A SIMPLY STYLISH 2016

Have you ever wished for a fairy godmother to wave her magic wand, and provide you with an instantly perfect outfit every day?

I know a book which gives you the skills to be your own fairy godmother.

Outfits in Minutes: A Guide for Time-Pressed Women, which I co-wrote with the fabulous Samantha Clarke, is packed full of tips, tricks and our signature formulas for getting dressed quickly in the morning.

We help you to simplify your dressing decisions, whilst understanding the meanings of colours and shoe styles, and how you can use them to flatter your own unique figure.

There are also plenty of opportunities to discover how to experiment with different looks, without making mistakes.

Why not give yourself the gift of easy style for 2016?

Don’t forget to write your review on Amazon, and recommend our book to your friends.

Thanks and happy 2016!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

A Merry Christmas to all of my readers!

Best wishes for a wonderful 2016 full of comfortable, beautiful shoes.

© The Shoe Consultant Ltd

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FOR SHE WHO HAS EVERYTHING…

If you’re struggling to think of a thoughtful Christmas gift for your loved one, I have an idea that could mean you’ll win massive bonus points this year.

Do you know a lady who has a wardrobe crammed full of clothes, but can’t seem to get out of the front door on time each morning? Why not help her discover the formula for looking fabulous every day with minimal stress? By the way, I don’t mean buy her multiple black T-shirts and blue jeans à la Steve Jobs.

In my book Outfits in Minutes: A Guide for Time-Pressed Women, co-author Samantha Clarke and I provide methods, charts and easy formulas for dressing confidently every day.

As you would expect from me, there are plenty of shoe-specific tips to help create the perfect top-to-toe look.

I know that for those of you who don’t live in the U.S., it’s tricky to buy a Kindle book as a gift. To solve this for you, I found this website which lets you give a customised gift card instead. The ASIN you need is B00SOYBHSS.

Let me know how your gift is received, and don’t forget to buy a copy for yourself, to avoid being out-dressed by your loved one.

I’d love you to add a review on Amazon too!

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PRESENT LIST PT 2

  • Blond ambition
    Blond ambition
    This tongue-in-cheek tribute to Madonna's early '90s tour gives glamour to the wearer, at the same time as displaying a fabulous cultural reference.
  • Coffee porcelain
    Coffee porcelain
    With the delightful illusion of coffee pouring out of a decorative porcelain pot, the 12cm liquid-look heel is countered by a 2cm platform.
  • Mallard duck
    Mallard duck
    There's something very pleasing about the colour and material combinations of this curvy court shoe, based on the male of the water-loving species.
  • Write
    Write
    The simplicity of this slingback makes it all the more appealing, with its classic yellow pencil heel and upper with the look of lined paper.
  • Orca
    Orca
    Mr Levi cleverly combines black and white shapes. Ordinarily I'm not happy to be compared to a whale, but in this instance I'll make an exception.
  • Chinese 2015
    Chinese 2015
    In celebratory gold and red, this style displays subtle details of traditional Chinese decoration such as a delicate tassel swinging from the heel.
  • Stork
    Stork
    Ever wanted four dainty legs? There's something quite perfect about the cute heel detailing, contrasted against the stark white upper and beak detailing.

For lovers of show-stopping footwear, the ultra-creative designer Kobi Levi produces magnificent creations (with price-tags to match).

Worn by the likes of Lady Gaga, thrill your shoe-obsessed loved one on Christmas day with any one of the awe-inspiring styles in the slide show.

Let me know how your gift was received in the comments or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

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A TRIBUTE

With only a few short weeks until Mini Shoe Consultant is due to arrive into this world, I thought it appropriate to expose my pregnancy shoe comfort secret.

It is recommended to wear flats when you’re pregnant to help support your changing centre of gravity, avoid back pain, and prevent slips and falls. I found I had to temporarily retire even my most comfortable wedges fairly early on, due to the extra weight on the balls of my hard-working feet.

I owe much of the contentment my feet have experienced throughout my pregnancy to a particular pair of shoes.

 

My Nike Air Max Thea trainers perfectly suited the sport-lux trend this year, meaning I could get away with wearing them with all but the dressiest items in my wardrobe. They’re not available in all black now, but the white-soled versions are just as chic.

Now my big toes have nearly come through the uppers, and the heel linings have almost worn away, I thought it was time to replace my beloved footwear with something suitable for an aspiring MILF.

Reluctant to hang up my own personal style on the door of the labour ward, I thought now was the time to treat myself to a somewhat blingy early Christmas present.

Time to graduate into a different colourway of my favourite comfortable shoes: Bronze/Black Air Max Thea.

I hope these will encourage me to get out and lose the baby weight. Maybe I won’t be so eager to get back into my heels now…

Which were your favourite shoes during pregnancy? Let me know in the comments or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

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CRAFTY SHOE GIFTS

Do you have a friend, relation or partner who loves to make stuff?

When everyone is hibernating between Christmas and Spring, they’ll love the satisfaction of making a pair of slippers by hand.

I’ve sourced a diverse range of kits you can buy your loved one, so that they can make their own footwear.

 

Joe’s Toes (love the name), offers an excellent selection of slipper kits, from ridiculously adorable knit your own baby slippers…

…to plain or fun adults’ options in a selection of colours.

 

Stitch & Story have created this excellent knitted slipper kit, which provides everything you need (including needles), to create your own slippers. It’s aimed at beginners, so the recipient doesn’t need to be a knitting whizz already.

 

I Can Make Shoes is a company which provides workshops on shoe-making to the public. If your budget won’t stretch to a gift voucher for a course, you can buy this slipper making kit for your favourite person instead.

 

Prym sell the components you need to make your own espadrilles. You can start by using the base fabrics they sell, and when you get more expert, buy another pair of soles and make your own uppers (perhaps out of something cosy).

 

If simplicity of aesthetic suits your recipient’s taste, Iriss of Penzance sells reasonably-priced kits for making these warm felted slippers.

 

If you know someone who would prefer to learn the craft of slipper making with like-minded people, you could send them to the Learn to Wet Felt Slippers course at the Fluff-a-torium in Dorking, Surrey…

 

…or one of the excellent courses run by moccasin expert Rose Choules in Bude, Cornwall. I’m sorely tempted by this Baby Moccasin Workshop.

 

I hope my guide makes your Christmas shopping a little easier. Let me know how your gift is received in the comments or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

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DANCE ALL NIGHT

  • Multi hued
    Multi hued
    These sleek points remind me of the black scratch paper I used to play with as a child. A subtle way to add colour interest to wearable black.
  • Sharp snake
    Sharp snake
    Snake and jewels together should be OTT, but the subtlety of the greyscale colour palette keeps the look of these flats very elegant.
  • Glaminal
    Glaminal
    Not everyone is a fan of classic leopard print, but if ever there was a time to try the furry feline look, it would be during the party season. Give it a shot?
  • Slipper style
    Slipper style
    The smoking slipper gets a glam twist, with the diamanté-embellished gold heel, and tassel cuffs. Navy gives it a richness which black can't emulate.
  • Glitter ball
    Glitter ball
    Try this new take on a ballet pointe shoe for a pretty somewhat Cinderella-inspired look. Equally delightful with cropped tuxedo trousers or a dress.
  • Dorothy feet
    Dorothy feet
    Red patent pumps can add happiness to your outfits all year-round, so these would make a good investment. Also the perfect Christmas shoe shade.

 

Ah it’s December already! Time for partying with friends, family and colleagues. I shall be your Christmas shoe fairy today, and help to save you from foot pain.

As much as we tell ourselves that alcohol will numb the burning pain in the balls of our feet, sometimes the wisest decision is to wear footwear we’ll be comfortable in all night.

How lovely to be the smug one at the end of the evening, who can keep her shoes on for the journey home.

I often share secrets about how to select comfortable heels, but today I’m giving you Russell & Bromley’s finest selection of the easy option: flats!

Click through the slide show and let me know which you’ll opt for in the comments or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

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PRESENT LIST PT 1

  • Glam adventures
    Glam adventures
    There's nothing cooler than these comfortable hiking-style boots for wearing the outdoors trend, in a luxurious street-styled way.
  • Rose-tinted view
    Rose-tinted view
    Gibson shoes have been making a big come-back. This twist on the classic gives the cuteness of pastel pink, with a Geisha-style elevated flatform.
  • High and mighty
    High and mighty
    Everyone needs a go-anywhere boot. This style offers the height and stability of the 8cm heel, comfort of a shearling collar, and grip of the camo sole.
  • Simply sleek
    Simply sleek
    These beautifully shaped lace-ups are in delicate pale grey patent leather, with a classy dip-dyed effect on the toe. The crepe sole gives a casual feel.
  • Comfy classic
    Comfy classic
    To pull on as you're running out of the door, opt for these traditional-looking brogue boots. The rich tan colour brings warmth to dark winter outfits.
  • Party style
    Party style
    Show up to festive events in these metallic patent flats, and walk home with your shoes still on. Ribbons give a feminine contrast to the sharp pointed toe.
  • Hug me boots
    Hug me boots
    These are the ultimate cold weather boots. In warm grey sheepskin with a lightweight but grippy sole, are they just too beautiful to wear in the snow?
  • Stand-out slip-on
    Stand-out slip-on
    Sometimes in the winter we want a chunkier shoe style. The bulbous toe and chunky crepe sole are contrasted by soft merino wool embroidery.

 

Have you written your letter to Father Christmas/your family/your partner yet?

 

Italian brand AGL (Attilio Giusti Leombruni) is run by the three Giusti sisters, who are third generation shoe-makers. These ladies know good shoe-making, and have a fondness for the luxurious and unexpected.

Have a browse through the slide-show, and you might just find something to add to your Christmas list (or that you can’t wait ’til Christmas for!).

Let me know which style you can’t live without in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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FESTIVE GLAMOUR

  • Cinderella
    Cinderella
    A delicate pale silver gives these simple court shoes a glamorous evening feel. The position of the heel, and leather upper and lining add comfort.
  • Manly metallic
    Manly metallic
    These beautifully-made Italian brogues have an elegantly tapered toe and bronze shine, for touches of the feminine.
  • Ruby slipper
    Ruby slipper
    Who can resist these supportive block-heeled courts encrusted in luxurious red glitter? These are shoes to make you smile whilst dancing the night away.
  • Day to night
    Day to night
    These tassel loafers will look sharp with your office attire, and entirely chic with your glammed-up evening look. The flat heel helps you avoid foot ache.
  • Dancing shoes
    Dancing shoes
    These Oxfords will complement your trouser suit and little black dress equally well. Patent is a really useful option for day to night wear.
  • Not tied down
    Not tied down
    Dark silver is the perfect colour for glamourising these simple Gibsons, and the black velvet ribbon laces add extra luxury.
  • Luxury legs
    Luxury legs
    Is there anything more tactile than a knee-high velvet boot? Just try and stop yourself and others from stroking your calves. The platform adds comfort.
  • Graceful glitter
    Graceful glitter
    Sport the simple chic vibe of the 1950s in these low-heeled ballet pumps. The low block heel is having a renaissance, so make the most of it.

 

It probably is time to start thinking about your festive wardrobe. How will you look glamorous but not overly sexy at the office party? How about an outfit for New Year’s Eve with friends, or a hot date with your other half? Which shoes won’t elicit tuts from your granny on Christmas day?

For high-quality footwear with classic styling, Hobbs is the place to go. With leather linings and quality manufacture, you’ll also find really wearable heel heights.

 

Check out the slide show for the most comfortable and beautiful Hobbs styles this season, and let me know which style you’ll be rocking in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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CHIC HIKING

  • Cool climb
    Cool climb
    Thank you Adidas for making functional, comfortable, waterproof walking shoes, in cool-looking black and grey with not a hint of pink.
  • Strong paws
    Strong paws
    A more interesting upper design than standard go faster stripes: Jack Wolfskin's signature paw logo enhances these 4 shades of grey hikers.
  • Street sleek
    Street sleek
    These sleek black Haglofs shoes are intended for speed-hiking. They offer functionality for trail walking, but won't look out of place on the street.
  • Compact calm
    Compact calm
    In grey suede and mesh, this good-looking low-profile style from Columbia will squash into your luggage more easily than bulkier options.
  • Dry & determined
    Dry & determined
    Salomon are true experts in this type of footwear. This hi-spec black and grey style has a full Gore-Tex lining to keep your feet dry while looking good.
  • Vertical value
    Vertical value
    A good-looking budget option from the Mountain Warehouse own brand. These have a waterproof lining, and come in wearable navy with grey.
  • Chic curves
    Chic curves
    Merrell is another trusted brand for walking footwear. This waterproof style boasts curvaceous lines, a subtle colourway, and a memory-foam footbed.

 

I love to go walking in the great outdoors, particularly when I’m on holiday. I’m not an adrenaline junkie, but know that sometimes the best views come at the end of an uphill walk.

Trip after trip, I find that my trendy trainers are not really up to the job. I once swam through a cave in Thailand in white leather Cos trainers. They dried out around a week later, and eventually lost the odour of bog.

The reason why I’ve never bought any fit-for-purpose walking shoes, is that I just haven’t found any I like enough. Brands have a nasty habit of taking a men’s style and saying “let’s shrink it and pink it”. I’m serious, it’s a phrase I’ve heard used. The result is usually a fairly bulky-looking black or grey shoe with a hideous flash of purple, pink or another supposedly “girly” colour.

If you’re anything like me, I imagine you aren’t happy to completely compromise your style to avoid falling off a cliff. Click through the slide-show to discover good-looking walking shoes so you can stay upright, alive and stylish whilst having adventures.

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