We know that a pair of drool-worthy designer shoes is An Investment that is not to be taken lightly. With reduced incomes, panic on the high street and the Coronacoaster showing few signs of stopping, keeping our spending on a tight rein has never been higher up our To Do list. And yet… there is still something about the allure of a pair of new shoes that is ever enticing. The crisp tissue inside that immaculate box, the layers to be unwrapped, the velvety soles… Sorry, are we the only ones drooling here?
We admit, padding around our WFH / locked-down lodgings last year meant anything other than slippers, wellies and trainers knocked shoes off the number one fashion accessory slot. But that absence from our outfits has definitely made us yearn for the structure of smart pair of heels or a classic loafer. Especially when you consider that some podiatrists have noted that going barefoot for long periods of time, without the support of shoes, could give you joint issues. Wait, what? What more incentive do you need to get shopping?
From a styling point of view, designer accessories are always the fash pack’s shortcut to elevating even the most basic of outfits. So many of our fave influencers and style icons rely on the formula of high street dress and high end shoes. The cost per wear of a pair of shoes is always going to work out better than that of a, say, evening dress, while the mix of practicality in shoes (they protect your feet!) and aesthetics means shoes could be one of your buys with the best chance at longevity.
Frivolous fast fashion fixes are the opposite of a clever, considered buy. So bad for your wardrobe and the planet. If you are in the lucky position to make a designer buy, choose wisely. Over recent seasons Dior’s signature J’ADIOR slingback have become an influencer fave (although the new patterns and prints mean they never look dated.) If you’re easing back into heels after months in slippers, try the mid-heel Maisie mule from Malone Souliers or the helpful support from the study block heel of Prada’s leopard print court.
If you’ve never been out of your skyscraper stilettos, despite locky-D, we stan. Valentino’s studded Rockstud heels – in shiny metallic gold, Amina Muaddi’s martini-glass shaped heel mules or the jewelled Manolo Blahnik Hangisi (a favourite with Carrie Bradshaw – she got married to Mr Big in a blue pair) will easily find a place in your wardrobe.
If you’re a stiletto fan, there are a tribe of edgier shoes ready to become your most worn. Fenty’s caged shoes are just as exciting as Rihanna’s clothing collection and her make-up range, Balenciaga’s super sharp point toe pumps can look chic or sexy, depending on your mood and the rest of your outfit, while Saint Laurent’s ankle chain detail manages to walk the line (geddit?) between totally on-trend and utterly timeless.
And don’t think that just because your designer shoes don’t have a 100mm heel they’re not worthy of the investment. Designers are leaning into a whole new category of fancy flats that prove that low-heels and no-heels can be just as stand-out as their higher counterparts. If glamour is your #1 requirement, Miu Miu’s glitter ballet flats will fulfil all your sparkliest dreams while the pearl details on Nicholas Kirkwood’s Beya flats have a subtler – but still as special – vibe. Chains are a major trend on flats too – JW Anderson’s oversized double link has gained cult status while the chain strap over Gucci’s point-toe flats is just as cool, if a little more delicate.
Other flats we’ve fallen for? Bottega Veneta’s loafers are bound to appear on a social feed near you very soon for their perfect minimalism while Ganni’s gold loafers mix practicality with fun. And if you’re searching for a future classic, Fendi’s mesh flats could go the distance although Chanel’s iconic ballet flats are truly the shoe of every season, with colour combinations for every outfit, finishes for every occasion and updates that suit every single personal style. Which one will you choose?