Shoes-ing the Right Pair: Top Shoe Trends for Fall 2008

Okay, so I’ll admit it; when it comes to shoes, I have a problem.
I can’t stop buying them.
I love all kinds of shoes, from flip flops to stilettos to my trusty Chuck Taylors. I love my tried and true (black pumps, ballet flats, etc.) and I love finding fun and funky shoes to add a lil’ oomph to an outfit. I have shoes ranging from Payless and Target to Steve Madden and even a few beloved pairs of designer shoes (that were all purchased in outlets or amazing clearance sales, I must add).
The best thing about shoes is that trends come in cycles so you can save your favorite pairs and use them for more than one season.
This season there are six major shoe trends emerging, although a couple of them are old trends re-surging, so I’m here to let you know what you’ll be seeing on footsies in the next few months.

Trend #1: Spectators (AKA Oxfords)
To go with the trend of menswear inspired clothing that is so hot this season, this throwback to the 1940’s is back in full swing and you can find all kinds of fun styles and colors for your own take on the trend. For those of you who aren’t on a student or recent-grad budget, Alexander McQueen has a gorgeous peep-toe version, but for the rest of us there are darling versions at Nine West, Aldo and Target. I just got an adorable pair of black peep-toes with a chunky heel for under $30 at Target and saw several different styles and colors. I also found a great black & white pair at Aldo on sale for $64.98 and another fun pair at Payless for $24.99! These look great with skirts and stockings/tights or with wide-legged trousers.

Trend #2: Black Patent T-Strap Heels with Platform
This trend continues and is a great way for you petite girls to add some height while also a showing off those gams. You can pair this style with jeans and a cute top or with a delicate cocktail dress. YSL’s Tribute Sandal is back with new colors and new heights, but again, for the budget-conscious, I found an adorable pair at Delia’s on sale for $19.99!!! I may just have to buy them myself.

Trend #3: Classic Stiletto Heel-Sans Platform
This trend never seems to go out of style and this season is no different. You can do all kinds of things with this shoe: different colors, round-toe or pointy-toe, different materials and even patterns (the watercolor look is a “must-have” trend of the season, according to Vogue). This style can be found EVERYWHERE – you don’t have to look far at all – and the key is to have fun with it. Go with a bold color like bright blues or greens, have a suede or a patent leather pump, rock ‘em out with skinny jeans, or with a hot mini-skirt. The key, though, is to make sure you have at least one pair of the classic black stiletto on hand. Aldo is a great place to find adorable stilettos for a reasonable price, and I oftentimes end up finding great sales and getting pairs for under $50. In fact I just got a pair of grey patent leather stilettos for $24!!!

Trend #4: Animal Prints
Animal prints are back, but to get the right look for this season, pair it with a very neutral outfit (greys, khakis, beiges). It’ll make your shoes pop and give a more modern take on animal prints. And this time around it’s not just about leopard; zebra, giraffe and python are a great take on this trend as well. It is a bit harder to find nice looking animal print shoes at a reasonable price, though I did spot a pair of zebra print at Target. also has a vast array of animal print shoes between $75 and $300.

Trend #5: Booties
It’s all about finding a good bootie call and, for the third straight season, booties are all the rage for fall. They’re a great in-between of having more coverage than regular heels without the commitment to a full boot, and they look absolutely adorable with a flirty party dress or a skirt (pencil or bubble-hemmed are my personal faves) and tights. There are numerous variations on this trend from lacey styles to gladiator-inspired, so look around for a style that fits you personally. Again, for budget-friendly versions check Nine West, Aldo, Target, and even Payless (who is currently having their BOGO/Buy one, get one ½ off sale).

Trend #6: Monster Platform Wood Soles
Crazy high wood platforms are huge (literally and figuratively) for fall. Well, at least for the runways. Stella McCartney and Marni are among the designers who adore this look, but it seems the design is so fashion forward (and impractical?) that I had a hard time finding inexpensive versions of this style. If you love the look, start scouring the internet; you are bound to find something to fit your college budget.
No matter which trend(s) you choose to go with, fashion is all about having fun and making yourself feel great, so pick out something you love, pair it with a fab outfit, and watch heads turn (or rather, look down).

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