Despite what surprise snowstorms may have implied, spring has officially sprung, and our winter boots can (eventually) be cast off and replaced with shoes free of salt stains and easier to wear with knee socks. Thus, it’s only fair that we give you a crash course in the season’s best and latest: here are spring’s hottest shoes and how you can carry them off.
You might regret pitching those wedges from 1999 now that the chunky style has made its triumphant return into the wide world of fashion “ especially since ankle straps and Mary Jane inspirations are just as prevalent now as they were over a decade ago. However, while closed toe styles are a seasonal must-have (like Deena & Ozzy’s lace-up platform), an open toe alternative is perfect for spring and summer, especially since pairing tights and knee socks with sandals is no longer a fashion don’t. Just be careful with height: while Miu Miu and friends have taught us that vertical strength equals power, if you’re walking like a newborn baby deer, it may be wiser to opt for a lower style.
Try Anthropologie’s Colour Composition Wedges, $190.00.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find flats in this season’s footwear selection, but take solace in the fact that unlike ballet shoes or penny loafers, oxfords can span both the casual and dressy categories thanks to styles boasting a retro aesthetic or patent sheen. Perfect for lacy ankle socks or pleated trousers, oxfords can help complete the preppy vibe perfected by the likes of Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, and also embody the street style aesthetic that shies away from clean lines and all-American looks that make up certain spring 2011 collections. The best part? From H&M to Urban Outfitters to Holt Renfrew, you can pick them up anywhere.
Try Urban Outfitter’s Deena & Ozzy Patent Oxford in Orange (also available in Black), $38.00.
Toto, we’re not in 2010 anymore: unlike the towering clogs of fall or the slippers of every college student in the past five years, this season’s clog selection boasts an innately Swedish look, meaning that wood, round toes, bows and the makings of a traditional European clog “ minus the stereotypes “ are staking their claim on footwear. Embodying nearly every aspect of great shoes through open toes and lower, chunky heels, 2011’s clogs nearly border on wedges, but with the trademark heel strap, brands like Hasbeens maintain their innate clog quality that’s set them apart and kept them in rotation for generations.
Try Jeffrey Campbell’s Crosby Platform in Brown/Teal (available at Free People), $145.27.
Forget everything you’ve associated with pumps up until now: unlike the pointy-toed stilettos trademarked by Carrie Bradshaw and company, this season’s selection is far more 70s-appropriate with chunkier heels, rounder toes and softer lines, staying true to Marc Jacob’s disco fever as well as the vintage-inspired looks of spring 2011. Suede, quality leathers and even wood (just like the paneling) keep styles interesting, and work perfectly alongside wide leg pants and colour blocking to capture the Carter years quality. And if you haven’t warmed up to the revival of 1976? Fear not: since most styles boast neutral palettes (despite their intricate designs), they can team up successfully alongside a minimalist colour scheme or a pair of high waisted skinny jeans.
Try Mango’s Sling-Back Rabbit Sandal in Orange (also available in Black), $139.90.