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Sandals, it’s over. As September rolls around, sodden soles are on their way to becoming the norm once more (sorry for the reality check), and those sliders you’ve been donning all summer likely aren’t going to cut it. Instead, your autumnal footwear rotation needs to feel a little more sturdy, but without compromising on style, of course.
So, to help you put your best foot forward this season, we’ve enlisted the help of stylist Toby Standing for all the need-to-knows on the shoes you actually need this season. From the loafers that work for pub lunches and weddings alike, to the white sneakers that’ll never age, meet the footwear you’re guaranteed to live in.
It seems our stylists have been struggling to find an excuse to wear any other shoes than loafers right now. It’s the style of shoe that seamlessly crosses that smart casual line – especially if you opt for a versatile pair. Toby recommends a penny loafer or tassel style from brands like G.H. Bass.Search for a pair with a slightly heavier sole, so that they don’t look as formal when you’re wearing them with jeans or shorts.
Things to avoid include patent leather and anything too pointed in the toe department – patent leather ages badly and a pointed toe creates a disproportionate silhouette. An outfit we’re really into right now consists of a relaxed pair of washed-out jeans, white t-shirt, and some black loafers – we’re labelling it the ultimate summer to autumn uniform.
Sneakers have finally come out the other side, from the overly designed, crazy chunky, queue-for-three-hours-to-cop kind, and now back to the classic, never-going-out-of-style kind. Styles like the Adidas Stan Smith, Sambas, or Gazelles are Toby’s preference here, but you’d be hard pressed to find a brand that hasn’t got a simple, low-top white sneaker on offer.
We’d suggest going for a pair with some subtle colour details, just to add a bit of interest and avoid looking like you’ve got a fully gleaming white shot at the bottom of your look – this can draw the eye down and make your shoes become too much of a focus of your look, especially if they’re box fresh. With that in mind, we say wear ‘em in, and don’t worry about keeping them pristine. In our eyes, sneakers always look better a bit scuffed and creased, but if you do feel like they need a bit of a refresh, simply replacing or washing the laces can do a lot to make them look cleaner without hours of scrubbing.
The ultimate in-between season shoe, a suede moccasin works hard in the same kind of look your loafers would, just with that extra bit of added texture. Much like the other two styles, this is a footwear shape that’s been around for a long time, so you can be confident you’re going to get some good wear out of them for a good while yet.
Some words of caution: save these one for dryer days, and get some suede protector on them quick time, and, if you go for a pair from Clarks (strongly recommended), go a full size down.
Words: Yasmine Kennedy
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Toby Standing