A walks you through the tricky terrain of winter footwear
It's hard to believe I'm once again shopping for winter shoes. It feels like only yesterday I was prancing around in sandals enjoying a glorious English summer. Nevertheless, winter is upon us and neither my gorgeous Adidas sliders nor my neoprene Roshe Runs will be tough enough for the season ahead.
So, what to wear this winter?
Winter will ever herald sensible shoes. But sensible doesn't have to mean boring. I just dare you to not drool all over these divine deep blue leather specimens. And as far as investment pieces go, these Church's are the real deal. Classic enough to take your from your relaxed lounge suit right through to dressing for dinner (we do all live in a PG Wodehouse novel, don't we?). If that doesn't convince you, the good and the great of the fashion world are all stealing style tips from 'him' at the moment – 'him' being the man in your life - yes, it's OK if that's still your Dad.
Looking for practical shoes but bored by black? Clarks has answered your prayers. These stone-grey buckle-ups have a whiff of rebellion about them, but are definitely smart enough to get away with at work. These will see you through miserable Monday mornings, right through to drinks after work on a Friday. A more hard-working pair of shoes you'd be hard-pressed to find.
Metallic detailing is a little bit in this season, but who cares about that? I'm just head over heels for these loafers by Russell and Bromley. I never thought a loafer could inspire such feelings of lust. If I were you, I'd run right out and buy these now. Sensible and understated, yet so glamourous - what more could a girl want? Oh, and as for what to wear them with- a little black dress, a trouser suit - I'd let the shoes inspire the outfit!
Ankle boots are always a good idea for winter. Perennially easy to style and so darned practical - extra height equals extra warmth and extra rain protection. And blue is the footwear colour of choice this season, don't you know? That just about adds up to these beautiful boots by Jil Sander being the most desirable thing on the internet right now. Head over to Matches to bag yourself some and outlast the winter in layers, cosy knits, and a cashmere beanie hat.
I'm not a massive fan of tall boots. On some women, they can look effortlessly stylish, chic even. But, like a good record played too many times, they've become familiar, boring, and nigh-on unbearable. If you must wear some, then I suggest these from M&S might just be your best bet. Simple, honest styling with a biker edge in the form of quilted leather detailing and a utilitarian buckle fastening, I might even like these boots. Paired with black skinny jeans and a crisp white shirt, you could pull off Parisienne chic quite nicely. And if Chanel's doing black quilted boots this season, then it must be OK, non?
For the out and out rebels among you, and for the girl confident enough in her own femininity to wear ugly shoes, these are IT. We're calling them stomping boots, and that's exactly what you'd do in them. Stomp right through the long, cold days of winter, right through to spring again. Wear with a spaghetti-strap floral dress or denim and oversize knitwear for proper grunge stylings. Thank you, Dr Martens.
Oh, you know I can't resist a sneaker. It may be winter, but they still reign supreme in my world. Just make sure they're leather for ultimate comfort. Now, I had a traumatic experience with my first pair of Stan Smiths all those years ago, but this retro style has been seen on the foot of so many a fashionista, that I may be coming round to them again. Best worn ironically, as if you dressed for front row at Topshop but forgot to pack your heels.
It really is all about the Adidas trainers this season and the superstar really is living up to its name! With excellent retro 80's styling, shell-toe and all, this is an easy win in sneaker-land this winter. Pair with smart joggers, a loose-fit tweed suit, or whatever the heck you like!
If you're still not sure what to plump for, I'd suggest a trip to Clarks with your Mum. She usually knows what's best.