Most women have a sea of shoes in their wardrobe, but stylist Wendy Mak says we can get by with just six staple styles.
Wendy, Head Stylist for Smitten with Style and the Director of Smitten Styling Academy Australia, says although she understands our fascination with footwear, six styles are all you need to go from season to season.
“You don’t have to have just six pairs, but it is possible to live with just six pairs,” she explains. “Obviously it is every woman’s God given right to go and buy more shoes, but if you are looking for the core pieces that are required in a shoe wardrobe, I have narrowed it down to six.”
And here they are:
1. A classic black heel
A wardrobe must, make sure you choose a heel height you’re comfortable with.
“These really have to be dressy to take you from office attire to the jeans-and-heels look on the weekend,” Wendy says.
“I prefer a slightly rounded toe because it just looks a bit better with opaque tights during winter.”
2. A nude or tan wedge
This is a great summer/spring alternative to the classic black pump.
“It’s nice to introduce a wedge into the wardrobe just to give a slightly casual feel,” Wendy says. “You can wear it with skirts, dresses and maxi dresses.”
3. A strappy heel
Perfect for weddings or the races. Wendy suggests taking these delicate shoes to the bootmaker before wearing to get anti-slip soles and to have them re-heeled to avoid irreversible damage.
4. A ballet flat
A key staple in your shoe wardrobe, ballet flats can be worn with almost any outfit.
“This is a great option for mums,” Wendy says. “It’s what I call the run-around shoe.”
5. A dressy thong
Thongs make the cut, but forget the rubber ones.
“Include something in a nice leather, a metallic or with embellishment or a bit of sparkle,” Wendy suggests. “And with thongs, I find you need to look after the elastic and have it replaced when it starts to wear out.”
6. A knee-high boot
This classic statement piece will last several winters if you make the right choice. “I like the knee-high boot in patent black because it goes easily from day to night,” Wendy says.
“Whether it is a flat boot or a boot with a slight heel, to me it is classic. There is no need for embellishment, buckles or crazy additions because that always dates the piece and makes it harder to wear with a variety of outfits.”
And when it comes to buying the right shoes and making your six pairs last, here are Wendy’s top three tips.
Don't buy what you won't wear
Sounds simple enough but we've all fallen victim to buying shoes that are too high, too tight, too painful or simply not right for our clothing style. There's nothing worse than seeing shoes languish in our shoe-drobes!
Heart your shoes
To make shoes go the distance, really care for and look after them. We're hard on our feet and the only thing between us and the ground is our shoes, so replace the heels regularly, get them re-soled when needed and protect them with Mister Minit’s Water and Stain Protector.
Notice my shoes?
Often, the first thing people notice about us is our shoes! Make sure they are in tip top shape - especially when it comes to suede or patent shoes which can show scuffs easily. There are lots of cleaning and buffing products available, like Mister Minit’s Patent Ultra Shine to ensure your patents are always shiny, and Mister Minit’s Suede and Nubuck Kit to keep suedes look perfect.
Your say: How many pairs of shoes do you own? Tell us in the comments box below.
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