I was recently shopping with a client for Summer footwear and we decided that she shouldn’t purchase more than two new pairs of shoes for the season. That’s because she tends to have only three pairs of shoes in regular rotation during a retail season, leaving the others neatly packed away in their boxes. Having fewer options simplifies her outfit creation process, which is important to her because she wants her daily dressing routine to be very efficient.

I’m similar to my client in this respect. I add new footwear to my warm and cold weather capsules every season, but I’ve found that it’s a mistake to add multiple pairs at once. I just don’t have that many pairs in rotation. In fact, I often wear the same pair of shoes several days in a row. A smaller, versatile assortment that I wear frequently suits me better than a large assortment with fewer wears per shoe.

It’s been warming up over the last six weeks, so I’ve been wearing my new white loafers and pointy toe flats quite a bit, swapping them out for ankle strap Okala pumps (the cow print colourway, which is no longer available) and Sole Society pumps when my outfit needs a heel (with my flared jeans, for example).

I’ve been able to sport my Franco Sarto Holts a few times so far because it has to be warm weather to wear them. But I think they’ll probably replace my loafers on hot days. And now I’m carefully thinking about adding Sole Society’s Emma’s ankle strap pump in cognac because I really enjoyed wearing my cognac booties in Autumn and Winter. 

This adds up to three pairs of flats that will be in frequent rotation for the season, and three pairs of heels that I’ll wear less frequently. I also have last season’s white Munro loafers and an older pair of white and gold pumps that will come out from time to time when my outfit requires the look. 

Right now I am re-evaluating the optimal size of my footwear capsule. I currently have 27 pairs of shoes (excluding workout sneakers), and I’m thinking that I might be able to reduce that to 20. I don’t want to have too many pairs in the capsule that go unworn. 

Of course, this is a personal thing. Some people prefer to have a lot more variety in their footwear closet. And although my footwear needs lean towards the minimal side, the same cannot be said for my maximalist handbag tendencies. I definitely change my bag more frequently than my shoes. 

How about you? Do you have a small footwear capsule, or are you a footwear maximalist?