How To: Spring Clean Your Shoe Wardrobe

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 26TH MARCH 2020
WORDS BY FLORENCE TROTT

Tidy wardrobe, tidy mind. And more room for a new pair of Bottega Veneta’s.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Right now, what we’ve lost in mobility, we’ve gained in time. Time to breathe. Time to take stock of what matters most, to read the books that have been sitting on our shelves un-touched, and time get to get through the to-do list you always mean to get to, but never do. Take, for instance, a shoe wardrobe spring clean. Without a hectic commute and over-stuffed schedule, we’ve freed-up some hours to dedicate to re-calibrating our closets. As shoe-lovers, we’re starting from the feet up with a clear-out of our beloved footwear wardrobes. Creating some physical space in your home often has the side effect of creating space in your mind. If you’re feeling overburdened, or overwhelmed, take comfort in these small organisational tasks, and surround yourself with your favourite things – shoes. 

START AT THE BEGINNING 
Throw open the windows, gulp in the fresh spring air, and roll up the sleeves of your lightweight cashmere sweater. Get all of your shoes out on the bedroom floor, and sort into piles of what to keep, what to store (seasonal shoes), what to donate, and what to re-sell. Every shoe wardrobe needs a solid foundation. If you don’t know where to begin, start by curating an edit of staples that you definitely want to keep, and work from there. Check out our guide to building a capsule shoe closet here.

DECISION TIME 
If you’re a hoarder, parting with your shoes can be a heart-wrenching task. Ask yourself when the last time you wore them was, and when you think you’ll wear them again. Channel your inner fashion editor and be cutthroat. Will you really wear those fringed sandals in future? Do they work with the rest of your wardrobe? Some pieces have sentimental value, or are important design classics, and we’d always advocate keeping those. When it comes to what to keep, the designer William Morris had it right: ‘have only in your house what you know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’ Couldn’t have put it better ourselves. 

QUICK CLEAN
After you’ve decided on which shoes get a place in your shoedrobe, wipe the shelves with a damp cloth and dust of the shoes. Depending on the material of your shoes (and your way of storing the shoes) some might need a bit more maintenance. Whether it is a quick baby wipe, some good old shoeshine or a full cleaning process for your sneakers, it will all contribute to more joyful, prolonged wear.


RECYCLE & RESELL
Those favourite boots you never wear because you’ve worn through the sole? Get them mended by your local cobbler (next time they’re open), or use services like The Restory that specialise in luxury repairs and will collect, restore and return your shoes to you. If you’re going to keep them, fix them. If you’re getting rid of shoes that still have some mileage in them, donate to local charity shops and clothing banks, or re-sell designer styles online using sites like Vestiaire Collective and HEWI that verify their quality and authenticity. It fuels the circular economy, and puts a few extra pennies in your pocket for future shoe investments. Enjoy the feeling that somewhere out there, someone is loving your old favourites as much as you have. 

ORGANISATION & STORAGE
When it comes to putting your shoes back in the closet, think about organising them in a way that is effective for your routine – by colour, occasion, heel height or style. You want your shoe wardrobe to be navigable and maintainable. Keep the shoes you wear frequently on an easily-accessible shoe rack, and store precious styles, such as delicate party shoes and soft suede boots, in breathable shoe boxes that are clearly marked with what they contain. This earlier feature will assist you on the TLC of those beloved party shoes.


Monday Motivation: Christian Louboutin O Marylin Metallic Sandals

CURATED BY OLIVIA KIJO

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Monday Motivation: Manolo Blahnik x Birkenstock Boston Clogs

CURATED BY OLIVIA KIJO

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Monday Motivation: Tod’s Two-Tone Leather Loafers

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Monday Motivation: Tom Ford 105mm Screw Satin Pumps

CURATED BY OLIVIA KIJO

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MFW AW22: The Best Street Style Shoes

Photography bY MOEEZ ALI

Platforms and Prada – the were the best dressed of Milan fashion week.

Milan fashion week street style

There is never a shortage of beautiful shoes on the streets in Milan and this season was no exception. As the shows were able to return to a pre-pandemic schedule, guests and attendees opted for colourful shoes, short mini skirts (the shape of the season) and of course platforms. Towering block heels that have grown to become the most hyped shoe style of 2022 is finally coming into fruition and where better to debut them, than the high heeled shoe capital that is Milan.

Milan fashion week street style
Milan fashion week street style

PLATFORMS
Sky high platform shoes that have been hyped as the it-shoe of 2022, and in Milan that was certainly the case. Valentino’s block heeled Tan-go pumps was a clear favourite, but you’ll also find the same kind of shoes by Versace, who is continuing to release version of their popular towering heels. Both will give you the look – choose wether you are a patent or satin kind of girl.

SHOP PLATFORM PUMPS

Milan fashion week street style

GLITTER LOAFERS
Prada’s logo loafer that went viral in the previous seasons, is back in a glittery version. The glitter brogue comes in different colours and versions from a backless slipper to a heeled, more pretty pump. Originally launched for the festive season, but these embellished Prada’s are quickly becoming classics. Wear them with tights and a skirt, or dress them down with jeans.


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Milan fashion week street style
Milan fashion week street style

PRADA SLING-BACK PUMPS
The sling-back pumps that Prada debuted for SS21 has become a house classic. A fresh adaptation, with a wedge heel is the newest shape that will be hitting stores shortly. Choose from the asymmetric version, triangle logo pumps, or the original sorbet coloured kitten heel, which is not far off the latest version.

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CHAIN SANDALS
Chunky chains on delicate sandals is a sartorial favourite and something we saw a lot during fashion week. Designers like Giuseppe Zanotti and Versace nails the trend of creating jewellery for your feet, where shoes take centre stage. A warm weather favourite that is as popular as ever.



SHOP CHAIN EMBELLISHED SANDALS

Milan fashion week street style
Milan fashion week street style
Milan fashion week street style

NEON PUMPS
Pointy neon yellow shoes continues to be a fashion week hit. Paired with matching accessories, bright pumps are the perfect way to inject some energy into your wardrobe. Amina Muaddi and Jimmy Choo have lead the trend for seasons that will continue to be a hit for SS22, too.

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Milan fashion week street style

CRYSTAL STRAPS
Minimal diamanté straps is something we’ve seen a lot on shoes, but a warm weather favourite that never dates. Signature to Italian designs with the perfect amount of understated glamour. Look for styles with thin straps with a leg-lengthening effect.


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Milan fashion week street style
Milan fashion week street style

PVC
We’ve spoken a lot about PVC pumps here and MFW was proof once again that this style is still going strong. Amina Muaddi has been a big advocate for this fun trend, but you’ll find notable version with shoe specialists like Jimmy Choo and Mach & Mach, to name a few. 

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WEDGE SANDALS
The wedge sandal is making a steady comeback. With the inbuilt extra comfort, the sturdy heel tends to be widely embraced. Prada introduced them on their now iconic sling-backs, while designers like Gia Borghini stayed true to a ‘half-wedge’ with their ongoing RHW collaboration. A style to watch, and perhaps invest in this spring.



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Milan fashion week street style
Milan fashion week street style
Milan fashion week street style

FENDI FIRST
Fendi’s sculptural F-shaped heel is a fresh twist on minimal sandal by artistic director Kim Jones. From the previous seasons mule to a strappy sandal – the instantly recognisable F-heel is something you’ll only find at Fendi.

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Milan fashion week street style

PRADA PLATFORM BOOTS
The space-age boots from Prada’s AW21 collection came in a myriad of colours and kicked off the platform trend that is currently dominating the market. The distinct cutout heel sets their boots apart, is a comfortable version to the platform sandal. Invest in a piece of fashion history and wear them with skirt and dresses for the warmer months to come.


SHOP PLATFORM BOOTS

Monday Motivation: Versace Platform Leather Mules

CURATED BY OLIVIA KIJO

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Monday Motivation: Aquazzura So Nude PVC Sandals

CURATED BY OLIVIA KIJO

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The Evolution of Chunky Boots

WORDS BY FLORENCE TROTT

Go big or go home. How one of fashion’s biggest trends has become a modern classic.

chunky shoes

From Doc Martens to Prada, the chunky boots will never date.

Comfortable shoes with fashion credentials. In a world of short-lived trends and disposable style, this irresistible combination has guaranteed our obsession with chunky boots persists season after season. A heady mix of thick rubber soles, expansive silhouettes and GAF attitude has us hooked. They’re everywhere, and what started as a trend has become – almost – normal. 

First off, we’ll state the obvious. They’re functional and versatile – rain or shine, festival or dimly lit bar, a pair of stompers never looks out of place. Paired with puffers and jeans, cashmere or silk mini dresses, chunky boots can go the distance.

But the appeal runs deeper than that. With so much uncertainty in life, the grounding power of a pair of thick rubber soles is a balm to our overwhelmed minds. The speed of the modern world has made the prospect of stomping through consecutive seasons in a pair of hardwearing, heavyweight Bottega Venetas irresistible. 

We’re more considered with our purchases now than a decade ago. The threat of a climate crisis has highlighted the importance of buying things that last. Name a more durable shoe than a stomper boot. Save steel toe caps, you can’t. 

There have been various theories – that Brexit, Trump and Coronavirus have contributed to our desire to wear heavy duty boots – the kind that you could do some damage with. They are a symbol of resistance. A stylish medium through which to channel our pent-up angst and anger – without actually doing any damage (except to our bank balances).

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bottega-veneta-lug-boots
Prada boots

Cult chunky boots by Bottega Veneta and Prada.

A flick through The Face’s back catalogue or the Vivienne Westwood archive suggests we’re drawn to heavy footwear when we’ve got something to say. Military and biker boots have been adopted by subcultures for decades. Recent fashion history has the (larger than average) footprints of chunky boots all over it. 

Before today’s Monolith and Lug, there was the Doc Marten. From ‘70s punk to ‘90s grunge, OG goths to today’s Gen Z fairy grunge-core (look it up on TikTok), chunky boots have long been worn by anyone hoping to make a statement. 

These days, chunky boots might be more fashion than political statement, but they still carry a subcultural subtext that influences are perception of anything with a heavy tread. They’re turbocharged with BDE (or should that be Big Boot Energy?) and served with a side of anarchy. 

Long-time fans of Dries van Noten, Anne Demeulemeester and Rick Owens are no strangers to chunky shoes. They’ve always had a place in more avant-garde fashion circles. But the big boot hit the high-fashion headlines in 2019 when the Bottega Veneta Lug first came down the runway at Daniel Lee’s debut AW show. Swiftly followed by Prada’s indestructible Monolith, chunky boots soon flooded the shelves and filled up our IG feeds. We got the taste for designer boots with bulk and haven’t looked back. 

What started as a flat, black leather ankle boot has evolved since 2019. At Bottega, the Lug has been joined by the Tire with its distinctive wave shaped sole, followed by the rubber Puddle – a species all its own that’s spawned a rubber frenzy. This season, the pull-on flat we started with has grown a heel with the label’s playful Flash boots. Less obviously chunky, but with a hefty tread. 

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Paris street style
London fashion week street style

The many ways of matching chunky boots. Here seen as a fashion week favourite.

Designers are experimenting with colour. Teal, bright green and royal purple feature heavily on the Bottega Veneta palette. Thanks to them, contrasting soles are a key talking point in 2022. Pioneered by the Italian fashion house and their maximalist approach to design, toned-down but equally stylish versions can be found at Ganni, Philip Lim and Jil Sandler. For those with a more muted wardrobe, Givenchy and The Row have done pared-back, minimalist takes on the chunky boot.

Elsewhere, Miu Miu and McQueen have drawn on the the stomper boot’s subcultural history, the former acknowledging the punk and goth movements that preceded it. Their outrageously swollen soles and heavy chains wouldn’t look out of place at a fetish night. 

JW Anderson and Valentino have gilded theirs with elegant hardware, the latter building up with extravagantly chunky knee-highs that demand to be worn with miniskirts and 20 Denier tights. At Gucci and, as ever, Bottega, padded hiking boots with laces and fabric uppers come with a generous silhouette, whilst Prada’s signature nylon-pocketed Monolith has taught us all that shoes can be accessorized, too.

A slew of sell-out styles has shown that chunky boots are hot right now, but their abiding presence both on the runway and our feet proves it’s not just hype. Our appetite for big boots hasn’t wavered. We lap up fresh versions of chunky boots each season with greedy excitement, and return to old favourites regularly. For now, there seems to be no end to the chunky boot’s reign. It’s made itself at home in our wardrobes, and it’s here to stay. 

Monday Motivation: Victoria Beckham Capri 85 Glitter Knee Boots

CURATED BY OLIVIA KIJO

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