In the weeks following Labor Day, turn your head just the right way and you may be lucky enough to catch a hint of a crisper smell, signifying the start of fall.
As excited as we are for changing leaves and chunky knit scarves, there's only one thing on our minds: bootie season.
While counting your carefully saved dollars, consider which fall purchases are necessities. Do you really need that twentieth gray cable knit sweater? Didn't think so.
This fall is all about richness and texture, from warm suede to unconventional patterns that add panache to even the simplest outfits. Keep this in mind when building your corresponding shoe collection.
Booties are probably the most versatile purchase you'll make this season, so let's make sure they count.
When buying shoes, value and longevity are two important aspects to consider. You can't afford to buy every trend on the market, so sometimes it's easiest to combine a few.
Our favorite bootie is both affordable and on trend for fall with Irish-inspired laces, dark hues and rich suede. Thanks to a classic block heel, they'll also last you far more than one season.
Our pick: Topshop "Magpie Ghillie" Ankle Boots, $160, Topshop.com
Unexpected animal print
Bad news for those of you who've spent the last decade stocking up on a safari's worth of wildlife prints: tiger and leopard are tired. However, it's not quite time to give up animal print entirely as lesser known styles are still totally attention-worthy.
These particular boots are similar to a tapir's spots, but also bear a likeness to dalmatians and fawns. Because they are low-heeled and unassuming, these boots are the perfect way to make a style statement. No one will see it coming.
Our pick: ASOS "Rave Time" 60s Chelsea Ankle Boot, $58, Asos.com
The flashy touch
Fall trends may err on the understated side, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little sartorial fun. Think like Ziggy Stardust, and pick out a pair of glitzy, over-the-top statement boots.
This particular pair is without a heel, so they're perfect for taking long fall walks during the day and just dressy enough to wear out on a Friday night. Your heel-wearing friends will squint with envy over your comfortable feet.
Our pick: Zara Gold Tone Flat Ankle Boots, $119, Zara.com
If there's one thing you absolutely must buy, it's a pair of tough leather booties to withstand hours of work and play. The price tag might be over a hundred dollars, but these beauties will last you years with a little love, polish and shoe protector.
When it comes to classic styles, no one knows how to make a shoe quite like Clarks. We love the brand for its ever present arch support, wide toe boxes (bunions, anyone?) and chic timelessness.
Our pick: Clarks "Crumble Sugar" Black Leather Boots, $150, Clarks.com
We don't exactly go around recommending our friends dress like miniature cowgirls, but a hint of last fall's Western-inspired style is still going strong. Instead of looking for embellishments or over-the-top pointed toes, choose booties that show just a hint of Wild West inspiration.
These booties are the perfect cross between the angled lines of a Western boot and the classic style of a shoe you could even wear in the boardroom. Style score, indeed.
Our pick: Joe Fresh Faux Leather Ankle Booties, $69, JoeFresh.com