HOW-TO

How To: Build A Capsule Shoe Wardrobe

31st January 2020

TEXT BY Florence Trott | PHOTs BY PUTTONEN RUSKA

The cornerstones of your shoedrobe.

The idea of a capsule shoe wardrobe might be ludicrous to the collectors and maximalists out there, but there’s a lot to be said for having an edited selection of footwear essentials in your wardrobe (even if you do supplement it with thigh high Amina Muaddi boots and new season Bottega). Reliable, go-to styles make getting dressed every morning that much easier, maximise your wardrobes potential, and, when bought considerately, reduce the risk of impulse purchases that you (inevitably) regret later. 

We’re not suggesting you go and Marie Kondo your closet this instant. A capsule collection takes time to build – it isn’t going to happen overnight. The key is to ensure that your shoes work within the context of your wider wardrobe, and of course, your life. Start by being conscious when you shop – of the shoes and clothes you already have, and what will work for your routine. Manage that, and you’ll end up with a stylish capsule that works hard for you.

We’ve broken it down into our must-have categories by season, of which you only (really) need one of each. Be the sort of woman who can edit her own wardrobe with our not-so-basic capsule shoe essentials. 

Classic black pumps with comfort by Gianvito Rossi.


PERRENIAL

WHITE TRAINERS
From Balenciaga’s cult Triple S to classic Converse, you can wear white trainers year-round with everything – think vintage Levi shorts and tanned legs in summer, to embellished cocktail dresses.

BLACK PUMPS
The shoe every woman needs. From meetings to formal occasions and cocktail parties, opt for quality that will last and classic silhouettes to see you through season after season. Louboutin, we’re looking at you. 

FLAT ANKLE BOOTS
Be they a pair of chunky cargo boots or The Row’s chic Chelseas, ankle boots are a year-round essential that can be teamed with everything from jeans to gauzy white summer dresses. 

HEELED ANKLE BOOTS
The versatile cool girls of the footwear world, heeled ankle boots are effortlessly sexy and will take you from day to night, no questions asked. 



SPRING & SUMMER

FLAT SANDALS
You only need one pair of flat sandals if you take the time to shop around for a style that works for you. Look to Aquazurra and Gianvito Rossi for classic, barely-there sandals, or Prada and The Row and if your aesthetic is more contemporary. 

SLIP-ON SANDALS
Like swimwear for your feet, this is footwear at its most carefree. We’re talking Prada or Gabriela Hearst sliders and Studio Amelia flip flops (making a return after a 15-year hiatus). 

ESPADRILLES
Whether wedges, platforms, or classic flat canvas, we love their rustic charm, both on the beach and in the city.   

EVENING SANDALS
We’re big fans of both the mule and the strappy heel for summer evenings. Neutral shades work best if the end-goal is limitless pairing options. Add embellishments, a la Jimmy Choo and Alighieri, for an extra dose of after-dark shine. 



Basics with personality.
 Manolo Blahnik ‘Hangisi’ shoes – A classic party pair that will last you a lifetime. 


AUTUMN & WINTER

KNEE-HIGH BOOTS
Whether or not keeping your shins warm is a priority for you, a pair of knee high boots is a must for any capsule wardrobe. Sophisticated and practical, we’d recommend a different colour to your staple ankle boots for optimum outfit possibilities. 

EVENING BOOTS
A pair of high-as-you-can-manage heeled boots is a vital element of your 24-hour capsule wardrobe. Gucci and Nicholas Kirkwood do the best black leather platforms, and Louboutin and Alexandre Vauthier are experts in velvet and embellishments. 

PARTY HEELS
This is the point where the capsule wardrobe will permit you to have the most fun, although you’ll find a black party pump the most versatile – think of it as the LBD of footwear. Add crystals courtesy of Manolo Blahnik and Sergio Rossi, or be seduced by the sophistication of Tom Ford.


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