Why you only need 3 items of footwear this autumn/winter (for men & women)

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Is your shoe rack overflowing at the front door? Do you have more than one pair stuffed into each aperture of the shoe cubby in your wardrobe? Have you got extra boots in boxes under your bed? Don’t worry – you CAN minimise your footwear collection if you stick to the essentials and here are the only three shoe styles you’ll need to see you through the coming season…

As a regular declutterer and wannabe minimalist, it bothers me when I have too many items to fit in the storage I have. I don’t want stuff all over the place; I want neatness, and for everything to have its place. Which is precisely why I’ve decided to pare back my footwear wardrobe and only keep the shoes I actually wear.

Of course, your footwear requirements change with the seasons (as much as I love my new sandals I obviously won’t be wearing them in winter, no matter how comfortable they are!) but you don’t need masses of options if you choose a handful of timeless styles. In my opinion you only need THREE types of footwear to see you through the autumn and winter – and that applies for both women and men. Here’s what you should keep…

ANKLE BOOTS

For most occasions throughout autumn and winter, ankle boots will do the job. They go with most outfits – you can wear them with jeans for a casual weekend look, wear polished chelsea boots under trousers for smart office style, or pull on a pair with thick tights and a skirt or dress for days out. You can choose a pair with or without a heel – but if you’re going for a heel, keep it low and ensure the sole is grippy enough to deal with slippy pavements in wet weather.

It’s no different for men – a classic pair of leather men’s jodhpur boots can be dressed up or down for any autumn occasion. If you invest in a quality pair, you only ever need to buy one pair and wear them time and again. Keep your boots in good condition for the entire season by wiping them down when you come in from the rain or snow because water and salt residue from gritted roads can damage the leather. So keep them clean, give them a regular polish to treat the leather and they should last you for years.

TALL BOOTS

Another staple for this time of year is a pair of knee-high boots. While you can still wear ankle boots well into spring and summer, you probably won’t want to pull on a pair of tall boots outside of autumn and winter, so make the most of them now. I’ve previously compared ankle boots v tall boots and it turns out you need both! You can wear high boots over thick tights for a night out, or with skinny jeans tucked inside to keep it casual.

Again, these boots need to be both stylish and practical so look out for a sole with enough grip to be able to walk on frosty surfaces. While you don’t see many knee-high boots on men, a calf-height boot is great for winter as he can tuck jeans into the boots and avoid soggy hems. Plus, you will need a practical pair of boots when it snows, otherwise you won’t be able leave the house!

SMART SHOES

One final footwear item that’s an absolute essential for this season is a pair of smart shoes. Even though it might not seem practical to have a pair of heels in your winter wardrobe (take care not to slip!) there will definitely be an occasion in December when you need to wear something a little glam.

Both men and women should keep it neutral with a black leather pair and that’s all you’ll need for any smart occasions this autumn/winter. Perhaps you’re getting dressed up for the office Christmas party, or for a night out at the theatre to watch the panto, or for festive drinks with friends. Whatever the occasion, you’ll be pleased that you kept one smart pair of shoes to wear this winter.

Let me know if you would add any other footwear styles to this list of autumn/winter essentials in the comments below. Do you have a favourite pair of boots that you get out every year to see you through the winter? I’d love to hear your suggestions and recommendations for adding items to my footwear wardrobe πŸ™‚

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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