I know, it doesn't feel like we've had much of a summer, and autumn hasn't technically started, but with the ever-unpredictable British weather not quite giving us the tropical temperatures we imagined for 2023, we've been getting into autumn planning a little earlier this year.
But no worries—the shops are already full of the kind of cosy pieces that we spend all year counting down to be able to wear again, so whilst we prepare to shelve the linen, dresses and shorts we got at least some wear out of on holiday, it's also time to start taking stock of which autumnal pieces we'll be factoring into our wardrobes again, starting with all-important shoes.
Unlike clothing, the benefits of a good pair of shoes is their year-round wearability. Now might not be the perfect time to wear either a heavy-duty wool coat or a tiny string bikini, but you'll always need closed-toe shoes to be prepared whatever the weather may bring. Granted, not all styles fall into this category (and I've been caught in the rain in barely-there sandals more than once), so to save your feet from seasonal woes, I've thought long and hard about a list of all of the pairs of shoes that you can buy now, wear now, and still be wearing in autumn (and possibly in winter, too). Sound good?
As a stylist and editor, I've taken the time to think about the pairs that are not only well worth your money, but I which I would genuinely wear from day to day too, so you can expect comfort, cost and style to play into this selection. But, I've also thought about the pairs that stand the test of time, so if you've come here in search for MSCHF's big red boots (or big yellow Crocs, for that matter), you may be disappointed. These are the anti-trend shoes that you can wear long past their TikTok expiry date.
Some of my choices are obvious—loafers, for example, are a staple for good reason, but there are also a couple of additions that might surprise you, though they all make perfect sense. So, if you're looking to up your shoes game right now, keep scrolling for the seven pairs you can wear now with your summer dress, and again in autumn with a cosy knit and jeans. Now, that's what I call versatility.
Style Notes: If there's one shoe style that I could wear all year round, it would have be the loafer. Granted, it is not the kind of shoe that's first choice for your holiday suitcase, but until temperatures reach 29ºC in the UK again, loafers look equally as good with bare legs as they do with tights.
Style Notes: Ah, trainers, where would our wardrobes be without you? From laidback weekend outfits to office-appropriate looks, there's nothing a good pair of trainers can't do, and you'll never regret having a pair in your roster come rain or shine.
These go out of stock as quickly as they come in.
A fashion-editor favourite.
Style Notes: It's no coincidence that one of the best-selling shoes in the last couple of years has been Birkenstock's clogs, and thankfully for us, other brands are taking note. This closed-toe-slip-on hybrid is everything you want in transitional weather, managing to keep you cosy and cool all at the same time.
Style Notes: Praise be to Prada for making the slingback sexy again. This once dated shoe style has had a very fashionable makeover in recent years, and often comes with a wearable heel height that you can comfortably trot about in all day. Which other shoe can channel boss energy at only 2.5 inches?
An undeniably chic pair that no one will believe are from the high street.
There's also black, but patent brown stands out from the crowd.
Every wardrobe should have a quick and easy pair of flats.
5. BALLET FLATS
Style Notes: I have a secret that I'm not ashamed to admit. On every evening that I'm wearing heels, you'll find a pair of ballet pumps stashed in my bag (surely, I can't be alone in that?). These slip-on wonders are great for busy days spent on your feet, and they look so good whilst doing it. Look at the Instagram feed of any of France's best dressed, and I guarantee you'll spot a pair of ballet pumps in the mix. They're a Parisian style staple.
SHOP BALLET FLATS:
Take two major trends (ballet flats and mesh shoes), mix them together, and you have one perfect pair of mary janes.
Imagine how good these would look like straight-leg blue denim.
Simply the cutest pumps on the high-street. Now just to choose whether to go for silver, black, red, satin or white...
6. ANKLE BOOTS
Style Notes: Until the temperatures are low enough for knee-high boots, I have a pair of classic ankle boots on reserve. They're impossibly cute with mini skirts and floaty dresses, but look even better with jeans and a jacket, so should the weather be a little greyer than expected, it's time to call in old faithful—the timeless leather ankle boot.
SHOP ANKLE BOOTS:
A classic you'll wear for years to come.
I predict we're going to be seeing a lot of white boots this year.
7. FISHERMAN SANDALS
Style Notes: It feels like fisherman sandals are still a relative newbie to the style circuit, but now we've seen them, we can't let them go. My favourite thing about these caged sandals? They are perfection with dresses but they're also made to be worn with socks, so as soon as the rain comes, just add an extra layer to stay dry.
SHOP FISHERMAN SANDALS:
Remy Farrell is a London-based shopping editor with nearly 10 years of editorial experience covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle. After graduating with a journalism degree and working on the editorial and fashion teams for titles such as Grazia, Elle, Cosmopolitan and British Vogue, she moved into the luxury e-commerce sector, working as fashion assistant at TheOutnet.com styling for the social media channels and helping to develop the collections for the in-house brand Iris & Ink. After expanding an assisting and styling portfolio that includes shooting talent such as Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham and Miquita Oliver, she also branched out into beauty, creating tried-and-tested reviews and diverse beauty content.
In her role as shopping editor at Who What Wear, Remy is interested in discovering new and exciting brands to share with the Who What Wear readership and particularly loves uncovering hidden gems at affordable prices to make shopping accessible to everyone.
Born and raised in Sheffield, Yorkshire, Remy moved to London in 2014 and lives in the Docklands with her partner and pug Billie.
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