Buying a pair of designer shoes is, for most of us, always going to be a serious investment. When you're taking the plunge, you want a pair that's going to age gracefully, stand the test of time and look stylish for many years to come. It's easier said than done—trust us. Remember kids: Designer shoes are for life, not just for Christmas.
However, there are a handful of shoes that possess a certain pedigree that set them apart from the rest and, in some cases, boast a history dating back over a century. They've weathered the many storms that have battered the fashion industry, transcended the comings and goings of various shoe trends, and, most importantly, have managed to remain modern for countless women from age 18 right up to 80. That's no mean feat.
We've brought you a definite list of these icons of design which, we might add, will come in handy if you're ever looking to invest in a pair. Our lineup covers everything from Chanel's famed logo pumps to Gucci's polished horsebit loafers, but the thing that links them all is they're guaranteed to become the hardest-working style in your shoe arsenal, and look good with everything from denim to summer dresses. They're called classics for a reason.
Scroll down to see and shop our full edit of timeless designer shoes.
Style Notes: Coco Chanel created many iconic styles during her lifetime (think tweed blazers and chain-link bags), but two-toned pumps and ballet flats have got to be one of the most famed. Dating back to 1957, the styles were papped on many a famous face—and still are today. They're just what you need for a white tee, blazer and pair of jeans.
Style Notes: The Church family might date back to 1675, but there's nothing outdated about the brand's brogues, which feel just as fresh now as they did back in the 19th century. Offering timeless styles in androgynous fits, these lace-up styles will take you anywhere.
Jimmy Choo Courts
Style Notes: Jimmy Choo is a brand that was made for the red carpet, and it's beloved by a wide range of celebs—from Rihanna to Kate Middleton. The brand's pumps are all about that quintessential grown-up glamour only stilettos can bestow. Wear with jeans and a top for Friday night drinks, or use them to elevate your favourite midi dress.
Style Notes: It can feel like every season there's a new trainer trend to get on board with, but Stan Smiths are a fashion-editor fave that never goes out of date. Named after an American tennis player, these clean-lined sneakers from Adidas have gone from gym-hall shoes to a wardrobe staple.
Style Notes: From the studded Susannas to the buckled Rylees, Chloé has become the fashion girl's go-to for stylish boots. Seen on the likes of Sienna Miller, Chrissy Teigen and Diane Kruger, the Rylee has seen particular success with its Western-style silhouette and a lace-up front. We've got our eye on the snake-effect iterations.
Style Notes: Available in 21 different colourways, it's safe to say that Hermès's Oran sandals have become a bit of mainstay in the wardrobes of fashion influencers and editors alike. Yes, they come at a premium, but they'll give you an excellent cost per wear with their classic versatile shape. We love how Camille has worn hers with jeans and a casual striped tee.
Style Notes: Gucci loafers might've hit the fashion week big-time back in 2014, but the classic style has been around for over 60 years. Characterised by its simple leather style and horse-bit detailing, the shoes now come in a variety of styles, featuring vibrant hues, fur lining and crystal embellishment. But if you're making the investment, we would stick to classic black or brown.