Style starts at the ankle with a new crop of fun footwear – let your shoes lead your look.
The recent London and New York fashion weeks were a riot of patterns and colours. Some took it to a glorious extreme; others played it cool with just a splash of bright or a pop of print. Internationally, fashion’s mood is distinctly taking a turn for the more playful and bold, and I think it’s time we followed suit.
I’m usually a pretty plain dresser, but even I have found myself scouring stores for floral blouses and statement jackets that will still work with my favourite failsafe jeans/black pants and white tee/ shirt combos.
I am also a firm believer in the power of the right pair of shoes, and their ability to make (or break) an outfit. If you’re stuck on what to wear, start with your shoes and rest will follow.
So why not have some fun with our footwear while style’s in such a good mood? Based on what the fashion week set were wearing on the streets of NYC and London, I think a statement ankle boot is the best bet for right now. They’re all about autumn and we’re seeing in spring, but it’s these trans-seasons where our sartorial choices can most happily align – and the ankle boot is one of the great all-rounders.
They’re comfortable, stable, ankle-slimming if cut right, and also offer a larger surface area, so can act as the perfect canvas for showcasing something a bit less ordinary. Top New Zealand stylist Kylie Cooke is another fan. “I think the appeal of the statement ankle boot is that, like any good accessory, they can either elevate a simple look by adding a bit of flavour or they can complement a bold, contrasting combination. And this gives them wide appeal to all tastes,” says Cooke.
It’s a small (but still powerful) statement, so don’t get too bogged down by trying to find the ultimate pair. Pick a block colour that appeals (I’m particularly drawn to lilac, marigold, bright red and metallic pink); go tactile with a chic fabrication such as embroidery or jacquard; or push the boat out with a striking print – polka dots, stripes, florals, geometrics, paisley – even slogans if you’re feeling really daring. Anything goes.
If your wallet allows, start building a collection of eye-catching options, and enjoy letting your mood choose your shoes.