Even if you’ve been out of school for years, you have to agree with us – there’s something about the imminence of fall that makes you want to do some serious back to school shopping. But before you head to the mall (or ya know, Shopbop), know that there are seven shoes every woman absolutely should own (!!), and and they should be in your closet before you add anything frivolous. Read the list below and then check out the slideshow for our editors’ picks. Note: We’ve intentionally left off many casual, no-brainer styles like running shoes, flip flops, and slippers.
- Ballet Flat: Talk about a shoe that will literally never go out of style. Other flat shoes for fall come and go (we’re looking at you, brogues, Oxfords and smoking slippers) but only one fall flat is forever: the ballet flat. For that reason, invest in a high-quality, designer pair. Suggested Brands: Tory Burch, Repetto, French Sole.
- Nude Pumps: Take a cue from Kate Middleton, who wears her nude L.K. Bennett sledge pumps everywhere. Much like the ballet flat, these shoes get a lot of mileage (luncheons, nights out, work, etc.) so spend a little extra on leather pair that will last, and find your nearest cobbler for bi-monthly cleanings. Suggested Brands: L.K. Bennet, Stuart Weitzman, Michael Kors.
- Tall Black Boots: The options are endless for fall boots: there’s mid-calf, slouchy, camel-colored, combat, equestrian, cowboy…you get the idea. Tall black boots are perennial favorites that you can always fall back on (and are incredibly slimming with a dark jean). Choose pair that are made with leather and have a sturdy sole for tromping around your respective city. Suggested Brands: Loeffler Randall, Dolce Vita, Frye.
- Flat Sneaker: Steal a page from French women’s book (they’re so darn chic) with a pair of white-soled flat sneakers. Suggested Brands: Bensimon, Keds, Converse.
- Black Booties: Night out? Fashion Week? Feeling a little edgy? Black booties are your best bet. The proof is in the pudding: they’re on their 4th straight season of being on-trend. Face it: booties are here to stay. Suggested Brands: Steven, Dolce Vita, Vince Camuto.
- Strappy Sandal: This is your special occasion shoe, so look for one in a metallic silver or gold that is both neutral and dressy – and good for dancing! Suggested Brands: Jimmy Choo, Badgley Mischka, Nina Shoes.
- Summer Wedge: Perfect for late spring and summer weddings – and great for work and nights out during the summer, too. Look for something with a cork, wood, or espadrille heel. Suggested Brands: J.Crew, Steve Madden, Stuart Weitzman (another Kate Middleton favorite!).