Autumn and Winter are around the corner in the northern hemisphere. It’s time to talk cool and cold-weather trends for the next six months of fashion. Remember that trends last a lot longer than they used to. Most trends last for years, and some even for decades. Some trends are iconic classics having their fashion moment. And some of the newer trends will be the iconic classics of the future. At this point, I find it challenging to pinpoint looks that are dated. I’m boldly going with nothing. If you can wear a wardrobe item in a way that makes you feel confident, good, empowered, happy, and attractive, then wear it with a happy heart.

That said, fashion trends are not completely irrelevant. The fashion industry is highlighting and promoting them, so they are hard to ignore. They inject newness, and it is fun to discuss them with like-minded fashion people like yourselves. The world of trends is much like a buffet. You eat heartily, snack until you’re satisfied, or say no thanks I’m not hungry. We hold the power because now, more than ever, style is a celebration of individuality and almost anything goes.

I enjoy researching seasonal trends, sifting through mountains of info to assess what is relevant, putting my posts together, and sharing them. My thirty years in the rag trade has made me practised at the process, making it easier each year. Personally, I enjoy thinking about which trends appeal to me, and how they can fit into my current style. It’s one of the fun parts of fashion.

I’m kicking off this round of seasonal emphasis with footwear trends. In short, think ‘90s footwear with a strong nod to the ‘80s and ‘70s. Think all sorts of neutrals, non-neutrals, patterns, and metallics. Some trends are mainstream, and some fringe. The collection shows a quick visual before we go into detail. You’ll find that one shoe can incorporate many trends.

Nordstrom
WRANGLER Rosa Boot
View Info
Top Pick
4
Nordstrom
COACH Lacey Bootie
View Info
Top Pick
8
Nordstrom
COACH Hanna Loafer
View Info
Top Pick
4
Shopbop
Larroude Miso Boots
View Info
Top Pick
1
Boden
Block Heel Loafers
View Info
Top Pick
3
Boden
Block Heel Loafers
View Info
Top Pick
2
Boden
Retro Tennis Trainer
View Info
Top Pick
2
Mango
Leather Moccasin
View Info
Top Pick
1
Mango
Block Heel Shoe
View Info
Top Pick
2
Zara
Flat Leather Mules
View Info
Top Pick
1
Boden
Shearling Lined Clogs
View Info
Top Pick
1
Boden
Straight Ankle Boots
View Info
Top Pick
2

1. Platforms, Flatforms, Lug Soles

This trend is mainstream and the biggest trend of all. Chunky platform and flatform soles on most types of footwear reign supreme. Sandals, loafers, oxfords, boots, slides, Mary Janes, sneakers, mules – you name it, and it comes in a platform or flatform. Some platforms are extremely high. Some are wedged, and some have lug soles. Heel heights on flatforms tend to be more manageable. Notably, many of these shoes look heavy to stride in, but thanks to materials technology they are more lightweight than thirty years ago.

2. Loafers

Loafers are an example of a classic having their fashion moment. Some are platformed and flatformed, lug-soled, and chunky. Some are pointy-toed and heeled. Some have statement hardware and fringe detailing. Others are refined, pretty, and as classic as can be.

3. Square and Snip Toes

In true ‘90s fashion, we’re seeing a lot of square-toe footwear. It’s a mainstream trend. Even toe-baring sandals have square-shaped soles. Some square toes are VERY square, and some less so. A snip toe is a pointy-toe shoe that has had its tip cut off to create a subtle square toe – or pointy square toe, if that makes sense. Square toe boxes create welcome room for wider feet.

4. Tall Boots

All sorts of tall boots are having their fashion moment. Anything from mid-calf and knee-high lengths, to over-the-knee heights are popular. Heeled, flat, slouchy, tailored, narrow-heeled, block-heeled, platform, sock boots, equestrian, chunky, refined, dressy, casual – take your pick. Not quite mainstream yet, but I expect tall boots to go mainstream soon.

5. Sneakers and Sneaker Hybrids

I think of sneakers as the shoe of our fashion era, and the most mainstream trend of all. These days, there is no such thing as a bad sneaker. Chunky athletic sneakers, retro runners, fashion sneakers, platforms, wedges, hi-tops, and all sorts of sneaker hybrids can be worn with anything. They are an excellent way of dressing down a dressier look, and adding a sporty touch to a glam and luxe vibe. White sneakers are the classic.

6. Sandals, Slides, Clogs with Socks and Hosiery

These tend to be Summery, warm-weather shoes. But insulating them with socks and hosiery is a fringe trend and a way to sport them in colder weather. Socks can be short or long, and patterned or solid. You can create a high or low contrast with the socks, hosiery and footwear.

7. Heeled Oxfords

Oxfords took a backseat for several seasons, but are gaining momentum as a fringe trend. Dressy and refined heeled oxfords look especially “new”. Chunky flatform oxfords with laces and monk straps have a strong ‘90s vibe. Hybrid oxford sneakers are there too.

8. Western Boots

Another example of an iconic classic that’s getting its fashion moment, and is mainstream. Any type of Western boot counts. Shooties, ankle boots, and taller Western boots, it’s all good. The idea is to wear them with anything. Shorts, dresses, skirts, wide legs, and bootcuts are popular items to wear with Western boots. Dust them off if you haven’t worn them in a while.

9. Heeled Mules

Refined heeled mules are fringe trending and a great way to wear a more covered shoe in mild weather. Some of the heels are wedged, while others look Western. Most of the styles are high-vamped and thick-heeled, which makes them easier to walk in. Some have very low vamps and narrow heels, which are harder to walk in.

10. Angled Heels

Angled heels are fringe, and can be seen on most types of footwear. Some heels are angled inwards, thereby giving the shoe a smaller footprint. Some heels are angled outwards, giving them a larger footprint. The heel shapes run the gamut. Chunky, dainty, simple, or ornate.

11. Patent

I think of high shine and patent leather as a classic. Always there, but more popular some seasons than others. Any shoe can be patent, or have patent trim. Patent and high shine make shoes look dressier, and gives them some depth and drama. We’re seeing patent in colours, but black patent is most popular.

12. Mary Janes

Mary Janes tend to stay fringe. We’re seeing them in dainty and chunky styles across a slew of colours. Some are heeled, and some flat. Some have pointy and round toes, while others are square. The silhouette stays securely on the foot, which is a plus compared to loafers, mules and ballet flats that can fall off the feet.

13. Dainty Flats

We see ballet flats and slipper flats every season because they are a classic. But sometimes they enjoy a trendy moment, like now. Flats are round, pointy-toe, square-toe, snip-toe, two-toned, patterned, patent, casual, or dressy. Some are embellished with embroidery and beading.

Generally, I like to snack on the trends. Nibble when I’m peckish, or fill my plate when I’m hungry. My preferences are for refined shoes, and nothing higher than an inch and a half. One inch is my sweet spot. Footwear is not usually the trendy part of my style because I’m set in my ways with what works best for my feet, walking lifestyle, and sartorial preferences. But as I look at this list and my footwear, I’m more on-trend than I thought. It’s a fluke because I wear these shoes regardless of the trends. I have a pair of cream waterproof lug-sole boots that were workhorses last year. I have old pairs of red and cream patent boots. Many pairs of snip-toe ankle boots and hi-tops. I have a very old pair of dressy navy knee-high boots and gold-heeled loafers with square toes. I also have Western boots that come out from time to time. I live in classic loafers, low-top fashion sneakers, and ballet flats but those are Spring and Summer shoes for me. The collection shows why I feel pretty set with what’s in my current footwear capsule for Autumn and Winter. No wardrobe holes, and no wants.

I’d like to find some tall white or cream tailored boots with a one inch heel at some point. They’ve only been on my shopping list for fifteen years. Maybe I’ll get lucky this year. For my horsey capsule, I might go for some tan paddock boots or riding boots, but am undecided.

Over to you. Which footwear trends speak to you?