Ask Jeanne

Ask Jeanne Shoes for fall 2013

Dear Jeanne,
There’s nothing typical about my workdays. I may in the office, meeting clients for cocktails or going to an evening school play. What’s the essential fall footwear wardrobe for a woman on the move?


Dear Deborah—

Hey sister! More and more of us are finding ourselves in this multi-tasking boat together. It’s chaotic out there, and for those of us who can only expected the unexpected each and every day, the idea of a “work uniform” is pretty much out the window. With so many looks and attitudes in our personal mix, it is pretty dizzying trying to make one’s way through the current maze of shoe options. Never before has there been so much variety! And I’m not sure there’s any such thing as a “must have” anymore….except that you “must have” footwear that’s comfy (to at least some degree), somewhat practical, and yet still manages to make a great style statement.   I’m not keen on throwing out an actual number here—most of us shoe-aholics abhor these kinds of limitations. But I’d say it’s almost imperative to invest in at least a handful of new shoes and boots this fall. Of course, it all depends on your personal taste, in terms of brands, heel heights, and fabrications. But loosely speaking, these are my top choices: First of all, I’m mad for the pointy toe pump, in just about any heel height. It’s an utterly feminine look, very elegant, and looks great with both dresses and skirts as well as a skinny jean. I’d actually go for two pair—one in basic leather and another in patent, which has a dressier vibe and would be perfect for the cocktail circuit. You’re also going to want a pair of menswear-inspired low-heeled loafers. I’ve seen some in pony skin that are very chic, and certainly take the look beyond that of a mere classic. If you’re not keen on loafers, lace-up man style flats are ultra cool. And studs are everywhere, if you’re looking for a little flash. Edgy booties are also pretty high on everyone’s lists these days, and there are some gorgeous sandal boots out there that I’ve got my eye on. While these boots are pretty seasonless, I’m going to go for more practical ones that aren’t too “cut-out”. Even just a peek-a-boo toe might suffice. Of course, a taller, basic, Frye-style boot is always a staple in my wardrobe, and I practically live in them on weekends. I’m also loving the ankle strap shoes that have marched down many a runway, and those with a thicker high heel and a bit of platform can actually offer a bit of comfort and stability. My current favourites are my new black Louis Vuitton’s with the gold buttons for a little military edge. You might also want to go the military route if you’re going to invest in a new fall pair of high boots. Ron White has some very smart ones. I’m also wild for the over-the-knee, thigh-high boots we’ve been seeing in high fashion circles like Chanel, but that might be a little O.T.T. for you.   Finally, treat yourself to a pair of print shoes—not very practical perhaps, but they they will make a statement. There are some great brocades around, and even a splash of animal print. Maybe not right for a PTA meeting, but perfect for those occasions when you really want to walk on the wild side!