SHOES, PLEASURE, MORE PLEASURE

I had a fun morning with two of my shoe-loving friends visiting the V&A’s Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition.

Apologies to any fellow visitors for our in-depth analysis of each style. We are truly shoe-obsessed.

It was exciting to see some of the legendary shoes we know from books, such as this Salvatore Ferragamo beauty.

 

The shoe that really jumped out at me as winning the prize for “most perfect” was this 1979-80 Charles Jourdan mule with floating ankle strap.

The shape of the sole, and how it follows the curve of your instep and cups your heel, show that this designer knew how to make truly foot-shaped shoes.

The ankle strap is attached to the shoe with almost invisible PVC straps. This makes the strap look almost like a matching anklet.

The subtle champagne gold leather is just stunning.

 

What a pleasant way to spend a morning. Just plan your visit to avoid the crowds, as it can get quite packed at busy times. Alternatively, wear platforms to see over the other visitors’ heads.

Have you been to see Shoes: Pleasure and Pain yet? Which was your favourite style and why? Tweet me or leave a comment here.

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LOVABLE LUXURY

I was strolling through the Westfield White City shopping centre (not just for the air conditioning), and the windows of the Carlo Pazolini store caught my eye.

Although these sandal designs are relatively simple, there is something rather perfect about the pared-back details this brand has used.

Who doesn’t love a wedge for day to evening comfort? Gold or Tan is a tricky choice though.

These flat sandals are elegant without sacrificing the support that comes from good foot coverage. The slimmer straps look more dainty than wider ones would.

The closed back prevents those painful moments when someone treads on the back of your sandal.

The clever weaving on the front strap of these flats gives support without looking heavy. In gold, these make the perfect wedding sandals.

With a price range from £116-£221, Carlo Pazolini sandals are certainly an investment purchase, but due to their classic-with-a-twist styling, they won’t date when they emerge from your wardrobe summer after summer.

After a little Googling, I realised that this company has its headquarters in Moscow, not Italy as you might think from the name. No matter, they make beautiful, easy-to-wear footwear from quality leathers.

 

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ONE SHOE CONSULTANT, TWO INTERVIEWS

I’m always surprised and gratified when I tell people what I do for a living and they get really excited.

This buzz was put to good use in the past few days, as I was interviewed for not one but two small business blogs.

Enterprise Nation is an excellent resource for entrepreneurs, and they offer really affordable courses and events relevant to start-ups. I was featured in their “Meet the member” series.

You can read the full article to discover the rest of my answers, and find out my ambitions for the next five years.

I was also interviewed by Liz Dexter of LibroEditing. In addition to her work in proofreading, copyediting, localisation and transcription, she is “passionate about encouraging other people to run their own business”.

Liz’s blog features a Small Business Chat series of interviews, which include catching up with entrepreneurs she has spoken with in the past.

You can read the full LibroEditing article to find out my top business tip, and what I wish I’d done differently.

This is the first time I’ve spoken to Liz, so I look forward to another interview in a year’s time.

I hope you enjoy getting into the mind of The Shoe ConsultantTM . To interview me for your own publication, drop me a line at: press@shoeconsultant.co.uk

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SHOE PRIDE

  • Rainbow heights
    Rainbow heights
    Jeffrey Campbell knows how to make a best-selling platform. Perfect for ladies - or gents with smaller feet - to support equality.
  • Colourful comfort
    Colourful comfort
    There's no need to sacrifice the happiness of your feet while you're supporting Pride 2015. Rocket Dog will guarantee you a cushioned ride.
  • Stunning psychedelic
    Stunning psychedelic
    These sandals are not just for one day of the year. Wear all of the colours of the rainbow with these leather and plexi-glass Valentino show-stoppers.
  • Subtle support
    Subtle support
    If you're not a "colourful shoe person", you can display your pride in a less obvious way with the subtle eyelets and sole of these Vans.
  • Trend tones
    Trend tones
    Pool slides are still hugely on-trend. Be the trendiest girl in the village with these YRU versions.

In honour of Pride London 2015, I wanted to show support for my LGBT+ friends with some proud rainbow shoe styles.

Have a happy and safe Pride everyone!

 

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5 THINGS EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SHOES – 1

Yesterday evening, I gave a talk for a fabulous event held by Smart Works Inspire: the fundraising arm of the charity Smart Works.

Smart Works dress and coach women for job interviews, and I have been working closely with this charity for some years.

My talk was titled “5 Things every woman should know about shoes”. These top tips had quite an impact on the audience. One lady tweeted “after your talk on top 5 shoe tips I’m off to clear out my shoe collection. Here I come @SmartWorksHQ #inspirespeakingevent”.

Smart Works always need work-suitable footwear, so if you are having a clear-out, please do look up your local branch and consider donating your collection.

I didn’t want you to miss out on these life-changing pieces of advice, so here’s tip 1.

 

Shoes should be foot-shaped

 

When you’re buying high heels, look at the angle of the area where the fleshy underside of your heel sits. Is it at a steep angle like the style on the left?

If so, even if the shoe is the right length for you, your foot will slide forward and your toes will be squashed or spill out over the front. There will also be a gap at the back of the shoe making your footwear look too big.

If you pick a style with a flatter area for your heel (it won’t be completely flat but just at a less steep angle), then your weight will be more evenly distributed, not just pushed onto the balls of your feet. This angle can also help with balance, fit and general support.

 

Keep visiting the blog, or follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, to find out when the other four tips go live.

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BRIGHT BROGUES

  • Bold blue
    Bold blue
    Don't let cloudy summer days get you down. Brighten up your mood by wearing these with dark yellow, mustard or paler blues.
  • Feisty fuchsia
    Feisty fuchsia
    Make a bold but practical decision by complementing your trouser suit with these beauties: an outfit that works for weddings or work days.
  • Gregarious green
    Gregarious green
    Pair this colour with grey and white for a crisp look, without looking dull or wintry. These also look great with navy or with indigo denim.
  • Bewitching black
    Bewitching black
    The obvious option for work is this soft black suede. This is an all year round colour, so would make a good investment.

 

These Yull brogues are great for unpredictable U.K. days with scorching sun, North winds, and rain: all within the space of an hour. Don’t be the one in soggy sandals.

 

The Brighton brogue offers great value-for-money with beautiful calf leather uppers, and full leather linings to help absorb moisture and keep your feet comfortable.

If you like these, check out Yull’s Classic range of heels which are all made in England.

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PUMPS WITH AN EDGE

I haven’t been in Next’s shoe department for a while, but I found the displays so appealing in my local branch, that I couldn’t resist a peek.

I always try to recommend products with leather uppers and linings, as they are much more breathable and comfortable than synthetic options. These pumps jumped out at me with their bargain price and quality materials.

There’s something really appealing about the classic ballerina with an unusual metal trim. The off white colour can be worn at work with cropped tailored trousers, or even as a comfortable wedding guest option.

Of course there is also an easy black option: perfect for serious days.

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COME AND SEE THE SHOE CONSULTANT

Will you be in London on June 24th? Come and see Susannah Davda a.k.a. The Shoe Consultant give you Life Lessons Every Woman Should Know, along with Julie Hutchison and Emma Case.

Tickets for this event on June 24th are free, please register for tickets via the below link:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/smart-works-inspire-speaking-event-life-lessons-every-woman-should-know-tickets-17372452473 

There are limited tickets so if you would like to come along please book your ticket via this link as soon as possible.

The accessible West London location will be announced closer to the time.

We look forward to meeting you!

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FESTIVAL FOOTWEAR

  • Night vision
    Night vision
    These mint coloured ASOS wellies actually glow in the dark! As well as looking cute, you'll be able to find them easily for a late night loo run.
  • Comfy glam
    Comfy glam
    You can count on Birkenstock to offer excellent comfort and support. The copper straps with a hint of iridescence ensure these don't look too earthy.
  • Waterproof art
    Waterproof art
    This season's Hunter design in a mix of blues boasts artistic geometric panelling. The taller height protects you from deep mud.
  • Gladiatrix
    Gladiatrix
    Beautiful with 1970s maxi dresses or hot-pants. These Daniel gladiators are very nicely made and offer a comfortable upper and footbed, both in leather.
  • Rock n' rubber
    Rock n' rubber
    From Be Only, these are not ridiculously priced considering the luxurious look. They will also go with everything and glam up your 2 day old outfit.
  • A flatform above
    A flatform above
    With adjustable straps, these Monki slides not only elevate you above the floor of the port-a-loos and look glam, but they'll fit you perfectly too.
  • Nautical chic
    Nautical chic
    You can count on Joules to add a bit of femininity to practical country wear. These red-soled polka dot boots don't take themselves too seriously.
  • Washably simple
    Washably simple
    These Melissa sandals have a simple look, with thoughtful details like the cut-out front strap. Perfect for subtly showing your fashion credentials.
  • Not for kids
    Not for kids
    Do you ever wish those frog wellies with the eyes came in your size? Juju and Kigu have collaborated to bring you adult-sizes rhino boots.
  • VIP level
    VIP level
    These Nicholas Kirkwood beauties really are for sunshine only. I love the in-your-face pink and animal texture. True happy day sandals.

With festival season upon us, we’ll all be trying to second-guess the unpredictable U.K. weather.

Luckily there are some beautiful and comfortable options for both rain and shine. Just click through the slide show for my selection of the best.

Want my recommendation? Bring a pair of wellies AND a pair of sandals (wear one for the journey to avoid carrying both).

Now go ahead and get prepared for your weekend under canvas…

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WHY I LOVE SEAGRASS FLIP-FLOPS

They’re comfortable, breathable, and have a more natural and high-end look than plastic equivalents.

Seagrass is a finely woven straw-like material. I like to think of these flip-flops as flat espadrilles. Very classy.

Collage my feet

 

The sole of these flip-flops will start life flat, but with wear, will curve a little around your feet. This creates a very comfortable bespoke footbed for your tootsies. The outsoles are made from lightweight EVA, which I have found to be more grippy than other harder sandal sole materials (I blush when I remember a particularly steep hill in Madeira).

Another great thing about seagrass is that this natural material ensures your flip-flops are never too hot to put back on your feet, no matter how scorching the sun is.

These fine flip-flops don’t last forever, so I was glad when I realised that Monsoon/Accessorize have a great selection at affordable prices every Spring/Summer season.

I tend to opt for fabric or polyester uppers, as the synthetic leather versions are more likely to rub.

These are a few of my favourites from Spring/Summer 2015:

A tropical print with little bead, parrot and leaf charms

For minimalists without being completely plain

Something more playful with neon animal print

Day to evening glam in navy with gold beads

Perfect with white linen trousers or a cotton cover-up

 

Let me know whether you share my love of seagrass in the comments or on Twitter @ShoeConsultant

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