Accessories

How to build the ultimate capsule shoe wardrobe

By Shoes - Sandra Hagelstam

August 14, 2021

We've rounded up the top ten styles everyone should own.

While the thought of a capsule wardrobe sounds straightforward, simple and oh-so enticing, the reality of the matter is not quite so black and white – especially when it comes to footwear.

How you maintain and update your shoe collection will be shaped by your style, geographical location and how much space you have. Nevertheless, there are some styles that should have a spot in every wardrobe. Here, we break down the top ten timeless staples to consider.

1

Black heel

Camille Charrière wears black pumps in London.

Camille Charrière wears black heels in London. Photo: Getty

Basic black heels are practically the basis of any classic wardrobe, but classic doesn’t have to mean boring. Let your style and day-to-day life guide you when it comes to nailing the right heel height, finding a versatile material (leather and patent are always timeless) and choosing a pointy or almond-shaped toe. For the ultimate styles, designers like Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik are your best bet.

Louboutin shoes
Pigalle 85mm heels

Christian Louboutin

SHOP NOWEUR 637
Jimmy Choo
Lani 100 black mesh pumps

Jimmy Choo

SHOP NOWEUR 672
Hangisi velvet pumps
Hangisi velvet pumps

Manolo Blahnik

SHOP NOWEUR 952
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2

Strappy sandals

Strappy sandals on Sandra Hagelstam

Strappy sandals on Sandra Hagelstam. Photo: Getty

Minimal, mid-heel strappy sandals are a summer essential and will go with nearly everything you own. Opt for a lighter colour like white or tan for versatility and wearability and look to modern designers like By Far, Manu Atelier and Reike Nen for subtly modern shapes.

Reike Nen RM2-SH006 Odd Pair Low Sandals
Odd Pair Low Sandals

Reike Nen

SHOP NOWEUR 310
BY FAR Kersti leather sandals
Kersti leather sandals

By Far

SHOP NOWEUR 321
Manu Atelier Lace 50mm nude strappy sandals
Lace 50mm strappy sandals

Manu Atelier

SHOP NOWEUR 265
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3

Mules

Jolie Nguyen and Christine Ai wearing Bottega Veneta mules in Sydney, Australia.

Jolie Nguyen and Christine Ai wearing Bottega Veneta mules in Sydney. Photo: Getty

Earning their place in our hearts and our wardrobes for their retro shape and maximum wearability, mules have enjoyed a resurgence in recent seasons. Look for a hue that suits your skin tone for a great leg-lengthening effect or go for contrasting neon if you want to make a statement. Of course, the best of the best are from Bottega Veneta.

 BOTTEGA VENETA 90MM STRETCH LEATHER MULES
Stretch Leather Mules

Bottega Veneta

SHOP NOWEUR 658
GIA BORGHINI Perni 04 leather mules
Perni Mules

Gia Borghini

SHOP NOWEUR 357
AMINA MUADDI Lupita leather mules
Lupita leather mules

Amina Muaddi

SHOP NOWEUR 520
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4

Flat sandals

Sonia sandals

Sonia Lyson wearing Chanel sandals in Berlin. Photo: Getty

If 2020 brought us anything good, it was a more relaxed take on our footwear choices. Even high-end designers like Chanel and The Row embraced dad sandals and pool slides, reimagining them for life in the city. When it comes to a flat sandal, the more relaxed the better – you could even go for a flatform if the mood takes you.

Prada woven flatform sandals
Woven flatform sandals

Prada

SHOP NOWEUR 722
ISABEL MARANT Ophie embellished leather sandals
Ophie embellished leather sandals

Isabel Marant

SHOP NOWEUR 495
THE ROW Ginza two-tone leather and suede platform flip flops
Ginza platform flip flops

The Row

SHOP NOWEUR 850
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5

Party pumps

Melanie Darmon wearing Amina Muaddi in Paris.

Melanie Darmon wearing Amina Muaddi in Paris. Photo: Getty

When choosing party shoes, more is more: think crystals, bright colours and as much embellishment as possible (we’re looking at you, Amina Muaddi and Miu Miu). Perfect for everything from weddings to cocktail parties, pick between sandals, slingbacks and pumps – the only real consideration being what you can dance in all night long (and walk home in come the small hours).

Attico shoes
Venus fuschia slingback

The Attico

SHOP NOWEUR 662
Miu Miu glitter sandals
Glitter slingback pumps

Miu Miu

SHOP NOWEUR 993
AMINA MUADDI Begum crystal-embellished satin slingback pumps
Begum crystal-embellished slingbacks

Amina Muaddi

SHOP NOWEUR 825
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6

Heeled ankle boots

Jeannette Madsen wearing Manu Atelier boots in Paris.

Jeannette Madsen wearing Manu Atelier boots in Paris. Photo: Getty

No shoe collection would really be complete without a trusted pair of heeled ankle boots, preferably in black leather, with a heel sturdy enough to give you a height boost without the pain. Pair these with your most trusted straight-leg trousers, jeans or your favourite summer dress – the ultimate go-to outfit for between seasons. For high-end options, try Roger Vivier and Gianvito Rossi.

Essentiel Antwerp boots
Red leather ankle boots

Essentiel Antwerp

SHOP NOWEUR 304
Gianvito Rossi boots
Levy 85 boots

Gianvito Rossi

SHOP NOWEUR 940
VIV rangers X buckle bootie
VIV rangers X buckle bootie

Roger Vivier

SHOP NOWEUR 1016
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7

Knee-high boots

Hedvig Opshaug wearing knee-high boots in Copenhagen

Hedvig Opshaug wearing knee-high boots in Copenhagen. Photo: Getty

A pair of knee-high boots will loyally serve you season after season, so they’re worth the investment. Choose between slouchy styles or tight, over-the-knee pull-ons and match them with dresses and skirts for a look that will take you effortlessly from day to night. Jimmy Choo’s classic styles will guide you in the right direction.

Mahesa 85 black knee-high boots
Mahesa 85 black knee-high boots

Jimmy Choo

SHOP NOWEUR 1395
Prada boots
Square-toe patent-leather over-the-knee boots

Prada

SHOP NOWEUR 1086
Horsebit python-effect leather knee-high boots
Horsebit python-effect leather knee-high boots

Gucci

SHOP NOWEUR 1436
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8

Sneakers

Jacqueline Zelwis wearing Veja sneaker in Berlin.

Jacqueline Zelwis wearing Veja sneaker in Berlin. Photo: Getty

Finding the right pair of versatile sneakers will open up you up to a whole new way of dressing. No longer just reserved for sports, sneakers should be worn with pride, even with your fanciest suits. Look to New Balance, Veja and Axel Arigato for options that will look smart with anything.

990v5 suede and mesh trainers
990v5 suede and mesh trainers

New Balance

SHOP NOWEUR 198
Axel Arigato trainers
Clean 90 sneakers

Axel Arigato

SHOP NOWEUR 193
Veja trainers
V-12 leather trainers

Veja

SHOP NOWEUR 124
1/3
9

Flat boots

Pernille Teisbaek wears biker boots in Paris.

Pernille Teisbaek wears biker boots in Paris. Photo: Getty

From bikers to Chelsea boots, flat styles might just be the most versatile of footwear. Whether you go for chunky or sleek, pick a pair with minimal details and wear them with everything you own, from tailoring to floral dresses for a timeless Scandi look. The best styles come courtesy of Bottega Veneta, Acne and Ganni.

Calf leather boots
Calf leather low Chelsea boot

Ganni

SHOP NOWEUR 379
Bottega boots
Tire flat boots

Bottega Veneta

SHOP NOWEUR 1057
Acne boots
Jensen grain boots

Acne

SHOP NOWEUR 478
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10

Brogues and loafers

Emili Sindlev wears Prada loafers during Paris Fashion Week.

Emili Sindlev wears Prada loafers during Paris Fashion Week. Photo: Getty

A pair of quality loafers will last you a lifetime. Choose a pair in sturdy leather and wear them in with socks first, to avoid the inevitable blisters. The classic driving shoe isn't just practical but also stylish; wear with skirts or jeans for a ‘back to school’ feel. Head straight to Tod's and Church's, who specialise in this particular category

Snakeskin slingback loafers
Snakeskin slingback loafers

Ganni

SHOP NOWEUR 378
Tod's loafers
Gommino leather loafers

Tod's

SHOP NOWEUR 410
Church's loafers
Shannon Met Polished Binder Derby Black

Church's

SHOP NOWEUR 790
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