Shoeing Off: Spring Shoe Trends and Tips
Ready to put a little spring in your step? Bette Midler is famous for saying, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world!” It’s so true. A recent purchase of some fabulous Beverly Feldman flats (on sale, of course) changed my attitude completely! I was ready for a change from my black, suede Stuart Weitzman ankle boots — and new shoes are an instant way to totally change your outlook on life.
With spring footwear arriving in stores right now, you can slip into plenty of fashion attitude. And since these shoes can really be dramatic, you may want to buy a great pair of shoes and THEN buy the outfit to go with them. Here are the trends to watch:
— Peep-toe Booties are still a big retail hit. While you may have been wearing these with tights for winter, it’s time to get those pedicures and let your toes breathe again. These open-toe, boot-cut shoes have high impact, especially when worn with short skirts or shorts. We’re talking some really great toe-cleavage opportunities, here.
— Frills and Thrills. Glamour counts this spring, and when your shoes have major drama, then you really don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing! Check out all the bows, ruffles, zippers, jewels and lace. And remember, a little extra attention lavished on your shoes does go a long way.
— Platforms pump it up. If you’re into high heels, then you’ll love the new heights in which shoe designers are taking their pumps and sandals. With a wedge or platform to boost comfort, high heels have never been more of a wearable option. My advice is to stick to 4-inch heels or less. Lady Gaga may get away with wearing 6-inch, armadillo-skin heels, but then most of us aren’t so gaga about falling down and breaking bones all for the sake of fashion.
— Brighten up! Another big spring shoe trend: footwear that pops in vivid blues, reds, purples, pinks and oranges. In suede (yes, even for spring), these saturated hues are definitely a style pick-me-up for the winter weary. But if you’re not interested in being in the bright shoe spotlight, you can still tone it down a notch by wearing natural nudes, browns, grays or metallics and still get that extra punch of subdued color.
— Get skinned. There are lots of snakeskin shoes making their way into sophisticated spring wardrobes. In colors like turquoise or purple, dyed snakeskin is truly eye-catching. But black and silver skins are also turning up their heels in artful combinations. And then there is always that armadillo.
— Dressy gladiators. This is another footwear trend that has been around the fashion arena for a while. But this spring, gladiators still capture our imagination with colorful alternatives that rock both casual and dressy clothes. The knee-high versions are the newest way to step out in style.
— Clear it up! A spring favorite this season is the transparent trend with shoes that exude a futuristic appeal in clear vinyls; they are anything but flimsy from heels to flats. And these Lucite shoes may be your best bet yet! Just think they will go with everything … no matter what color you’re wearing … but when teamed up with white, they’re tres chic!
— Wedge it in. Add some height to your shoes, but you can stay in the comfort zone, too. Just a small wedge may give any shoe a touch of trendy newness while providing extra stability at the same time. Clogs are the big news here. In patent python, you can slither your way into any fashionable foray. Look for peep-toe mules in distressed leathers and hand-painted florals.
— Flat out fun. Many of us live in flats, but we still want the power of the pump. Shoe designers have come up with some innovative ways to give flats some oomph. Check out polka dot ballet slippers, suede moccasins, metallic driving shoes and lace-up brogues — something for every shoe personality. And remember, Imelda didn’t have 3,000 pairs of shoes … she had 1,060. So start shopping!
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.