While I adore a fun, statement shoe, the truth is I live most of my life wearing a modest selection of basic shoes that carry me through almost every season and situation. Today I am sharing my shoe capsule with you, featuring my tried-and-true favorites.
While these are not the only shoes I wear, I would make the argument that there is not a situation that this collection of shoes could not carry me through with style and class. I also want to mention that building a collection of basics is a process. Very few people have the capacity to purchase ten pairs of shoes at once. I have slowly been building my shoe capsule, and as I get older, I have found that quality matters so much in shoes. Particularly if you plan to wear a shoe for many years, you are doing yourself (and your feet!) a favor by investing in the highest quality shoe you can afford. Expensive does not always mean quality, oddly enough. But particularly with ballet flats and heels (both of which I find to be the least comfortable shoe I wear), I look for quality that includes extra padding, extra room in the toe box, and solid construction. These quality details add up to create a shoe that I am apt to grab time after time. The investment is well worth it.
Brown leather loafers are a timeless shoe. They look cute with jeans, but also add a fun accessory to dresses and skirts. I have a pair from J. Crew that are so comfortable, I can wear them with ease.
FREEDOM MOSES SLIDES.
More supportive than a flip-flop, cuter than a Crock, Freedom Moses slides are my pool shoe slash wear-around-the-house-when-I-don’t-want-to-wear-shoes shoe. They are not padded, but they are very supportive.
Would it even be spring or summer without a white sneaker? I think not. I love wearing my Superga with dresses and skirts as much as I love throwing them on with casual jeans. There are lots of brands of cute white sneakers, but Superga is my favorite.
BLACK BALLET FLATS.
Sometimes the right shoe for the job is a flat. Nicer than a sneaker, but more wearable than a heel, ballet flats possess a chic timelessness that is a must in any shoe capsule. However, in my experience, there are ton of very uncomfortable ballet flats out in the world. Usually, I find them lacking in any sort of sole padding, and sometimes the toe box can be tight or the heel can rub in an annoying way. You have to find the ballet flat that fits the needs of your foot, and for me, the J.Crew ballet flat is a winner. The leather is soft, the heel hits just right, and while I wouldn’t wear these shoes for an all-day walk, the foot bed is nicely cushioned.
BLACK BLOCK HEELS
Full disclosure. I do not know own a pair of black block heels that I love, but they are the next investment piece on my list. When I am ready, I am going to purchase the Margeaux version because I have heard rave reviews in both comfort and quality. That being said, a modest black pump is the shoe you need for a number of situations including funerals and job interviews. They are the shoe you wear with slacks, classic skirts, and any time you are looking for a finished look without being flashy.
The kind of ankle boot you choose is a matter of personal preference, but everyone needs a casual boot in their closet. The most on-trend version features a taller boot shaft, but any classic version in a brown or black leather will serve you well for casual cool-weather dressing.
When it’s time to elevate your spring and summer look, espedrilles are my favorite. Whether you choose one with straps that tie around your ankle, ankle strap version, or a pair that is a slip on version, the timeless combination of linen and jute is the perfect shoe for summer dresses.
Heels are perhaps the least-worn shoe in my closet, which might lead you to think we need not spend much money on them, but I wholeheartedly disagree. To begin, given how seldom we wear heels, I would argue that we need a heel that is well-made and comfortable to give us a leg-up when it comes time to wear them. I would also suggest that since heels last a long time, and this is an investment piece, go (reasonably) big or go home. Give your future self a gift of having an incredible pair of nude heels to grab when the occasion calls for it. The beauty of a nude heel is how she goes with everything. Any dress, pant, or skirt will look classy and dressed up with a nude heel. Nude heels are the shoes that disappear, but look incredible every time. Think Kate Middleton. She lives in nude heels, and makes it look easy!
NEW BALANCE SNEAKERS
This is my dessert island shoe. I have lived most of my life in New Balance Sneakers, particularly in the early days of Hurley House when I was standing on my feet, actively moving all day long. I love these shoes for their comfort, but appreciate how cute they look. New Balances are the work horse of my closet, and I go through at least two pairs per year, wearing them until they are threadbare.
Definitely a regional addition, you can’t live in Texas and not own a pair of cowboy boots. Even as someone who doesn’t really love dressing in rodeo chic, there are times and places where you simply have to wear cowboy boots. Maybe it is the rodeo, or maybe it is a themed party, or maybe it is literally at a ranch, walking through thigh-high grass studded with scorpians and crickets and other critters…you will want a pair of boots. Whether you opt for a basic, classic design or choose a colorful, high-end pair, always make sure your cowboy boots are super comfortable and allow you to walk or stand in them without pain. The heel should slip when you walk, you should have room for a thicker sock, and the toe should never pinch. When you find the right pair for your foot, you will wear them forever.