It struck me how catalogues, magazines, retailers and fashion bloggers are combining breezy footwear with warm Winter outfits. Insulating top layers like sweaters, wool coats, puffer coats and beanies are finished off with breezy footwear like sockless slipper flats, ballet flats, pumps and peep-toe booties. To my eye these outfits look seasonally confused and top heavy. It makes even less sense from a practical standpoint, because if it’s cold enough to wear a wool coat or puffer, surely you need to insulate your feet with socks and boots to feel comfortable?

I see “summer footwear” worn with woolly Winter outfits on the streets of Seattle, and shiver at the sight of their cold feet. 

I started thinking about how these seasonally confused outfits might make sense. Maybe others don’t get cold feet like I do, and tend to overheat. Or they are prepared to brave the cold outside in order to be more comfortable in heated indoor temperatures once their outer layers are removed. Or perhaps they are taking into account that temperatures heat up during the day, and they are dressing their feet for the warmest part of the day.

Whatever the rationale, these options don’t work for me no matter how fashionable the combination. Wearing knee-highs with pumps and slipper flats wouldn’t keep me warm enough either. I’m grumpy when I’m cold, so I must insulate my feet when I’m wearing warm top layers. I would much rather feel too warm than too cold. 

I do have a double standard when it comes to seasonally confused outfits. Wearing Winter shoes, like booties or boots with flimsy Summer dresses, skirts and shorts, makes complete sense to me. Some people view those outfits as seasonally confused and bottom heavy, but to my eye they look grounded because the weight is at the bottom and not on top. Others would also call the outfit impractical because if it’s warm enough to wear a dress or shorts, why wear Winter footwear? Well. I like to keep my feet covered year round so wearing slipper flats and closed toe shoes in warm weather works for me. Men wear covered shoes and socks with Summer outfits, so why wouldn’t the same concept work for women? 

Over to you. Does wearing a warm Winter outfit with breezy footwear look and feel seasonally confused?

J.Crew Look BookEileen Fur Hood Puffer Coat

Ellen Tracy Wool Blend Coat