70s demi-wedgeA suede upper on a wedge always reminds me of the 1970s. As that's the hot decade this summer, be on-trend by rocking these with flares or maxi skirts.
Librarian chicThat slightly geeky look still looks great. Wear these with a knee-length skirt and rolled-up T-shirt to avoid the very serious buttoned-up look.
Work sandalFor work-places without closed-toe dress codes. Wear below-the-knee skirts to keep the look demure, and try tights or painting your nails a subtle colour.
Wedding guestWith a 7½cm heel, these nubuck T-Bars are the perfect height for your friend/cousin/boyfriend's colleague's special day. All day.
WeekenderThese patent flats are so pale, they should flatter even the pastiest of winter feet and give the illusion of a slight tan.
Have you heard about the fantastic brand Duo? Maybe you already know about their boots, which are available in 11 different calf widths.
The great thing about this company is that they also offer three different width fittings for all of their sandals, including the fabulous options above.
The measurements detailed are the circumference of the widest part of your foot (around the sticking out bones at the base of the big and little toes). You can measure this with a fabric tape measure at home.
Find out which shoe, sandal and boot styles will flatter your shape, by downloading my book Outfits in Minutes: A Guide for Time-Pressed Women, co-written by the fabulous Samantha Clarke.
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.
Some people love sky-diving or bungee jumping for getting their blood pumping and giving them a rush. For others, riding roller coasters or running a marathon makes them feel alive.
For me, it’s the feeling I get just before I give a talk that makes my heart beat faster. Yes, public speaking is my adrenalin sport.
Although I have been speaking in front of small and large groups of people for many years, I still get nervous. When I know it’s a tough crowd, or if I spot a hero of mine in the audience, those things add to the pressure.
Just as actors say they wouldn’t be at peak performance if they weren’t nervous, I have experienced the focusing effect that butterflies in the stomach have on me.
If you’re feeling anxious before a presentation, don’t fight it. Embrace the nerves. You know your subject inside out. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have been asked to present.
Imagine you’re at the top of a roller coaster, about to get the thrill of swooping down the steepest part. Now think about that exhilarated feeling at the end of the ride. If you think about public speaking in these terms, it seems exciting rather than terrifying.
You’ll find when you get into your presentation, it begins to feel easier and you get into your flow. If you rehearse your whole presentation, with particular focus on the first and last few minutes, it will help you to feel in control throughout.
There was a generation of women for whom the 1980s could be seen as a regretful decade. Many wholeheartedly embraced the pointed stiletto trend of the time, and ended up with deformed feet and bunions.
You might be surprised to learn that in my mission to promote comfortable AND beautiful footwear, I don’t recommend avoiding pointed footwear completely.
Younger shoe-lovers can learn some lessons from our mothers’ generation.
My top tips for wearing shoes with pointed toes
1. Alternate round and pointed-toed footwear from one day to the next. One of the problems with those 80s stilettos was that ladies wore them to work day in, day out.
2. Wear flat points to decrease the pressure on your toes. If you wear heeled points, give your feet a couple of days to recover in more spacious toe-shapes.
3. Buy shoes with leather uppers and linings, as these will stand the best chance of giving a little to form around your feet. Fabric and synthetic materials don’t stretch.
4. Practice yoga or pilates. Both of these disciplines help you to stretch your toes back out.
5. Visit a chiropodist if you have any foot concerns. I know it’s not a sexy thing to spend your money on, but uncared-for feet aren’t pretty either.
With leather uppers and linings, these Office pumps with their small platform are flat without losing you too much height.
The silver works well for day-to-evening, white is great for a sporty but smart weekend look, and many of you can get away with the black for work.
Court in the actThis pretty coral suede court shoe is contrasted more conservatively with a black heel. This helps these beauties to take you from the office to the bar.
Simple sandalIf your look is minimalist, elegant and pared-back, this is the heeled sandal for you. The simple straps ensure the black doesn't over-power.
Mule plusSlides and mules are making a big come-back. This on-trend 10cm quirky-heeled sling-back gives the look of a slide with extra support from the straps.
Classic comfy courtWith no hard edges and a wearable 8.5cm heel combined with a platform, this could be the most comfortable black court shoe you've ever worn.
Stand-out sandalAnimal prints are a great way of spicing up easy-to-wear neutral colours. This stunning sandal has intriguing flat metal details.
Versatile Mary-JaneThe contrast of patent with matte snake gives this comfortable neutral Mary-Jane textural interest. This style would be ideal for all day and night.
Perhaps our cries for shoes that are comfortable AND beautiful are starting to be heard.
Clarks’ “Softwear” range incorporates bubble cushion beads to cushion under-foot.
As my chiropodist says, they also keep your feet from slipping forward. Her recommendation as an expert on foot comfort speaks volumes.
Now you have the tough choice of which of these comfortable heels fills the gap in your shoedrobe.
I recently heard about a shoe brand called Betsy. After I recovered from their theft of one of my top 10 names for future daughters, I realised how cute and wearable their sandals are.
There’s nothing like a white sole to scream “summer”, and give a sporty casual edge. The lightweight wedges are easy on the legs and back, and great for warm weather sightseeing.
Analpa, who own Betsy, J.Elisabeth, and Keddo brands, kindly sent me this pair of cross-strap beauties. Even against my pale, pasty Spring feet, this rich warm tan colour is very flattering.
The other colours in this style are also easy-to-wear too. The mint will suit darker skin-tones, and look fabulous with navy and white.
Try the yellow with denim of any shade, or make it pop with purple.
I love the simplicity of this ankle strap sandal. The wider straps make the perfect platform for colour blocking. Have some fun with one of these delightful options. I’m coveting the bone/blue combination for when my feet have seen the sun.
If you don’t fancy a wedge, or are lucky enough not to need the extra height, these T-bar flats are very much on-trend. The flash of metallic adds a little glamour to an easy-going style.
Are you a Betsy convert? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me @ShoeConsultant.
Are you looking for a special sandal to wear to a wedding, or for a hot date? Perhaps you need to stand out at a party.
This style, with its snake-textured yellow and white upper, adds personality to your outfit. The colour combination looks divine with pale blue, grey, white, or dark green.
If you’re used to wearing high heels, this 4″ block heel won’t phase you. The soft leather upper and absorbent leather lining add comfort, with the heel offering stability.
The supportive ankle straps and wide toe band should prevent blister-causing areas of friction.
Now if the cold breeze can just turn warm…
Black matteThe serious option. Colour meanings: resolve, sombreness, intelligence and mystery. Great with teal, turquoise, bright pink or white.
Blue patentThe cool option. Colour meanings: smartness, stability, coolness and power. Wear with white or bright red.
Chartreuse patentThe individual option. Colour meanings: trustworthiness, wealth, creativity and calmness. Wear with grey, cream, navy or white.
Natural snakeThe neutral option. Colour meanings: kindness, reliability, steadiness and approachability. Wear with dark brown, tan or white.
Pink patentThe girly option. Colour meanings: tenderness, sensitivity, love and sympathy. Wear with mustard, gold, navy or white.
Silver mirrorThe glam option. Colour meanings: sleek, modern, sophisticated and elegant. Wear with any colour except gold or bronze.
White matteThe minimalist option. Colour meanings: innocence, optimism, honesty and efficiency. Wear with bright pink, pastels or bright red.
Do you love it when a brand makes your favourite style in loads of different colour options?
When I really like a shoe, I’ve bought it in 3 or 4 colourways in the past. As long as the style is relatively timeless, affordable, comfortable and fits you well, it’s a good idea.
This sandal from Office is a great basic, and the 4cm block heel gives you extra height without instability.
Although the upper is made from synthetic leather, these sandals are lined with real leather, which will make sure they don’t feel too sweaty.
Would you like to find out more about which colours go together, and how to make shoes your colour playground?
You can find all this and much more in my book Outfits in Minutes: A Guide for Time-Pressed Women.
Ever powerless to resist the magnetic pull of a shoe-shop, I popped into the Fleet Street branch of Jones Bootmaker.
In my constant quest to promote comfortable and beautiful shoes, I was impressed by their Twenty Four Seven range. The sales assistant told me that the styles in this range have memory foam in the insock for extra comfort. They certainly felt nicely cushioned.
All of these options are ideal for wearing to work, and from wedding ceremony to dancing the night away.
Thanks for thinking of our poor feet Jones!
Stock(ing) upAn easy cotton 4-pack of S.Oliver socks, for great absorption.
Sexy socksA Nylon 2-pack from Elle, for when you want conceal something tempting under your shoes.
Darker toneSock Snob have recognised the need for invisible socks for all skin tones. This Nylon 3-pack is a bargain.
Pretty pastelsIf nude is too dull and you want something cuter, you need this Teddy T's cotton mix 3-pack.
Pale awayThis Nylon 2-pack from ASOS is light-toned and transparent, for ultimate invisibility.
It’s not sexy to talk about, but shoes sometimes smell.
The bare-foot look can be really flattering when you’re wearing loafers, ballet pumps, and your beloved lace-ups. Unfortunately, the odour-producing bacteria from your foot perspiration can easily transfer to the linings of your favourite pair, and linger.
My top tip for avoiding this, is to wear footsies, footies, invisible socks, shoe-liners… (they go by many names).
Pick one of my selection of low-cut options from the slide-show, and no-one will know your secret.