Black: Duh! Black shoes can never get played out, but the excitement factor tends to be low. Navy: Sometimes rather unexpected, most of the time preppy or conservative. Plum: Fresh for fall, heavy on attitude, and about as neutral as can be without being boring! This season, plum is the new black. Unlike deep, dark blues, wine-colored shoes will never clash with your blacks and they also look dreamy with charcoal grays, which we tend to see a lot of this time of year. As a whole crop of Pinot Noir- and Cabernet Sauvignon-tinted pumps, boots, and brogues suggest, plumy shoes are a current must. Buy them now and wear them way more than you likely expect.
Brian Atwood Power Studs Suede Platform Pumps: Power studs, power color! Atwood’s awesome chain-trimmed studs really pop on this luscious suede and chunky heel. Like a glamorous medieval weapon for your foot. At Saks Fifth Avenue for $1,900.
Nicholas Kirkwood Patent Leather Platform Pumps: The plush shade puts an updated spin on the ubiquitous patent-leather pump, and the separate covered platform adds an element of interest and comfort. At Saks Fifth Avenue for $795
Miu Miu Patent Leather Bow Mary Jane Pumps: Plum doesn’t get much cuter than this. In typical Miu Miu fashion, they’ve infused the look of the moment with femininity, humor, and flair. A funky-cute take on the schoolgirl look. At Saks Fifth Avenue for $670.
Emilio Pucci Leather Knee Boots: A whole lot of boot, but just a hint of rich color. Pucci shows their simple side with these 5”-heeled pull-tab boots, paneled with seams to concise perfection. On Net-a-Porter for $1,240.
Gucci Ombré Leather Brogues: While plain brown or black brogues can look too much like literal menswear, this mysteriously graduated shade of deep burgundy-purple infuses some femininity without diminishing the strength of the shoe. On Net-a-Porter for $650.
Diane von Furstenberg Yardley Leather Ankle Boots: I’m willing to bet you have a closet full of black ankle boots, but not a pair that looks like these. Diane von Furstenberg’s substantial yet streamlined wrap-strap boots will take a black leggings-and-sweater ensemble from drab to fab. At Saks Fifth Avenue for $395.