Because it’s all about your shoes. Once you’re happy with your shoes, everything else will fall into place.

When you are buying new shoes in this Capsule Phase of your wardrobe rejuvenation, do not buy anything with a heel, or anything that you can’t put on in 3 seconds. I mean that, 3 seconds. It’s got to be one… two… three… out the naffing door.

Also, during this Capsule Phase, do not get anything mental. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE WHO I AM TALKING TO!!! Nothing turquoise, nothing animal print, nothing fucking neon or patent. This is not about trying to express your inner turmoil through your clothes, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO STUDIO 54 DO YOU UNDERSTAND? this is about looking chic.

Put out of your mind, if you can, fashion. This is not about fashion. Forget fashion. FUCK FASHION. You can do that later, later, later, when your core being is fulfilled and relaxed. When you have your capsule wardrobe and never have “nothing” to wear, then you can do fashion if you want.

This is also obviously a Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe. Autumn/Winter I will deal with in September. YES! There will be more of this.

Let’s go. Are you with me? Are you with me – or against me?

1 Trainers

Do not buy Stan Smiths or Nike Air Force1s unless you can devote a good portion of your life keeping them clean. The popularity of the ice-white trainer is a social phenomenon designed, like a long nails, big earrings or huge sleeves, to denote that the wearer does not do any drudgery of any sort. Also see: white jeans.

Unless you are really quite neurotic about keeping white trainers white you will buy these trainers and within a week they will be filthy and grey and you will feel sad.

There are plenty of other excellent trainer options around to choose from. &OtherStories has a good selection of smart, non-icewhite trainers. Also stay clear of anything with white laces, as these soak up grot and grub from the street fast.

If you promise, promise, promise you will look after a pair of white trainers, get Stan Smiths with Velcro straps as these are easier to keep clean and even then don’t wear them in the fucking rain. If you don’t like Stan Smiths but want a white trainer, make sure they are leather or some other wipe-clean material.

Or how about these Nike Internationalists:

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These Gazelles: Gazelles, mind – NOT Superstars please.

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Or these Nike Air Max 90s.


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Or some variation thereon. But KEEP IT SIMPLE LADIES. That’s all I ask.

2 Espadrilles. 

A comfortable espadrille with a sturdy rubber sole (not a flimsy thing with a rope sole that will fall apart in 6 weeks) is essential. You will be able to wear this from May until mid-October. I find the most useful colours are grey or pale pink. Don’t go too much for metallics or embellishments – or “to the beach” written on them only because they are naff a plain pair will go with absolutely everything and there are times in your life when you don’t want half a ton of Swarovskis or little watermelons/flamingoes on your feet (eg. when you’re having a fight with a traffic warden).

I like these from Office:

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I LOVE these from Seven Boot Lane… if you can afford the £80, I have a pair of these and they are beaut.

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These from Selfridges:

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These from ASOS:

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There is also a vg new brand about to come on the scene called Drilles, but they’re not quite ready yet. If you don’t like any of the above, stay tuned to my Instagram @esthermcoren because I am waiting for these to happen.

3 Clogs.

Right I’m just going to go for this and say that you really really ought to get yourself a pair of clogs. They are just the most versatile and useful pair of shoes you will own. They will folksy-up a too-smart outfit, downplay another and smarten up something else. Whenever I’m staring at my shoe rack thinking “Shit.. which shoes?” I look at my clogs and go “Fuck! Thank god for my clogs!”

Personally I think Swedish Hasbeens are kind of a rip-off. Mine are Lotta from Stockholm and they are awesome. Just give them a try. You will be surprised how much you like them. I would get another pair if I wasn’t worried my husband would go “Why do you need another bloody pair of clogs???????

Do not buy a wacky colour! And get the low-heeled version, they are perfectly flattering. Get any of these below. If the ones you like the most are out of stock, just hit the “email me when back in stock” button and be patient, they will come back around.


4 Sandals.

A beautiful tan sandal will never, ever go out of fashion. Get the plainest tan sandal you can find and it will last you many years. Vraiment chic. Again, cool it on the glitter and two-tone stuff. That was all very 2015 and now looks dated.

Try these from ASOS:

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These from John Lewis:

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These from Office:

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If money is no object, these from Ancient Greek *drools*: I have a pair of AGs with little lightening flashes down the side and they get more comfy every year. I recommend.

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Okay? We’re done!!! See? That was easy. The only 4 pairs of shoes you need for Spring/Summer. I have left out flip/flops and Birkenstocks because I’m assuming you already have one or the other.