Here’s our take: shoes should work hard for your money. No point in spending on “special” pairs that get dusted off once every two years. We’re about investing in footwear that does triple-duty, minimum; ones that couple up with jeans and a tee, look becoming of a working woman in the office, and can moonlight as a dressed-up pair for an evening out. Sounds hypothetical? Here, we share the five most multi-functional (and on-trend) pairs of shoes and sandals to stock your spring wardrobe with.
The Trend: Barely-There, Strappy Sandals
A forewarning: these nearly nude sandals definitely require regular pedicures. Thanks to almost non-existent soles, it’s all about the straps: ones that loop around the big toe, criss-cross the top of the foot then snake up the ankle. Lengthy dresses, especially those of the billowy, high-slitted ilk are an ideal companion, but we’re equally keen to wear them with straight-leg jeans, culottes and Bermuda shorts, too.
The Trend: Heeled Loafers
Some blessed news: your mom’s office loafers have undergone a much-needed
makeover. Whether they’ve been chopped up into a slingback style or given a chunky ’90s-inspired sole, these revamped alternatives are the season’s ultimate utility shoes. Sure, they’re a natural fit for 9-to-5 wear, but we’re also taken by the grown-up schoolgirl feel when paired with a pastel sock and a shirtdress.
The Trend: Orange Sneakers
If you count yourself part of the “orange isn’t my colour” camp, hear us out: little hits of the tangy hue, like on these graphic sneakers, might just be the manageable amount to sway you. Link them up with some tailored sweats (hello, WFH to daily mandated walk), or pair them with a simple tee and medium wash denim – a little colour theory suggests that the two hues play nicely with one another.
The Trend: Espadrilles
It’s time to rethink your relationship with espadrilles. This season, designers reworked the tired wedge versions of yesteryear with more trend-forward features, like flat, boosted platforms, contrasting tie prints and scalloped edging. It turns out they’re a cinch to style, too: sport a pair to dress up a basic muumuu, or try tying them over roomy trousers at the ankle for extra streetstyle points.
The Trend: Bow-Adorned Kitten Heels
We shunned the kitten heel for years (another casualty of the unforgivable style era that was the mid-2000s), but these days we praise her: The elegance! The polish! The actually walkable heel height! Now topped with a bow detail – either petite and ballet slipper-like or exceptionally voluminous – these extra-versatile shoes go with everything: wide-leg pants meet their proportionate match, while mini skirts get the leg-lengthening footwear they deserve.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.