I'm Not a Shoe Person, But These 5 Styles Go With Everything I Own

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(Image credit: @deborabrosa)

The idea of capsule collections and wardrobe staples is always at the forefront of our minds. The Who What Wear team is constantly calling into question how we shop and why we buy the things we do in order to reconcile our love of style with concerns over sustainability.

One of the main ways we have been doing this is by taking a serious look at the pieces that work the hardest in our wardrobes. While I am notorious for being a jacket hoarder, for some reason, I've never really caught the shoe bug (I'll leave that to our Editor in Chief Hannah Almassi), and this has meant that my specifications have been primarily practical. I've always needed every pair to be all of the following: comfortable, low-maintenance, versatile and, of course, stylish.

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, this isn't always an easy criterion to fulfil, but over the years, I've whittled my edit down to a handful of winning pairs that I turn to day in and day out for every occasion. So forget transient trends and fashion fads—here are my five failsafe shoe styles that have passed the test and made it onto my must-have lineup.

1. Low-Heeled Mules

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(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Style Notes: Last spring, I literally lived in a cream pair of H&M heeled mules. I'm not usually a "heels in the daytime" person, but this style is so damn comfortable and instantly elevates any outfit—be it a midi dress or jeans, any time of the year.

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2. Ballet Flats

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(Image credit: @SYMPHONYOFSILK)

Style Notes: Every wardrobe deserves a pair of simple ballet flats. Pair with jeans, trousers, dresses and more. Opt for a classic black or white pair, or choose something fun like pink, red or silver to add a playful touch to an otherwise neutral look.

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3. Dress-Down Sneakers

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(Image credit: @fakerstrom)

Style Notes: Okay, I admit it took me a little while to get on board with trainers outside the context of the gym, but I find that they're just what I need to dress down my generally smart wardrobe. Suits suddenly look ten times cooler and floaty dresses take on an It-girl edginess.

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4. Classic Loafers

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(Image credit: @marina_torres)

Style Notes: As someone who's owned many loafers and brogues (the "old faithfuls" in my wardrobe), it's safe to say I've consistently relied on them. It's a timeless shoe style that's both polished and comfortable, and you know that if you buy a pair now, it'll look just as good in five years time.

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5. Knee-High Boots

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(Image credit: @giasinatra)

Style Notes: Heeled boots are obviously my go-to in the colder months, but living in the UK, I find that they come in useful during the transitional season too. Pairing knee-high boots with a floaty skirt or dress is a great way to bring warm weather styles into unpredictable weather months.

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This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

Florrie Alexander
Acting Affiliates Editor

Florrie embarked on her fashion journey while studying French and History at university. Whilst studying in Aix-en-Provence, she began to write her dissertation on the history of fashion and the influence of Haute Couture, and landed her first role at Harper’s Bazaar. Following this, she interned for various publications including Elle, Grazia and Marie Claire before joining the fashion team at Conde Nast Traveller. There, she contributed to international photoshoots, styled pages and covers, and produced engaging digital content.

During a freelance period, Florrie honed her skills in editorial work in various digital and print publications including Vogue Italy and Departures magazine, as well as styling e-commerce photoshoots and personal shopping. Florrie actively pursues an in-depth understanding of fashion and jewellery, and after styling a jewellery cover shoot at Conde Nast Traveller chose to complete the De Beers Diamond Foundation course. Florrie first joined Who What Wear UK as a freelancer before becoming the Commerce Writer, blending both editorial and commercial content. Now, as the Acting Affiliates Editor, she monitors current trends, new-in styles, wardrobe heroes and how best to style them. In her downtime, Florrie can be found in her hometown of London, usually with a coffee in hand.