5 THINGS EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SHOES – 5

If you heard my radio interview on the Mark Forrest Show last week, you’ll know that I’m on a mission to help women make better decisions about the footwear they buy.

I have many many tips to help you choose shoes that you’ll wear and wear, rather than leave at the back of the wardrobe. Today I’m going to share with you the last in my series of 5 Things Every Woman Should Know About Shoes.

Don’t forget to read and share tip 1tip 2tip 3 and tip 4. I’m sure you know plenty of women who could benefit from these essential pieces of advice.

Know your height limit

Have you ever bought a pair of high heels, only to realise during their first proper outing outside that they’re just too high for you?

Here’s your easy method to avoid buying shoes which are over your personal height limit:

  1. Pick out the most comfortable high heels from your wardrobe
  2. Measure the heel height
  3. Measure the platform height (if there is one)
  4. Subtract the platform height from the heel height
  5. The resulting number is the height limit you should not exceed when shoe-shopping

For more tips on how to make excellent decisions when shoe-shopping, check back on the blog, follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or download my book.

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WIN A VIP SHOE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

Have you ever been frustrated with sales assistants, and wanted a little honest advice when you were out shoe shopping?

This is your golden opportunity to WIN two hours of one-to-one guidance from Susannah Davda of The Shoe Consultant, in the London department store of your choice.

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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SHOE RADIO

I was pleased to be interviewed on the Mark Forrest radio show yesterday evening. This programme is simultaneously broadcast on all local BBC radio stations in England and the Channel Islands.

Mark asked me:

  • What does a Shoe Consultant do?
  • Are women as brand loyal as men?
  • What is it that women want from the shoes they buy?
  • Do we get more obsessed with footwear than about any other item of clothing?

Have a listen here to find out my answers.

 

Do you agree with me about women’s brand loyalty? Have your say in the comments on this post, or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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WHY I AGREE WITH CAITLIN

I was bought Caitlin Moran’s witty, intelligent, and highly perceptive book “How to be a Woman” for Christmas by my husband. The uncomfortable conversation which followed the present opening went from: did he think I didn’t know how to embody my gender, to oh I get it, you just know my taste in books exceptionally well.

Unsurprisingly, the chapter which resonated the most with me was “I get into fashion!”, in which amongst other subjects, Caitlin says exactly what she thinks about high heels.

Ms Moran lists “all the shoes I don’t wear”, and then goes on to describe “Women’s Unworn Shoe Collections…All women have one of these caches of shoes hidden…”

Going on to question women’s attitudes to high heels, she provides a funny but heartbreakingly true comparison:

“Women buy shoes and gigglingly say, ‘Of course, they’re agony – I’m just going to have to sit on a barstool all night, and be helped to the toilet by friends, or passers-by,’ despite it sounding as OUTRIGHT INSANE as going, ‘I’ve just bought a house – it doesn’t have a roof, of course, so I’m just going to sit in the front room with an umbrella up.'”

Who really wants to be the kind of woman the author describes? Not you, I’m sure.

It sounds as though Caitlin needs my missions to be accomplished sooner rather than later:

“I’m going to sit out the entire world of chick footwear until designers make some that it’s possible to walk in, for more than an hour, with the easy gait of Gene Kelly about to break into a routine, and no day-long pain afterwards”.

My missions are:

  • Helping women to make better decisions about the footwear they buy, and avoid having a wardrobe full of footwear they can’t wear
  • To campaign for shoes that are both comfortable AND beautiful

You will all find my “5 Things Every Woman Should Know About Shoes” series essential reading:

Tip 1

Tip 2

Tip 3

Tip 4

Check back on the blog, or follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to find out when Tip 5 goes live!

Don’t worry Caitlin and the rest of womankind! I’m working with some amazing brands at the moment, who are determined to take the pain out of wearing high heels.

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BLISS FOR FEET

The weather’s still (reasonably) warm, but at this time of year, with Autumn fashion in the magazines, we often start preparing our wardrobes for the colder months.

Since moving into a somewhat draughty house, slippers have become a must for my feet from around late September. At that point, my feet and I aren’t ready for the furry-lined booties which they snuggle into in deep winter. What they need are comfortable, lightweight options.

Margaret Howell is a fantastic British brand, with a penchant for heritage, minimalism, and beautiful materials. These slippers are delightfully soft, light, and comfortable, whilst looking rather Scandi-chic.

This option is referred to as “dusty pink”, but is almost beige.

The rich chocolatey “dark brown” option is easier to keep looking clean.

Referred to as “travel slippers”, these luxurious Italian-made suede slip-ons are heading towards the top of my Autumn wish-list.

 

Are you a slipper person, or do you think they’re for older people? Let me know what you think in the comments, or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

 

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HEELED SANDALS X WHICH SKIRT/TROUSERS

When you’re wearing high-heeled sandals, your legs appear to continue in one long line to the floor. This visual effect looks better with certain hemlines.

Here’s your at-a-glance guide to which trousers, shorts, dress and skirt styles go best with your favourite heeled sandals and why.

Heeled sandals with…

Mini skirts – Most sandals expose quite a lot of foot flesh. This along with the amount of leg skin such a short style exposes, creates a very sexy look. Although this can be balanced somewhat by covered up tops, be very selective about the occasion you choose if you wear this look.

 

✓ Knee-length A-line skirts/dresses – This is a balanced look not only in terms of the amount of exposed skin, but also when you look at the lines of the outfit. The flare of the skirt creates a femininity which complements a large variety of heeled sandals: platforms, wedges and stilettos all look great with this skirt style.

 

✓ Pencil skirts/dresses – The sleek lines of the skirt continue all of the way down to the soles. Select slimmer heels, as chunky platform styles can create an unbalanced bottom-heavy effect.

 

✓ Midi/calf-length skirts/dresses – As with knee-length A-line styles, this longer silhouette provides a feminine flare which can carry off most styles of heeled sandal. The minimal flesh exposure can add a sophisticated or slightly conservative element.

 

✓ Maxi skirts/dresses – Your heeled sandals will rarely be on full show when you have on your full-length skirt or dress. This means that you can add height without anyone really knowing it. Try this with chunky heels or wedges, to avoid stilettos catching on the hem and damaging your skirt, or tripping you up.

 

Hot pants/short shorts – With a similar effect to a mini skirt, hot pants and heeled sandals expose a large amount of skin on the legs and feet when worn together. This can create quite a provocative look.

 

✓ Mid-thigh/knee-length shorts – Longer shorts can look very elegant with heeled sandals. The boyish look created when worn with trainers or other flats is avoided by the femininity of the heels. Also try experimenting with flatforms or wedges.

 

X Cropped trousers – Whether flared or straight-legged, cropped trousers create an abrupt horizontal line. This can look awkward when accompanied with the angles of a high-heeled sandal.

 

X Long flared or baggy trousers – This style looks particularly odd when paired with slim-heeled sandals. This is due to the space created around the heel: when the wearer is walking there is a lot of swing created at the hems. Closed-toed platforms, wedges and chunkier heels tend to be more flattering with this style of trousers.

 

✓ Long straight or skinny trousers – The high heels continue the lines created by slim-legged trousers. This creates an elegant effect. Very chunky or flared heels can look a bit clunky with straight-legged trousers, so stick with sleeker styles.

 

Also see my blog post Flat Sandals x Which Skirts/Trousers to discover how to co-ordinate your lower heeled footwear with your clothing.

To find out more about matching your footwear shapes to your clothing, how to play with colour in your footwear, and the meanings of shoes, download my book Outfits in Minutes: A Guide for Time-Pressed Women.

This essential guide is packed full of tips and methods to help you look your best, without those moments of panic in front of the wardrobe.

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SUMMER FLORA

  • Grey classic betsy
    Grey classic betsy
    This simple style carries the pretty pastel print beautifully. The matching shoe-bag is a cute accessory: ideal for holiday packing.
  • Red henrietta betsy
    Red henrietta betsy
    The pillar box red leather of these ultra-cute pumps is complemented by the over-sized floral bow and trim for a 1950s-style look.
  • Nude claire aude
    Nude claire aude
    This is a very subtle option, in "nude" leather with a subtle yellow ditzy floral print trim. A nod to liberty without making a big statement.
  • Purple henrietta stanley
    Purple henrietta stanley
    This is a wilder floral than the others used in this collaboration. The dark hues contrasted with dusky pink will work well now, and when Autumn comes.
  • Claire aude nude
    Claire aude nude
    If your budget won't stretch to the shoes, there's no need to miss out on this collection entirely. Get yourself a really cute shoe bag.
  • Betsy red
    Betsy red
    Cheer up your suitcase with one of these pretty and affordable French Sole by Appointment for Liberty shoe-bags.

 

Sometimes collaborations between brands can be matches made in heaven. The French Sole by Appointment for Liberty collection is one of these.

Click through the images above, to get your fill of cute ballet pumps in even cuter floral prints.

 

Which is your favourite? Let me know in the comments, or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

 

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5 THINGS EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SHOES – 4

First of all, make sure you read tip 1tip 2 and tip 3: these all contain essential knowledge you’ll wish you’d always known about shoes.

The fourth fact that you will love being armed with when high-heel shopping, is about the position of the heel.

Get the right balance

Many people believe that block heels are the only way to go, if you want to feel stable when wearing a higher heel. Actually the reality is not quite as simple as that.

What you need in order to provide optimum support and balance for your body, is for the tips of your heels to be aligned with your centre of gravity. The graphic below shows that a heel aligned with the centre of your leg will usually do the trick.

 

 

In fact you could have a block heel which is set quite far back on the shoe, which doesn’t provide much support. You could also have a stiletto which is so perfectly placed on your shoes, that you don’t wobble when wearing them.

You’ll get used to how this looks and feels when you’re shoe shopping. A quick way to know how supportive your high heels are is to try the shelf wobble test. Give the shoe a poke from the side when it’s on a flat surface, and if it wobbles then you – the wearer – will too. Well-made, well-balanced shoes don’t have shelf wobble.

 

Check back on the blog, or follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, so you can discover the last tip as soon as it’s released.

 

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THE FRINGE IS BACK

The summer sales are coming to an end, with just the dregs left and nothing good in your size. That means the shops are starting to stock their new season styles. Time for you to start planning your Autumn/Winter wardrobe.

I’m always on the look out for footwear which is comfortable and looks great. This Topshop fringe boot ticks both of those boxes, with its breathable leather lining and upper.

Don’t be afraid of the fringing. Not only does it give a look of effortless cool, but it’s also a luxurious-looking on-trend detail on otherwise quite plain boots.

At under £80, these are a real bargain. Any of the three colours will go equally well with jeans, as with tights and floral dresses.

 

Which colour is tempting you? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

 

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DAY TO NIGHT BALLET PUMPS

  • Swanky
    Swanky
    These delightful pumps gleamed at me from their beautiful display in the Ferragamo window. Splurge on these to ooze glamour for seasons to come.
  • Classic
    Classic
    At a third of the price of the Ferragamos, these simple silver leather beauties are a Pretty Ballerinas x The White Company collaboration.
  • Sharp
    Sharp
    Not just a classic pump. There is something pleasing about the contrast of soft grey patent against the subtle glitter toe-cap of these Bloch points.
  • Subtle
    Subtle
    These cheap and cheerful Debenhams pumps are in a silver so pale, it almost looks white. A great choice for budget weddings.
  • Snaky
    Snaky
    To achieve a luxury look at a very affordable price, these bronze snake-look pumps from New Look give you glam without the pain of high heels.
  • Nocturnal
    Nocturnal
    For lovers of black shoes, give your usual hue a lift with these cracked shimmer New Look flats.

Do you find that the most useful shoe styles go with lots of outfits, and many different life situations?

This selection of flat ballet-style pumps in various shades and textures of metallic, are all fantastic for day-to-evening wear.

Do you have a wedding to go to, and are dreading standing for most of the day and then dancing in heels? Ditch the height and go for an easy pump.

Let me know what’s your go-to day-to-evening shoe in the comments, or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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