Comfortably Chic | A Love Letter To My Winter Shoes

by Nyasha Naome Mavu of Style Squad Zimbabwe

Ever heard the phrase, ” fashion knows no weather!” In this Zimbabwean cold, I BEG TO DIFFER!

Being a stylist and fashion blogger people often think that I have everything fashion related worked out and sorted. But honestly, I don’t, I am constantly learning and fighting my own style battles. Like most young women I struggle to find a unique style identity in the midst of dominant trends and fashion movements.  For the longest time, fashion for me was all about following trends and imitating what I saw on TV or read in the magazines. I quickly learnt that chasing trends around town was  unsustainable and quite frankly not easy on the pocket. So this year I challenged myself to move away from my conforming ways. Confirming to fashion labels and definitions ascribed by others as the ‘norm’.  Each day brings forth new experiences and I have been working on finding my style voice, even though at times it seems like I’m going left from dominant style discourses.

This winter has been extremely cold and I have found myself drawn to more comfy, warm shoes. Now, in fashion circles, words like comfy and warm don’t usually associate with words such as ‘chic’ or ‘high fashion’ and there seems to be a general consensus that shoes that are ‘comfortable’ are not chic, stylish, sexy or high fashion. But this winter I have had to redefine a number of style concepts  just to keep up with the cold weather and stay warm.
So often we get caught up in terminologies so much so, that we forget that style thrives on diversity and individuality. Style isn’t the labels, descriptions or definitions we make up but it is a vehicle driven by all our experiences, expressions and points of view. Wearing clothes only because they are part of a particular trend or because someone says it’s stylish, sexy, chic or high fashion is a disservice not only to ourselves but to the very concept of style. Chic, stylish or high fashion is exactly what each of us says it is!

I thought it would be special if I shared my top 3  my  winter picks to stay warm, comfortable and stylish.

CLASSIC BIKER BOOT

For the love of all things with a touch of drama, I try to spice up every outfit with elements of edgy coolness and the biker boot is perfect. The biker boot is flat which is amazing because of the mobility and freedom I experience each time i wear them. I definitely feel like adventure girl every time I wear them, I just want to explore, play and discover the inner kid who is constantly kicking and screaming, just begging to come out.

The biker boot is a must have for the girl constantly making moves, on go.  Comfort is key with the biker boot, you can wear them throughout the day without feeling pain or discomfort. I love that I can pair my biker boots with absolutely anything. A dress, a circle skirt, jeans and my personal favourite, leggings! This winter my go to outfit has been a baggy woolen sweater paired with leggings and my amazing biker boots.

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SEXY WEDGE

I have heard a lot of men complain that wedges aren’t sexy shoes! Ladies is this true?? I don’t agree!! Wedges can be the sexiest shoes on the planet. Depending on the look you are going for, wedges can be dressed up or down to fit any occasion. A laid-back lunch with friends, a morning or afternoon event, a stroll to the shops, running around town doing errands, wedges are certainly up for the challenge. I love a good wedge, especially for my casual looks because of the subtle elements of sophistication wedges add to an outfit. Wedges come in all shapes and sizes, the choose is yours. Go forth and conquer the world in your favourite pair of wedges!

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SAUCY TIMS

I live to play around with masculine and feminine style tones. The fashion industry is constantly evolving and we are seeing a movement toward a new era. Clothes don’t seem to have clear gender boundaries anymore, the lines are all blurred. A big movement toward plays of femininity in male collections and plays of masculinity in female collections and I must say, I love it. Clothing and shoe manufacturers  are embracing this movement evidenced in a number of his’ and hers’ collections from around the globe.

Tims have been my absolute favourite this winter. I love the plays on masculinity and femininity embedded in the one pair of shoes. The ability to switch up my looks with one pair of shoes, speaks to the very core of who I want to be stylistically. Tims have kept me on my toes this winter, pushing me to be more creative and explore different looks. I love that I can style my Tims with anything in my closest! Tims are so versatile, the sky isn’t even the limit to what you can do stylistically with a pair of Tims. Comfort levels are sky high with Tims, and this unexplainable sense of power and drive. I am not afraid to own my style choices in these winter warmers, my personal boost of confidence!

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As we are moving into summer, lets finish winter off strong, with the boldness and confidence to trust our style instincts. Fashion and style are exactly what we make them, no rules, no restrictions just us. This winter I embraced the comfortable and the warm  and let go of all the little preconceived notions I was holding on to about being winter chic. I am still learning and growing but I am ready to stand up and speak out for style choices and decisions. Every style choice I make from now on; must have dominant elements of who I am now today and who I want to be tomorrow and I think you should too. Let’s make a noise with our different style expressions today!

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