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Shoes: the pinnacle of a well-curated outfit, wardrobe… dare we say life? Now, as we enter the depths of winter and sit on the cusp of party season, when the battle between style and functionality becomes almost overwhelming, take a little time to decide exactly what it is that your personal collection is missing. From the everyday ankle boot to the party shoes that make authentic 1980s glamour seem dull, we list our favourites on the market today and make a case for exactly why you need them.
There’s a lot to be said for a boot that you fall instantly in love with but that you’ll also be able to wear with just about any outfit. Enter the Acne Jenson style, crafted from smooth black leather with a metal-tipped point toe, a small block heel and Chelsea boot-inspired elasticated side panels. Versatile, contemporary and laced with just the right amount of fashion credibility, there’s nowhere these boots fit in more than the city. Make them your go-to for everything from a day browsing some of London’s most-coveted galleries to a Sunday morning coffee run, but switch up your styling accordingly. For now, we’re still braving white jeans; when worn with the Jenson’s and an oversized camel knit, this spring favourite seems suddenly cold-weather appropriate.
Shop the Acne Jenson boots here.
Fashion magpies rejoice for when it comes to festive footwear, more is most definitely more. It’s time to embrace all things velvet, embellished, embroidered, you name it. But there’s nothing that says party feet quite like a metallic heel and no style takes the metallic heel brief more literally than Gucci’s Marmont pump. Inspired by the opulence of Baroque and Renaissance style, this cracked-leather, block-heel design carries a certain retro charm that surpasses what we immediately think of as ‘vintage’ and dates back to something steeped in far more heritage. If you’re a little nervous about making such a statement below the belt then opt for brushed metallic alternatives and wear them with head-to-toe black or navy to channel the trend but stay true to your personal style.
Shop the Gucci Marmont leather pumps here.
Gym trainers aside, we think there’s a significant lack of sneaker love that goes on in most footwear round-ups, so to prove that this sporty style doesn’t just hold relevance on the treadmill, we’re making them one of our AW17 city essentials. Think ahead to the days when comfort is key, be it for the morning after the night before, a marathon Christmas shopping spree or a casual brunch with friends (find our favourite hotspots here). Eytys is here to answer your prayers with its signature platform Mother style, this time in burgundy suede. Not only is this potentially the most appropriately autumnal shade on the spectrum but the premium fabrication elevates the look, cleverly disguising what could be the most slipper-like trainer on the market (we’ve got the vulcanised-rubber midsole, cork insole and arch support to thank for that) to make it look like you’ve made an effort. Genius. Slip them on with cropped kick-flare denim or dress up your look with a midi wrap dress and a leather jacket.
Shop the Eytys Mother suede trainers here.
Whatever the season, there will always be a space in your shoe collection for a pair of black heels. Point-toe silhouettes with a tall stiletto like these suede pumps from Mango have the ability to visually lengthen the leg – a skill we wish all footwear would possess (we’re looking at you, ankle-strap kitten heels). Not only that, but they go with just about anything. The most effortless way to finish an outfit, this simplistic style will elevate everything from white T-shirts and faded denim to workwear. What’s more? They take on a new, somewhat more sultry aesthetic when styled after dark. Wear them to ground a statement skirt or wide-leg trousers or let them complement a sleek black cocktail dress. Our advice? If you find the perfect pair, buy in bulk – these saviors will never go out of style.
Shop the Mango suede pumps here.
There’s something of a ‘marmite’ mentality surrounding the kitten heel and we get it – there are times when it’s hard to suppress those 1990s school disco flashbacks, blue eyeshadow and all, but this season’s iterations prove that, when done right, there’s nothing chicer. If you needed convincing on the heel height alone then it’s probably time to look away now because we’ve gone all-out fashion mogul with our pick of the AW17 crop; Aquazzura’s Powder Puff velvet beauties come in a rainbow of shades but this champagne hue feels just that little bit extra festive. Wear them with sharply tailored tuxedo trousers or a knife-pleat midi skirt now and make them work in summer with wide-leg culottes.
Shop the Aquazzura Powder Puff velvet kitten heels here.
Nothing spells out minimalism like a sleek leather loafer and whilst Gucci’s Jordaan silhouette continues to pioneer the market, there are a host options available that sit at all price points. Designed in Stockholm, capturing the essence of Scandinavian style and all its androgynous charm, &Other Stories’ black leather mules are the ultimate city flat: practical, wearable and smart enough that they’ll make a polished impression if they’re called into a last-minute meeting. Wear them with everything from slim-leg tailoring and an oversized knit to a chunky jumper dress and slash of dark lipstick depending on your mood.
Shop the backless leather loafers here.
Purveyor of the over-the-knee boot, Stuart Weitzman, is and always will be, our first port of call for beautifully-made designs that strike the balance between timelessness and current trends. The label’s signature silhouette, the Lowland, is London’s answer to a practical winter boot – it’s flat, for a start, and it’s crafted from supple stretch-suede so it’s comfortable enough to wear throughout the day and into the night – perfect for those times when you’ll ‘just go for one’. Whilst classic black is of course a smart option, we’re championing the soft grey iteration this season. Why? We’re in it for the long game. This shade works well now with black jeans or opaque tights but it takes on a softer guise in warmer months when styled with bare legs and a printed dress. What a chameleon.
Shop the Lowland boots here.
White boots are everywhere at the moment, and whilst we love how they look, they’re possibly not the most practical choice of footwear for winter in London (sorry Neous, please stay around for spring as well…). In lieu of this much-coveted look we’ve chosen a printed alternative that we think does much of a similar job aesthetically. In a long-winded way, what we’re saying is that you need a pair of statement ankle boots in your rotation. The leather snake-print Odelle style from Reiss sits at a manageable price point somewhere between high street and high end and features a tonal grey snake print that’s surprisingly versatile. Wear them to offset AW17’s rich colour palette – a burgundy midi dress is our go-to with this particular style – or to give your favourite black jeans an on-trend twist.
We’re forever in search of that perfect ‘day-to-night’ shoe – you know the one, it’s superpower is the ability to take your favourite ripped jeans and make them dinner date appropriate? Well the quest is over, and, as with most things in life, it’s Zara that we have to thank for providing the perfect pair. You might think this elegant design does the same job as the aforementioned black suede pump but think again, because what’s special about it is its trend-focused details; the backless silhouette, the elongated point toe, the twisted front detail and the tactile, winter-appropriate velvet fabrication. Granted, their relevance in your wardrobe might be somewhat more limited than Mango’s classic alternative but that’s what we love the most about Zara – it makes fashion-forward pieces attainable for those of us with a less than triple-figure salary. Want the Attico look without the luxury price tag? Of course you do.
Shop the point-toe mules with bow here.
Want more festive fashion? Discover the best cosy jumpers by British designers this winter.