BLACK + WHITE + BEAUTIFUL

  • Desert zebra
    Desert zebra
    For an easy boyish style perfectly complimented by slim-legged black trousers, look no further than these Opening Ceremony chukka boots.
  • Splatter loafer
    Splatter loafer
    Repetto don't just make excellent ballet flats, but also effortless loafers. Smart, with a fashion look from the high-shine paint splatter leather.
  • Snow leopard
    Snow leopard
    The low block heel ankle boot is this season's most important silhouette. Senso provide a sleek version in luxurious printed hair-on leather.
  • Pointed reptile
    Pointed reptile
    Ever seen a furry snake? Now you have. Senso have created these unusual pointed flats with wrap ankle straps, which are great with tailored skirts.
  • Glittery tweed
    Glittery tweed
    Chelsea boots are perfect for pulling on and off quickly. These Beau Coops points are unusually treated with tweed elastic and a glittery silver welt.
  • Scholastic fantastic
    Scholastic fantastic
    With a nod to '90s school shoes, Beau Coops give us loafers for grown-ups. Details include scalloping, that glitter welt, and a pointed toe.

 

I love popping into Poste Mistress on Monmouth Street, London. This delightful boutique always stocks a great mix of highly wearable styles from unusual smaller shoe brands.

When I visited recently, there seemed to be a bit of a theme in the Autumn/Winter selection. This season’s focus is on black and white. This colourway is a great way to avoid all-black looks, without introducing garish colour into your shoedrobe.

 

Have a click through the slide show, and tell me your favourite style in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

 

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5 REASONS NOT TO BE A SHOE COLLECTOR

My friend alerted me to this Wired feature, about how collectible sneakers kept for many years, can disintegrate. Can you imagine spending all of your spare cash collecting something which then falls apart on first wear?

My advice to you is not to buy shoes to squirrel away. Buy them to wear and love now. Here are five reasons why:

1. They might fall apart.

The Wired article explores in great detail the horrible things that can happen to trainers. This is equally true of many other types of footwear. Most ladies shoes are held together with glue, and many soles incorporate some PU elements. These materials are both susceptible to what I call shoe-rot.

Boots kept for 12 years and then worn again

2. Even if the glue somehow holds together, it might turn yellow with age.

This is particularly obvious on fabric in light colours, and can ruin the look. The likelihood is that with a few wears, any yellowed glue will also lose its adhesive strength.

Yellow tide mark of glue just above the sole

3. Trends never come back in the same way.

I have seen several distinctive shoe fads come back around again. Each time a trend comes back, it is altered somewhat, to fit into the current era. It could be anything from details such as hardware or studs, to the toe shape, heel height, colour, or texture which updates a retro look.

80s night

4. Your feet might change.

If your feet spread when you get pregnant or with age, you may find that your shoe size changes, or you need to start wearing wider shoes. If you have invested a lot of money into acquiring many pairs of beautiful shoes which fit your feet perfectly, it would come as an unpleasant surprise if you couldn’t wear your collection any more.

30 weeks pregnant

5. Your style will evolve.

No matter how sure of our style we are at any particular stage in life, our personal development and changing roles can alter the way we want to dress, or choose to be perceived. Don’t let your old shoes hold you back from your own evolution.

Evolution

Are you a shoe collector, or do you have frequent clear-outs? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

For inspiration on achieving a minimalist lifestyle, I love Want Less blog.

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THE NEW AUTUMN NEUTRAL

Have you worn out those 3 year old shoe favourites by kicking your way through the beautiful fallen leaves?

If you’re looking for something a little more special than the vast selection of black, brown and wine-coloured footwear in the shops at the moment, try a little bronze.

 

These double-fringed Office lace-ups offer more detail than the average Gibson, whilst still remaining sophisticated. The metallic bronze option will take you from work to party throughout the colder months.

The leather linings will keep your feet comfortable, and your shoes smelling pleasant.

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REVAMPED BOOTS

If you’ve recently looked for Duo Boots: purveyors of multi width boots and shoes, you’ll notice that this brand has gone through a metamorphosis.

Now named Ted & Muffy – Fairytale Fitters, this Bath-based company deserve their name, as they still offer boots in many different calf fittings, and shoes in 3 widths.

The Covent Garden shop has had a beautiful refit, complete with adorable squirrel door-knockers. The window display is modern, but certainly reflects the fairytale feel.

 

Styling of the footwear remains fairly similar to the Duo offering, but quality is improved, and prices have increased accordingly.

The brand still provides us with really wearable shoes and boots which fit properly. I like how they play with colour in their Autumn/Winter collection. Check out these fabulous red suede Chelsea boots:

The details range from feminine frills to classic mannish broguing.

Texture is also important, as demonstrated by these simple gibsons in glamorous pewter croc-print leather:

A classic black military-style ankle boot is updated with a pointed toe, metal heel plate, and easy zip fastening.

 

Check out Ted & Muffy’s new website, to discover more of what this intriguing new identity has to offer.

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SQUARE BUT COOL

Swedish brand & Other Stories never fails to offer modern on-trend footwear, that’s completely wearable. The designers know how to add just the right amount of quirk, without descending into outright weirdness.

I’ve been a long-time advocate of grey as a modern neutral which can lift any black-based outfit, or complement most other hues. Dive into this shade in high-shine liquid-look patent.

With low and mid-height block heels making a massive impact in the fashion world this season, this style gives you comfort and an easy-to-wear trend. Leather uppers, linings and soles ensure your feet stay comfortable all day.

Chisel-shaped toes like these are making a tentative comeback, which is set to develop into a big trend in coming seasons. These boots will ensure you’re way ahead of the pack.

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SENTIENT SLIP-ONS

  • Casual creature
    Casual creature
    These navy ponyskin sneakers from Fendi sport a scary monster face which is too fearsome too hide. Check out those wicked yellow eyes.
  • Two faced
    Two faced
    For a more elegant, elevated take on this trend, Charlotte Olympia designed these dainty suede sling-backs with stylised faces.
  • Top and tail
    Top and tail
    With only a nod to the animal about them, these Mini Cream flatforms incorporate wearable graphic prints, accompanied by removable pom-poms.
  • Pug me
    Pug me
    If you don't care to be seen wearing character footwear outdoors, you can indulge your softer side at home in these M&S pug slippers. Beware of cats!
  • Saucy wink
    Saucy wink
    Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad blog designed these luxurious glittery flats. Flirt at the office Christmas party in these expressive slip-ons.
  • Subtle spots
    Subtle spots
    Isabel Marant designs highly wearable footwear. Get comfy in these dalmatian-print ponyskin moccasin loafers.
  • Pet pesterer
    Pet pesterer
    Perfect for flat-dwellers (don't try running downstairs in these!), New Look offer blue monster slippers this season. A great gift for a kooky sister.

Ever since Marc by Marc Jacobs launched their mouse shoes, designers have been playing with shoe designs which have more character than you’d normally expect.

From the popularity of leopard print, to the trend for faces on footwear, many shoes now appear to have a character all of their own.

As Halloween is fast approaching, I thought it only right to celebrate footwear which looks as though it might walk off on its own.

Have a click through the slideshow, and let me know which pair you’d dare to wear!

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GO ANYWHERE BOOT

Chelsea boots have been creeping back into our wardrobes for the past few years. It’s no wonder, as they give a sleek look without the hassle of laces or straps. It seems that I’m not the only woman who is happy to pick the easy option, for those days when we’re running late and have five seconds to get ourselves out of the door.

Topshop are struggling to keep their mod-style block-heeled Chelsea in stock. I spotted the silver version in the Oxford Circus flagship a couple of days ago.

I like the thought of having a winter party option which won’t allow your toes to be frozen, or the balls of your feet to throb with pain.

At 2½ inches, the heel gives a lift without discomfort.

 

The squared toe is also making a comeback. It’s just an emerging trend right now, so invest this season, and this toe shape will definitely see you though a good few years.

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ELEGANT LOAFING

On the hunt for the perfect loafer for the Autumnal drizzle, I came across a fantastic style from British brand Boden.

For a smart menswear-based look, feminised with a low front and high heel, you can’t beat this elegant style.

Black is great for a formal workplace, and the other colourways give a fashion-forward look.

The 7cm/2¾” block heel gives you extra height without discomfort.

Customer reviews of this style are glowing: “They’re so comfortable and I have worn them for three days now without pain” and “I adore these shoes!” are two of my favourite comments.

The polka dot print on the leather linings is delightful.

This style is available in half sizes, but they’re reduced in price, so hurry to get your size before someone else does!

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YOUR OWN PERSONAL SHOE GURU

Fancy getting The Shoe Consultant’s VIP shoe shopping experience for free?

You can WIN two hours of one-to-one guidance from Susannah Davda of The Shoe Consultant, in the London department store of your choice.

Just think of the ways you could use this session:

  • Find the perfect court shoe for your feet
  • Seek out footwear for a special event
  • Receive expert hands-on help for any shoe dilemma

 

modern mankind cover

All you have to do for a chance to win, is complete this short survey from fabulous new shoe brand Modern Mankind.

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NO PAIN RAIN

  • Pretty dry
    Pretty dry
    Bring a dash of femininity to your rainy day outfits with these pretty pastel pink Chelsea wellies from ASOS.
  • Rock it
    Rock it
    Barbour bring classic motorbike styling to these rubber boots with straps and quilting. Rock these with skinny jeans for an overly stylish dog walk.
  • Lift it
    Lift it
    I love the way that Hunter play with their classic style. First lots of different colours and prints, then shorter styles, and now the ultimate platform wedge.
  • Reptile chic
    Reptile chic
    Known for their pretty floral printed Wellington boots, Joules also produce more fashion-forward styles like these snakeskin-effect boots.
  • Water sports
    Water sports
    For a sportier look with plenty of impact, Lemon Jelly have made these daring blue Chelsea boots, with their striped elastic. Have fun in the rain.
  • High water
    High water
    Elevate yourself out of the puddles with these taupe platform Chelsea boots, from super-stylish rubber shoe brand Melissa.
  • Hidden sweetness
    Hidden sweetness
    At a glance, these Wynsors ankle boots are utilitarian: close-up, they're covered with cute metallic hearts. Play in a subtle way this Autumn.
  • Sleek n' dry
    Sleek n' dry
    Swims have ensured their boot's design lines are just as sleek as on any trainer. Opt for this rich raspberry shade to complement Autumn attire.

 

When rain threatens to ruin your plans, beat it at its own game by striding out in some fabulous boots.

If you don’t feel ready to encase your legs in knee-high rubber, scroll through my pick of the best shorter styles on the market.

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