Stylist-cum-shoe designer Tabitha Simmons has become a favourite among fashion circles, favoured for her feminine, glamorous shoes that feel as good as they look. A woman who always knows what footwear to choose for every occasion, she's an expert in the field. Here, she tells us the six enduring shoe styles that everyone should have in their summer wardrobes.
1. The kitten heel
"I’m wearing kitten heels a lot this summer. They’re good in the city and work with so much – they’re a great summer office solution. If you’re not keen on flats, they give you a nice lift. They look very modern and that’s something I think we’ve gone full circle on. We’ve seen so many stilettos, chunky heels and slippers that the kitten heel feels fresh. They’re also really practical and look good with everything, whether cropped jeans or a dress."
2. The metallic block high heel
"A metallic block heel like our Tony shoe goes with everything. Because of the shape of the heel, it’s universal – you can wear it to different places. It’s not a stiletto where trying to walk on a lawn or on a cobbled street is difficult. A gold or silver block heel is versatile in a way that block colours – a green for example – just aren't. You can wear it at night or during the day. Champagne-colour sandals work similarly – they have such longevity and versatility, which means that you don’t have to pack so much on holiday."
3. The flat point
"They go with everything. Summer shoes don’t always have to be open. Sometimes with a simple sole, open-toe style you feel very exposed, especially in the city. I always wear chiffon dresses, so flat pointed-toe shoes – especially slip-ons – are a really good city option for me. The closed toe makes them slightly dressy, but because they’re flat they still feel relatively casual."
4. The simple flat
"We have a style with perspex straps, which makes it feel like you’re almost not wearing anything. I like summer shoes where they disappear almost, so that you feel as if you’re barefoot. Quality is so important with shoes because they’ll last. I saw someone today wearing a pair of my shoes that were four years old, and that meant so much to me because it shows they’ve endured. Don’t invest in anything trend-focused or with tonnes of embellishment because you’ll lose that longevity."
5. The mid-chunky heel
"I would wear a mid-chunky heel like our Leticia version all day. It’s such a good 24-hour shoe - good for the day but it also works for the evening. It’s comfortable, because every shoe I wear and design has to be. They’re also really good for summer weddings too where stilettos don’t feel right. If you've a social occasion on a lawn, then the block heel also means you won’t sink into the grass. Comfort is everything. Not only do I design shoes, but I also wear what I make. I'm also a stylist, so I lead a busy life which means for me it’s very important that shoes are comfortable. I want my footwear to be functional."
6. The pool slide
"I used to love styles that wrapped round your ankle or calf, but when you’re on the beach it gets quite complicated. Everyone’s gone swimming and you’re still sat there unwrapping. Pool slides are great for the beach. They’re so easy to slip on and off. I’ve learnt my lesson – I’ve gone to the beach in a block heel or a style with wrap ties and just find them a bit difficult."