward Meller nude, strappy sandals with a platform heel no less, have been worn once, and I have to say they were probably one of the most comfortable pair of heels I’ve ever worn. Being tall I’ve never had to resort to a platform for height, but I can now see the appeal. They lasted me all day and into the night, dancing on a concrete floor no less!
The strappy heel will instantly dress up an outfit and will inject a feminine, sexy feel to your look. Don’t forget to keep these rules in mind when choosing a sandal for your shape:
– If you have heavy legs, calves or ankles avoid heavy strap that cuts you horizontally across the ankle
– Heavy ankles should choose an ankle strap that cuts diagonally over your ankle
– Long, narrow feet will look better in a style with straps that cross over the foot rather than up the foot
– If you want to elongate your leg, choose a nude coloured strappy heel over a black one
– Always make sure your toenails are freshly painted when wearing sandals!
Sally’s Filippo Raphael strappy sandals