What makes or breaks a look quicker than a killer pair of shoes? They’re the queen of accessories, the cherry on top of every outfit—and sometimes, they can be just as important as your outfit itself.
Shoes are the ultimate investment—if you do it right, you can wear them for years and years to come. You don’t need a million options; you really just need a few that you can wear with a wide variety of outfits. If you skip out on fast fashion and trendy pairs, you can instead choose timeless options that you know you’ll be just as excited to wear when you pull them out of storage next fall, too.
Build your ultimate shoe capsule wardrobe with these 10 shoes, and you’ll never feel like you need another pair.
1. White sneakers
A classic white sneaker has the ability to make any outfit look cool, polished, and effortless. We’ve already talked about how you can wear them with just about anything, and they’re appropriate for any season. Once you get a pair you love, it’ll be hard to put any other shoe on.
2. Black booties
Having a perfect LBB in your arsenal is as important as a good LBD. They can—quite literally—be paired with anything, from jeans and a T-shirt to a business-casual outfit for work. Opt for an ankle-high pair in the heel height you’re most comfortable in.
3. Classic loafers
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Linen, leather, lace… loafers… what other L words am I missing in this outfit? But really, I like playing with different textures to give visual interest to an outfit, especially when the weather gets warmer and there’s less layering. These chocolate brown suede loafers are vintage (maybe? Not sure from what year) Hermès. What I love about vintage shoes in good condition is they are usually already broken in and comfortable from the start
The loafer came onto the scene a few years ago and now has us wondering how we ever lived without them. They immediately make an outfit look more sophisticated and put-together, and since they’re completely flat, are a chicer alternative to a ballet flat. If you’re a loafer newbie, a classic black pair is your best bet; if your closet is already stocked with loafers, get a pair in a fun color or print to spice up your basics.
4. Slide sandals
There’s nothing better than having a chic slide sandal that you can slip on any time the weather’s warm without giving much thought to it. They’re the upgraded, adult version of your Old Navy flip flops.
5. Knee-high boots
Over-the-knee boots go in and out of style as the seasons come and go, but a boot style that’s always a good choice? One that hits just beneath your knee. They can be paired with anything from your favorite Spanx leather leggings to a short skirt, and always add more to an outfit than any short boot could. Opting for a pair in either leather or suede will ensure that they’re timeless enough to be worn year in and year out.
6. Neutral heels
There’s nothing worse than having an interview or wedding coming up and needing to run out the night before because you don’t have heels to pair with your outfit (just me?). Having a pair of heels (that you can walk in) in a neutral color that you can wear to any and all heel-worthy events is a rite of passage as a woman, and it’s better to get one pair you really love than a poor-quality pair you have to keep replacing (I speak from experience).
7. Statement booties
Sometimes you’re getting ready in the morning, and after you throw on all your go-tos, you wish you had a little something extra to spice it up with—and that’s where a statement bootie comes in. They’re as effortless to throw on as your black options, but they take your looks from “I threw this on” to “I strategized this the night before.”
8. Strappy sandals
A good pair of strappy sandals is arguably the most versatile form of warm-weather footwear—you can wear them with anything from denim shorts and a T-shirt to with a dress to a wedding. They’re wearable, versatile, and will add a little “oomph” whenever you need it.
9. Statement heels
Even with a great pair of nude heels on your shoe rack, you’re likely to have events pop up here and there where you want a heel that gives you a little something extra—even if you aren’t a heel girl. For events where you’re wearing something neutral and don’t want to look like you’re heading for a meeting, a pair of statement heels is the solution.
10. Sporty sneakers
For errands and dog walking and weekends where you don’t change out of a sweatshirt and leggings, a pair of sporty, casual sneakers is your best friend. Luckily for us, they’re no longer hard on the eyes like they were in our middle school days; sportier sneakers are as in as the other nine shoes on this list. Colorful, neutral, patterned—pick whatever makes your heart sing.
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