Color: Black/Gray, Bold, Metallic & Red
"After a season of unrivaled dominance of brown, black will now be heralding a great revival," says Marky Bielat, owner of the exclusive European shoe boutique Marky on Lincoln Avenue.
Yes, black is back, showing up in wardrobes and on feet everywhere. These elegant patent black pumps, available at Marky's and pictured left, boast a four-inch heel and several sexy straps, making them the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful evening dress or a classic suit.
Pictured right: pumps available at Shoes by Marky in November 2007.
While black is back, Kelly Granahan, manager of lady's shoes at Neiman Marcus, says, "This season, gray for us is the basic color."
From smoky to charcoal, gray is competing with black as the neutral shade of winter, as it works well with most colors, including pastels and reds, and can also be used to create a wonderful monochromatic look.
The real beauty of this winter, though, is that almost anything goes when it comes to color.
From light lavender to bold blue to hot pink, shoes are showing up in all shades, adding pops of color to every wardrobe. These fun Dolce & Gabbana platforms pictured at left, combine several of this winter's hottest trends: patent, high heels, great color and a peep toe.
While this shoe may not be practical for everyday wear, a vibrant pair of heels like this can brighten even the dullest of Chicago's stark winter nights.
Pictured above left: Dolce & Gabbana pumps available at Zappos.
Metallic shades are a hit right now as well, with designers straying beyond the traditional gold and silver and using a rainbow assortment of metallic hues.
One glance at these gorgeous wine-colored Robert Cavalli booties pictured at right, shows how metallic can work for both evening and daytime wear.
The glitter doesn't stop with metallic, though; jewels of all colors, from bright red to polished metal, bedazzle every style of shoe, creating a glittering Hollywood glam look that dresses up even the most monotonous of wardrobes.
Pictured above right: Roberto Cavalli booties available at Zappos.
Red is still hot, hot, hot.
Made in Spain by Pura Lopez, these exquisite satin pumps feature a 4-inch heel and leather sole. Available at Marky's in mid-November, these shoes give this holiday season a reason to celebrate.
Pictured above left: Pura Lopez satin pumps available at Shoes by Marky in November 2007.
Style #1: Shoe Boots
This year the shoe boot, also called the Shootie, is making a serious comback, and the new and improved design is simply divine. Suedes, patents, animal prints and iridescent shades grace these boots, along with a number of embellishments, such as tie backs, buckles, fur and bows.
Jennifer Moryc, fashion manager for Chicago and Detroit area Macy's, says, "If there is a number one trend [this winter] it would be the shoe boot."
Pictured above right:
From Macy's, the BCBGirls "Tate" Bootie
Style #2: Mary Janes
Mary Janes are also a popular choice this winter and for good reason. Named after a cartoon character and featured in a song, mary janes have been around for over 100 years but have evolved graciously with the times.
This once flat shoe, designed specifically for children, now features heels of all sizes, one or several straps and embellishments galore.
Feeling spunky? Slip on a pair of two-toned platforms. Need a subtler look? Flat suedes work perfectly with opague tights and can be worn day or not. Marc by Marcy Jacobs has created the ultimate mary jane, again incorporating several of this winter's trends within one shoe: two-toned color and a platform. This pair transfers effortlessley from slacks to blue jeans.
Pictured above left: Marc by Marc Jacobs Lug Sole Mary Janes available at Shopbop.
Style #3: Town Shoes
Everone loves the look of a preppy oxford, but the older, flat style made pairing this shoe with a skirt nearly impossible. The new, modern version of the oxford, referred to as the town shoe, dresses up nicely, creating a versatile look perfect for business attire or casual wear.
Many of this year's town shoes, such as the pair pictured at right, are shown with a platform heel which, according to Macy's Moryc, balances out the popular wide-leg pants as well as the bulky proportions of heavier clothing that's showing up on this year's racks. Wear this shoe with slacks, jeans and even over a pair of leggings.
Pictured above right: Marc by Marc Jacobs Platform Oxford Pumps available at Shopbop.
Style #4: Flat Boots
When the weather starts rearing its ugly head, the best way to keep your look anything but ugly, is with the flat boot.
Inspired by Equestrian style meets winter wonderland, flat boots are truly the ultimate way to stay fashion-forward in the harshest of temperatures and snowstorms.
These Sigerson Morrison boots pictured at left, are made in Italy and include leather soles and lining. The ruching on the top tempts the wearer to opt for tucked-in pants, leggings or to wear a skirt. Yet, covered or showcased, these boots will make a statement.
Pictured above left: Sigerson Morrison boots at Zappos.
What's the verdict?
Versatility is key this winter when it comes to shoes. Colors run rampant, though black and gray remain popular. Heels are big this year, literally.
Kelly from Neiman Marcus says that she's seeing anything from a two-inch to five-inch heel on her shelves. "Our customers like the height and the platform [on platform shoes] built in, which gives them a lot of height without the arch," she explains.
Chunky heel, narrow heel, it really doesn't matter. Anything goes where heels are concerned. Those who don't like heels do have options: the ballet shoe is still hot and some of this year's boots are showing up with no heel at all.
Whatever your taste, be it loud and high or low and subdued, you'll have no problem finding the perfect pair of shoes this winter shopping season.
◊ October 2007
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