Thinking of minimalism, your might envision a capsule wardrobe containing shapely shirts, pants, dresses, skirts and outerwear in neutral tones. However, it’s important to consider footwear too. Your feet have the power to make or break the overall effect of a minimalist outfit — whether tying it together to create a singularly iconic look or disrupting its cohesion to destroy the flow of the ensemble.
As one fashion blogger notes for Vogue, keeping a variety of shoes on hand helps with “changing up [your] look in a pinch.” The footwear of choice she keeps in her car at all times? A sneaker, a stiletto and a slide. Paired with the same dress, each of these items of footwear gives the resulting outfit a vastly different air. Your shoe choice can also make what you wear more conducive to varying temperatures and different times of day.
While the nature of the shoes you choose to add to your closet will depend on such factors as where you live and your personal taste, these six types of shoes perfect for a minimalist wardrobe will help you get started.
Minimalism is all about versatility. Keeping a pair of nude pumps — close to your skin tone, to be exact — on hand will go a long way toward providing you a wider variety of options the next time you’re getting dressed. This shoe is appropriate for everything from work to brunch to a chic soiree. Just be sure to get a comfortable, well-constructed pair capable of standing up to, well, hours of standing.
Next up on our tour of minimalist wardrobe shoes are ankle boots; a category within which there is a bit of wiggle room based upon your personal proclivities. These include everything from heeled booties to flat, tie-front leather boots perfect for long walks down city streets. There are very dressy iterations of ankle boots and there are more casual ones appropriate as laid-back daywear.
Look to pick up a few pairs with an eye toward matching every type of bottom you own — mini, midi and maxi skirts included along with jeans, leggings and more.
Surviving summer can be challenging enough without a lack of appropriate footwear. One pro tip straight out of the minimalism playbook is the acquisition of a pair of timeless, neutral sandals — rather than trying to follow seasonal shoe trends. Going high quality will ensure your comfort, as well as your ability to get more wears out of your investment. Meanwhile, the neutral color will let you anchor any outfit with your favorite strappy slide-ons.
Walk ability is key for summertime wear, so make sure you take a stroll in your sandals before committing.
What’s the secret to taking full advantage of a classic pair of sneakers?
Don’t be afraid to wear them for actual workouts, as part of an athleisure look, or as a contrast to a more formal outfit. Pairing white sneakers with a dress or a formalwear is an excellent way to make your take on minimalism both playful and comfy — without crossing the line into sloppy.
Penny loafers have endured as a classic fashion staple, perhaps because they’re sturdy, easy to slip on and versatile enough to match with almost anything else in your wardrobe — from classic “mom jeans” to trousers and a trench coat. You can dress them up or down and enjoy comfort throughout the day all the same.
Mules are another sleek, slip-on variety of footwear perfect for casual daywear or more sophisticated nightwear. It all depends on the pattern and shape you choose. You can opt for mules with a completely flat sole or add some height with a chunky heel.
The right footwear is fundamental to the completion of a minimalist wardrobe. Make sure you have at least one example of each of these six essential types on hand.