When I did a little ‘ask the audience’ the other week, one request that came up quite a few times was ‘Can you do a post about shoes that aren’t boots or trainers?’. It’s beyond me to even really think about shoes that aren’t boots or trainers, so I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to pull this one of the bag for you. I mean I really only ever wears boots or trainers, they are my go to footwear choices. Boots in Autumn/ Winter, trainers in the summer.
BUT, don’t say I don’t listen as I’ve done some thorough research and I think I’ve come up with some excellent alternatives. It’s also made me shop my wardrobe a little more as I have ‘real’ shoes tucked away in the cupboard that haven’t seen the light of day for years. Hopefully soon we will be able to wear our nice shoes on pavements, in shops and while going out for a nice meal with 5 of our closest friends. To be honest after lockdown, I’m not sure I could scrape together 3 friends, let alone 5 all at once. If this past year has taught us anything it has shown us who our real friends are, and who we really want to spend time with.
I’m easing in gently to big reintroduction in to polite society. I’ve stopped food shopping online. I’ve gone back to the supermarket. I’ve been the post office, the garden centre, Homebase and the Dump this week. I’m slowly preparing myself for life outside these 4 walls and the field over the canal. Come April, I hope to be back on the tube and hightailing it into town again. I have a Liberty ‘coin’ (their version of gift card) that’s been in my purse since September. It can only be spent in store, so it will be a great day when I get to use it. To drink in the sights and smells of the best shop in the world again.
I will get a haircut. I will wear my favourite dress. Maybe I will even have an afternoon tea at Claridges to make up for all those lockdown birthdays and life events that have been missed. I only hope that this time really is the start of getting back to normal and not just another brief respite before the shit hits the proverbial fan again. We can only have hope, and maybe a new pair of shoes to pound those pavements once more…
I know loafers can split opinions, but I think they are an absolute classic (wait till later on for shoes that will really set us apart…) The perfect shoe to smarten up your basic jeans and nice blouse outfit. The ultimate, and my perennial favourites, are the Gucci Horsebit loafers. But they are so expensive now. it seems that both Gucci and Chanel are constantly putting up their prices, but I guess on the flipside,if you’re looking for a ‘Investment’ piece these designer numbers are not going to lose value any time soon.
If you are planning on splashing out some of your saved travel, lunch and takeaway coffee money on a pair of Gucci loafers, may I be so bold as to recommend the ‘Brixton’ style. The leather is MUCH softer than the Jordans and I found I could wear them without blisters or socks right away. I’m looking forward to walking on a few pavements this Spring so I can wear them again. Loafers are really not conducive to fields and mud.
1. Everlane Cotton Quilted Jacket
2. Boden Rebecca Cross Body Bag
3. And/Or Edith Denim Blouse
4. White Stuff Barrel Leg Jeans
5. Dune Gisella Suede Loafers
Don’t know what to wear with your smart blazer and skinny black jeans once boot season is over? Why not try a pair of flat pumps. Either the classic ballet pump style with the rounded toe, or the more edgy pointed variety. This look always reminds me of Audrey Hepburn in ‘Funny Face’. I loved that film so much that I even based my wedding dress on the wedding dress she wore in that film.
The wedding dress that is still in the wardrobe in my parents house. The same place I took it off 18 years ago. And no doubt where it will stay forever. I mean what does one do with their once worn wedding dress? I don’t think I know a single person who’s ever worn theirs again, even those people who claimed they would dye it and wear it as a evening dress. Never happens. I don’t think I know of anyone who ever had it dry cleaned either. And yet almost every dry cleaners I pass has a wedding dress in their window.
1. Anine Bing Fishbone Blazer
2. Zara Silk Initial Scarf
3. H&M Chain Detail Slingbacks
4. H&M Slim Mom High Ankle Jeans
5. Gucci Leather Horsebit Pointed Flats
You can’t beat a good brogue, and with a good brogue you need a good sock, because god help you, they are uncomfortable as sin to wear sans socks. Especially the old DMs. My favourite place for socks is Genevieve Sweeney. Top quality, soft wool socks are her speciality. You can even get them monogrammed.
On the high street, I’d say the best I’ve tried for plain socks are Arket and Uniqlo. For short socks that you can wear with boots or shoes that WON’T slip down halfway through the day, I like the Nike sports socks. For ‘secret socks’ the best ones I’ve found are from Primark,obviously they are shut right now, but stock up in April. The M&S cotton footsies (not low cut) run a close second. They used to be my favourite until I discovered the Primark ones. For pattern socks, I like the classic Burlington argyle socks and for something a bit more fun, check out Chatty Feet.
1. John Lewis Mother Of Pearl Check Cardigan
2. Longchamp La Pliage Large Leather Bag
3. John Lewis Mother Of Pearl Puff Sleeve T Shirt
4. Cos Straight Contrast Panel Trousers
5. Dr Martens White Hearts Leather Brogues
This is the one that I think will divide people. Not even sure what to call them, Mules? Clogs? Weird house shoes that you can wear outside? But I am totally into them. With socks, without socks, whatever. I think with a turn up jean and a sweatshirt they are a cool alternative to trainers. I bought the JW Anderson big buckle pair as a Christmas-slash-Birthday present to myself. I am yet to wear them outside the house, but I know their time will come this year. I’ve already booked a table at an outside restaurant for April 13th and I’m going to be fake tanning my ankles as of next month in preparation for the big re-entry.
1. Gap Quilted Denim Jacket
2. Kemi Telford Stripe Market Shopper Bag
3. H&M Electric Dreams Sweatshirt
4. Whistles India Pleat Detail Jeans
5. Dune Ozark Chain Mules
Finally, and I know it’s maybe a little early as we are only just hitting March, but a pair of chunky sandals are a great alternative to trainers. I nearly bought these Dune ones last year but I missed the summer window so I will definitely be ordering this year. They are exactly like the coveted Chanel sandals but £600 cheaper. You’ve just got to get over the Orthopedic sandals connotations. It’s called fashion Brenda, look it up, but comfort is also King.
1. Mango Puff Sleeve Midi Dress
2. Amor Amor Handmade Bow Scrunchies
3. All Saints Black Leather Dalby Jacket
4. Dune Lockstockk Black Leather Sandals
5. Mango Buckled Flap Bag
Next week I promise I will do dresses. the spring/summer season is finally starting to come online, so I’ll get onto researching some great dresses asap.