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A capsule wardrobe is a collection of classic pieces that work together with versatility, allowing you to create look after look with a few key items. Incorporating the right shoe selection into your wardrobe can make styling easy, and fashion guru Tan France knows the perfect shoes to pair with many different outfits.

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Tan France’s Philosophy for Choosing Shoes

Since the breakout success of Queer Eye, Tan France has become one of the most visible, sought-after personal stylists in the world. Tan has helped thousands of people find their personal style, in large part by emphasizing the importance of an impeccable capsule wardrobe. By selecting a few versatile items for your capsule wardrobe, you can create a multitude of looks—and this simple style ethos even extends to your shoes.

A capsule shoe wardrobe is a collection of versatile shoes that you can pair with the outfits in your capsule wardrobe. This shoe collection can feature a range of footwear, from ankle boots to flat sandals, in neutral colors like black, beige, brown, and white. A well-rounded capsule shoe wardrobe is adaptable to any dress code, making it easier to put together the perfect outfit for a night out with friends or a formal event.

Tan France’s Essential Shoes for a Women’s Capsule Wardrobe

A high-quality shoe collection is a key component of a capsule wardrobe. World-class fashion stylist Tan France recommends three basic shoes for a women’s capsule shoe wardrobe.

  1. White sneakers: White sneakers are a classic that will never go out of style. These comfortable sneakers are a great everyday shoe for many outings, like brunch with friends, running errands, and shopping. Versatile white sneakers pair well with various items in your wardrobe, like a T-shirt and skinny jeans, a summer dress, or leggings and a cardigan.
  2. Heels: If you like to wear heels, a pair of neutral-toned beige, white, or black pumps can add polish to any outfit in your capsule wardrobe. You can wear a strapless, lightweight nude heel with dark-wash jeans for a casual look, a brown heel with a shift dress at the office, or a black heel with a miniskirt for a date night.
  3. Flats: Flats are a comfortable shoe style that you can pair with skirts, jeans, and dresses. These versatile shoes come in an array of styles, including Oxfords, brogues, espadrilles, sandals, ballet flats, and loafers. You can dress flats up for a night out or wear them with athleisure to run errands. Choose a flat in a neutral color, like black, white, or beige that will work with your capsule wardrobe’s color palette.
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Tan France’s Essential Shoes for a Men’s Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule shoe wardrobe should feature timeless footwear that complements the foundational pieces in your closet. Fashion stylist Tan France suggests four basic pairs of shoes for a men’s capsule wardrobe.

  1. White sneakers: A white sneaker is a neutral, casual shoe that you can pair with outfits in nearly every dress code. You can wear these versatile shoes year-round with a graphic T-shirt and a pair of jeans, chinos and a blazer, or shorts and a tank top in the summertime. Opt for a canvas pair that you can easily launder as needed.
  2. Boots: Boots are a great foundational shoe for a capsule shoe wardrobe. You can wear black leather boots with a leather jacket and dark-wash denim jeans for a night out with friends, or pair brown boots with chinos and a button-down for a work meeting. Choose a pair of boots in black or brown for the most flexibility.
  3. Oxfords: Crafting a well-rounded shoe collection requires a perfect blend of timeless, high-quality footwear, making the classic, close-laced Oxford an essential addition to the capsule closet. Oxfords are an elegant staple in men’s footwear that comes in three different toe styles: cap toe, wingtip, and plain toe. Plain-toe Oxfords are the most formal iteration of the classic dress shoe, often paired with tuxedos and suits for formal dress codes. Cap-toe Oxfords feature a seam across the toe and are a mainstay in office attire. When choosing the best Oxford for your wardrobe, opt for a classic round-toe shape.
  4. Loafers: When choosing shoes for your capsule wardrobe, it’s important to select a few comfortable styles that you can wear regularly. The loafer is one of the most comfortable and versatile shoes in men’s footwear. There are many types of loafers, including penny loafers, tally loafers, boat loafers, and slipper loafers. Adding a pair of loafers to your shoe collection will give you a variety of styling options. You can wear neutral-toned slip-on loafers with casual outfits, or pair dark brown suede penny loafers with a dressy casual suit.

Want to Learn More About Unleashing Your Inner Fashionista?

Get a MasterClass Annual Membership and let Tan France be your very own style spirit guide. Queer Eye’s fashion guru spills everything he knows about building a capsule collection, finding a signature look, understanding proportions, and more (including why it’s important to wear underwear to bed)—all in a soothing British accent, no less.

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