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In a woman's life, there are certain rites of passage that cement her status as a grown-up. Some of these milestones are necessary evils (ahem, doing taxes), while others, like cultivating an adult wardrobe, should be fun. Before you check off the latter, make sure you've got these ten essential shoes somewhere in your sartorial arsenal. 

shoes whitesneaks

White sneakers you can wear with anything

Be forewarned: These will probably become the hardest working shoes in your closet because, seriously, you can wear them with anything. From boyfriend jeans and overalls to minidresses and midi skirts, a crisp pair of white sneaks adds a touch of understated cool to just about anything. Just make sure they?re crisp.

Get the look: Puma ($70); Kenneth Cole ($120); Common Projects ($410)

shoes pumps

3-inch pumps that you can actually walk in

Sure, a 4- or 5-inch pump is going to do you all kinds of favors in the legs department…but not if you can’t make it down the street in them. Find a lower pair with a pointed toe and a slim heel--both of which will make the pair appear higher than it really is.

Get the look: Sam Edelman ($77); J.Crew ($230); Christian Louboutin ($675)

shoes statement

Party heels you unabashedly love

Are statement heels the most practical item in your closet? No. Will you smile every time you slip them on for a special occasion? Absolutely. They’re worth the splurge.

Get the look: Schutz ($220); Loeffler Randall ($325); Sophia Webster ($695) 

RELATED: The 10 Shoes Everyone Will Be Wearing in 2016

shoes flatform

wedges (or flatforms) you can wear all night

The epitome of a summer staple, the platform wedge sandal is comfortable enough to wear (and walk in and dance in) for long periods of time, but it shouldn't just be limited to the rope espadrille. Push trend boundaries with a funky new flatform (that still achieves the same look) or stick to the classics if you prefer. Either way, you'll get miles out of them with floaty dresses in the summertime and leg-lengthening flare jeans in the fall. 

Get the look: Steve Madden ($70); Marc Fisher ($170); Isabel Marant ($445)

shoes sandals

Flat sandals to wear instead of flip-flops

Real talk: You?re a grown-ass woman, and it?s time to ditch the flip-flops. (Well, outside of the pool.) To ease the pain of letting go, might we suggest a pair of chic leather sandals? They?re just as easy to slide into but far more sophisticated and versatile. Pair your neutral or metallic ones with everything from casual shorts to a fancy lace dress.

Get the look: Dolce Vita ($70); Pour La Victoire ($175); Ancient Greek Sandals ($185)

shoes flats

Ballet flats you can slip into your bag

Being-a-woman survival rule #1: Always keep a pair of simple flats on hand. They?re both timeless and polished their own, but they?re also perfect for stashing in your purse to rescue you from the aforementioned party heels.

Get the look: Michael Michael Kors ($100); Repetto ($295); Jimmy Choo ($550)

shoes loafers

Menswear-inspired loafers

Borrow from the boys and look cool as hell. Loafers are a great way to instantly dress up any outfit without sacrificing comfort. They?re preppy without being in-your-face and come in a ton of colors, materials and varying levels of embellishment. (Though you kinda can?t go wrong with a classic black leather.)

Get the look: Carvela ($89); Kate Spade ($250); J.Crew ($290)

shoes rainboots

Rain boots you’re not embarrassed to be seen in

Rainy days are inherently a bummer, but that doesn’t mean your outfit has to be equally depressing. In fact, it should be the opposite. Invest in a pair of water-resistant boots that resemble everyday shoes. No need for polka dots and zebra stripes, ladies.

Get the look: Jeffrey Campbell ($55); Gentle Souls ($140); Hunter ($195)

shoes highboots

Flat boots you’ll walk the soles off

Boot trends come and go but a slim knee-high (or even a thigh-high) will never not be a staple of your fall and winter wardrobes. But steer clear of a heel here. Since you?re not likely to switch shoes on a frigid day, it?s best to stick to a flat, comfortable sole.

Get the look: Aldo ($168); Dolce Vita ($300); Stuart Weitzman ($655) 

shoes booties

Ankle boots with a short, stacked heel

These little guys are the great season transcenders. Worn with skinny jeans in the fall, they?ll make your legs look longer, or paired with a swingy skirt in the spring, they?ll add just a touch of edge to an otherwise feminine silhouette.

Get the look: Steve Madden ($50); River Island ($90); Rag & Bone ($495)

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