I'm a Shopping Expert—These 6 Shoes Will Work for Every Spring Occasion

Sponsor Content Created With Steve Madden


I need to make a confession: I'm obsessed with shoes. While trying on new clothes usually gives me changing-room anxiety (will my boobs fit in this shirt? Am I going to be too short for those trousers?), shoes almost always fit and look good. As a fashion editor, I'm constantly looking at the latest styles and considering which will be the biggest trends worth investing in, so people are always asking for my advice. ("Which shoes look best with this dress?" "Can I get away with trainers for work?" The short answer, by the way, is yes.) The truth is I love designer shoes, but I can't always afford them. So my secret to shoe shopping is to look for affordable brands whose shoes have the look and quality of designer styles without the hefty price tag.

A brand that I go back to time and time again is Steve Madden. Whether I'm looking for the perfect party heel or need to quench my thirst for athleisure with a fresh pair of sneakers, Steve Madden's collections are up to the minute when it comes to trends, and look much more expensive than they are. 


But I'm striving to be a more conscious shopper, so I'm really trying to rein in my frivolous, unnecessary purchasing. At the beginning of each season, I think about what I actually need and invest in pieces I can wear for multiple occasions. At Who What Wear, we're big proponents of the capsule wardrobe, which includes not only apparel but shoes, accessories and bags as well.

In light of this, I selected six pairs of shoes from the Steve Madden S/S 23 collection and styled them for every conceivable event that I may attend in the next six months, from my best friend's 30th birthday to a spring wedding, to a dinner party to even a lunch-break post-office run. Each outfit is built entirely around the shoes (and maybe the bags, too) that I'll be wearing this season. Enjoy!



Because I spend so much time in the office dashing to and from meetings, I need my footwear to be comfortable. Thankfully, we no longer live in a time when workwear is synonymous with pencil skirts and court shoes (although that can still be a great look), so my go-to is tailoring with fresh trainers. I'll wear these sneakers with a suit to give a more casual edge, and when they've become too worn-in to be office-appropriate, I'll retire them to weekend wear. (Pro tip: Use baby wipes to clean them so they last as long as possible.) This particular two-piece suit is also Steve Madden. It has an oversized fit, which is what I always look for—I hate feeling restricted in a fitted blazer!



Are you attending a wedding or heading off to the races? Is your summer calendar essentially bursting with dressier occasions? Mine too. May I present you with the Lucent: a black satin heel with a jewelled embellishment. Although it comes in an array of bold colours, this classic black goes with everything I already own. Also, is it just me, or do these shoes have Carrie Bradshaw's name written all over them? If you love an all-black look, pair them with the Bemiliaa Shoulder Bag and a black satin dress—it's one way to bring the drama.



Nothing says spring to me like a skirt, a linen shirt and a pair of comfortable heels. And the Jetfuel Sandals are exactly that. The double strap puts less pressure on your toes, and I love this mushroom "greige" hue, a welcome alternative to cream, which dirties quicker. Worn with the Borolo Crossbody Bag (check out that woven exterior), this look is perfect for lunches with friends or work appointments that require something a little more elevated. Take note: These shoes come in black, too.



When I'm going out, I like to go all out. Call me attention-seeking, but there's a place for statement shoes. For me, that is a big celebratory occasion, such as a big birthday or a hen party. The Sapphire Rhinestone Boots are hardly subtle, and oh, how I love them for it. To really show them off, I paired them with something short and doubled up on the sparkle by wearing them with my favourite rhinestone-adorned accessory, the Bcarlo Shoulder Bag. The best thing about these boots is how they look in the light: The rhinestones sparkle like nothing else. Even under the flash of your phone's camera, they glitter in all their glory.



Is there any better combination than jeans and a nice top? Surely not. But I see your jeans-and-a-nice-top outfit combo and raise you "jeans, a nice top and an even nicer pair of shoes." This look is perfect for date nights or dinner parties. Silver is this year's metallic of choice, so double down on it with the Bglowing Bag. The wide, padded straps make these Top-Notch Sandals extra special. They provide comfort so you can hop between the kitchen and the table if you're hosting or comfortably walk from the restaurant to a bar if you're out.



Full disclosure: This is how I dress most weekends. I'm all about comfort. In fact, I'm practically in a relationship with my tracksuit bottoms. But they're easy to elevate with a good sneaker. Because I love neutrals, the Manerva Trainers in beige instantly caught my eye. With a cuffed trouser (I always wear cuffed joggers because I like to show off my shoes and a little ankle) and a cashmere sweater, I never feel messy when running errands.

Want to see more from Steve Madden? Shop the full collection here.

Rebecca Rhys-Evans is a London-based fashion and beauty editor with a decade of branded content and editorial experience. She started working at Who What Wear UK in the summer of 2022, where she was hired to lead all branded content for the UK site. Be it appearing on-camera to showcase how to style the latest designer collections, or reviewing the most recent beauty skincare products, Rebecca is the voice (and often face) for Who What Wear UK’s commercial partnerships. A self-confessed internet obsessive, she loves all facets of content creation—be it writing, filming, art directing or styling—and revels in collaborating with brands to help harness their product and tell their story. After graduating from University of Liverpool in American Studies, she travelled around North and South America before moving to London to pursue her career as a fashion journalist. Before she landed her position at Who What Wear, she was a freelance writer and content consultant, writing for Polyester, Screenshot, Marie Claire, Refinery29 and Culture Trip, reporting on everything from internet culture, vintage shopping across the world, sustainability and sex work. Adding to this, she has also held editor positions at FLANNELS.com, BURO., Koibird and SHOP Magazine.