Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward for Bloomberg Businessweek; Set Design: Dave Bryant and Corey Fraulino

Fall Footwear Faceoff: Kitten Heels vs. Chunky Heels

This season’s big shoe silhouettes—kitten heels and chunky ones—compete across five major fashion trends.

Ladylike Brocade

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Wear these wallpapery patterns with a feminine skirt or with wide-leg trousers once it gets cold.

Kitten: Paul Andrew printed red lurex-raffia-jacquard sling-back, $695; net-a-porter.com

Chunky: Pierre Hardy printed block-heel pump, $795; bergdorfgoodman.com

 

Furry Details

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A hot motif right now—though it’s definitely for a more creative-leaning office. Or save them under your desk to wear with a dark dress at a nighttime event.

Kitten: Gucci eel pump with kangaroo lining, $1,200; gucci.com

Chunky: Salvatore Ferragamo mink ankle-strap platform sandals, $1,190; ferragamo.com

 

Jewel-Toned Booties

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Both are calf hair, which adds texture. Solid leather would lend a great ’70s vibe, too.

Kitten: J.Crew Collection calf-hair Chelsea boots, $368; jcrew.com

Chunky: 10 Crosby Derek Lam calf-hair bootie, $450; nordstrom.com

 

Dark and Strappy

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Feeling nervous? Pare down the sexiness with black semi-opaque tights.

Kitten: Valentino Garavani leather heels, $995; valentino.com

Chunky: Marc Jacobs lace-up rounded block-heel, closed-toe pump, $795; shoescribe.com

 

Non-Preppy Loafers

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These menswear-inspired styles are easy to walk in—and they’ll nicely upgrade a basic wardrobe of jeans, sheath dresses, or classic suits.

Kitten: Coach Betty metallic kitten-heel loafer, $295; coach.com

Chunky: Robert Clergerie Mony color-block two-tone loafer pumps, $595; saks.com

Market Editor: Erica Blumenthal

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