How To Build An Autumn-Winter Capsule Shoe Wardrobe

5th November 2020


The silhouettes and styles to invest in for a timeless autumn shoe capsule.

Capsule dressing is a fine art. It takes time and consideration to build a streamlined edit of versatile staples that work. Ask yourself: what works for you? Come autumn, what do you need your shoes to do? Which styles do you turn to time and again? Another key (if less glamorous) consideration: the weather. If you’re contending with rain and gale-force winds, you need shoes that are practical. There’s nothing stylish about soggy feet. We’ll throw our hands up and admit that we haven’t yet mastered capsule dressing (too many new-season distractions) – but the promise of a life without buyer’s remorse keeps us trying. Whatever your motivation, it’s worth having a solid foundation of staples to turn to on days when you really CBA to figure out what to wear. Here’s our definitive list of autumn essentials to help you curate a footwear wardrobe any fashion editor would be proud of. 

Heeled ankle boots are the best option for bleak Monday mornings when you need to feel sophisticated, even if you feel anything but. Pare it back with autumnal shades of brown and beige for day, or dial up the evening potential with glossy leathers and dramatic, new silhouettes – whether it’s a heeled square-toed boot for work, or a pair of western inspired wedge boots for everyday wear. 


A pair of heeled, knee-high boots has the power to elevate jeans and a Tee, or add a glamorous edge to an everyday dress. Whatever your style, no autumn wardrobe is complete without them. The key is to find a pair that works with what you’ve got. Look to Jimmy Choo and Gianvito Rossi for ‘60s-inspired polish, or Khaite for a modern interpretation of the classic black boot. 


Pumps have been a staple since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Really, these are year-round essentials you can turn to when you need to look elegant. Should you want a modern twist to your black heels, look for B&W styles like these Ghazal Mary-Janes or Bottega Veneta’s zebra stretch pumps. Our ‘Subtle Glamour Edit’ might assist you further.


As the festive season is upon us, shoes get sparkly. Look for closed toe pumps with crystals and diamanté details; there is plenty of them currently on the market. For a winter version opt for luxurious materials like satin, velvet and patent leather with elegant details. Manolo Blahnik’s and Jimmy Choo’s cult classics will last you a lifetime, while JW Anderson new pumps might steal the show this season. 


Once a trend, now a staple, the utilitarian flat is a casual alternative to the heeled ankle boot. Look for styles that are different to your heeled pair, so you have options depending on your mood or schedule that day. This is about versatile design with a bit of heft, that you can run around the shops in, wear on a country walk or to a laid-back brunch. Cue: Bottega Veneta, Prada and Legres. 


A friend to country and city dwellers alike, the flat knee-high lends laid-back polish to any outfit. Riding boots, lace-ups and streamlined silhouettes will keep your shins toasty and outfit on fleek whether you’re an urban minimalist or rural purist. Look to Ann Demeulemeester, Ganni and Jil Sander for some of our new season favourites. 


A sturdy every-day shoe that also makes you look put-together, women usually fall under the loafer or lace-up category. Whatever your type – chunky or delicate, modern or classic – look to Prada, Gucci and The Row for fail-safe fall staples that never go out of style.  


Come autumn, boots are our default, but it’s good to have an alternative. A pair of sneakers in your rotation will help keep things fresh, even when the weather’s bad, and especially when you’re craving comfort. Team chunky, sport-inspired styles with oversized trousers, or a pair of retro sneakers with a contrasting midi-dress.


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