If You Only Buy One Pair Of Shoes This Fall…..THESE



wearing: Ray-Ban sunglasses, a well-worn Vince Double-V sweater from last year – try the current Vince double-v sweater in gray, and Kate Spade Henry Bag -similar Kate Spade bag on sale…..Raines is wearing a wave print tee by Peek,  Gap skinny cords and Vans tiger camo high tops.


Kristin emailed me this question a few weeks ago:

I can only afford one new pair of go-to shoes for fall. What do I choose?!? I’ve got old Toms I thought about replacing in a fun pattern. I have some mustard yellow mocs. Brown riding boots. Boring navy sneaks. Moto ankle boots. Gold Sperrys. Ten different ballet flats from my time working in an office. I want a shoe that is comfy for everyday stuff with the kids but also something that will liven up a boring daytime outfit. And I should note: I never met a color or pattern I didn’t like, and mixed prints make my heart flutter.  What to buy?

Kristin, this is a seriously great question.  So.  If you have the basics covered (boots, cute sneaks, etc.) and just want an easy way to modernize your mom-uniform this Fall, my recommendation is the slip-on sneaker (or smoking loafer if you prefer something less sporty).  These shoes are insanely comfortable – you can do the playground scene with ease – but they still look cool enough for a Saturday night out with the fam.  I wear mine with everything – skinnies, boyfriend jeans, cut-offs, skirt and dresses – everything. Unlike sneakers, which I personally find hard to style at times, these are really, really easy.



An added bonus (as far as trends go) is that slip-on sneaker / smoking loafer isn’t a brand-new trend.  Why is this a good thing?  Because when trends first surface, it’s usually in the form of some coveted designer item with a hefty price tag and hard-to-find status.  Give a trend another year or so and you’ll not only find out which ones will actually last, but there will also be So. Many. Options.    On that note….



1.  Sam Edelman Becker in Camo Print, $80 at Zappos

I picture these with a black pencil skirt.  And everything else.

2.  Same Edelman Becker in Plaid, $80 at Nordstrom (more sizes available at Urban Outfitters)

Add skinnies, a snuggly sweater, and a plaid scarf to perfectly rock the mixed plaid trend (this J.Crew plaid scarf is perfect).

3.  Steve Madden Graffiti Print Slip On Sneaker, $80 at Nordstrom

A perfect way to make classic dark skinnies a little more rock-and-roll.

4.  Classic Vans in Chevron Stripe, $50

With a short, black, sweatshirt dress.

5. Vans for J.Crew Tye Dyed Slip On, on sale for $60 at J.Crew

Fab with white denim and a drapey gray sweatshirt.

6. Schutz Amisha in new neutral pony, $160 at Piperlime

A perfect offset to destroyed denim.


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Leopard looks fab with everything – wear it like a neutral.  My current fav?  With skinnies and a classic, striped tee.

1. Sam Edelman Becker in new leopard, on sale for $80 at Nordstrom

LOVE how these look like a cross between a sneaker and a smoking loafer.

2. Vans Classic in Leopard Herringbone, on sale for $27 at Nordstrom

3. Loeffler Randall Dawn Cheetah, $325

Like everything that Loeffler Randall does, this unique take on a slip on will haunt my dreams for years to come.  Mark my words.  YEARS.

4.  Michael Kors Keaton Slip On Sneaker, $135 at Nordstrom

5. Splendid Smoking Shoe, $98 at Shopbop



If the prints are too much for you, try a shoe with a bit of texture.  Classic, but still interesting.

1. Vince Preston Slip On, $295

Gosh, I love these.  I’d wear with faux-leather shorts and a white tee.

2. Steve Madden Snake Print, on sale for $44

Soooo…these are the shoes I’m wearing, but….they aren’t leather.  So while I LOVE how they look, wearing them without socks on a hot day is NOT comfortable.  I bought them because they were much cheaper and now…..buyers remorse.

3.  Vince Bowen Slip On Sneaker, $225

Stupidly expensive in comparison, but stupidly comfortable.  Seriously.  There’a whole ton of squishy cushion in there.  The shoes I *didn’t* buy in the Nordstrom sale.  Gah!

4. Joie Kidmore Sneaker, $190

I love this sort of taupe-y color.  These make wearing white after Labor Day a cinch.

5. Jeffrey Campbell Ray Sneaker, $84

Am I the only one who loves that these look like slippers?  I’m thinking they would be hysterically awesome with a piped silk button-down (think:  silk pjs).  Or a graphic tee.  Either way.




1.  Marc Jacobs Rue Smoking Flat, $228

I’ve actually had these on my feet.  I wanted, WANTED to walk out with them.  They are insanely comfortable.  But….I just couldn’t.  I love the whole quirky kitty thing, but I’m actually more of a dog person (hey!).

2. DV by Dolce Vita Lex 2, $90

For the t-shirt-and-jeans-everyday girl:  THESE.

3. Report Reid Flat in blue suede, $60

I think blue suede shoes were made for lightwash denim and gray t-shirts.

4. Messeca Meli Loafer in blue leopard pony, $110

I would wear these with cropped, black, skinny ponte pants, and a brightly striped tee.  So cool, in general, with black.

5. Sole Society Harla Flat, $60

This flat comes in three spot-on-perfect patterns, and I love them all.

6. J.Crew Printed Sophie Leather Loafers, $148 (currently 25% off with code SHOPTIME)

J.Crew has a way of making patterned shoes that virtually never go out of style.  I picture these with boyfriend jeans and black turtlenecks.  (Well, I picture pretty much everything with boyfriend jeans and black turtlenecks.)

7. J.Crew Sophie Mermaid Glitter Loafers, $138

OMG JCREW FOR REAL?  You had me at “Mermaid Glitter”.  I love shoes like these – mermaid glitter shoes – with dressed down pieces.  Destroyed denim, cut-off shorts, raw hem cropped jeans, even denim vests – pieces like this.  Add cozy sweaters or moto jackets and you have a win.


So…..slip on shoes/smoking loafers for the win?  FTW I say!

Happy shopping you babes.






  1. I just got a pair of these and am so excited to wear them! From aerosoles of all places, they are calf hair camo print very similar to the Sam Edelman ones you linked too. They also remind me of being a kid which is a good thing. 🙂

  2. I was so glad when slip ons became trendy again. I’ve always loved Vans slip ons and now there are so many fun prints and colors out there. I also found the Gap version surprisingly comfy (except the new black leather ones, they are unbelievably tight on my feet); I have the polka dot ones from Spring and the newer green faux snake print ones. With my Sam Edelman leopard print (I got them before Vams released theirs and am sad since they were definitely overpriced) and Star Wars Vans, I clearly can’t get enough! I have my eyes on either the perforated leather Vans or the chevron striped ones next ;-). Slip ons are such a perfect mom shoe – comfy, good for chasing after kiddos, easy to style, and great for when you have less than 2 hands in your way out the door (so, always). I wear mine with jeans, shirts, dresses, and skirts. Long live the slip on!

  3. I’ve had the leopard Edelman’s in my cart 1000 times, but figured since I had leopard ballet slippers (and cobalt blue leopard ballet slippers, too, which totally rock with black skinnies!) I’d pass. I was meh on the solids I found so decided to dip a toe into the trend with a different print at Target. Cute, cheap and comfy-


    The b&w gives a little zip to anything, but I’m dying to put them with black coated denim for a more punk vibe once it cools down.

    And thanks for the BR/Gap sale heads up- trying to recreate your AWESOME business look with some pieces I nabbed!!

  4. Vans perforated leather slip ons are great! I got the Vince ones during the nordstrom sale and when I tried them on my husband said they looked like something my mom would wear while gardening in the rain. I kind of agreed, so back they went. Super comfy though!

  5. I was tempted by the vince slip ons, but decided I didn’t want to spend that much. I went with the burgandy leather slip on vans (piperlime and madewell have them). Haven’t worn them yet, but they are very comfortable and real leather!
    I also jumped on those j crew sophie loafers, but in plaid, during the Labor Day sale. They had previously caught my eye, but I had decided against them bc they were silk. I panicked when they started selling out and nabbed them on backorder. I hadn’t really noticed the printed leather ones until you pointed them out. Debating cancelling my backorder and going for these instead… ??
    Though that sorted defeated the point of this post… so much for one new pair!

    • So tough. Maybe buy from Nordstrom so you can easily return them? Their return policy is crazy-amazing. (And I’ve found the Vans to be pretty cushiony near the ankle, which I appreciate….

  6. you’ve totally convinced me to try smoking loafers, and I LOVE the styling tips for each option. (How did you know that light wash denim and gray tees are my daily uniform?? might have to try the blue suede shoes). thanks for the inspiration, I would be hopelessly lost without you. (As a side note, you know that you have to keep writing this blog FOREVER, right?? Like when I’m 93 I’m totally going to need you to help me figure out what to wear to the nursing home Christmas party!)

  7. I’ve debating about the slip-on sneakers but I might have to get some for this fall. I actually just saw a black quilted version at Target by Mossimo for $24.99. They also had a leopard version. Could be a nice inexpensive option if you’re not sure how much you’ll wear them.

  8. Last summer I bought a pair of skechers “go walk” in light grey and wore them to death. They are insanely comfortable for everyday wear with the kids. We are just coming into spring down here in New Zealand and I dragged them out of the wardrobe the other day when the weather was warm and it was like meeting an old friend again that I hadn’t seen in ages. Will be back to the shops soon to pick up another pair for this summer, but will try a colour a bit more out there this time.

  9. I’m having a hard time picturing myself in this style shoe because I think it might be too clunky? I usually to for more feminine styles. BUT when I saw the Steve Madden graffiti print I knew it was fate. I fell in love with that print last year but they only had it in a four inch killer heel and I just couldn’t justify the price per blister!
    Soooo, socks? No socks? I blister easy. I think I might have to wear ankle socks. Will I look dorky?

  10. I’ve lately been really tempted by just the plain white Vans, then I clicked through and saw the bronze version on J. Crew. Oh my! I’m a firm believer in “metallic shoes work with every outfit”, but is this a case of 2 trends = too much?!?

  11. Damn you! I didn’t know I neeeeeeeed a pair of leopard prin slip-ons but turns out I do! Do you know the difference, if there is one, between Sam Elderman and SE Circus? I’m also ordering the ones from J Crew. Such a sucker for tie dye.

  12. Ack! It’s been such a busy week I almost missed the fact that I made the blog! Thanks for answering my question!You mentioned cobalt blue a few weeks back and I ended up with a pair of super cheap cobalt blue slip ons from Old Navy. Cute, but obviously not super comfy. But the color goes with everything. And I am loooooving the idea of a smoking loafer, too.

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