12 Shoes Every Woman Should Own: 30 Days to Gorgeous Mom Style


These days, I find myself buying fewer clothes and more shoes. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve always bought lots of shoes. But now, I am seeing even more how important they are. Almost more important than clothes. Almost. A flawless pair of shoes can turn basics into an outfit, and with a well-edited shoe wardrobe, your style is unstoppable. Here, the 12 shoes every woman should own. (Not that I’m suggesting you stop at 12…)



L.A.M.B. Trina d'Orsay pump, about $175, Amazon

L.A.M.B. Trina d’Orsay pump, about $175, Amazon


1. Black Pumps

So important, I did a whole post on picking the perfect classic pair. Once you have that covered, though, go crazy and make your second pair drop-dead glamorous.

Schutz Cadey-Lee sandal, $150, Amazon

Schutz Cadey-Lee sandal, $150, Amazon

2. Ankle Strap Sandals

Possibly the hottest thing you can put on your feet. If you are petite, or have short legs, stick to a nude or neutral pair to avoid making your legs look shorter.

CL by Chinese Laundry "Sonesta" boots, $35, Amazon

CL by Chinese Laundry “Sonesta” boots, $35, Amazon

3. Black Ankle Boots

These are my winter go-to’s. Try them with anything that’s too prissy, proper or dull, and they add instant edge.

The Man Repeller X Superga Satin Classic Sneakers, $125, Amazon

The Man Repeller X Superga Satin Classic Sneakers, $125, Amazon

4. Cool Sneakers

I have spent my entire life shunning sneakers and all that they imply (i.e. movement) but their current trendiness, and the way stylish moms like Lena Antonacci pull them off, has made me reconsider. These are by style blogger The Man Repeller for Superga, and they are black satin. Which basically means that I must own them. When styled properly, the right trainers can be worn with all of your weekend essentials, from shorts and jeans to maxi dresses.

Bloch "Amelie" flat, $135, Amazon

Bloch “Amelie” flat, $135, Amazon

5. Ballet Flats

The quintessential casual flat, ballets are so feminine and stylish and timeless. My favorites are by French label Repetto (the Cendrillon is timeless) and Bloch.

Nine West "Jerianne" sandal, $70, Amazon

Nine West “Jerianne” sandal, $70, Amazon


6. Stacked Heel Sandals

A stacked heel sandal is a great compromise. Dressier than a flat sandal, but comfortable enough to wear all day.

Onlymaker Leopard Pumps, about $60, Amazon

Onlymaker Leopard Pumps, about $60, Amazon

7. Leopard Pumps

My love of leopard has been well documented, and no shoe list is complete without it, in my opinion. It’s the instant transformer. Pair your leopard pumps with any solid color outfit and you’re instantly chic; mix it up with other prints and you’re a trendsetter.

Corso Como "Bowery" dress pump, $125, Amazon

Corso Como “Bowery” dress pump, $125, Amazon

8. Metallic Pumps

Forget nude pumps (theoretically, of course – don’t toss them or anything). These are the true neutrals, and when I have to narrow shoes down for a trip (the tragedy!) I always take a metallic, because they are more versatile than black, and often, much more stylish.

Nine West "Tatiana" pump, $79, Amazon

Nine West “Tatiana” pump, $79, Amazon

9. Boldly Colored Pumps

I am so obsessed with my new-ish SJP red satin “Lady” pumps. They are so flawless they nearly bring tears to my eyes. (What? You don’t cry over beautiful shoes?) Anyway, the right pair of colored pumps takes your neutrals to the next level, and are often the single most impactful purchase you can make to instantly, easily upgrade your style.

Ralph Lauren "Rossalyn II" rain boots, $79, Amazon

Ralph Lauren “Rossalyn II” rain boots, $79, Amazon

10. Rain Boots

Living in Florida, where torrential downpours are a regular occurrence, I have learned the hard way to find cute shoes that can withstand the rain, hence my collection of shiny footwear. I love my Melissa pumps and my Kate Spade flats and my Burberry boots. A sleek pair of rain boots holds up in snow as well, and whether you opt for one of Hunter‘s stylishly glossy styles, or this preppy pair from Ralph Lauren, they are an essential classic you’ll wear for years!

Ralph Lauren "Jaden" boot, about $130 (sale), Amazon

Ralph Lauren “Jaden” boot, about $130 (sale), Amazon

11. Flat Tall Boots

Riding boots are comfortable enough to wear all day, with virtually everything, and cute enough to look like you haven’t given up. They are the perfect foil for a dress that is too dressy or too predictable.

Habbot "Novak" sandals, $224, Amazon

Habbot “Novak” sandals, $224, Amazon

12. Flat Sandals

In Florida, the quintessential flat sandal is by Jack Rogers, but if they’re not your thing, there are zillions of others to choose from, including fashion insider brands like Ancient Greek and K. Jacques. They’re a warm-weather essential!

I hope I’ve inspired you try a style you’ve never considered before. Which of these essentials is missing from your shoe wardrobe?

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