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Shoeperwoman

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Shoeperwoman.com is updated every week day with new shoes and fashion picks. Please follow me on Bloglovin' or Twitter to make sure you never miss a post!

These red platform shoes are by Office, and were sent to be courtesy of Idealo.co.uk, back in 2011:

red high heel shoes

Now, I wear these shoes a lot: so much so, in fact, that I’m probably going to have to think about replacing them soon, because that suede upper is starting to look just a little bit the worse for wear.

Because I wear these so often, I assumed I’d have lots of photos to show you in this “Ways I Wore” post. As it turns out, though, I could only find three. And it just so happens that I’m wearing almost exactly the same thing in two of them:

red shoes and Stop Staring dress

Shoe Challenge 2011: red shoes with Stop Staring polka dot dress

red shoes with black and white dress

Shoe Challenge 2012: Red shoes with River Island dress

red shoes with navy midi dtess

Shoe Challenge 2013: Red shoes with Misguided polka dot dress

OK, so it’s not EXACTLY the same outfit, but in both 2011 and 2013 I wore a navy, polka dot pencil dress with these shoes – whoops. These have yet to make it through the 2014 Shoe Challenge, but I think I should probably add another element to this challenge, and challenge myself to wear them with something OTHER than a polka dot dress.

Then again, maybe I won’t…

See more of the Ways I’ve Worn my shoes here

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These are my Topshop ‘Barley2′ over-the-knee boots:

Topshop 'Barley2' over the knee boots

Topshop Barley2 over-the-knee boots

These are also some of the most frequently-stolen photos of me in existence: eBay sellers seem to love taking these photos to use on their auctions, so if that’s why you’re here, then I begin this post with a polite request to please not do that. And with that out of the way, on with the show. Or on with boots, as the case may be.

Now, a few years ago, you wouldn’t have been able to convince me I’d ever BUY a pair of over-the-knee boots, let alone wear them anything like as regularly as I wear these. I’d always feared this style for its ‘Pretty Woman’ associations (I can’t seem to read an article about over-the-knee boots without reading some kind of reference to Julia Roberts…) and I figured they just weren’t for me.

All the same, I DID rather like the look of them. I wear a lot of midi-length skirts or dresses, you see, and they can look a little on the frumpy side if you’re not careful. I think these boots neatly help avoid that probelm, which is probably why these are one of the most frequently-worn pair of boots in my collection. I love the fact that they’re such a close fit on the leg (Most regular boots look like wellies on me), and because I always wear them with skirts/dresses which cover the top of the boots, they create a very streamlined shape, rather than dividing up the legs, as other boots can do.

Because I wear these boots so often, I’ve amassed quite a collection of photos of them, which I’m not going to attempt to put into any kind of order. All I say about them is that, as you’ll see in a moment, I always wear them in one of two ways: with pencil skirts/dresses or with full skirts/dresses. I also always seem to wear them in snow, if the photos are anything to go by. Don’t worry – I don’t ACTUALLY walk around in snow or ice in these – I just like taking photos in the snow when I can, because it makes such a great backdrop! These boots are more comfortable than you might expect, but “snow shoes” they most definitely are not!

Here are some of the ways I’ve worn them: and oh, hey – always with the same sunglasses too, apparently!

Topshop Barley2 boots with pencil skirts:

what to wear with Topshop Barley2 boots

Topshop Barley2 boots with full skirts:

Topshop barley2 boots

And the very first time I ever wore them:

Topshop over-the-knee boots

 

Kate Spade 'Candy' stripe slingbacks Kate Spade 'Candy' stripe slingbacks

kate spae 'pietra' stripe pumps KAte Spade stripe shoes

Kate Spade ‘Candy’ ($550) and Pietra ($358)

I couldn’t decide which of these two pairs of stripey Kate Spade pumps to show you today, so I figured I’d just show you them both. You can never have too many stripes in your life, can you?

First up ,we have the ‘Candy’ slingbacks shown at the top of the page. These pack a lot of detail into one little package: there’s the striped upper, of course, but there’s also the corrugated edges, the bright pink heel/toe, the turquoise insole, the candy-wrapper style bow… As I said, lots of detail, but somehow it all comes together in one, perfect package: I really love the shape of the slingback, and think these would as much fun to wear as they are to look at, with the black and white upper working well with so many other colours.

Then there’s ‘Pietra’, at the bottom of the page. A more classically styled post, these are anything but boring, with the same stripe upper, and the same pink/turquoise detailing. The bow is smaller, and the heel slightly shorter (3.5″ to the 4″ on the ‘Candy’ shoes), but they have the same, whimsical vibe, and air of general cute-ness.

What to wear with stripe shoes?

Although I like both of these styles, if I had to choose one, I’d probably go for the ‘Candy’ slingbacks, as I like the higher heel and bigger bow. When styling these, my instinct was to pick up on the pink from the heel, but I suppressed that instinct (OK, I DID allow myself a touch of pink with the handbag, but that totally doesn’t count…) and went for turquoise instead: you wouldn’t actually see the turquoise insoles when these shoes were on, but its presence illustrates how well it works against the other colours in the shoes. The end result is a lot more colourful than I’d wear in real life, but change the bag and glasses for something more neural and it should be pretty easy to wear:

what to wear with stripe shoes

What to wear with stripe shoes:

dress // bag // sunglasses // lipstick // nail polish 

Topshop Glory high heels

Topshop ‘Glory’, £58

Every season, Topshop creates a perfectly shaped pump, which they then proceed to taunt me with by releasing it in every colour imaginable. Last season it was the ‘Gwenda‘; this season it’s the turn of ‘Glory’, which, to be completely honest, looks just like ‘Gwenda’, only under a different name.

These shoes are (so far) available in three colours: black, white and this lovely checked mint pattern. The mint version is, naturally, my favourite of the three, and I think it would be a wonderful choice for springtime, with its muted colours, and a pattern which is interesting without being overwhelming. They have a lovely, fresh feel about them, which inspired me to create an equally fresh, spring-like outfit to wear with them:

what to wear with Topshop 'Glory' pumps

What to wear with Topshop ‘Glory’ pumps:

sweater // jeans // scarf // watch // sunglasses //  necklace // bag

The combination of green and yellow can seem a bit “daffodil-like” at first (Although what could be appropriate for spring than daffodils, I ask you?), but I wore these two shades together a few times last year, and I think that as long as you opt for the paler, pastel versions of the colours, it can work really well. With this outfit, I’ve also broken up the effect slightly with the white jeans, which are a summer staple for many of us (And which I’m on an apparently ceaseless search for, as the perfect white jeans are even harder to find than the perfect blue ones!). As I’m fond of saying, however, most pastels will work well with most other pastels, as well as with block colours like black, white and navy, so I don’t think these shoes would be difficult to style, even if you don’t want to go for the “human flower” effect!

What would you wear with these shoes?

 

Dune Anastacia shoe boots

Dune ‘Anastacia’, £35

This winter, I’ve been wearing shoe boots much more often than my usual knee high or over-the-knee boots.

I honestly have no idea why it’s taken me so long to realise that shoe boots (I refuse to call them “shoots”) are the answer to my winter-footwear woes. Or ONE of the answers, anyway. It sounds really obvious – because it IS really obvious – but because shoe boots have much more in common with actual shoes than their higher-legged counterparts, they’re far easier to wear with the kind of outfits I’d normally wear shoes with. No, they’re not quite as warm as a pair of knee-high boots might be, but worn with thick tights, they work out just fine, and I also find them a little more comfortable than a pair of pumps, say, purely because there’s much less chance of your foot slipping out of them when you walk.

I also find shoe boots a great way to dress down an outfit slightly. This is something that’s been on my mind a lot recently: my style tends to be very dressy, and while I don’t particularly care about being over-dressed most of the time, even I have days when I want to look a little more casual, and shoe boots are good option, as even the dressier ones aren’t quite as formal looking as a pair of pumps.

These ‘Anastacia’ boots by Dune, of course, aren’t exactly what you’d call “casual”: the patent upper and high heel take care of that. All the same, they’re the kind of footwear that you could wear with a variety of different looks, and today I’ve chosen to answer the “what to wear with shoe boots” question with a casual outfit:

what to wear with shoe boots

sweater // jeans // bag // sunglasses

Oh, and I almost forgot the best bit: they’re reduced to £35 in the Dune sale!

Miu Miu crystal embellished pumps

Miu Miu crystal embellished heels

Miu Miu crystal embellished pumps, 895 euros

These shoes instantly made me think of the ‘Pearly Queens’ of London. Of course, these shoes are covered in crystals, not pearls, so they’re not totally the same, but that top-to-toe embellishment has a similar feel to it. There isn’t much of the upper that ISN’T covered in a crystal of some description here, making them one of the more OTT shoe styles I’ve featured in a while. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that’s a good thing or a bad one!

These are by Miu Miu and have a 4.25″ heel and a rounded toe. There’s really nothing remarkable about the shape itself, as lovely as it, so all of the drama here comes courtesy of that rainbow of crystals dotted all over the leather uppers. These are the kind of shoes I’d probably be too scared to wear in case I damaged them and ended up losing a crystal or two (and there are a lot of them to keep track of!), but the question still has to be asked:

What to wear with crystal embellished shoes?

For me, there’s an easy, three-word answer to this one: keep it simple. When the shoes look like this, the outfit can be as plain as you like – all people will see are those crystals, anyway!

What to wear with crystal embellished shoes

What to wear with crystal-embellished shoes:

top // trousers // ring // necklace //coat

This outfit is very much a “fantasy” shop for me, because the individual items are (almost) all out of my budget, but with the exception of the coat, which is pretty much in a league of its own, they’re the kind of basic items you can find in most high-street stores. Unlike the shoes, on the other hand: we’re probably NOT going to be seeing a high street version of these anytime soon. Would you buy them if there was one?

 

Whoops! I had the very best of intentions with this series, which takes a look back at the different ways I’ve “saved” my shoes in my Shoe Challenge, but other things got in the way, so it got pushed onto the back burner! I’m back on track now, though, and today I’m taking a look at the ways I’ve worn my bright red Zara peep toes…

red Zara peep toes

These shoes were a gift from ShoeperMan, who bought them for me during a holiday to Spain in December 2010. I wore them quite a few times during that vacation:

Shoe Challenge 2010 | red Zara peep toes with polka dot dress

Shoe Challenge 2010: with Miss Selfridge polka dot dress

stripe dress and red shoes

December 2010 with Topshop stripe dress

I took them on holiday with me again the next year, to Los Angeles:

Bettie Page captain dress

Shoe Challenge 2011: With Bettie Page ‘Captain’ dress

… and again in 2012, to the Gulf Coast of Florida: I’m starting to sense a theme here!

Bettie Page Jazmin dress

Shoe Challenge 2012: With Bettie Page ‘Jazmin’ dress

Another holiday, another Bettie Page dress!

Despite all of the vacation shots, I DO also wear these shoes at home, too:

stripe pencil skirt and red shoes

Shoe Challenge 2013: with Robert Rodriguez * pencil skirt

As you can see, I definitely like to stick to a “theme” with these shoes, and I’m not just talking about the fact that I always seem to take them on holiday with me! I also mostly like to wear them with some combination of black/white or navy/white – those are colours that I wear lots of, especially during the summer, so I guess that explains why the shoes appear in so many holiday snaps, too: they’re a really useful part of my capsule wardrobe, which is usually based around those colours.

Despite the height, these shoes are actually quite comfortable, and the leather has softened over the years, making them easy to wear. They’re four years old now, but are still going strong, so look out for them in a Shoe Challenge post near you soon!

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nude shoes by Dorothy Perkins

Dorothy Perkins nude shoes, £27

T-bars are definitely having a bit of a “moment” as far as fashion in concerned. These t-bars, however, aren’t the kind you might remember from school – the clunky, sensible flats with the think soles and rounded toes. Nope, these shoes are much more sophisticated, with a high, stiletto heel, a sharply pointed toe, and a slender ankle strap. They also have a nice, d-orsay cut, oh, and did I mention that they’re only £27? Well, they are. And it doesn’t really get much more affordable than that, does it?

These shoes are also available in black, but my preference would be for this “nude” version: not only is the colour so much more versatile than black, I also think it’s a better option for the upcoming spring/summer season, when I for one tend to make the switch to lots of pale, pastel colours, with a fair bit of white and cream mixed in, too. I always think black shoes look a bit too “heavy” with pastels (Although they can look amazing contrasted with white), and that’s when nude shoes come into their own!

What to wear with nude shoes?

For this look, I decided to stick with Dorothy Perkins, who have a really great line of summer dresses on the site at the moment. They’ve been really getting into the “sheer stripe” look, with lots of skirts and dresses which have a transparent section of fabric just above the hemline: I wasn’t too sure about this style when it first started to pop up last year, but I’ve gradually come around to it, and think it’s a nice way to bring a midi dress/skirt up to date:

what to wear with nude shoes

What to wear with nude shoes:

dress // necklace // bag // eyeshadow

This dress is also available in pink (but of course!), which would also look good with these shoes: oh, and it’s available in both the Tall and Petite sections, too!

More nude shoes:

♥ New Look nude/pink sandals

♥  Mint and nude, from I Love Shoes

ASOS pink high heel shoes

ASOS ‘Panorama’ pink high heel shoes, £25

I’ve shown you a lot – and I mean a LOT – of pink shoes lately, and I’m sure I’ll be showing you a whole lot more of them over the course of the next few months. Well, pink HAS been dubbed the colour of the season, and that makes it pretty hard to avoid, even if I wanted to. Which I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, I really, RALLY don’t.

Pink may be popular, both here at Shoeper Towers, and in the fashion world in general, but I’m taking a lot of pleasure in the fact that my favourite pair of pink shoes so far are also the cheapest – and by quite some margin. These ‘Panorama’ pumps are just £25 at ASOS, and although the price tells you those definitely aren’t real suede uppers, the colour and shape goes a long way towards making up for that. I think these are basically the perfect pink pump: amazing shape (I particularly like the low-cut vamp), great colour, and a 4″ heel which should be relatively easy to walk in. The trend for pastel pink isn’t going anywhere, and these are a really affordable, easy-to-wear way to get in on it.

What to wear with pink shoes, though?

I’ve been slowly accumulating so many pink pieces of clothing that I’d have no problem working these into a few different outfits, but if I bought them (And let’s face it: at that price, there’s a pretty good chance I will…) they would give me the perfect excuse to buy another of my current obsessions, which is this pink pencil skirt from Tophop:

what to wear with pink shoes

What to wear with pink shoes?

skirt // top // ring // necklace // cheek tint // lipstick // bag

I’ve been playing a game I call “Shopping Basket Roulette” with this skirt for a couple of weeks now: it involves adding an item to your basket, and then hoping against hope that it doesn’t sell out before you actually get round to buying it. Wish me luck…

More suggestions on what to wear with pink shoes:

♥  Zara pink patent t-bar heels

♥  Dorothy Perkins pink platform pumps

Nine West Leggy red patent cork wedges

Nine West ‘Leggy’ red cork wedges, £95

OK: I want to know where these shoes were last summer, when I was hobbling my way around every shoe store in the greater Miami area (including more than a few Nine West branches…) desperately looking for a pair of shoes that would look good, but not shred my feet. Where were you, Nine West ‘Leggy’?

I’ve said it before (and I’ve no doubt I’ll say it again), but cork wedges are my summer shoe saviours. I absolutely swear by them when I’m going on vacation, and I know I’ll be doing a lot of walking: I’ve never been one to go down the Birkenstock/sneakers route for that kind of thing, and I find that a cork wedges are one of the best options for me, because they’re generally comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time in, but they also add a little bit of much-needed height to my short little legs.

What to wear with red cork wedges?

I have summery wedges in a ton of different colours, but red or gold is always my first choice, because those colours work so well with my summer holiday wardrobe, which normally revolves around a nautical theme, with lots of red white and blue:

what to wear with red cork wedges

What to wear with red cork wedges:

sunglasses // bracelet // playsuit // hat // earrings // bag 

This would be a really typical vacation look for me. I spotted the playsuit a few days ago, and although it’s not something I would ever dream of wearing at home, for some reason it feels far easier to get away with something like this when I’m on holiday, and in a hot climate. (Oh, and it’s also available in red, if you’d prefer something more colourful.) As I said, however, these shoes would work with so many of my other outfits that I’m just cursing the fact that they’re £95 – here’s hoping for a summer sale!

Brian Atwood Leigha colourblock sandals

B Brian Atwood ‘Leigha‘, $325

These shoes take me right back to the summer of 2011 (not that 2011 is a particularly long time ago, mind you!), when almost every shoe available could have the word “colourblock” used to describe it. The look is’t quite as ubiquitous as it once was, but it still crops every now and then, particularly in the spring/summer season, when people start to crave bright, cheerful colours, and the more of them, the merrier.

Well, these B Brian Atwood sandals definitely take a “the more, the merrier” approach to colour. Actually, they only use three different colours – green, purple and orange – but somehow it looks like a lot more than that at first glance, and I’m glad the design itself is so minimal: this particular colour combination could really start to hurt the eyes if used over a larger area.

When it comes to deciding what to wear with colourblock sandals, you have three main options:

1. Wear them with a very neutral shade, like black, white, grey etc, which won’t compete or clash with the colours in the shoe.

2. Choose another colour to add to the mix – ideally one which compliments the colours already in the shoe. (I recommend this option only for those of you who have a lot of confidence in your colour mixing, or who don’t mind being stared at a lot when you’re out in public!)

3. Pick out one of the colours in the shoe, and base your outfit around that.

My preference would probably be for option one, because I don’t really like wearing head-to-toe brights, but for this look I decided to go for a combination of options 2 and 3: the skirt is a shade of the purple found in the shoes, while the pink cardigan adds a forth colour to the look, but one that isn’t too bright or out of place:

what to wear with colourblock sandals

What to wear with colourblock sandals:

cardigan // skirt // bag // nail polish // lipstick

Despite the colours, however, I’m not venturing too far out of my comfort zone with this one: it IS still a full skirt and a cropped cardigan, after all!

Hunter boots

Well, it happened again, folks: for the second time in this Shoe Challenge, I have absolutely no shoe saves to share with you this week – boo!

I do have an excuse, though. We had our first proper snowfall of the winter this week (Yes, we’ve been lucky to make it this far without at least a dusting of the white stuff!) and, as some of you probably know, the country has also been being battered by severe storms. Thankfully we tend to miss the worst of this sort of weather here in Scotland, so it hasn’t been nearly as bad as it could have been, but I’ve still been staying safely inside as much as possible, and wearing my trusty Hunter boots (Which I don’t include in my challenge total, as they have a purely practical purpose) or similar when I have been venturing out.

Anyway, as I said, no new saves from me this week, but I feel like we still have a long way to go in this challenge, so I’m sure I’ll make up for it later in the year. For now, I hope those of you who’ve been dealing with much worse weather than I have are staying safe!

Link up your Week 24 shoe saves below, and if you’d like to join the shoe challenge (There’s still a good few months left to go, which should be plenty of time to get some shoes saved!), click here to read more about it!

 Loading InLinkz ...

Christian Louboutin Griffita Cutout Platforms

Christian Louboutin Griffita, £638.18

Platforms may be far less popular than they used to be, but there are still plenty of them around, and these Christian Louboutin ‘Griffita’ pumps still had the power to turn my head, even although the sole is far higher than most of the shoes that have been making it onto my Wish List recently.

Three things combine to make these awesome:

1. The curved sides. Of course, curvy sides are almost as synonymous with Christian Louboutin shoes as red soles are, but that doesn’t make them any less notable, or any less attractive.

2. The tear-shaped cut-outs around the vamp – such an unusual touch!

3. The lovely, muted red colour, which will be gorgeous for spring, working well with all of those pale, pastel shades. I’ve actually been on the lookout for a nail polish in this exact shade of red for a long time now, and these shoes make me even more determined to find one: it’s a really nice alternative to the brighter reds I usually go for.

One of the things I like about Christian Louboutin’s platforms is that, although they look chunky, they’re always as light as a feather in real life, which will make them that bit more comfortable to wear – if “comfortable” is a word you can really use to describe a shoe with a 5″ stiletto heel, that is!

These are £638 at Neiman Marcus: get them here.

Prada asymmetric sandals

Prada asymmetric sandals, £930

Well, this is a whole lotta look, isn’t it?

Normally when I post a “Heroes or Villains?” shoe, I try to stay as neutral as possible in my commentary, but I’m just going to be upfront about this one: I absolutely hate them. Mostly because they remind me of LEGO, I think. They don’t LOOK particularly like LEGO, obviously, but all those primary colours, then the giant embellishment on the toes, makes them look a lot like the kind of thing a child might come up with  if you gave them a box of the stuff and asked them to create a shoe.

Oh, and they’re £930.

These definitely have “ShoeperVillain” status for me, then, which means that I wouldn’t even TRY to save them in  my Shoe Challenge, and would simply pass them on to someone who would love them, and be able to do justice to them. Would that person be you, though? One woman’s ShoeperVillian, after all, is another woman’s ShoeperHero, so I’d love to know what you think of these, and, more importantly, how you would go about styling them if you DO like them. All of those clashing colours would make me want to wear them with plain black/navy, or possibly a plain old “jeans and t-shirt” outfit – anything to play them down as much as possible, basically. These are certainly what you’d call a “statement shoe” (to put it mildly), and they’re destined to be the focal point of your look, regardless of what you decide to wear them, so I think the key to making them work would be to keep the rest of the outfit as simple as possible, so there’s nothing for them to compete with. And also so there’s less chance of people noticing you wearing them. Ahem.

What about you? Do you like these shoes? Would you wear them? And if so: what would you wear them WITH? Do you think they’re ShoeperHeroes or ShoeperVillains?

Office Jade green slingback shoes

Office ‘Jade’, £65

The Office website describes these shoes as “Fashion Week Favourites”. Well, I can’t speak for that, but they’re definitely ShoeperWoman favourites, and not just because the upper is in my favourite colour, either!

That jade green upper was the first thing about these shoes that caught my eye, though, I can’t deny it. Although there hasn’t been a shortage of green shoes in stores recently (much to my joy), the ongoing pastels trend has meant that most of them have been the mint green variety, so this shade is still unusual enough to really stand out. Quite apart from the colour, though, I also really like the shape of these, and particularly the asymmetric vamp, which I always think is a very flattering shape on the foot: it’s not only more interesting than a plain-cut vamp, it’s also a little more elegant. That’s also true of the slingback heel, which helps create a really nice, curved line from toe to heel: lovely!

What would you wear with bright green shoes?

Because the colour of these heels is so bold, I’ve stuck to a black and cream colour palette for the rest of the outfit, although the print on the trousers is almost as bold as the colour of the shoes!

what to wear with bright green shoes

What to wear with bright green shoes:

bag // trousers // cardigan // necklace // sunglasses

I actually ordered these Boden trousers a few weeks ago, because I really loved the stripe print. I also loved the quality, but unfortunately the fit wasn’t quite right for me, so I had to return them. They’re such a fun style, though, that I may well re-order them in a different size when I have some spare cash – or when I next stumble across a Boden discount code, whichever comes first! And perhaps also the polka dot version. Well, you can never have too many pairs of polka dot pants, can you?

Giuseppe Zanotti baby blue suede peep toes

Giuseppe Zanotti peep toes, £460

These shoes are so gorgeous I could sit and stare at them all day.

Mind you, I think I’m probably at the stage now where you could show me ANY shoes in this beautiful, baby blue colour, and I’d instantly want to own them – I’m THAT smitten with the shade. Of course, it helps that these Giuseppe Zanotti peep toes have a gorgeous shape, too, and while it’s not anything out of the ordinary (It’s a style we’ve seen from this designer before, albeit with a slightly lower platform), it’s one that I always find irresistible. The height of the heel and platform may change to suit the current fashion, but that basic shape always remains the same, and it never goes out of style.

Speaking of heel heights, I’d assumed from the photo that these were a good 5 inches at the very least, but according to the product description they’re “just” 4.6″, with the platform making them feel more like 4″. That’s still high, but it’s not quite as high as you might think, so hopefully they won’t be too unkind to the feet.

Outfit-wise, I’m using these shoes as an opportunity to show you another of my very favourite things at the moment: this amazing J. Crew skirt:

what to wear with baby blue shoes

What to wear with baby blue shoes:

skirt // top // bag // bracelet

This is by J Crew Collection, and at £300 it’s a little out of my price range, sadly. I suspect it’s too much to hope that it’ll ever end up in the sale, but it’s so lovely that I’m going to live in hope – or just PRETEND I own it by building outfits around it. The little camera-shaped bag, meanwhile, is by Accessorize, and is a lot more affordable at £25, so maybe I’ll just settle for that instead. Isn’t it cute?

Mel 'Dreamed' bow peep toes

Mel ‘Dreamed’ heels, £55

My love of Mel/Melissa shoes has been well documented on this site, and the more rain we get, the more I find these waterproof jelly shoes to be totally indispensable. What did I do before I discovered jelly shoes, I wonder? And how would I ever manage to live without them, in a county in which it rains around 98% of the year? (I totally made that statistic up, by the way. I’m sure our rainfall isn’t quite that high -it sure feels like it a lot of the time, though!)

The open toes and d’orsay cut of these ‘Dreamed’ shoes makes them a “warm weather only” shoe for me, unfortunately, but they’re cute enough to make up for the fact that I wouldn’t be able to wear  them until the spring. These come in six different colours: I’ve selected my favourite nude and red mix to show you here, partly because I think they’d be the easiest to wear, but also because they make me think of Snow White, for some reason. I think it must be the bright red against the pale upper. Or maybe I’ve just had too much coffee again.

Anyway, red was the obvious colour to wear with these shoes, and you know me: never one to shy away from the obvious option!

what to wear with Mel 'Dreamed' shoes

What to wear with Mel ‘Dreamed’ peep toes:

iPhone sleeve // skirt // top // earrings 

I’d probably throw a differently-coloured cardigan or jacket (I like a classic denim jacket for spring, although I know a lot of people really dislike them) just to make the look a little less cartoony… or, then again, maybe I wouldn’t: you just never know. This outfit also feels kinda appropriate for Valentine’s week (assuming you like to get in on the “themed dressing” thing), although the shoes unfortunately aren’t appropriate for the Febriary weather in this part of the world: sad.

These shoes also come in plain red, black  and blue, and also in a white upper/black bow and black upper/white bow combo. Take your pick from here.

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Valentine's shoes

I’ve featured so many pairs of heart-print shoes (not to mention red or pink shoes) here recently that I figured a Valentine’s roundup post would be a little redundant. I’ve given the love-heart shoes their own (temporary_ section on the homepage to make up for it, but if you’re still looking for some V-Day inspiration, you should also check out Sarenza’s special Valentine’s Shop, where they’re currently paying homage to the great loves of our lives – shoes, of course!

Now, I have to admit here that I’ve never really been much of a one for “themed”dressing: I don’t wear red/pink/heart-print just because it’s Valentine’s day, for instance, although I won’t avoid wearing those colours/prints either, if that’s what I feel like. And honestly, most of the time, that’s EXACTLY what I feel like: luckily for me, the types of styles normally associated with Valentine’s day are ones I like anyway, so there’s plenty of shoes here to keep me happy, both on February 14th and beyond. Here are some of my favourites:

pink peep toes

Studio TMLs ‘Louanne’, £90

I have these shoes in black suede, and have been considering adding a couple of the other available colours to my collection too. They may be fairly plain (Although I’m not sure “plain” is a word you can really use to describe a pair of hot pink peep toes!), but the shape is absolutely perfect, and the slightly lower-than-average heel makes them the perfect walking height, too.

red heart shoes

Emma Go ‘Millie Heart’, £120

A pair of heart shoes I HAVEN’T shown you yet?! They do exist, apparently, and trust me, I’m as surprised as you are that I’ve so far neglected to show you these little red flats by Emma Go, which have a studded heart on the toe. I’m rectifying that now, though, and if you’re not keen on red, you’ll be pleased to know that these also come in black. If you DO like red, however…

Vivienne Westwood Skyscraper 2

Vivienne Westwood x Melissa ‘Skyscraper 2′, £210

Well, it really doesn’t get much redder – or more glittery – than these Vivienne Westwood x Melissa ‘Skyscraper 2′ pumps, does it? This style has been around for a while, and although I haven’t tried them personally, I have nothing but praise for the very similar ‘Raspberry’ shoes by Mel (which are also perfect for Valentine’s day, thanks to the hearts on the front), so if you like your shoes to look like they’ve just returned from Oz, these could be worth a shot.

 

 

Zara pale pink t-bar shoes

Zara pink patent t-bars

Zara pink patent t-bar shoes, £59.99

Every season, Zara manages to release at least one pair of shoes that proves to be super-popular, selling out everywhere, and then showing up on eBay for at least twice the retail price. Well, this season (or rather, NEXT season: I keep forgetting it’s STILL not spring!) I have a feeling these pale pink t-bars might be that shoe.

Yes, pink is going to continue to be unavoidable this spring/summer, and I’m not just talking about here at ShoeperWoman either: the candy shade is showing up everywhere, and on everything too – shoes, coats, bags, you name it. No complaints from me on that score: I’m still really enjoying the trend for all things pastels, but I have to admit, it’s nice to see this shade on to something other than the classic pointed-toed pump for a change. These shoes still have that pointed toe, but this time it’s attached to a t-strap upper, finished with a chunky, rounded heel. The heels are the most unusual feature of these shoes (Which is probably why Zara decided to provide the second of the two photos on this page), and at a time where most heels are either stilettos or flatforms (does a flatform even count as a heel?) they really stood out to me as I browsed the Zara website.

So, what to wear with these?

what to wear with Zara's pink patent t-bars

What to wear with Zara’s pink patent t-bar shoes:

bag // skirt // cami // bracelet // cardigan // sunglasses

My favourite way to wear pink at the moment is with EVEN MORE PINK, but that might’ve been a little bit too much with these, so I’ve toned it down a little with some white, gold and beige. Oh, and pink, of course. Well, a leopard doesn’t change its spots quite THAT easily, now does it?

 

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georgia rose black shoes with tartan bow

Georgia Rose  Cyprès, £101

With all of the summer shoes now in stock in most stores, it’s easy to forget we still have a good few weeks (or should that be “a BAD few weeks”?) of winter ahead of us. Well, it’s easy to forget it if you don’t ever step outside, or look out of the window, anyway. If you do, you’ll instantly realise that, yup, it’s still winter, and while these shoes are far from being “practical” for cold weather, the tartan bow and black suede upper does give them a very wintry feel.

These are another example of the mid-heeled pump, and actually, as I search for shoes to feature here every day, I’m starting to notice that there are more heels this height around right now than there are super-high stilettos -or it certainly feels that way, anyway. It’s always interesting to see how quickly fashions can change and I’m definitely seeing a swing away from very high heels, although that’s not a trend I’ll be following personally, of course!

In terms of the shoe itself, the tartan rosette on the toe gives them an almost regal feel: when I started to style them I kept thinking they really should be worn to a house party at someone’s rambling highland estate, but as that’s not the kind of occasion most of us find ourselves having to dress for, I’ve put together the kind of outfit you could wear just about anywhere:

green coat and black shoes

coat // jeans // cardigan // bag  // camisole

I’ve kept to a classic autumn/winter colour palette for this one, using the greens and golds that are always around at this time of year, and which work well with the little dash of tartan. You’d probably want to exchange the shoes for boots for a really cold day, but here’s hoping we don’t have too many of those to get through until spring!

red satin peep toes

KAren Millen pleated satin peep toes red satin peep toes

Karen Millen pleated satin peep toes, £125

Bright red may not be the first colour you’d reach for when you’re buying evening shoes: even I have a tendency to go for something like nude or black, that will blend in with my dress rather than competing with it. If you like to stick to the good ol’ little black dress – or even a navy or grey one, say – then a brightly coloured shoe can be a really easy way to give the look a bit of a twist, by adding a shot of colour. And you all know by now that when it comes to bright colours, red is The One for me.  (Or for my shoes, rather: I very rarely wear red clothes, because they don’t really suit me, so my love for the colour is mostly channelled into my shoe collection.)

These Karen Millen peep toes will definitely do that: they’re the brightest of bright reds, and have a gorgeous pleated detail at the front, which makes them that little bit different. Although satin uppers always give shoes a “dressy” feel, however, these aren’t so dressy that they could only be worn with the fanciest of outfits, or to the most elegant of occasions. The closed heel and small peep toe, plus the lack of other embellishments, will make it fairly easy to dress these down just a little. They could look good with dark denim jeans if you’re headed out for drinks, for instance, or with something like this silk bird-print dress for a more formal event:

red shoes silk dress

What to wear with red satin peep toes:

dress // clutch // ring // bracelet

I really love this Nina Ricci dress, but I definitely don’t love the price tag, so I’m hoping the high street will come up with a suitable alternative. I may just get my wish on that one: bird print is always popular, especially in spring, so hopefully my wish will be granted sooner or later. Of course, then I’ll need the shoes…

My Shoe Saving is limping along at a snail’s pace right now, and I’m really having to force myself to wear at least one new pair every week, rather than just sticking to the same old, same old. As it happens, though, we’ve been really lucky with the weather this winter: it still feels really cold to me, but we’ve had no snow, and very little ice, which means I can definitely get away with shoes like these (worn with my trusty nude fishnet tights!) from time to time, as long as I’m not planning to be outdoors for a particularly long time:

Carvela Astroid platforms

Shoe Save 54/108: Carvela ‘Astroid’ green suede pumps
Worn on: Monday, February 10th
With: H&M skirt, Jane Norman sweater

Just a very simple outfit, with the green adding a bit of colour. To be completely honest, I’ve been feeling totally uninspired lately, and have been wearing a lot of black, so I’d probably have worn black shoes too if it hadn’t been for the challenge forcing me to reach for something I hadn’t worn before!

As always, feel free to link up your week 23 shoe saves below, and if you’d like to take part in the Shoe Challenge, click here to read more about it!

Christian Louboutin Toboggan Specchio Christian Louboutin Christian Louboutin Toboggan Specchio

Christian Louboutin Toboggan Specchio, £485

Every time I think I’ve found my all-time favourite pair of Louboutins, another pair comes along to prove me wrong.

A couple of months ago, for instance, I was all about the So Kates. Then the srping collection was released, and it was full of all that nautical goodness that’s so utterly irresistible to me. And now there’s Toboggan Specchio – a curvy gold sandal that seems to have “Shoeperwoman, please buy me!” stamped all over it. I mean, seriously, just check out those curves! Has there ever been a more perfectly-shaped sandal? I doubt it. If there is, though, I honestly can’t WAIT to see it…

These have a 4″ heel, so although they’re high by most standards, they’re actually fairly reasonable by Christian Louboutin standards. They have a half-d’orsay shape and an open toe, and are in a gorgeous, go-with-everything gold, so you’ll never have to worry about not having anything to wear with them. (Not that you’d worry about that anyway, because if you’re anything like me, you’d be finding excuses to wear these aaaaalll the time, and with everything. Even to the supermarket, if that’s what it took to get them worn.)

Mostly, though, these are all about the curves. Well, what more do you need?

Buy them here

sole society elisa

Sole Society ‘Elisa’, $44.96

These shoes really remind me of a pair of designer heels from sometime last year. The designer’s name, however, has totally escaped me. I think it might have been Carven  –  the bow shape has a ‘Carven’ look to it –  but I honestly can’t remember, so, you know, don’t quote me on that. (Unless I’m right, of course, in which case, quote away.)

Regardless of which brand these were or were not inspired by, they’re a great pair of shoes, and as they’re real suede, they’re also really well priced at the moment too. They’re on sale at Sole Society for just $44.96, and they also come in tan and black, as well as this brilliant shade of what the brand describes as “parrot blue”.  More about that in just a second. For now, let me just dwell for a moment on that gorgeous, offset bow. It’s the feature that really sets these shoes apart, and it manages to turn a plain pair of pumps into something much more special, even in the other two colourways, which are far more muted.

Back to that colour. As much as I love to look at this shade of blue, I have a couple of pairs of shoes in a similar (although slightly less bright) colour, and I find them quite difficult to wear, purely because they’re SO bright I feel that all of the emphasis is on my feet (which suddenly seem gigantic). One way to counteract that is to balance things out with a similarly bright colour elsewhere in the outfit, but I’ll be honest: what I normally do is play the colour down with good ol’ jeans:

blue shoes

 

What to wear with bright blue shoes:

jeans // top // cardigan

This outfit uses a bit of both of those options, and would be a nice smart/casual option. Don’t you just love the difference a great pair of shoes can make to an outfit?

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black kitten heels with bow zara kitten heels with bow

Zara black kitten heels, £39.99

Kitten heels are one of the least-popular shoe styles out there at the moment, and if you’re someone who loves them, I’d hazard a guess that you probably don’t have the easiest time tracking them down.

I have to admit that I used to share the general dislike for this type of heel, preferring to go very, very high, or very, very low, rather than settling for the somewhat awkward half-way house of the kitten heel. Recently, though, my feelings have changed on that, and when I saw this pair at Zara, they did a complete 180, because I think these are awesome. Would I prefer a higher heel? That goes without saying, but the front of this shoe is so very vintage-looking, and so utterly stylish with its low, V-cut vamp, and its flat bow, that I’m actually considering buying myself a pair. Yes, I know, I was surprised to, but the fact is, these would be a wonderful way to add a retro touch to an outfit, and they’ll be perfect with some of my most frequently worn items, like capri pants and pencil skirts. I’m also starting to think that, for those of us who don’t like flats, these could be a great alternative for days when you don’t want to wear heels, but still want to feel “dressed up”.

(I actually DO like flats – or I like the look of them, anyway – but unfortunately I don’t think they really like me. I have a long torso with short legs, and flats only serve to emphasise that, whereas heels help balance me out a bit. Kitten heels won’t have quite the same effect as stilettos, obviously, but they’ll do more to elongate the leg than a pair of ballet pumps will, and that might just be good enough for me!)

How to save these kitten heeled shoes?

I’ve already mentioned two of the items I’d probably wear with this style of shoe, but if you want to get down to specifics, it would probably go a little something like this:

what o wear with kitten heels: retro-inspired outfit

What to wear with kitten heels:

skirt // top // sunglasses // clutch

With, of course, a giant beehive and cat’s eye flick. No surprises there, then.

I spotted this Closet top at Dorothy Perkins yesterday, and it went straight onto my Wish List. I absolutely love the 60s-style high collar, but I’m not sure how well the asymmetric hem would work on my figure, which is the only reason I didn’t order it instantly. I have a feeling it might be on its way to me soon, though… along with those shoes!

 

 

menbur sand

Menbur ‘Sand’ platf0rms, £77.59

Gold is probably my favourite colour when it comes to evening shoes, and it’s recently come to my attention that I don’t have nearly enough pairs of gold shoes on my shelves. Could these Menbur platforms be the ones to save the day? Well, ordinarily the presence of the rounded toe and large platform would make me want to answer “no” to that, in this case, the glittery toe cap and matching heel have managed to change that “no” into a “yes please”.

As for the platform, well, when I’m wearing a midi-length dress (and I almost always am, let’s face it), I prefer to wear a higher heel in order to balance out the leg-shortening effect longer hems can have. That’s when platforms come into their own: these ones have a very high heel, but the toe cap style helps give them the kind of sophistication you don’t always associate with such giant platforms. The combination of satin upper and sparkle finish, meanwhile, gives these a very “party ready” feel, which is why I’ve gone all out with the accompanying outfit:

black-dress

dress // bangle // earrings // nail polish // lipstick // bag 

This dress is by Paper Dolls at Dorothy Perkins, and it’s another one I’ve had my eye on for a while: I love that exaggerated bow at the waist, although, if the reviews are correct, it’s actually a little bit shorter than it looks, which puts me off, but may be good news for those of you who don’t love the midi look!

roger vivier sandals

Roger Vivier sandals, £774

I have a love/hate relationship with Roger Vivier shoes. I LOVE the curvy heels, as seen on the sandals shown above. But I hate the squared-off toes which almost always accompany them:

square toe on shoes

And OK, “hate” is probably too strong a word here. Square toes are a Roger Vivier trademark, but I’ve never been very keen on them, and think they can look very dated – and not in a “retro cool” way, either. Still, the fact that these are open-toed sandals as opposed to closed-toe pumps solves that problem: you won’t actually see the shape of the toe once you’re actually wearing the shoe. All the same, as much as I adored these when they first appeared on my screen, I think the side view is much nicer than the front view, which is a shame, because from the side they’re truly spectacular.

Although I probably wouldn’t buy these personally (even if I DID have a spare £774 to spend on shoes!) I did have a go at styling them, and here’s what I came up with:

what to wear with floral sandals

What to wear with floral sandals:

dress // earrings // bracelet // bag 

Floral sandals just scream “summer”, and I think Alice + Olivia’s ‘Aubree’ dress (which does likewise) would be a nice compliment to these shoes, creating the kind of look you – by which I mean “I” – might wear to a summer wedding, or similar event. Oh, and not forgetting some brightly-coloured nail polish, seeing as these are open-toed!

 

 

 

mint green shoes

Topshop ‘Golden’ mint green shoes, £58

Yes, folks, you guessed it: it’s that time of the year when I become obsessed with mint green shoes again!

I say “again”… Mint green has always been one of my favourite colours, and luckily for me, over the past couple of years, the shoe world seems to have joined me in my love of this pretty, spring-like shade.  We’ve seen tons of mint green shoes recently, and these ones from Topshop are the latest in a long line, with the main difference being their mid-height heel. This is another “trend” (I hesitate to call it that, because for some people mid-heel shoes have never actually gone out of fashion!) which has been growing in popularity recently, and Topshop have been doing a particularly good job of creating stylish pumps, with slightly lower heels. These ones are called ‘Golden’, and they’re also available in pink and lilac (no gold, though, sadly!). I love all three shades, and, when I see them all together, they make me want to start a little collection of pointed pumps in every possible colour. If I had to choose just one, though, I would (of course) start out with the mint green version, and here’s how I’d wear them:

what to wear with mint green shoes

What to wear with mint green shoes:

dress // shoes // bag // iPhone case // lipstick

Honestly? This outfit is mostly just an excuse to show you this gorgeous Coast dress (Well, I DID warn you you’d be seeing a lot of Coast dresses!), which took my fancy last week. I love black and white stripes almost as much as I love mint green, and this dress allowed me to combine both. I really love the simple shape of this dress, as well as those bold stripes, and if you didn’t want to wear it with these shoes, well, it wouldn’t be hard to find another pair that would work equally well with it.

stripe court shoes

Dorothy Perkins stripe shoes

Dorothy Perkins stripe shoes, £25

I have a pair of shoes almost identical to these, and I’ve shown you them a few times now. I’m still showing you these ones, too, however, because:

a) I really love those shoes, and mine are sold out now, so it’s nice to know there’s a potential replacement out there.

b) They’re £25. It doesn’t get much cheaper than that, does it?

Actually, when it comes to Dorothy Perkins, it probably WILL get cheaper than that. I’ve noticed that this brand seems to permanently have some kind of sale or special offer on, lately: you can almost always find a discount code which will knock a bit off the price – or sometimes a LOT of the price, depending how lucky you get. Needless to say, I’ve been taking full advantage of this perma-sale, and last week I bought this dress, for almost nothing:

beige bardot dress

Then I liked it so much, I bought the black version, too. Whoops.

Actually, come to think of it, either of these dresses would work pretty well with the shoes:

what to wear with stripe shoes

What to wear with stripe shoes:

dress // clutch  // lips // nails // eyelashes

And now I guess  I know what I’ll be wearing on my next night out, too!

3 7

If you read my personal blog, Forever Amber, you’ll probably already know about my current obsession with pink skirts, so it’ll come as no surprise to you to learn that as soon as I saw this one on the Topshop website, I was a little bit smitten:

pink a-line skirt from Topshop

[Buy it here]

Unlike the full, midi-length skirts I’ve been wearing so often, this one has a shorter hem and an A-line shape, which gives it a bit of a 60s-inspired feel. I really like the fact that Topshop have paired this with a grey, top, too, pink and grey being one of my current favourite colour combinations, so I was feeling inspired to recreate this look… until I scrolled down to the shoes:

pink skirt and birkenstock shoes

Oh.

Now, no offence to people who love Birkenstock-style sandals: they’re obviously popular for a reason, and I’m guessing the reason has a lot to do with comfort. (I’m fairly sure that’s NOT why Topshop have used them here, mind you!) Personally, though, they’re not what I would choose to wear with this particular skirt, so I decided to have a go at finding something I liked a little better. Here’s the shortlist:

shoe selection

Clockwise from right: ASOS // Lucy Choi // Dune  // Vince Camuto // F&F // Nicholas Kirkwood

My first thought here was to play up the 60s feel of the skirt with some similarly 60s-inspired boots. I figured white calf boots might end up looking a little bit costumey, so I went in search of some of the many block-heeled styles that were everywhere last season, only to find there’s not too many of them still around. I did manage to find a couple of pairs, like the ASOS ankle straps at the top right of the photo, but I also quite liked the white pointed heels, which are from Tesco’s F&F line, and offer a modern take on 60s style.

Of course, although I think all of these styles would work (and I like to go for slightly lower heels with a skirt that hits above the knee), my own personal preference would be for the perfect colour match provided by Dune’s ‘Haggerston’ t-bars, which, coincidentally, have also been on on my “to be blogged about” list for a couple of weeks. I would, however, probably stick to the grey/silver accents, purely to tone down the “Elle Woods” effect, leaving me with something a bit like this:

what to wear with a pink skirt

What to wear with a pink skirt:

shoes // skirt // bag // watch // top

Of course, this is purely how I’D style this skirt: I’d love to hear how you’d wear it, too. What shoes would you choose to wear something like this, and how would you style it?

It’s the last day of January, which means another month of the Shoe Challenge is drawing to a close! This hasn’t been my best month for shoe saving, but I did manage to squeeze in another couple of saves this week, although unfortunately I didn’t get a very good photo of the first one: I seem to be permanently running late for something, and always having to grab a super-quick photo on my way out the door – gah!

shoe challenge

Shoe Save 52/108: Zara asymmetric pumps
Worn on: Sunday, January 26th
With: Topshop trousers, Primark coat

These are the infamous Zara asymmetric pumps, which I finally bought on eBay after a very long search: there was no way these weren’t making it through the challenge!

Shoeperwoman

Shoe Save 53/108: Boden black patent slingbacks
Worn on: Thursday, January 30th

With: J Crew pants, New Look jacket, Zara top, Antler bag (c/o)

This is a slightly cheaty save: I got these shoes in the Boden sale just a couple of weeks ago, so they weren’t included in my “shoes to be saved” total. I DID have another pair of black flats on the list, though, but I had a look at them last week and realised they’re probably not going to make it to September anyway, so I decided to switch them with these ones. So I’m still saving the same number of shoes, and they’re still black flats, they’re just not the same black flats I started with. I knew you’d understand. (There are more photos of these here, if you’re particularly interested.)

How has your January been? Link up your shoe saves below!

 

Christian Louboutin Gwynita Gomme

Christian Louboutin Gwynitta Gomme, £495

There’s a lot of colourblocking going on in Christian Louboutin’s spring/summer 2014 collection, and much of it revolves around the cobalt and aqua shades found in these ‘Gwynitta Gomme’ sandals. That’s just fine by me – I’ve always thought these two shades work really well together, but if you’re not so sure about them, the inclusion of the white straps over the toe does help to tone the look down a little. Of course, the strappy uppers have a similar effect: on a chunkier shape, two bold colours side-by-side can be a little bit on the loud side, but because these sandals are so delicate, they’re just a whole lot of fun, instead!

As for the rest of the shoe, the cross-cross straps and slender stiletto heel make for a classic strappy sandal, in a style seen on red carpets at every awards show. The shape – and the crossed straps in particular – is something Christian Louboutin does fairly often, so I’m pretty sure you’ll be seeing these shoes again at some point, although they’ll be dressed in a totally different upper next time!

Buy them here

Topshop red slingbacks

Topshop ‘Gecko’, £48

The Topshop website has just taken delivery of a new bunch of shoes, and these are just one of the pairs I instantly started to covet. I’ve talked about the appeal of a pair of red heels many times now, so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much, and simply point out that, at £48, these are a pretty good deal for a pair of leather pumps.

Because of the matte leather upper, these shoes should be much easier to style than the red patent Office pumps I showed you last wee: yes, the colour is still bright, and the heel is still high, but it’s just a much more wearable shade, and the shape is sophisticated enough to take you just about everywhere. I’ve noticed quite a few pairs of slingbacks in stores recently: it’s one of those styles that ever really goes “out” of fashion, exactly, but the fact that I’m even noticing them suggests that the slingback may be going through something of a resurgence in popularity. It’s not a style that works for everyone: I know a lot of people find the slim strap uncomfortable, and it can certainly be fussier, and more prone to rubbing, than a closed heel can. As long as the fit is good, however, you shouldn’t even notice the strap, and I think these are a nice way to make the classic red pump a little more spring-like.

I had spring in mind when I started to style these, and this is what I came up with:

nautical outfit

What to wear with red slingback shoes:

When it comes to styling red shoes, I always struggle to stay away from the nautical look, as you can see. I don’t put up too much of a fight, though, because it’s a look I love, and always feel good in, and that’s enough for me. When some people think of spring, pastels and florals are the prints/colours that tend to come to mind, but I also always think of trench coats and stripes. This is the kind of transitional outfit that would take you from spring all the way to autumn – including our typically chilly British summer!

 

Coast Belle sandals

Coast ‘Belle’ sandals, £65

The Coast website has become a really dangerous place for me to hang out lately. So many beautiful, full skirts (my clothing kryptonite). So many beautiful dresses. And then, to top it all off, these equally beautiful (and very well named!) ‘Belle’ sandals, which are perfect in their simplicity.

These are the standard, single strap shape which we’ve been seeing a lot of recently, but they finish the look off with a full heel and ankle strap, which makes them a little bit different. It’s the colour that really sets these apart for me, though: the palest of pinks, combined with just a touch of gold, and contrasting metallic/matte textures all make these extra special. These also come in a black and nude colourway, which is also nice, but which is possibly a little less versatile than this colour, which really will go with everything.

Speaking of versatile, here’s what I’d wear with these:

pale pink evening outfit

What to wear with Coast ‘Belle’ sandals:

I didn’t intentionally choose a Coast dress to go with the Coast shoes, but I guess it’s no surprise that the items work so well together, as they were presumably designed to do just that! I chose this particular dress because it was such a great colour match (And, OK, because it would totally make me feel like a ballerina for the day, and who wouldn’t love that?), but it was a tough choice, and you should probably expect to see quite a few other Coast dresses popping up here over the next few weeks: the current collection is a particularly good one, and is filled with the kind of clothes that make me wish one of my friends would get married – or find some other excuse to throw a big, fancy party -so I could have an excuse to wear some of them.

Anyone want to invite me to a wedding? Anyone at all?

kurt geiger bryony

Kurt Geiger ‘Bryony’, £130

Kurt Geiger’s ‘Bryony’ pumps are available in four different colours – in addition to the black and blue versions shown above, these also come in bright orange and pale grey suede. You may have a choice of uppers, however, but all of them come in this same, sophisticated style: there are echoes of Roger Vivier in that giant silver buckle, but the £130 price tag is a little more palatable!

“Smart” is the word that springs to mind when I see shoes like these. They have a very polished, grown-up feel to them, which makes me think they’d work well in an office-type setting, or anywhere else that requires a sophisticated kind of look. Well, the black and grey versions would work well, anyway: I suspect the orange and blue might be just a little too bright for some professional settings, but then again, I guess it depends where you work!

How to save these shoes? 

Although the blue and orange colourways are arguably the more interesting of the four, I’d be more likely to buy these in black, so that’s the colour I’ve gone for here. And. OK, I admit it: my choice was mostly dictated by the fact that I’m now borderline obsessed with wearing black and pink combinations at the moment, and when I found these cute pink pants, I instantly wanted to wear them. Here’s how I’d do it: simple, pared-down, and really easy to wear for a variety of different occasions:

black and pink outfit

What to wear with Kurt Geiger ‘Bryony':

Alice & Olivia Gigi heart-print shoes

Alice & Olivia Gigi heart-print shoes

Alice & Olivia Gigi heart-print shoes

Alice & Olivia Gigi heart-print shoes

Alice + Olivia ‘Gigi‘, $295

Well, I DID say these were probably going to be my most-wanted shoes of the year, so when I noticed they were starting to sell out at Shopbop, I decided to jump in and buy a pair, using some Shopbop credit I’d saved up. I’m so glad I did, too: I’ve been in love with these since I opened the box (or probably before that, actually: it’s a pretty cute box, after all!), and am just disappointed that I’m going to have to wait another few weeks to wear them. They’d be the perfect shoes for Valentine’s day, but with a white faille upper, I don’t think I’d want to risk them in the current constant downpour we’ve been experiencing!

These are my first pair of Alice + Olivia shoes, and so far I’m really impressed: they’re beautifully made, with leather soles engraved with the designer’s logo, super-cute uppers, and a fabulous shape. I was slightly worried about the sizing, because according to the Shopbop website they run “narrow and small”: they advise going up a half or full size in order to get the right fit, but I didn’t notice that message until I’d already ordered my usual size, so I wasn’t sure they’d fit, and was prepared to be disappointed when I tried them on. As it turned out, however, my usual size fit me perfectly: I’m not sure if it’s just me, or if Shopbop have got that one wrong, but I’d say they’re very true-to-size, and I’m really glad I didn’t notice their sizing advice until it was too late, because even a half-size up would’ve been too large for me. (Not that I could have sized up anyway: the 38 was already sold out by that point, but the warning would probably have put me off ordering them, as I’d have assumed they were going to be too small.)

Anyway, all’s well that ends well, and I think I can safely say that these will be getting a lot of use once the weather gets a bit warmer/drier. Having said that, I haven’t been able to resist wearing them around the house since they arrived, so at least I have that option if it keeps on raining!

heart-print shoes

hart front ballet flats

Heart-front ballet flats, £83

I know there are quite a few of you out there who love the look or idea of the Melissa/Mel heart-front shoes I feature, but can’t get past the idea of wearing jelly shoes, so here’s a leather-based alternative for you instead!

These may not be jelly shoes, however, but they’re still not exactly what you’d call “sensible”. The silver leather upper and red, glitter-encrusted hearts, are designed to get attention, and I somehow don’t think they’ll have any difficulty doing that: giant hearts have a way of catching the eye!

These are from Yoox.com, which unfortunately means that not all sizes are still available. They’re also a little more expensive than I’d personally pay for flats, but the glitter heart makes me think they’d probably end up being mostly worn to parties and other evening events, so as they wouldn’t be being worn every day, they’d probably last a long time. They’d also make a really nice alternative to the heels and strappy sandals we usually see at special events - Emma Thompson, take note!

What to wear with heart-front flats?

what to wear with heart front shoes

What to wear with heart-front flats:

Silver and red will work with a lot of different colours, but because these shoes are so sugary sweet, I decided to keep things very simple with this outfit. I don’t often wear flats with dresses, as I use them more as causal shoes, but on the rare occasion that I do, I generally go for a slightly shorter hem than I’d usually chose: I have short legs to start with, and ballet flats make them look even shorter (Just one of the many reasons I’ve always been a heels girl!), so the shorter hem helps elongate the leg ever so slightly. This dress isn’t “short” by any means, but it should hit a good couple of inches above the knee, making it significantly shorter than my usual midis. (Which I wear so often that anything less than knee-length now feels almost like a mini to me!)

 

zara green peep toes

Zara green peep toes

Zara green peep toes, £29.99

After what feels like a very long sale season indeed, the sale stock is FINALLY starting to sell out, which means my favourite shoe stores are slowly getting their summer styles out on display. There are quite a few styles I like in the latest Zara collection (big surprise there, I’m sure!), but I think these have to be my favourites so far, purely because of the colour. And, OK, also because I don’t think you can go too far wrong with a pair of bold peep toes.

These ones aren’t ever going to set the world on fire: the corrugated edges make them a little different from all of the other peep toes out there, but at the end of the day, they’re still a very simple style, albeit in stand-out colour. Sometimes a simple style is exactly what you need, though, and at £29.99, I’d happily welcome these to their own special spot on my shoes shelves. And here’s how I’d wear them – or one of the ways I’d wear them, anyway!

what to wear with green peep toes

What to wear with green shoes:

I’m admittedly pretty biased here, because green is my favourite colour (and, luckily for me, this isn’t the first time Zara have used this particular shade of it on shoes. I still sometimes search eBay for the green and gold peep toes from a couple of years ago!), but if you’re not sure about it, plain old black or white is always a safe bet to start with. With this outfit, I got lucky and found a dress with a touch of green in the same shade as the shoes, but if you don’t go in for colour matching, I also think this colour can look really good with cobalt blue, which is another way I’d consider wearing these.

 

Office On Top pumps

Office ‘On Top’, £65

These shoes come in no less than 11 (ELEVEN!) different colours and prints, which goes to show there really is no limit to what you can do with a pointed toe pump. I’ve picked my favourite two to show you today, ignoring the crazier colour schemes in favour of beautiful baby blue (definitely one of my favourite colours of the moment) and classic bright red,

I say “bright red”: Office describe this as “summer red”, which is a phrase I’d never heard before, but which definitely makes sense. Although bright, this red is a little less intense than some variations on the colour, and that makes it a touch more “summery”. In fact it reminds me a little of the red nail polish I favour in the warmer months of the year, and that can only be a good thing as far as I’m concerned!

How to save these shoes?

Because this style is such a classic, it’s the colour/print which really gives each shoe its “identity”, and which will determine how you choose to style it. In this case, although I love the blue shade, I’ve shown you so much blue lately I decided to go with the red, just for a change. This was actually more of a challenge than you might think: I’ve written a lot about my love for red shoes, and how I consider them to be a “neutral” for me, but although I stand by that, I do think these particular shoes would be trickier than most. The very pointed toe, combined with the patent upper, gives them a very “vampy” feel (which wouldn’t be the case if the upper was suede, for instance, or if the toe was rounder), so I’ve put together an outfit designed to play that down a little:

what to wear with red patent pumps

What to wear with red patent pumps:

I also think these would look amazing with jeans, which would allow that red colour to really pop, and totally brighten up an otherwise casual look.

These are £65 at Office, and you can see the other available colours here.

Prada floral sandals

Prada floral sandals, £531

Floral print starts to appear on shoes at around this time every year, but luckily there are as many types of floral print as there are shoes to put them on, so there’s never a chance to get bored with it.

I really like Prada’s use of floral on these ankle-stap sandals. The black background gives the print a slightly harder edge than the softer pastel shades we so often see, and it helps create a more sophisticated, dressed-up feel. These shoes also add interest with the half d’orsay cut, plus the slim ankle strap, both of which create a really interesting silhouette, and the kind of shoe that would translate easily from day to evening. With that said, these have a 4.5″ stiletto heel and no platform to balance it out, so you probably shouldn’t plan on doing a whole lot of walking in them!

What to wear with these shoes?

I think these would look wonderfully dramatic worn with stark black, but when I came across this dress, I was really drawn to the simple shape, which is a nice foil for the busy print. The blue also picks out the colour of the flower, while the green on the handbag is also present in the print on the shoe, helping to tie it all together:

what to wear with prada floral sandals

What to wear with Prada floral sandals:

 

Well, I said my Shoe Saving would probably slow down over the winter, and it looks like I was right about that, because here’s the only save of this week:

buffalo beyza pumps

Shoe Save # 51/108: Buffalo ‘Beyza’ pumps, c/o Sarenza
Worn on: Saturday, January 18th
With: Zara trousers, Topshop sweater

I’m actually really surprised that it’s taken me 21 weeks to get round to wearing these shoes. Last year I was probably wearing them at least once a week, so they tend to be in pretty constant rotation, but they were still on my ‘Shoes to be Saved’ pinboard, so it looks like I hadn’t worn them since the start of the challenge. To be totally honest, I probably wouldn’t have worn them this week either, because it’s still a little cold for bare feet, but I wasn’t planning to be outside for longer than it look me to walk to the car, and I wanted to save at least ONE pair of shoes this week, so these got their chance, and I guess it’s  good that the Shoe Challenge is serving its purpose!

How are your challenges going this week? Feel free to link up below and show me your shoes!

Christian Louboutin Peep Cloud

Christian Louboutin Peep Cloud

Christian Louboutin Peep Cloud

Christian Louboutin ‘Peep Cloud’, £595

 

I know: they’re amazing, aren’t they?

Christian Louboutin is one of the few designers (in my opinion, at least) who can do “novelty” shoes well. In other hands, an attempt to add a cloud motif to a pair of platform peep toes, for instance, could have ended up looking a little bit cartoonish (Charlotte Olympia, I’m looking at you); in this case, however, it’s beautiful, unusual, and still perfectly elegant.

The shoes those glittered clouds are sitting on top of aren’t have bad either, of course. Classic peep toes, with a contrasting, partly-concealed platform, and a 120mm heels, these are exactly the kind of simple, stylish pumps we’ve come to expect from Louboutin – just with that little extra something.

Oh, and also in that glorious purple suede which provides such a wonderful contrast with the red on the soles.

Buy them here

Jimmy Choo MAntle

Jimmy Choo ‘Mantle’, £1277

I’m on a bit of a Jimmy Choo kick at the moment, and I’m sure the reasons for that are pretty self-explanatory: all you need to do is take one quick look at these gorgeous gold ‘Mantle’ sandals, and you have all the reasons you need, right there.

Although beautiful, these shoes are probably the kind of footwear that would be destined to spend most of their lives on the shelf: not because they’d be difficult to style – far from it, in fact! – but simply because most of us don’t have that many opportunities to wear a pair of £1,277 gold sandals, complete with rhinestone-studded flower on the front. (About that flower: isn’t it amazing? I particularly love the giant gold leaf sticking out the top – there’s just something so extravagant and glamorous about it!)

Say you DID have the opportunity to wear these shoes, though? How would you do it?

Well, as I mentioned above, these wouldn’t be hard to style. Gold, strappy sandals are a go-to for many people when it comes to special events (there’s a good reason why you see so many of them on the red carpet), so here’s a red carpet-worthy outfit, and while the shoes may be bank-breakingly expensive, you may be pleased to know that the dress is from good ol’ Dorothy Perkins! (I know, I couldn’t believe it either…)

red carpet look

What to wear with Jimmy Choo ‘Mantle’ sandals:

 

Hobbs Alana shoes

Hobbs ‘Alana’ court shoes, £149

Never has there been a better time to be a fan of the mid-heel court shoe.

Well, RARELY has there been a better time, anyway.

Up until fairly recently, shoe shoppers had two basic options: super-high heels, or very, very low ones. Sure, there were a few styles in that tricky, mid-heigh range, but they tended to be the kind of frumpy, “sensible” shoes that you might buy if you absolutely HAD to, but which wouldn’t exactly set your heart a-racing. Over the last couple of years, however, we’ve been noticing a steady increase in the number of shoes in this particular style, and many of them are very far from frumpy.

Take these Hobbs ‘Alana’ courts, for instance. They may be “just” a standard pair of black shoes, but look at the attention to detail: a sophisticated low vamp, a cut-away side, a curvy heel and an elegantly pointed toe all point towards the kind of shoes that could become an indispensable part of your working wardrobe – and no one would ever use the word “frumpy” to describe them, either.

How would you wear these shoes?

I found these in the occasion wear section, but although they would work perfectly well for evenings out, I actually think they’re the kind of shoes that would take you just about anywhere. For this look, I’ve shown them as part of the type of casual-but-smart outfit you might wear for a bit of shopping, or a smart(ish) lunch with friends. I’ve used classic, basic pieces like a pair of black trousers and a stretchy top, dressed up with a gorgeous silk scarf (Which has now found its way on to my Wish List) and this amazing coat, in the current must-have powder blue colour:

casual lunch outfit

What to wear with mid-heel shoes:

Bag | Coat | Scarf | Jeans | Top

collaboration

Valentino Rockstud boots

Valentino Rockstud boots, £1,385

I’m always complaining that boots – and winter fashion in general – are super-boring, so here’s a pair to prove me wrong.

These are Valentino’s ‘Rockstud’ boots, and like the shoes of the same name, they feature a health dollop of studs. Or perhaps that should read “a NOT-so-healthy” dollop of studs: I’m pretty sure some of you will hate these, and be wondering where on earth you’d wear a pair of pale-coloured boots (which look pretty, but won’t be nearly as easy to keep pristine as a black pair) which are covered in gold studs. To that, my answer is, “Where WOULDN’T you wear them?” I think these are all kinds of fabulous, and ALMOST enough to re-ignite my failing interest in winter footwear. I mean, it would be worth an extra couple of weeks of cold just to get the chance to wear these, wouldn’t it? What do you mean, “No”?

So, how WOULD you wear these? Well, although boots covered in THAT many gold studs sound like something of a challenge, I think the very neutral colours will actually make these fairly easy to wear. They would look fantastic over skinny jeans and leggings, for instance, but while the legs are perhaps a little too wide to work with tailored skirts and dresses, I think they could also work with something like this:

What to wear with Valentino Rockstud boots

I really love taupe and black together, so I’ve stuck with that colour scheme, but as I said above, these are neutral enough to work with almost any colour you want to wear them with. I speak from personal experience on this, too: I don’t own these boots, sadly, but I do have a pair in a similar colour, and frequently find myself wondering how on earth I ever managed to live without them: I’m sure I’d feel the same about these, were they to magically appear in my closet!

What to wear with Valentino Rockstud boots:

blue satin sandals

Aquazzura Tie Me Up sandals, £370

I don’t know what it is about ribbons, but attach one to a shoe, and you can pretty much guarantee I’ll like it: especially if the ribbon is being used instead of a more traditional strap.

Take these Aquazzura sandals, for instance. If the ankle strap was leather, I might still have liked them (It would take a lot to dissuade me from liking shoes in this colour), but I probably wouldn’t have LOVED them. Turn it into a ribbon, however, and make it long enough to tie in an over-sized bow, and you might just have yourself a deal. Well, assuming that you’re willing to knock a digit off the price, that is. I’m even willing to overlook the gold pin heel, which isn’t generally my favourite thing on a shoe. In this case, however, I think the contrast is needed: had the heel been a regular stiletto, in the same shade as the upper, it would’ve been just too much blue. Gold and cobalt, however, is a combination that always works really well, and adds a little something extra to the look, too.

What to wear with these shoes?

Despite worrying about “too much blue” above, I went ahead and added even more for this outfit:

what to wear with blue shoes

What to wear with cobalt shoes

Sophia Webster butterfly heel shoes Sophia Webster 'Adora' pumps

Sophia Webster ‘Adora’, £370

I’ve had a lot of love for Sophia Webster’s work this season, but I think these ‘Adora’ butterfly peep toes have to be my favourite shoes from her so far.

Not only are these the perfect peep toe shape (complete with pretty, sweetheart vamp), in the perfect spring yellow, they also have the perfect finishing touch, in the form of the butterflies on the heels. Now, butterflies aren’t a new motif for footwear, it’s true, but these ones are particularly well executed, and when you look at the shoe on a foot, the effect is almost Disney-esque, as if the wearer is about to be lifted into the air by enchanted butterflies. It’s, er, possible I’m getting a little carried away here (boom boom!), so let’s move onto the important question of what to wear with these beauties…

Because the shoes are so fresh and summery, my instinct would be to wear them with something equally light and bright. I think they look fabulous with the little black dress Net-a-Porter have shown them with (and which really makes the yellow pop), but I think this little white dress would also work:

what to wear with butterfly shoes

What to wear with butterfly shoes

 

Honestly, though? I’d happily wear these with anything. Even sweatpants, if I had to. And I wouldn’t want to take them back off again, either…

nude and pink sandals

New Look nude/pink sandals, £24.99

OK, so I think it’s pretty obvious by now that I have a bit of a “Thing” for pink right now. In my defence, I’ve lived my entire life up until now without paying much attention to pink, so I guess I’m making up for that now, because it currently seems to be all I want to wear.

Anyway, it’s been ages since I last checked out New Look’s shoe section, and actually, I only really noticed these sandals because they appeared on ASOS. I think you can see from the product shot that the £24.99 price tag is justified, and these aren’t real leather, but if you’re looking for an affordable summer sandal, in a cotton-candy colour, they could be a good option. The two-part sandal, as I mentioned last week, is still going to be big this summer, and while there will probably be no shortage of shoes similar to these, I’d hazard a guess that not many of them will set you back just £25 – or be quite so sugary sweet.

So, what to wear with pink, strappy sandals?

Look, I’m not even going to pretend that I tried to play down the pink here: in fact, I ALMOST went for a pink cardigan instead of the gold top, and while I personally LOVE the “mono-blocking” look, which is very dramatic (especially with a colour like this), and can look incredibly stylish, it can be a hard one to pull off, so I made a last-minute decision to go with one of my other favourite colour combinations – pink and gold – instead. I may have just added this entire outfit (minus the coat, which I love, but which is out of my price range), to my Wish List. Coming soon, to a Shoe Challenge post near you?

what to wear with pink sandals

What to wear with pink strappy sandals:

pink platform pumps

Dorothy Perkins pumps, £20.30

These little pumps may not be the most interesting shoes of the week, but they’re down to just £20 in the Dorothy Perkins sale, and they’re such a cute colour I thought they were worth showing you anyway.

About that colour: the Dorothy Perkins website describes it as “coral”, but to me it looks more of a pink. And not just any pink, either: it’s that perfect mid-pink, which is bright enough to have a ton of impact, but not quite bright enough to be super-distracting, or overly neon. I love it, and would be just a little disappointed if these actually turned out to be a true coral, so if you feel the same, it might be best to check these out in-store rather than ordering online.

Slightly unusually for pointed pumps, these have a small platform, which I like. I don’t wear platforms nearly as often as I used to these days, but my great love of midi-length dresses and skirts (which I think work best with a higher heel, especially when you have short legs, like I do!) means that every so often I find myself reaching for a pair of platforms again. I don’t think I’ll ever give up on them completely, so when I find a pair that cost as little as these, they can be hard to resist.

How to wear pink platforms?

I’ve had my eye on Topshop’s blurry check pencil skirt ever since it arrived on the website, and it’s even made it into my basket a couple of times, before being abandoned in favour of something else. I think it would make a really nice transitional piece: the gingham-style check is very spring-like, but the fabric looks fairly thick, so it could probably be worn now too, although you’d possibly want to add some tights, and a slightly warmer coat than the one I’ve chosen here:

what to wear with pink platforms

What to wear with pink platforms

 

I made it to my 50th shoe save, everyone! Aaaand that’s all I made it to this week: the pesky weather, plus the fact that all of my winter-appropriate shoes are now safe has really slowed down my progress, and I think this is likely to be something you’ll be hearing a lot from me over the next few weeks. Still, I’m almost halfway through my collection now, and I know I’ll pick up speed again in the summer, so I’m just considering every additional shoe save to be an unexpected bonus right now! Here’s this week’s save:

stripe prom shoes

perfect black pumps

Shoe Save 50/108: Black Pelle Moda pumps
Worn on: Saturday, January 11th
With: F&F stripe prom dress

These shoes are just basic black pumps, and as they kinda blend into the tights and shadows in this photos, I included an extra photo, so you can actually see them. Exciting, aren’t they? Well, exciting or not, that’s it from me for this week, so it’s over to you, and your own shoe saves of the week!

Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin ‘Youpi’, £403

Oh, Youpi. So beautiful. So curvy. So shiny, and sleek and perfect. So everything a patent peep toe should be, in order to be classed as Shoe Kryptonite.

These are definitely Kryptonite for me. I feel like I’ve featured dozens of shoes that are similar to them – probably because I HAVE – but that’s OK, because they’re the kind of shoes I don’t think you can ever get too much of. Sure, black pumps are often tarred with the “boring” brush, but I think these are anything but: they have a sophistication about them which means they’ll give any outfit a touch of polish, and grown-up glamour.

I’ve been wearing a lot of black shoes recently, and have had a pair of black patent peep toes on my wish list for a long time now. I somehow doubt these will be the ones I’ll end up buying – that pesky price tag always gets in the way! – but if I can find a pair that have a small touch of their style, I’ll be a happy Shoeperhero!

Buy them here

green barely there sandals

Green t-bar sandals, £45

Barely-there sandals are back for summer, and River Island are getting in early, with these green t-bars, which are also available in black, white and silver. This isn’t a new look, obviously: barely-there sandals are a summer staple for many people, but they experienced a surge in popularity last year, during which even I started to come around to the idea of them. (Not that I didn’t like them before, you understand: it’s really my feet I don’t like, so shoes that are more foot than shoe are never very high on my wish list!). In terms of these particular sandals, I like the fact that the different colours all suggest different types of outfit. The silver would be perfect for an night out, for instance, the black and white versions are simple, but sleek, and these? Well, I think this bright green colour is very fresh and summery: it would contrast nicely with basic black or white, but I decided to go with some spring-like florals instead: floral print pants Floral-print trousers are another trend from last summer which we should still be seeing a fair bit of this year. They’re one of those items that I loved on other people, but wasn’t quite brave enough to try for myself, mostly because the available prints all seemed to be rather “busy”.  I think a print like this one, with a white background and a two-colour floral, would be fairly easy to wear, and they’re also a nice change from the skirts and dresses I usually wear in warmer weather, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for a pair like them. As these shoes expose so much of the foot, I like the idea of wearing trousers with them, just to balance things out a little – and I do love to dress up a casual outfit with a great pair of heels!

Alexander McQueen pumps

Alexander McQueen pumps, £630

When I first found these shoes at Net-a-Porter, I thought I was looking at a pair of ACTUAL glass slippers. You know, like the ones Cinderella wore?

My mistake, though: what at first appeared to be a transparent upper, covered in a network of crystals, actually turns out to be white suede, which makes these even more unusual. It also makes them much more delicate, though: the combination of white suede and crystal embellishment would have me scared to leave the house in these for fear of ruining them, but if you’re a little less accident-prone than I am, there’s no denying that they’re a beautiful pair of shoes, in colours that will allow you wear  them with anything. As always with white, they’d work perfectly well as bridal shoes, but they’re the kind you’d also be able to wear afterwards, if you want to make your money go a little bit further (and justify the hefty price tag!).

These are by Alexander McQueen, and are classic pointed courts, with a 115mm heel. According to Net-a-Porter, they run small, so if you fancy ordering a pair, they recommend going a full size up for the right fit.

Once you have the right fit, however, what about the right outfit to wear with them? NAP show these worn with a plain pair of black trousers, with matching top and dinner jacket. I really like this look, and I love the idea of taking a pair of outrageously glamorous pumps, and then wearing them with an “everyday” kind of outfit. Then again, I also love the idea of wearing them with something almost as special as they are, and as soon as I laid eyes on Coast’s cobalt blue ‘Connie’ dress, I was sold:

what to wear with crystal shoes

What to wear with Alexander McQueen shoes

 

walking in Louboutins

Emma Thompson did stiletto lovers the world over a great disservice this week, when she urged everyone to stop wearing heels, claiming that it’s not possible to walk in them. At the National Board of Reviews gala last week, Thompson collected her award barefoot, telling the audience:

 “I’ve taken my heels off as a feminist statement really, because why do we wear them? They’re so painful. And pointless, really. You know, I really would like to urge everyone to stop it. Just stop it. Don’t wear them anymore. You just can’t walk in them.”
– Emma Thompson

Apparently Emma didn’t take her own advice, however, because a few days later, she turned up at the Golden Globes in a pair of sky-high Louboutins, which she once again removed for the ceremony itself, saying the red on the sole was “her blood”.

For those who hate heels, it was all the validation they needed to reassure themselves that, yup: stilettos are pure evil, and it’s just NOT POSSIBLE to walk in them. Ever. Because if Emma Thompson can’t do it, why NO ONE can, right?

For those of us who love them, on the other hand – and who’ve been wearing them without issue for years – it was one of those moments we knew we’d be fielding questions about for years to come. Sure enough, the very next morning, I woke up to a comment on my other blog from a gentleman who attached a photo of Thompson, with heels in hands, to a request for me to please wear heels less often, because, after all, everyone KNOWS it’s not humanly possibly to walk in them, don’t they? And we know because Emma Thompson told us so!

I get comments like this (or ones telling me I MUST be “in pain” in my shoes) a  few times per year, and I also see a lot of similar discussion on other blogs, mostly revolving around the idea that the blogger in the photos can’t POSSIBLY be able to walk in her heels, and must therefore be just wearing them for the photos, before changing back into sneakers or flats. You know, like a normal person?

Those comments, and the assumption that just because the person writing the comment finds it difficult to walk in heels, then anyone who claims to be able to do it must obviously be lying, never fail to exasperate me. For one thing, I really resent the implication that I’m basically lying to my readers, by pretending to wear something that I can’t actually walk in, and that my photos are all “staged”, in order to dupe people into believing in some kind of false reality. No one likes being called a liar, and I actually think it would be pretty silly of me to spend my money on shoes I wasn’t physically able to walk in, or which were actually painful, just for the sake of a photo on a blog, so it’s never very fun to hear that that’s exactly what (some) people apparently think of me.

More  importantly, however, it’s just not true to suggest that ALL high heels are literally impossible to walk in, and that no one in the world can possibly find them comfortable. No, stilettos are never going to be “comfortable” in comparison to Ugg boots, say, or sneakers, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be appropriate for ANY situation or ANY person. In my case, for instance, I wear heels almost every day, and have done for most of my adult life. I’m now very used to walking in them, and while I wouldn’t wear them for long walks, or to climb a mountain, say, the fact is that my lifestyle doesn’t actually involve many long walks or mountains, and on the occasions when it DOES, I just wear something else.

On a day to day basis, however, I work a desk job, and don’t do a ton of walking (other than to walk the dog, which I change shoes for, partly because I don’t want to damage my heels!): there aren’t many times when high heels would be totally impractical, or render me immobile, and I’ve never understood why some people seem to want me to wear hiking boots in order to walk short distances, on a paved, flat surface. So, even although I’m going to a dinner party where I’ll be sitting down all night, I must wear “sensible” walking shoes, just because Emma Thompson and Steve from Facebook don’t think heels are comfortable? And this makes sense HOW?

Are SOME stilettos uncomfortable (even painful?) and hard to walk in? Sure. All shoes are not created equally: some are more comfortable than others, and I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of buying a pair of shoes which turn out to be painfully high, or just generally uncomfortable. (Celebrities, who often wear borrowed shoes to award ceremonies, are particularly familiar  with this scenario, because those borrowed shoes aren’t always the right size…) Those are the kind of shoes I term “car to bar” shoes: they’re just not designed to take you much further than that, so unless you’re planning on sitting down all evening, you’ll probably want to avoid them. That’s not to say that there are NO heels out there which you’ll be able to walk in: it just means that those aren’t the ones.

Ultimately, though, comfort is such a personal and subjective thing, that it always confuses me when people claim to know how comfortable or otherwise someone else is. We all have different comfort and tolerance levels, and we all have differently shaped feet, so a pair of shoes that I find relatively comfortable could be complete torture to someone else, and vice versa. In other words, just because Emma Thompson can’t walk in her heels, it doesn’t follow that no one else can do it either. I mean, I can’t do gymnastics, but I’m not about to claim that gymnasts are therefore all a bunch of liars, because EVERYONE knows it’s impossible to do a handstand! Since when did Emma Thompson become the Ultimate Authority on Everything? Why does she believe her experiences to be universal, and what gives her the right to speak for everyone when she tells us we can’t walk in our heels?

And a “feminist” statement? Nice try, Emma, but for me, feminism means being allowed to chose my own clothes, and not allowing people to shame me into changing my style purely to suit THEIR ideas of what’s comfortable/appropriately “feminist”. I think this part of her comment annoyed me the most, because it implies that those of us who chose to wear high heels are “bad feminists”, and I really dislike this notion than in order to call yourself a feminist, you’re not allowed to be interested in fashion, or to care about your appearance. Amazingly enough, I find I’m able to support women’s rights AND wear lipstick and heels, and I’m not about to change that because Emma Thompson, or anyone else, tells me to. If Emma Thompson had simply said, “Hey, I don’t like heels, so I’m not going to wear them any more,” I’d applaud her. Instead, she’s saying, “I don’t like heels, so no one else should wear them either,” which is a little bit different.

As for “urging everyone” to stop wearing heels: why is this so important to some people? I would never try to convince someone that they must wear heels if they didn’t want to: I honestly couldn’t care less what other people wear on their feet. Why, then, are some people so desperate to dictate what I wear on mine?

2 5

sophia webster heart print peep toes

Sophia Webster peep toes, £284

I would apologise for showing you another pair of heart-print shoes so soon after the last ones, but let’s face it: I’m just not that sorry. Can you blame me, though? I mean, these are possibly even cuter than the Alice + Olivia pair I showed you on Monday, and I really didn’t think that was going to be possible. I’m guessing we’re seeing all of these hearts because Valentine’s Day isn’t too far away, ( Or, actually, IT IS. It’s almost an entire month away, but you’ve never guess it from all of the press releases I’m currently receiving about it, or the excited tweets I keep reading!) but if it’s actually the start of a new trend for spring, then I couldn’t be happier. I’ve never been particularly interested in Valentine’s Day, but heart-print shoes, on the other hand? Now THOSE I can get excited about!

Amongst the things to love about these are the blue insole, which gives just a tiny bit of extra colour to the overall effect, and, of course, the sweetheart vamp, which is the perfect compliment to heart print. These also have a 110mm stiletto heel, and a canvas upper, which seems to be fairly typical with heart-print. I love them, and would have tons of fun styling them, so on that subject…

What to wear with heart-print shoes

I put the last pair of heart-print shoes with a red skirt, so I decided to go for something a little different this time, and a more casual look. With that said, I don’t think there’s any point in trying to pretend these shoes are anything other than super-girlie, and a little bit kitsch. They’re just never going to be “edgy” (which is just fine by me), so I’ve kept the overall look fairly soft:

what to wear with heart print shoes

What to wear with heart-print shoes

 

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Melissa Vivienne Westwod Lady Dragon Aurora bow shoes

Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon ‘Aurora’, £150

Every time I acquire another pair of Melissa shoes, I tell myself they’ll be the last ones, for sure. I mean, I have LOADS of these shoes now, and each pair was DEFINITELY going to be the last. I mean, how many pairs of bubblegum scented shoes does one woman need, after all? 

Well, I’ll have to get back to you when I know the answer to that one. Because every single time I think I’m done, and that my collection is surely complete, Melissa release another, subtly-different style, and I find myself thinking that, well, ONE more pair wouldn’t hurt, would they? And look, these ones are TOTALLY different to all the others, because these ones have a gold bow on the front. I don’t have any Melissa shoes with a gold bow on the front. I would be TOTALLY justified in buying some then, wouldn’t I? Er, wouldn’t I?

Don’t worry: I’m not actually planning another purchase (Well, not right this second, anyway),but I am rather charmed by these: the bow is super-cute, and the shoe underneath is a shape I never get tired of, so I guess the only problem would be choosing a colour. I have a soft spot for the white version, which is the one I’ve chosen to style below. Which would you go for, if any?

How to wear Lady Dragon shoes?

I was tempted to style these with a wedding dress, because the white and gold upper has a bridal feel, and I know quite a few people who’ve worn Lady Dragons on their wedding day! As this is supposed to be an outfit I’d wear personally, however, I’ve stuck to one of my favourite summer looks, safe in the knowledge that the white colour would go with every one of my sundresses and skirts:

what to wear with Lady Dragon Aurora pumps

What to wear with Lady Dragon ‘Aurora’ pumps

 

red high heeled boots

red shoe boots

I Love Shoes shoe boots, £41.60

As I mentioned in this post I’ve been on the lookout for a replacement for my red Dorothy Perkins shoe boots for a while now, so these I Love Shoes booties seemed like a good choice for this month’s Sarenza Brand Ambassador pick.

These boots are very similar to the ones they’ll be replacing, but they have a slightly more elegant shape, with a smaller platform and more pointed toe. Like the Dorothy Perkins boots, the uppers are man-made, in a faux suede: it’s not the highest-quality fabric in the world (Then again, the price definitely reflects that!), but it’s perfectly serviceable, and it also makes them much more wearable than real suede, because I don’t have to worry about ruining them in rainy weather!

Also like the Dorothy Perkins boots, these are a fairly snug fit. They’re not so small that I feel the need to size up (I think the next size would be too large, and these have been working out fine for me with opaque tights), but if you’re between sizes, or want to wear them with thick tights or socks, you might want to consider going up a half size for a little more wiggle room.

How to wear red shoe boots?

As with the other pair of shoes I reviewed today, these are exempt from my Shoe Challenge, but as it happens, I actually wore them yesterday, and took a quick snap of my outfit:

polka dot dress red shoes

This dress was a Christmas gift from my parents and is from the TU range at Sainsbury’s, which I’m a big fan of. I’m also a big fan of wearing polka dots and red together, as regular readers will no doubt be aware, so this was a natural choice for me! I didn’t do a huge amount of walking, as we were out visiting family, but I did wear the boots for several hours without any issues, so I’m sure I’ll be putting together some more outfits to wear with them soon!

[Buy them here]

pink bow slingbacks

pink bow shoes

pink bow flats

Belmondo ‘Ambra’ bow slingbacks, £79.99

I missed out on the beautiful bow-fronted flats Nine West released last year, so when I spotted these very similar Belmondo slingbacksat Spartoo last week, I decided to order a pair, using a voucher provided by the brand.

Although I don’t wear flats very often, I’ve been working them into my wardrobe a little more frequently lately (moreso in the spring and summer), and always like to have a couple of pairs on hand, for days when I have a lot of walking to do, and don’t want to do it in heels. These ones appealed to me because of the pointed toe, which is my favourite shape for flats, the shape of the bow, and the pale pink uppers. I think I’ve mentioned my current obsession with pink a few times now, but this particular pink is very close to “nude” on my skin tone, which means these will be really versatile, perhaps even taking the place of the “go-with-everthing” gold flats, which are now reaching the end of their usefulness!

I ordered these in a size 4, and should really have gone for the 3.5, because they run just a little bit large. I was able to make them fit by adjusting the slingback down to the very last hole, but although that makes them fine to wear, the back of the heel does stick out a little. I don’t think this is something anyone would notice unless they happened to be paying an unusual amount of attention to my feet, but I would definitely go down a half-size if I was ordering these again. I’ve also noticed, purely from wearing them around the house, that the vamp of the right shoe hits my foot at a slightly awkward angle when I walk in them, which is a little uncomfortable. The upper is real leather, though, so I’m hoping it’ll soften with wear, and I think it will. The other shoe is fine (Like most people, I have an issue with one foot being slightly larger than the other!), and they’re nicely made and look great on, so I’m hoping for the best!

How to save these shoes?

Because these are slingbacks, which will need to be worn with bare feet, I’ll be waiting until Spring/Summer to start wearing these, at which point I’ll probably go for something a like this:

what to wear with flat shoes

H&M skirt, Zara sweater

(Excuse the quality of the photos on this post, by the way: it’s almost impossible to get decent lighting indoors – or even outdoors – at this time of year!)

I have a tendency to stick to trousers or jeans with flats most of the time, but I wore this skirt with my gold flats a few times last summer, and really liked it, so I’m challenging myself to branch out a little this year. That said, the fact that they’re so close to my skintone means I’ll  be able to wear them with pretty much anything, so I doubt I’d have trouble “saving” them, even if they weren’t exempt from the current Shoe Challenge!

[Buy them here]

DSquared2 silver glitter sandals

bow toe shoe

DSquared2 sandals, £215

These shoes may look like WAY too much in the photos, and to be perfectly honest, they’d probably be way too much in person, too. All the same, something about them tells me that if I were to come across them sitting on a shelf somewhere, I’d be all over them, and would probably put them on and parade around the store feeling like a (very glittery) princess. I think it’s the toe that does it: that caged front, topped with the multi-strand bow is totally over-the-top, but I kind of love it in spite of myself.

I found these at Yoox.com, so they’re older stock, and therefore not available in all sizes. There’s still a good few pairs left, though (which is possibly an indication that not many people were willing to try and wear them!), and they’re also available in black, if all that gold n’ glitter is too much for you.

Speaking of “too much”: as far as styling these goes, you have two options. You can either go big, and play them up with the most outrageously OTT outfit you can find. Or you can do what I’ve done, and play it safe, with the shoes stealing all the attention as part of a much more toned-down look:

what to wear with OTT shoes

What to wear with OTT shoes:

Alice + Olivia Gigi heart print shoes

Alice + Olivia ‘Gigi, £190

Heart print – or just hearts in general – is pure Kryptonite to me, so as soon as I saw these Alice + Olivia ‘Gigi’ pumps, I knew I’d identified at least one of this year’s shoe obsessions. These are just the perfect summer sandals, as afar as I’m concerned: from the cool canvas uppers (Sure, leather would be more durable, but it would probably also be more expensive, and canvas is a lot more breathable on a hot day) to the gathered detail on the toe, and, of course, the heart print uppers, I just love everything about them.

A lot of my love for these comes from the pin-up inspired print: hearts always create a vaguely retro feel, and as that’s my preferred style of dress, these are even more lethal to me (or to my bank account) than they might be for the rest of you: in fact, I’ve already thought of multiple different outfits I’d be able to wear with them during the summer! As I’ve mentioned before, Alice + Olivia was one of my favourite brands of 2013, and if these are anything to go by, that looks set to continue for 2014, too.

How would you wear Alice + Olivi’s ‘Gigi’ pumps? 

I didn’t have to think very hard about this one: as I said, these would work really well with lots of the items I already own, and would be the perfect shoes for a retro-inspired look. I JUST managed to resist pairing them with some kind of heart-print top, but I’m afraid I couldn’t resist the sunglasses! This is the kind of outfit I’d wear with these, but I’d love to hear how you’d style them, too!

what to wear with heart print shoes

What to wear with heart print shoes:

Because of the holidays, it’s been ages since I did a “proper” Shoe Challenge roundup, and needless to say, these saves aren’t all from Week 19, I’m just breaking my own rules, and playing catch-up! I was on a bit of mission to save some pairs of party shoes over Christmas, and I started off with…

grey midi skirt and glitter pumps

Shoe Save 45/108: Schuh ‘Colette’ glitter pumps
Worn on: Um, I’ve no idea of the exact date, but it was just before Christmas
With: River Island midi skirt, H&M sweater

The first pair of glitter shoes, and the first of many, many full midi skirts. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Tara Starlet Marina skirt

Shoe Save 46/108: Christian Louboutin ‘Nooka’ slingbacks
Worn on: Christmas Eve
With: Tara Starlet skirt, H&M top

A Christmas Eve family party gave me the perfect excuse to save these black Christian Louboutin slingbacks. And to wear another full skirt.

Christmas Day outfit

Shoe Save 47/108: Kate Spade ‘Charm’ slingbacks
Saved on: Christmas Day
With: River Island skirt, Dorothy Perkins sweater

I don’t know about you, but where I’m from, Christmas day is marked with glitter shoes and big skirts. And so is every other day.

Trashy Diva dress

Shoe Save 48/108: Paris Hilton bow peep toes
Saved on: December 28th
With: Trashy Diva dress, New Look shrug

Just after Christmas, we threw a house-warming party: I wore a full skirted dress, because OF COURSE I did.

jeans and ankle boots

Shoe Save 49/108: Guess ‘Carden’ boots c/o Sarenza
Saved on: Saturday, January 4th
With: H&M jacket, J Brand jeans, Zac by Zac Posen handbag

Look, I finally left the house! And I wore something other than a skirt! Wonders will never cease…

I actually didn’t manage to save quite as many shoes as I’d hoped to over the holidays, mostly because of the super-rainy weather, which I didn’t want to risk my more delicate shoes in, and which pretty meant I was stuck with boots or my Mel heels most of the time. I also stopped just short of the 50th Shoe Save, which is a little bit disappointing: the weather hasn’t improved much this week, though, so I’ve been struggling to wear anything that isn’t waterproof. Still, there’s always next week… and on that note, it’s over to you, for your Week 19 Shoe Saves!

Christian Louboutin Pigalle Plato

Christian Louboutin Pigalle Plato 120mm

 To kick off the year in shoes, I figured I’d show you something bright and summery for our first Friday Fix of the year: a little something to blow those Christmas cobwebs away!

This is Christian Louboutin’s Pigalle Plato, and it’s an an old favourite, all dressed up in a summery new look. The ‘Plato’, as I’m sure you know, is the Pigalle’s slightly easier-to-wear cousin: it still has that characteristic pointed toe, and a 120mm heel, but the height is offset by the small platform, which takes some of the strain off the ankles, and makes the shoe feel a little bit lower, even although it isn’t.

I’m not here to talk about the shape, though, as much as I love it. No, I’m here to talk about that colourway. These have an aquamarine upper, with a lemon yellow platform and soft coral heel. The first two colours feature heavily in the Louboutin summer collection (in fact, we’ve already seen the aquamarine shade on the ‘So Kates’ I showed you last month), and I couldn’t be happier about it. They’re both great colours in their own right, but put them together (and add that splash of coral), and it gives the shoe a whole new look entirely. Although this is technically a “colourblocked” look, the fact that the colours in question are pastels, rather than jewel tones, makes it less of an assault on the eyeballs, and (hopefully) a bit more versatile, too.

Roll on springtime!

Buy them here

black sergio rossi pumps with gold trim

Sergio Rossi pumps, $695

Earlier this week I was talking about the different techniques designers can use to make a simple, pointed-toe pump stand out from the crowd, and these Sergio Rossi stilettos are a really good example of one of those techniques.

Without the gold leather section snaking around the foot, these would be just another pair of black court shoes, albeit a very nicely shaped pair. Add that simple little detail, however, and they become the kind of shoes that make you mentally stop in your tracks when you see them, as I did when I spotted these a Net-a-Porter. The overall look is sleek and unfussy, but the contrasting section gives the shoe a bit of wow factor, as does the d’orsay cut, which reveals even more of that gold:

gold and black shoes

How to save these shoes?

Net-a-Porter have styled these with a classic black shift dress, and black was my first choice of colour for these, too: they’re the kind of shoes that will provide the focal point of any outfit you wear them with, so I’ve decided to let them take centre stage, with an all-black outfit. To keep things interesting, I’ve added a variety of textures, which I think is important when you’re wearing head-to-toe black. In addition to the patent leather on the shoes, I’ve used a matte leather skirt, a wool sweater (with a touch of gold on the shoulder, to pick up the gold on the shoes) and accessories which stick to the black and gold theme:

what to wear with black stilettos

What to wear with black stilettos:

Whistles leather pencil skirt // Marc Cross bag // Versus turtleneck // Lafont Desiree glasses // Right on Time watch

 

silver glitter slingbacks

glitter slingbacks, £314

I normally go through something of a glitter detox every January (I see so much of the stuff in the run-up to the festive period that it’s normally the last thing I want to look at once Christmas is over!), but these little slingbacks are just too cute not to show you. As it happens, I have a couple of parties lined up for the end of the month, too, so I guess there’s never really a BAD time to be thinking about party shoes, is there?

As far as evening shoes go, these are definitely in a class of their own. I adore those flat, narrow bows, which are large enough to overlap the sides of the shoes, but delicate enough not to weight down the design. The pink ribbon which forms the slingback and straps, meanwhile, is a lovely touch: I’ve been really into pink lately, and it works really well with the silver glitter uppers on these. They look like shoes right out of a fairytale, in fact, that’s ALWAYS a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.You couldn’t help but feel special in shoes like these (In fact, they’d make great bridal shoes, for that very reason), and the fact that they have a bit of a vintage feel to them is the icing on the pink, glittery cake.

How would you save these shoes?

With something every bit as “special” as they are, of course! I happened to have this Dolce & Gabbana dress saved in my “favourites” list, just waiting for an opportunity to use it, and these shoes have provided me with the perfect excuse. Unfortunately my own upcoming events won’t be nearly fancy enough to justify something like this, but considering the price tags involved, that’s probably a good thing!

what to wear with silver glitter shoes

What to wear with silver glitter shoes

Boden pointed slingbacks: black and white polka dot

Boden pointed slingbacks: stripe

Boden pointed slingbacks - turquoise polka dot

Boden pointed slingbacks - yellow polka dot

Boden pointed slingbacks, £69

The Boden spring/summer 2014 collection arrived online this week, and I’ve already added most of it – both shoes and clothing – to my wish list. One of the items (or should I say SEVERAL of the items…) on that list are these Boden pointed slingbacks, which come in no less than ten different colours. I’ve shown my top four here, but honestly, I’d happily wear these shoes in every single shade they’re released in: they’re a true classic, and, as luck  would have it, a Boden classic, too. The brand tends to release these every season, and although the canvas uppers make the £69 price tag seem a little steep to me, there’s almost always a discount code floating around somewhere to allow you to knock a little bit off that price. (Try A824 for 15% off and free delivery.)

What to wear with Boden pointed slingbacks?

I’m currently struggling to choose between the polka dot and stripe versions of these, but I also love the turquoise. And the black. And… oh, just all of them, really. The colours and prints I’ve shown above would be lots of fun to style, and are the kind of shoes that will instantly elevate any outfit you wear them with, but for the purposes of this post, I’ve chosen to style an outfit around the yellow polka dot version, because they’re just so wonderfully summery, and I have a big ol’ soft spot for a dash of sunshine yellow!

what to wear with boden pointed slingbacks

What to wear with Boden pointed slingbacks

And now I really, REALLY wish it was summer!

Nicholas Kirkwood pumps

Nicholas Kirkwood zig zag pumps, £484

Pointed pumps continue to reign supreme over the world of shoes in 2014, so I guess the main question is which designer/brand will be able to come up with the most interesting twist on this classic look.

Now, personally I don’t think the pointed pump needs much in the way of embellishment to make it work. The beauty of this style is in the very simplicity of it, but as I’ve said a million times before, there’s no denying that there’s only so many pairs of plain pumps you can see before they all start to blend into each other, and the easiest way for a designer to make THEIR pointed pump stand out is to jazz up the upper.

Well, Nicholas Kirkwood has definitely done that, but what I like about these zig zag pumps is the fact that, although the print is bold, it’s still very classic. There’s a lot of different ways to wear black and white, and if you’re someone who shies away from print or patterns, preferring to stick to block colours, a black/white mix can be an easy way to introduce a bit of contrast and pattern into your look.

So, how would you save zig zag print shoes?

Despite what I said above about there being multiple different was to wear monochrome, my favourite way to wear black and white is actually with… MORE black and white. Sure, black and white work with just about any other colour you can name, but I think they’re at their most dramatic when worn together, which is why these shoes inspired me to put together this modern take on a 60s-inspired look:

what to wear with zig zag shoes

What to wear with zig zag shoes

 

Beegive hair and dramatic eyeliner not required.

No, I’m kidding: they totally ARE.

Lady Dragon Cherry shoes

Lady Dragon Cherry Shoes by Vivienne Westwood x Melissa

I’m a huge fan of the Vivienne Westwood for Melissa line, but although I have quite a few pairs of the shoes, my absolute favourites would have to be my Lady Dragon Cherry Shoes (Which sold out long ago, but which you can often find on eBay if you want a pair). Here are some of the ways I’ve worn them – and saved them in my Shoe Challenge.

green dress and Lady Dragon cherry shoes

Shoe Challenge 2010: Lady Dragon Cherry shoes and green New Look sundress

For my very first Shoe Challenge, I “saved” the shoes with a green New Look sundress. Sundresses have apparently been an ongoing theme with these shoes, because for the next year’s Challenge, I did the same thing again:

yellow dress and LAdy Dragon Cherry shoes

Shoe Challenge 2011/12: Lady Dragon Cherry shoes with yellow sundress from a local boutique

I always feel like cherries give shoes/outfits a bit of a “pin-up” feel, so most of the outfits I’ve worn these shoes with have been along those lines. Then again, most of the outfits I wear with ALL my shoes are along those lines, so no surprises there!

Stop Staring dress and LAdy Dragon Cherry shoes

Shoe Challenge 2012/13: Stop Staring dress and Lady Dragon Cherry shoes

What did I tell you?

Because these shoes are so versatile, and have a relatively low heel, which makes them easy to walk in, I often take them with me on holiday:

double dots

July 2012: Lady Dragon Cherry shoes, F21 skirt, George swimsuit

With this outfit, I couldn’t resist pairing the shoes with a matching brooch: it was just too tempting.

Lady Dragin Cherry shoes and gingham skirt

May 2013: Lady Dragon Cherry shoes with ASOS gingham circle skirt, Zara cardigan and River Island brooch

These have yet to be saved in the current challenge, because it hasn’t been warm enough to wear them since the challenge started. Of all of my Melissa/Vivienne Westwood shoes, however, these are the ones I wear most often, so I’m sure I won’t have any difficulty this time, either. Roll on Springtime: I want to wear my favourite shoes!

Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 nude pumps

Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 nude pumps

My Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 pumps are one of my most treasured pairs of shoes, and also one of the pairs I wear most often. I had to join a waiting list to get these, because although they’re a Loubutin classic, which are manufactured almost every season, they tend to sell out so quickly they can be very hard to find.

They finally arrived in October of 2012 (I blogged their unboxing here), and I lost no time in “saving” them in my Shoe Challenge:

What to wear with Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 pumps

Shoe Challenge 2012/13: Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 nude pumps worn with H&M pants, New Look jacket and Zara sweater

For their first “save”, I wore the Pigalles with an autumnal outfit: it was almost too cold to get away with bare feet, but there was no way I was going to wait until Spring to wear the shoes, so I braved the chill!

Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 and J Crew jeans

Shoe Challenge 2013/14: Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 with J Crew jeans (c/0), H&M sweater and Marc by Marc Jacobs bag*

For this year’s Challenge, I saved the shoes with an all-mint look, and another pair of trousers. What’s interesting to me in looking back at these photos is that although these shoes go with everything – literally EVERYTHING – I mostly seem to have photographed them with trousers or jeans for some reasons. I DO wear them with dresses and skirts, but I could only find a couple of photos to prove it:

Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 with black dress

March 2013: Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 with Petals dress (c/o) and River Island scarf

Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 and Stop Staring dress

April 2013: Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 nude pumps with Stop Staring Railene dress

Every other Pigalle 120 outfit from 2013, however – or the ones I photographed, at least – was a little more casual:

what to wear with Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120

June 2013: Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 with Zara trousers and top, Marc by Marc Jacobs bag, Topshop hat

Christian Louboutin Pigalle pumps

April 2013: Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 with H&M trousers and scarf, F21 cardigan

As for 2014… well, who knows?

3 7

Charlotte Olympia Catch of the Day platforms

Catch of the Day platforms, £771

I don’t know about you, but I do like to be beside the seaside.

I mean, not right now, obviously. The current weather conditions would make that an uncomfortable experience to say the least, but whether you’re dealing with freezing temperatures, high winds, or any of the other extreme weather conditions being unleashed on the Northern Hemisphere right now, Charlotte Olympia’s seaside-themed summer shoe collection will allow you to at least dream of better days to come.

These shoes are all in the designer’s trademark whimsical style, and range from the fishy ‘Catchy of the Day’ platforms (Feet and fish don’t seem like a GREAT combination, I have to say, but maybe that’s just me…) to the vintage-inspired ‘Siren Mermaid’ t-straps. The latter shoe is my favourite of the bunch: I could live without the mermaid doll itself, but I do like the shimmering colour combination, and the old-fahioned glamour of the style. Would it be too much to chop off t hat doll’s head, do you think?

My least-favourite, meanwhile, would have to be the ‘Elsa Lobster’ t-straps. It’s not just the shoes themselves, however: I have a serious phobia of crustaceans, and lobsters are the LAST things I want adorning my feet, or any other part of my body.

(OK, it IS just the shoes, actually. I do have a crustacean phobia, but these would be way too “novelty” for me, irrespective of that little fact.)

Take a look at the collection below, and don’t forget to tell me what you think!

Charlotte Olympia seaside Dolly starfish pumps

Seaside Dolly starfish pumps, £610

Elsa lobster t-strap sandals

Elsa Lobster t-strap sandals, £965

Charlotte Olympia Siren Mermaid t-strap

Charlotte Olympia Siren Mermaid t-strap shoes, £771

Charlotte Olympia Shore Thing sandals

Shore Thing canvas ankle sandals, £1029

coral bow shoes

coral bow shoes

Paul Andrew ‘Euphorbia’, $845

Oh, these shoes! They’ve been on my “wanted” list for a couple of weeks now, but it’s a very wistful kind of  wanting, because at $845, there’s just not much chance of these ever being mine. It costs nothing to look – or to dream – though, and I’ve been doing a whole lot of both, lately: they’re the kind of shoes that you just want to STARE at, aren’t they?

The main attraction here is obviously that outside, asymmetric bow, which threads its way through a red leather loop, and falls gracefully to the side of the foot. The bow is SO oversized that it actually appears to brush the ground at its lowest point, so I’m guessing these won’t be the most hard-wearing shoes you’ll ever own, especially considering that the uppers are a ribbed faille, which looks beautiful, but won’t be nearly as resistant to stains and other wear as something like leather would be.

How to save these shoes?

Coral is a shade of red, and is almost as versatile as its brighter cousin, meaning it will work well with colours like black, navy, white, and anything else you’d wear with red, basically. I have a pair of Ted Baker shoes in this same coral/red colourway, and although it seems like a bit of an unusual combination, I’ve had some success in finding dresses which pick up the coral colour without being too overwhelming. You can see how I’ve worn this shade of shoes here, but here’s another outfit suggestion below, chosen mostly because I just really liked this dress:

what to wear with coral shoes

What to wear with coral shoes

 

(And yes, I totally matched the shoes with the bags. I know that’s very unfashionable amongst those who prefer their outfits to be “edgy”, but, well, I’ve never claimed to be either fashionable OR edgy, and the matchy-matchy look is just fine by me. Most of the time.

Just in case you haven’t had your fill of sale shoes yet, the Sarenza sale is still going strong: here are some of my top picks!…

polka dot peep toes

Paul & Betty ‘Poupsy’ polka dot pumps, £103

Some of you might recognise these polka dot peep toes from my Shoe Challenge posts: I bought them this summer, having lusted after them for months, and I loved them so much I managed to get multiple wears out of them before the weather turned chilly. They’re a little more pink than they look in the product shot, but they’re absolutely adorable, and I find them the perfect shoes for many of my retro-inspired outfits, as they have a real “pin-up girl” feel to them. At £103, they’re not exactly cheap, but the regular price is £172, so you’re still making quite a saving. I know a few of you have also had your eye on these, so now might be a good time to grab a pair, before the price goes back up!

Ted Baker Keanah2

Ted Baker ‘Keanah 2′, £76

I have these shoes in silver and coral, and they’re such a favourite of mine that I’d definitely have bought this black version by now if they had them in my size! This is an older style, so sizes are limited, but if yours is available, I promise you won’t be disappointed by these!

KGby Kurt Geiger 'Culprit'

KG by Kurt Geiger ‘Culprit’, £72

I firmly believe that you can never have too many pairs of nude shoes. Or too many spikes, for that matter. These KG by Kurt Geiger slingbacks have both of those features in their favour, and they’re also available in black, if that’s more to your taste.

blue suede shoes

Ravel ‘Joy’, £53

I became a little bit obsessed with this shade of blue last year, so although I no longer wear platforms as often as I used to, I could just be prepared to make an exception for these ones.

Finally, I couldn’t do a Sarenza roundup without mentioning these:

Mel Raspberry

Mel ‘Raspberry’, £42

I have these shoes in both of the colourways available, but only the nude and black version is on sale: the black and red, meanwhile, is still at the full price of £52. I absolutely love these shoes, which have become my go-to for rainy days (which we get quite a lot of around here!). They’re really comfortable to wear, and a lot more stylish than Wellington boots: I never could resist a shoe with a heart on the front!

Ted Baker Keanah shoes in coral satin

Ted Baker ‘Keanah’ in coral satin

(This year, I’m putting together a gallery of my shoe collection, complete with links to all of the different ways I’ve “saved” each pair in my shoe challenges. Here’s the first post in a new series of “Ways I’ve Worn…”)

These Ted Baker ‘Keanah’ pumps were my first ever pair of Ted Baker shoes, and they turned out to be the first of many! I now also own the ‘Keanah 2′ peep toes in silver glitter, plus a few pairs of the ‘Mayter’ pumps, which have a closed toe, but a similarly extravagant bow! I bought this pair back in 2011, and they’ve made it through two Shoe Challenges so far:

Ted Baker KEanah pumps and 50s style prom dress

Shoe Challenge 2011/12 | Ted Baker Keanah with River Island prom dress

As soon as I saw this 50s style prom dress in River Island, I knew it would be the perfect match for the shoes, as the embroidery around the hem picks up the coral colour of the satin uppers. I wore this outfit on holiday in Los Angeles that summer, and have repeated it a couple of times since then: I feel like the shoes and dress were more or less made for each other!

Ted Baker Keanah in coral with green Louche dress

Shoe Challenge 2012/13 | Ted Baker ‘Keanah’ with Louche ‘Leigh’ dress

I’ve never been one to shy away from the matchy-matchy look, and this was another colour match that was just too good for me to ignore. The coral spots and belt on this mint green Louche ‘Leigh’ dress were, once again, the perfect match for the colour of the shoes, and this is another outfit I’m sure I’ll be wearing again at some point, as both dress and shoes are particular favourites! (Er, the hairstyle is apparently a favourite, too: I didn’t intentionally go for exactly the same look here, but I was on holiday when both photos were taken, and it’s my favourite way to tame my unruly ‘holiday hair’!)

These shoes have yet to be saved in the current challenge: I’ve no doubt that I’ll manage to wear them before September, the only question is what I’ll wear them with. I’d LIKE to say this year I’ll choose something other than a full-skirted dress, but… I make no promises.

[P.S. As these shoes are from 2011 they’re now sold out. Ted Baker does still carry some very similar styles, however, so check out the official website to see what’s available!]

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mint green pumps

There’s just handful of shoes in this roundup, compared to the one I showed you earlier today, but it doesn’t really matter to me, because the second I laid eyes on the mint green beauties at the top of the page, I couldn’t look past them.

These are part of the Faith SS2014 collection, and will retail for £45 at Debenhams. I’m now even MORE desperate for spring to arrive than I was already, because mint shoes are completely irresistible to me, and I really like the shape of this pair, too, with their gently curved sides and pointed toes.

These will also be available in white, and you can see some more pairs of shoes from this collection in the gallery below: I’d say more about this, but I’m afraid I have no time – if anyone’s looking for me, I’ll be constantly refreshing the Debenhams website from now until spring!

Gallery: Faith Shoes Spring Summer 2014

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Dune ss2014 collection preview

I don’t know about everyone else, but by the time the Christmas season is over, I’m more than done with winter footwear, and ready to start thinking about summer. This is unfortunate for me, because we still have at least three months worth of winter left, but hey: the weather may not be on my side, but at least the shoes are. January isn’t JUST the month of shoe sales, you see: it’s also the month in which many brands start to release previews of their Spring/Summer collections (and sometimes even the shoes from those collections themselves), so if you’re suffering from a touch of the January blues right now, sit back, relax, and take a look at Dune’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection!

There are a lot of flat sandals and wedges in this gallery, as you would expect from a summer collection. Flat sandals have never really been my thing (although I obviously have to acknowledge the practicality of them), so my eyes went right to the pumps, which are pretty simple, but also pretty sweet. I love the captoe stilettos in this collection, and I’m also happy to see that two of my favourite shades from this winter – pastel blue and pink – are still going to be around for summer. Although I’ve really enjoyed the winter pastels trend, these are definitely shades that are a little easier to wear during the warmer months of the year, so they’ll be a great match for all of those summer dresses I’ll soon be eyeing up!

Gallery: Dune Spring/Summer 2014

Shoe Challenge roundup

This is another roundup which I scheduled a couple of weeks ago, so no photos from me, but if you’re online today, and have been logging your Shoe Saves over the break, please feel free to link up as usual, and I promise we’ll be back to our normal format next week!

One quick note: this roundup will be open for one day less than usual, due to my account with InLinkz being due to expire on Monday. I’ll make sure it’s renewed in time for the next roundup, but for now, please be aware that this one will close on Sunday at midnight: don’t worry – if you miss the opportunity to submit your links, you’re welcome to add them to next week’s roundup instead!

Happy Shoe Year

I feel like I say this every year, but wow, doesn’t time fly?

For me, it’s been another 12 months of shoe-saving and shoe-blogging. I moved house, got myself an entire new wall of shoes, and welcomed just a few new pairs into the Shoeper family, too. I’m now off to put my best party shoes on and prepare to celebrate the new year: I know I’m a little early, but a Shoeperhero likes to be prepared! Before I go, I wanted to stop by to say a big thank-you to all of my readers, especially those of you who’re currently participating in the Shoe Challenge. Your comments and support means the world to me, and I’m looking forward to seeing your shoe saves in 2014, so don’t forget to check back in the new year, when I’ll be back to my regular posting schedule.

For now, I hope you have a wonderful New Year, however you’re spending it: here’s to a shoeper 2014!

shoeperwoman

[Shoes available here.]

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Shoeper Shoe Challenge

Anyone in need of a New Year’s Resolution? Want to take control of your shoe collection, and spend next year learning better shoe-shopping habits, while getting more creative with your outfits? Well, I have the challenge for you!

What is this Shoe Challenge?

If you’ve been reading this site regularly, you’ll probably already know this, but put simply, the Shoe Challenge asks you to wear all of your shoes within the space of a year, with the added condition that any shoes you DON’T wear in those 365 days, are forfeit: you either donate them, sell them or bin them, as required.

Who is it aimed at?

The Shoe Challenge is aimed at people exactly like me: shoe lovers who can always convince themselves to buy just one more pair, but who then end up wearing the same old shoes over and over again, while those shiny new ones lie forgotten. You still love them, and you still WANT to wear them, but somehow there never seems to be the right opportunity – or you just don’t know what on earth to wear them WITH.

Sound familiar?

If you’re a ShoeperWoman reader, then you obviously love shoes. So why not make sure the shoes you buy get the chance to actually be worn? The Shoe Challenge helps you to step back and take an objective look at your shoe collection: to weed out the pairs you’ve been clinging onto for years (even although you know you’ll probably never wear them), and think twice before buying ANOTHER pair of black heels that are virtually identical to the seven pairs you already own. In the case of the shoes you really can’t bear to part with, it forces you to get creative: to find ways to wear them with the clothes you already own, or to simply find the confidence to wear those fabulous heels, even although you know you’ll spend the whole day answering the questions, “Where are you off to, all dressed up?” and “How on earth do you walk in those heels?”

Oh, and one more thing:

Join our community of Shoe Saviours

Every Friday, I publish a roundup of the shoes I’ve “saved” myself that week, and invite Shoe Challenge participants to link up their own blog posts, featuring their own shoes. To be included in the roundup, all you have to do is take part in the Shoe Challenge. Speaking of which…

There is a catch…

The current Shoe Challenge started on September 1st 2013, and will end on September 1st 2014.  You’re welcome to join in at any time, but of course, if you join now, you’ll have less than a year to “save” your shoes. Still up for it?

We’d love to have you join the challenge and start saving your shoes: you can read more about the challenge here, take a look at The Rules in more detail here, or get even more information on how to take part here.

If you have any questions, ask away!

Are you ready to Save Your Shoes?

Ted Bakes shoes

I’m not going to be posting roundups of my own Shoe Saves over the Christmas period: not because I’ve given up on the challenge, but simply because I wrote these posts a few weeks ago, so I could take a bit of a break over the holidays, and, of course, the shoes have yet to be worn at the time of writing!

I’ll still be photographing my saves, of course, and will post them all once I get back to my usual posting schedule in the New Year, but just in case any of you are around today (I’m guessing not, but you never know!), I thought I’d just pop up the linkup widget anyway.

Feel free to link up your shoe saves as normal, if you have any, and have  great weekend!

 

Christian Louboutin roundup

Happy Christmas, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful day, and are enjoying the holiday season – assuming that you have some much-needed time off, obviously.

Every Friday, I bring you a “Friday Fix”, in the form of a beautiful pair of shoes by my favourite designer, Christian Louboutin.

This Friday is, as you know, the last one of the year, and rather than showing you just one pair of shoes, I thought I’d show you… well, a few more than that. An entire year’s worth of Friday Fixes, in fact.

I have’t included every single pair of Louboutins I’ve featured this year, as that would take far too long to get through, but I have gathered some of my favourites together, so you can see them all in one place. As with my last roundup, this gallery features shoes dating as far back as January, so they may not all still be available. If you want to buy a pair, though, take a look at the Christian Louboutin official website, who should be able to help you track down the specific shoes you’re looking for.

Gallery: Christian Louboutin 2013 Roundup

christmas shoes

It’s almost Christmas, so I picked out something red, gold and sparkly, just for you…

I really wish I COULD give you all the shoes of your dreams (whatever they may be) for Christmas, but I’m afraid my shoeper powers don’t work quite THAT well, so my best wishes for the season will have to suffice instead! Whatever you’re doing over the festive season, I hope you have an absolutely shoeper time: ShoeperMan and I will be spending Christmas with our families, so I’ll be taking the next few days off to eat, drink, and wear fabulous shoes (or I hope so, anyway…). I’ll be back later this week, with more shoeper shoes for you: until then, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and find at least a couple of excuses to get out your best footwear!

shoeperwoman

[p.s. You can find the shoes in the image here!]

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best shoes of 2013

ShoeperWoman's Favourite Shoes of 2013

Good morning, Shoeper Shoe Lovers!

It’s the Monday before Christmas Eve, so I’m not sure how many of you will be online today, so, rather than hunt down some new pairs of shoes which you might miss (and which you won’t have time to order before Christmas, anyway), I thought I’d take a look back of some of my very favourite shoes of 2013.

In the gallery below, and in no particular order, you’ll find my own personal favourites: some of them I bought, some of them I just WANTED to buy, and some of them I classed as Shoe Kryptonite, and was afraid to ever look at again, unless the temptation became too much. And yes, I DO like red. More than even I realised, apparently.

I’ve added a caption on each of these with the name of the brand or designer, but as you’re browsing the gallery, bear in mind that this post is a retrospective of the entire year, so not all of these shoes will still be available. Oh, and if you’ve noticed the glaring omission of Christian Louboutin from the list, don’t worry: there’ll be another post soon, dedicated just to him!

Gallery: ShoeperWoman’s Favourite Shoes of 2013

heart shaped shoes
Well, I knew it had to happen sooner or later: this week, for the first time since the Shoe Challenge started, I didn’t manage to save any new pairs of shoes at all. Uh-oh.

I’m blaming the weather, naturally. Unsurprisingly for December in Scotland, it’s been really wet, and really cold, so I’ve been mostly wearing the boots I’ve already saved in the challenge, or these Mel ‘Raspeberry’ pumps, which aren’t included in my challenge total (I got them after the challenge started), which have the advantage of being waterproof, so I don’t have to worry about ruining them if they get rained on. Which they will.

Anyway, considering that all but one pair of boots are now safe, I’m not too worried about this week’s lack of progress. My main aim for the start of the challenge was to get through all of the shoes which had some kind ofa “time limit” on their usefulness (i.e. I only wear knee boots in autumn and winter, so they all had to be safe by spring), and now that I’ve (almost) done that, I figure one week isn’t going to hurt. Still: I may not have saved any shoes this week, but I’m sure some of you will have, so feel free to link up your shoe save posts using the button below.

Have a great weekend!

Christian Louboutin Iriza Glitter Fiesta Christian Louboutin Iriza Glitter Fiesta

Christian Louboutin Iriza, £395

It’s the final Friday Fix of the year – a ‘Final Fix’, if you will, so I figured some glitter was in order!

These ‘Iriza’ pumps by Christian Louboutin definitely deliver on that score: although they appear to be gold at first glance, take a closer look and you’ll find all the colours of the rainbow hidden in those beautiful uppers. Well, most of them, anyway. The effect is a dazzling, party-perfect confection, but it’s not just the glittery uppers which make me want to reach right through the screen and grab a pair of these for myself: the shape is pretty fantastic, too.

With their pointed toes, curved sides and 100mm heels, these are very elegant, which will make all that glitter easier to pull off. They may be truly a “fiesta” for the feet, but they also have an air of sophistication which can be missing from some other shoes in this style. A fitting shoe to end our year of Louboutin-loving with, indeed!

Buy them here

pewter t-bar

Dorothy Perkins pewter t-bars, £32

Gold tends to be my metallic of choice when it comes to shoes – or clothing, for that matter. Silver is beautiful, but can be a little too cool for my skintone, so pewter is a nice in-between: it’s a little bit warmer than pure silver, but creates a similar kind of look, and is every bit as versatile.

These Dorothy Perkins t-bars have a nice, vintage feel to them, courtesy of the t-bar strap, with the little button fastening. They remind me if the kind of shoes you might wear to do a bit of old-fashion ballroom dancing, and I guess the mid-height heel would be the perfect height for that kind of thing, too!

Sticking with the “dance” theme, although moving away from ballroom, I couldn’t resist styling these as part of a kind of “modern flapper” outfit, complete with art deco accessories.  I guess a feather headband and 20s-style bob would be taking the theme a little too far, but I’m not going to claim I wasn’t tempted!

modern flapper outfit

What to wear with t-bar shoes:

 

Charlotte Olympia Ava

Charlotte Olympia ‘Ava’ £582

Here’s a pair of shoes that might just have the ability to convert even the most dedicated Charlotte Olympia-haters amongst you… mostly because they look nothing like the usual Charlotte Olympia creation! As well as being minus the giant platform, these don’t have even a hint of “novelty shoe” about them, and I’m sure some of you will consider them all the better for that.  Instead, we’re left with a classically beautiful shoe, with a pointed toe, and a lovely knot detail at the front, which is the detail which made these stand out to me as I was scrolling through the Neiman Marcus website the other day.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed from the canvas upper, these are from the spring/summer collection, and they come in a summery colourway, too, with a turquoise upper and a coral patent heel. Which brings me to the question:

How would you save these shoes?

I actually found these a little more challenging to style than I’d expected. The colour is beautiful, but it’s also quite unusual, which makes it hard to match. With that said, I felt matching the colour exactly would be a bit too much, even for me, so instead I’ve gone for this little floral dress, which is close to the colours in the shoe, but not so close people will be trying to stage a “matchy-matchy” intervention:

what to wear with turquoise shoes

What to wear with turquoise shoes:

red high heel shoes

ASOS ‘Pasha’, £25

ASOS’s ‘Pasha’ pumps come in no less than six different colours: red, green, silver, black, nude and tan. It’s basically an entire shoe wardrobe, all in one perfectly-shaped pump, isn’t it?

I’m showing you the red pair today because:

a) I’m me.

b) I can’t quite believe there was a pair of red heels out there that I hadn’t featured here: especially ones that only cost £25!

c) It’s December, which means we can get away with wearing our red shoes under the guise of being “festive”, rather than simply because we’re obsessed with red shoes.

Anyway, for £25 you can probably guess that these have man-made uppers, but I still think they’re a nice, cheap-n-cheerful purchase, and the kind of shoes that could very easily find their way into my ASOS basket when I wasn’t looking. I mean, I may not need red heels NOW, but I WILL need them sooner or later, right?

How to save these shoes?

It’s probably a bad sign that there’s still a week to go until Christmas, and I’m already starting to crave comfortable clothes, like slouchy sweaters and jeans. Still, as I said, red is sufficiently “festive” that I think I could wear this outfit and still claim to be in the Christmas spirit, and a great pair of red heels will dress up even the most casual of outfits, without any effort at all:

what to wear with red shoes

What to wear with red shoes:

 

black leather studded ballet flats

Zara studded ballet flats, £59.99

ANOTHER pair of Zara flats, I hear you ask? Yup: and another pair of black studded ones too, into the bargain. I’d showed you a pair of River Island flats that were almost identical to these a couple of months ago, but seeing as those have long-since sold out, and I know quite a few of you were interested in buying a pair, I’m hoping you’ll be willing to forgive the repeat!

These shoes are a little more expensive than the River Island version, but they have real leather uppers, and are very similar to the Christian Louboutin studded flats which I’m sure inspired them. As I’ve already shown you their cousins, I won’t say too much about these, other than to note that:

a) I’ve regretted not buying the River Island version since the day they sold out: which wasn’t too long after they arrived on the site, I seem to recall.

b) The red and pink versions are still available, though. Still tempting, too.

c) I think I like these ones better: the d’orsay cut and leather upper adds a certain something that was missing from the River Island version. (Not from the Louboutin version, of course: I’m completely disregarding those, though, because of the price!)

d) I’m cursing the fact that these became available right before Christmas, when I’m too broke to buy them. If they go into the sale, though, who knows what might happen?

What to wear with studded ballet flats?

I doubt anyone really needs inspiration on how to wear black flats, because, let’s face it: they go with most things – that’s the whole point of them. I chose these particular items to wear with them, because… well, because I’ve been waiting for an excuse to feature them for ages now, and I figured now was as good a time as any. I do think studded shoes are a good way to add some “edginess” to a sweet-and-innocent kind of look, and although the Louboutin shoes are too expensive for me, I apparently have no such issues with this handbag:

what to wear with studded flats

What to wear with studded flats:

 

Mellow Yellow Orambo

Mellow Yellow ‘Orambo’ pumps, £141.90

I know pink has been the colour of the season, but although I’ve really been loving the trend, it’s blue that’s really won my heart this year.

These Mellow Yellow pumps aren’t quite the shade of baby blue I’ve been so obsessed with, but the slightly darker colour will make them a little more winter-appropriate, as well as being a lovely colour in its own right. If you’re not quite as into blue as I am right now, however, these also come in yellow and black, both of which are excellent choices: I particularly love the yellow version, which has a gold glitter heel, but as I promised to avoid showing you any more gold for a while, I’ve gone for the blue version instead today. (You can see the other two at Sarenza.)

While I’m banging on about the upper, however, it’s the heel that’s really the focal point of this shoe. The silver glitter brings just enough pizazz to dress these up in subtle, sophisticated kind of way – and also to give you the option of dressing them DOWN, if that’s what you prefer.

How to save Mellow Yellow ‘Orambo’ pumps?

I’ve been featuring a lot of party outfits lately (Well, it IS the season for it, after all!), so today I thought I’d go in the opposite direction, and style these in a more relaxed, casual fashion. Glitter shoes will never really look totally “dressed down” – you can always rely on that heel to make you look like you’ve made an effort – so this outfit picks up the glitter on the heel with the shimmery threads on the sweater, for a look that’s comfortable, but still a little bit festive:

jeans and glitter heels

What to wear with Mellow Yellow ‘Orambo':

 

tan knee boots

Moda in Pelle ‘Sirene’, £111.99

Tan boots are one of those items I seem to be permanently in need of (Or maybe it’s just that you can’t really have too many pair of them?), so every pair I find is subjected to ruthless scrutiny, as I try to work out whether or not they live up to my imaginary “Tan Boot-O-Meter”. Which I just made up this second, obviously.

Do these Moda in Pelle boots pass muster? Almost. They’ve been on my radar for a while now, and they have a couple of features I really love: the little buttons which curve down the side being one of them. I don’t know what it is about buttons on shoes (or boots), but I can never resist them, and always think they give the shoe in question a very polished, “smart” kind of look.

As well as those buttons, these boots also score Shoeper Points for the gold buckles at the bottom of the leg. It’s not so much the buckles themselves I like here, as it’s the shiny gold hardware. Tan and gold is a combination I never tire of, and these are a nice touch, although I’m also pleased to see that they’re not functioning buckles: there’s also a zip on the inside of the leg to allow you to slip these on and off without having to fuss around with the straps.

How would you save these boots?

I said these “almost” pass muster. Their one downside for me is that they’re a slightly darker tan than I really like, which makes them just a tiny bit less versatile. Rather than putting them with black or navy, as I would with a lighter colour, I’ve styled these with some brighter shades,  to keep the look fairly light:

what to wear with tan boots

What to wear with tan boots:

 

gold alexander mcqueen ankle boots

Alexander McQueen ankle boots, $425

I realise I’ve been showing an awful lot of gold, both in my shoe and outfit selections lately, but it IS the season to be jolly after all, and here at Shoeper Towers, I choose to interpret that as “wear gold. And glitter. And don’t apologise, because when else do you get the opportunity?”

No apologies, then, for the presence of these Alexander McQueen ankle boots on the site today. I’ve been wearing ankle boots a lot more than I usually do lately, which means I’ve been keeping an eye out for colours other than black. I was drawn to these ones, not just because of the gold, cracked leather upper, but also because of the very slim, streamlined shape. I think boots like these work best when they fit closely to the foot: it makes them almost like pumps, and almost as easy to wear as pumps, but with a whole lot of added warmth (and no need for a pedicure.)

These are currently on sale, and have been reduced to $425 from the original $850. Despite that, there’s still a lot of stock of them at Net-a-Porter, which leads me to the big question:

How would you save a pair of gold ankle boots?

These are potentially problematic, because the shape says “daytime”, but the metallic upper says “evening”. I’ve gone for an evening look, using the boots to give a little bit of an edge to a classic prom dress:

what to wear with gold ankle boots

What to wear with gold ankle boots:

Tomorrow, I promise to feature something that ISN’T gold or black. Well, I promise to TRY, anyway…

 

red court shoes

Red River Island court shoes, £45

Pointed toes have dominated the shoe world recently, but I know there are quite a few of you out there who still prefer a more rounded toe on a shoe, so here’s a pair just for you!

These shoes are by River Island, who I’ve been rather obsessed with lately: they’ve been doing a great line in full skirts (Which are my OTHER Kryptonite), and, well, I’ve always been a fan of their footwear, so no surprises there. This is a really nice, classic pump. with just enough of a platform to balance out the height of the heel. They might not be as fashionable as the pointed styles that are around at the moment, but they’ll never go out of style, and the red upper makes them that bit sassier than the style would normally be. Oh, and they also come in pink and black, so if you’ve been on the hunt for round-toe courts at a decent price, look no further!

How to save these shoes?

Despite the bright colour, I always feel like rounded toes have a rather “sensible” feel to them, and what could be more “sensible” than a pencil skirt?

red shoes and skirt

OK, so “sensible” possibly isn’t the word I’m looking for here. Red and gold is always a good idea, though, as far as I’m concerned, and the festive season provides a great excuse to wear both of those colours. Don’ worry, though: there’ll be plenty of opportunities to wear shoes like these during the rest of the year, too…

Before I get into this week’s shoe saves, I have to first of all apologise for the fact that you can’t actually see the shoes very well in these photos, hence the inclusion of the older photos of the shoes themselves underneath each outfit! One of the reasons I don’t like wearing tights is that my shoes always seem to just blend in to them (I know contrasting tights or shoes would solve this issue but it’s just not really “me”), and that was definitely the case this week, when I continued working my way through my boot collection, starting with…

black full skirt and cream cardigan

fc

 

Shoe Save # 43/ 108: French Connection shoe boots c/o Spartoo
Worn on: Sunday, December 8th, 2013
With: ASOS skirt, H&M cardigan

I had a big closet clear-out this week, and had actually been about to donate these shoes, having realised that I hadn’t really worn them much since they were saved in the last challenge. I needed something warm but reasonably smart for a trip to Edinburgh on Sunday, though, so I decided to give these a go, and ended up really liking them. I actually wore them again later in the week, so I’m pleased the challenge convinced me to have another go at styling them, and I think I’ll be wearing them a lot more this winter. In fact, I’m now in the lookout for another pair with a lower platform!

ankle boots and pencil skirt

studded ankle boots

Shoe Save 44/108: River Island studded ankle boots
Worn on: Monday, December 9th 2013
With: River Island pencil skirt, Primark top

These boots are a little different from the kind of thing I usually wear, but although I love ladylike heels, I’m also a sucker for anything studded, and these get a lot more wear than you might expect, given my usual style. They’re also surprisingly comfortable given the height of the heel, and as it’s much too cold to wear a lot of the shoes in my collection right now, I’ll probably be wearing these more often too, in the weeks to come.

Speaking of the cold, I have a feeling it’s going to slow down my shoe saving quite a bit over the next few weeks. I only have one pair of boots left to save, so I’ll mostly be wearing the shoes you’ve already seen here on repeat. With that said, I have high hopes that the upcoming party season will provide some excuses to break out the evening shoes, so fingers crossed: those glittery peep toes have to be saved too, after all!

If you’re taking part in the Shoe Challenge, feel free to link up this week’s saves below. And if you’re not taking part in the Shoe Challenge, click here to find out how to join!

Christian Louboutin Christian Louboutin Jazzy Doll

Christian Louboutin ‘Jazzy Doll’, £595

The Christian Louboutin spring/summer 2013 collection continues to impress (It also continues to make me wish we could just fast-forward to summer already, but that goes without saying…), and today it’s time to meet ‘Jazzy Doll’.

These have a bright red upper in softest suede, with a distinctive, twisted t-bar stap and open toe. The heel is 100mm, and the folded fabric at the back of it is another interesting detail, which helps these shoes stand out: not that they really need any help, mind you! This colour looks good at any time of year, and if you were to order them now, you’d have yourself a fabulous pair of party shoes, not to mention a pretty amazing Christmas gift. They’ll really come into their own in warmer weather, though, when they’ll fit in seamlessly with the whites and blues of the summer season, and any number of nautical-themed outfits! If you’d rather go the less “obvious” route, however, you can take your pick of any number of other outfit options which will work with red shoes: if you’re stuck for inspiration, you’ll find a few suggestions here!

Buy them here

pink polka dot bow sandals

Moschino Cheap & Chic sandals, £179

These shoes are from last summer, and honestly, the fact that it’s taken me until now to discover them makes me seriously worry that my shoeper powers are starting to fail me. I mean,the fact that I’ve gone for MONTHS now without knowing these shoes existed, or showing them to you, is just criminal, no? The pink upper? The polka dots? The bow? The KNOTTED BOW? They have all of the ingredients of the perfect summer shoe, and the fact that I seem to have developed a (probably unhealthy) obsession with pink this year just makes them all the more delectable.

There is a silver lining to this cloud, however. If I HAD found these shoes back in the summer, they’d have been £448, and I wouldn’t even have considered buying them, even although I’d have very much wanted to. Because I’ve found them in December, though, they’re now on sale, and down to £179. That means… well, it means I STILL can’t afford them, unfortunately, but YOU may be able to. It’s a fairly big price-drop after all, and brings them into the same kind of range you might consider paying for a pair of Kurt Geigers or similar, so it’s not too shabby. This is why I’m a big advocate of shoe shopping out of season: and why I changed the rules of the Shoe Challenge this year to accommodate that fact.

Speaking of the Shoe Challenge

How would you save pink, polka dot sandals?

This is the kind of “challenge” I relish, and I think there are tons of ways to wear these: they’re the type of shoes that you’re supposed to have fun with, so you may as well let your imagination run wild. I think they’d look good with jeans, but because I’m me, and I just can’t seem to stop myself, I’ve gone for a Jackie O inspired look, with big sunglasses and a silk scarf to tie over your hair in the wind. I somehow doubt Jackie herself would’ve worn these particular shoes, mind you, but hey: it’s MY imagination, and in it, not only would I be wearing this outfit, I’d apparently have a Chloe ‘Marcie’ bag to go with it. A girl can dream, right?

pink-shoes

What to wear with pink polka dot shoes:

 

Jimmy Choo 'Lance' sandals

Jimmy Choo ‘Lance‘, $850

Jimmy Choo is a brand that really comes into its own at this time of year: or at ANY time of year when there are lots of special events to attend, anyway. These ‘Lance’ sandals are more or less the perfect pair of strappy evening sandals, with their barely-there upper and party-appropriate silver-upper.

Strappy sandals are always popular as evening shoes, and for good reason: if you’re going to a party, chances are you’re much more dressed-up than you’d usually be, so you don’t want your shoes to detract attention from the rest of your outfit. In this case, the shoes will certainly blend in with almost anything you choose to wear with them, but I almost feel sad for them because of that: the shape is so lovely, it would really be a shame for it to go unnoticed, wouldn’t it?

Luckily there’s not much chance of that: these have more of a mirrored-effect in real life than is apparent from the product shot, so I very much doubt they’d be ignored for long: or not if there are any fellow shoe-lovers in the room, anyway!

How to save these Choos?

“Go glam or go home,” is the message of these shoes. Sure, there’s (almost) always a way to dress a pair of shoes down if you want to, but let’s face it: that’s not what these sandals were destined for. No, these shoes want to get glammed up and go dancing: they want to be worn with a cocktail dress, some blinged-up jewellery and probably really big hair. Resistance would be futile…

what to wear with silver sandals

 

bright yellow shoes

gold glitter heels yellow satin shoes with gold glitter heels

J Crew ‘Etta’, $300

Yellow is a colour I just can’t get enough of on shoes. For instance, the shade of these ‘Etta’ pumps by J Crew is very similar to the colour of the Zara heels I bought a few weeks ago – so why do I want these too? Can you REALLY never have too many pairs of yellow satin shoes? It would appear so, although, in my defence, these are actually different in terms of both the shape (rounded toe rather than pointed one, no bow), and that amazing heel.

The yellow satin uppers, you see, would be a statement in themselves, but when you add the heels, it takes the look to a whole other level. Without the bright colour and the gold glitter, I might actually have bypassed these – the blocky heel and rounded toe can look a bit matronly if you’re not careful. These shoes are anything BUT matronly, though: in fact, they’re utterly fabulous, and I love the way the glitter on the heel extends to the sole of the shoe: it’s one of these little details that adds a luxurious feel to a shoe, and it’ll ensure that these look just as good when you’re walking away as they will when you’re standing still.

How to save J Crew’s ‘Etta’ pumps?

Yellow, as I’ve said, is a real “statement making” colour, and it’s also very unusual, possibly because a lot of people find it hard to style. I like wearing yellow shoes with pale blue or cream, and Net-a-Porter have styled these with a pair of boyfriend jeans, which also looks great, and is an easy way to dress them down. Seeing as it’s Christmas, though, I decided to play up the gold on the heel, and go for something pale, but… shiny. Well, if you can’t wear a hold pencil skirt at Christmas, when can you? what to wear with yellow shoes

What to wear with yellow shoes:

 

2 14

Zara gold ballet flats

gold glitter ballet flats

Zara gold ballet flats, £39.99

Oh, Zara, just stop it already with the irresistible ballet flats, would you? They may be a little bit cheaper than my usual heels, but you seem to have the knack of knowing exactly where the holes in my shoe collection lie, and then doing your very best to fill them. I’d thank you for this, of course, but all these shoes are going to get expensive if I keep on feeling the urge to buy them!

The gap I’m referring to here is the one left by my LAST pair of gold Zara ballet flats: I actually still have them, because I can’t quite bring myself to throw them away until I’ve found a replacement, but they’re so far past their best that it would be cruel for me to keep them in active service. Could these shoes be the perfect replacements? I think they could. While I’d prefer a non-glittered finish on shoes I’d mostly be wearing during the day, the uppers on these are subtle enough to be worn at any time, although they’ll also dress up nicely for evening. The toe shape, meanwhile, is perfect: I love the sweetheart vamp and the elegant point to the toe, and the small heel is also welcome, providing the foot with a little more padding than most other ballet flats.

How to save gold glitter ballet flats?

This is another one of those times when this question could be answered with, “How WOULDN’T you wear them?” I wear my gold flats all the time, with absolutely everything, and if you don’t believe me, just take a look back at the vacation posts on my personal style blog, in which my last pair of gold flats rarely left my feet. I get most use out of gold flats (and ballet flats in general) during spring and summer, but I’ve put together a warmer outfit to wear with these ones, and have also taken advantage of the low heel to choose a slightly shorter skirt than I’d usually go for:

what to wear with gold ballet flats

What to wear with gold ballet flats:

I’m a sucker for this shade of blue right now: I’m powerless to resist…

tan leather stilettos

Narciso Rogriguez ‘Cognac‘, £520

I’ve been on the hunt for a pair of tan or brown pointed pumps for a while now. The fact that I don’t already own such a shoe is a pretty shocking admission for a shoeperhero: after all, I’ve long maintained that tan shoes work with almost everything, and it’s such a truly classic colour that it’s a real “must have” – for me, at least.

These Narciso Rodriguez stilettos are just a little bit out of my price rage, at £520, but they’re the perfect colour, and a pretty amazing shape, too. The sharp, pointed toe and high stiletto heel gives them an almost dangerous look, while the cut-out at the heel adds interest, and creates a slightly vintage feel, too. I can imagine these being worn by the heroine in an old, black-and-white movie: you’d miss out on the wonderful colour, but you’d still get the full impact of the sophisticated shape. Although packed with old-fashioned glamour, however, I think the sheer height of these shoes, plus the sharpness of the toe, keeps the overall look fairly modern, making these easy to style, if not necessarily easy to walk in!

How to save these shoes?

“Sophisticated” is the word I used to describe these above, and while they could be worn casually (or as “casually” as you can manage with 5″ stilettos, which is to say “not very”: I think they’d look fantastic with skinny jeans and a sharply-tailored blazer, though, for a pulled-together take on “casual”.), I decided to go with an equally sophisticated look, in the form of a classic pencil skirt, camel coat (another must-have!) and sweater:

what to wear with tan shoes

Eudon Choi skirt // A.P.C. sweater // Carven coat // Andy Wolf glasses // 

Although this is a classic look, I gave it a contemporary twist with the leather skirt, in a gorgeous plum shade, which I think works really well with tan, as well as being very winter-appropriate.

disclosure

steve-madden

blacl Steve Madden knee boots

Steve Madden 'creation'

Steve Madden ‘Creation’, £93.50

For November’s Sarenza Brand Ambassador pick, I decided to be sensible (I know, it’s very unlike me, but I do try every now and then!) and pick a pair of shoes that were practical, rather than just pretty.

As it happens, I think these Steve Madden ‘Creation’ boots are a bit of both: I guess “pretty” is the wrong word for a pair of plain black knee boots, but “plain” is exactly what I’m after with this style of boot, and I think they’re  a nice mix of style and practicality. My last pair of flat black boots were retired a couple of years ago, having been literally worn to death, and I’ve been looking for a replacement ever since: these were the first pair that came close to what I was looking for (Again, I’m always amazed at how the simplest styles are always the hardest to find… or maybe I’m just super-fussy?), and I really like the almond toes and slim(ish) leg.

About the leg: my biggest issue with knee boots is finding ones that don’t fit like wellies, and one of the reasons I was drawn to these was the elastic section on the back, which I guessed would make them fit the leg more closely. I was partly right: worn with tights, these are still a bit looser than I would ideally like, but they look fine with trousers and jeans, and as that’s how I’ll mostly be wearing them, I’m pretty happy. The leg height, meanwhile, is perfect: it hits at the top of my knee in front, and at the bottom of the knee in the back, so they’re comfortable to walk and sit it. (If you’re a short person, you’ll know how important this is: I’ve tried on boots in the past which were so high I couldn’t sit down in them without the leather digging into the back of my knee!) The upper is leather, and while it’s not the best quality leather I’ve ever seen on a shoe, it is very soft, and has a nice sheen to it, which I like.

In terms of sizing, I went for my usual size 4, which fits perfectly, so I’d say these run true to size.

How to save these boots?

Again, new shoes are exempt from my Shoe Challenge, but as it happens, I have already worn these, going for a very warm, casual outfit:

What to wear with Steve Madden Creation boots

Please excuse the horrendous photo: indoor lighting isn’t the photographer’s friend at this time of year, but it was pitch dark outside by the time I left the house (just before 4pm: I hate winter!), so I didn’t have any choice! As you can see, the boots are just the right width to comfortably tuck trousers/jeans into. Because I don’t really wear flats through choice, I bought these to wear on days when I’m having to do a lot of walking in the cold, and I think they’ll be perfect for that: in fact, I’m now quite tempted by the tan version which is also available – you can always use a pair of tan boots, after all!

Gucci vernice bow pumps

Gucci ‘Vernice’ bow shoes, £455

I feel like these shoes are stalking me. Or maybe it’s the other way round, now I come to think of it. Everywhere I go, lately – online, I mean – these shoes are there. They just keep popping up everywhere, as if they’re determined to get my attention. They were even in the window of Harvey Nicholas when I walked by last weekend, so I’m hereby giving in and featuring them.

Actually, I’ve no idea why it’s taken me this long to get round to doing this, because despite their attention-seeking ways, these are seriously beautiful shoes, aren’t they? Black patent leather gives a sophisticated, grown-up feel to the classic peep-toe pump, which is updated here with the angular cut-outs to the side. Even the presence of the two little bows on the front can’t make these shoes seem frivolous or “girlie” – they’re pretty, but they somehow have a rather serious look to them, too, which makes me think they’d look best with sharp tailoring, and perfectly-fitted pieces.

How to save these shoes?

The received wisdom with black shoes (or black anything, really) seems to be that it must be brightened up with a “pop” of colour. Not always, though. Sometimes I think it’s absolutely fine to stick to darker, more sombre colours, and that’s what I felt this shoe wanted. In order not to make the look TOO serious, however, I used a floaty dress (Which still fulfils the “tailoring” remit mentioned above, thanks to Roland Mouret’s characteristic styling of the bodice and collar), which picks up the bows on the shows with a bow at the waist, and at the wrist. As always, a slash of bright red lipstick finishes it off, and provides your pop of colour, if you need one.

what to wear with Gucci Vernice pumps

What to wear with Gucci ‘Vernice’ pumps:

 

 

Topshop 'Shola' platforms

red and gold christmas shoes

Topshop ‘Shola’ platforms, $116

“Shola” is a style Topshop have released in a few different colourways this year. So far, none of them have really grabbed my attention, but this red and gold/glitter version is just so ridiculously festive I felt I couldn’t ignore it any longer!

These have a satin upper, with a gold glitter stiletto heel and matching demi platform. The heel is 5.5″, and although the Topshop website doesn’t give the height of the platform, I’d say it looks to be around about 1″, maybe a little more, so these are definitely going to feel very high to walk in. If the height doesn’t put you off, however, it’s hard to imagine a more “Christmassy” shoe than this one, which means your main problem will be working out how to wear them without feeling like YOU’RE the Christmas gift – or being mistaken for Mrs Claus.

How to save such Christmassy shoes?

To avoid the aforementioned “Mrs Claus” effect, I think it’s a good idea to steer clear of wearing anything red – or, indeed, too much gold. Topshop have shown these styled with a plain black dress, which is a failsafe way to allow the shoes to shine, without feeling like you’re wearing fancy dress. To make the look just a little more festive, I tracked down a dress with just a touch of shimmer (not too much: the shoes have more than enough glitter on their own!) to pick up the gold on the shoes:

what to wear with Topshop Shola

What to wear with Topshop ‘Shola’

Three more Shoe Saves from me this week, all in the form of boots of some description. I’m definitely making progress with the boots, but suspect my shoe-saving might slow down a bit once I’m done with the, because it’s way too cold to wear much else at the moment!

yellow boots

Shoe Save # 40/108: Buffalo ‘Besma’ shoe boots c/o Sarenza
Worn on: Saturday, November 30th, 2013
With: J Brand jeans, H&M sweater

Please excuse the terrible photo here, folks: it gets dark so early at the moment that the iPhone camera just doesn’t cut it indoors after a certain time, and I was in my usual rush to leave the house, so I didn’t have time to set up the “real” camera!

green J Crew coat

Shoe Save # 41/108: Dune ‘Sandhurst’ boots
Worn on: Sunday, December 1st, 2013
With: J Crew coat; Kate Spade handbag; Dune gloves

On Sunday we went into town to do some Christmas shopping and check out the winter market, so I dressed up accordingly. I think these boots are the last of the “high” boots which remained to be saved: just a few pairs of ankle/shoe boots to go. Speaking of which…

red boots

Shoe Save # 42/108: Dorothy Perkins red shoe boots
Worn on: Monday, December 2nd
With: H&M dress; Next cardigan

I bought these boots in the Dorothy Perkins sale a few years ago, and they’re nearing retirement age, I think. They’re the only red boots I own, though, and I wear them fairly often, so I’ve been keeping them around until I get round to replacing them!

Feel free to link up your own shoe saves for this week below!

Christian Louboutin 'Princess Glitter' Christian Louboutin 'Princess Glitter' Christian Louboutin 'Princess Glitter'

Christian Louboutin ‘Princess Glitter’, £495

I’m almost afraid to look at the Christian Louboutin website right now. My last two Friday Fix picks (both from the SS14 collection) have been pure Kryptonite for me, and you never want to risk exposing yourself (or your credit card, rather) to too much temptation, do you? Of course, my Shoeperhero duties led me there anyway, and sure enough, here’s yet another pair of spring 2014 shoes to set my heart a-flutter!

These are called “Princess Glitter” and they have a very pointed toe, a very low vamp, and a gorgeous cross-cross strap, in gold glitter. It would be tempting to describe the cream and gold upper as “bridal”, but while these would, indeed, make a wonderful pair of wedding shoes, I don’t think they have to be restricted to brides only – it’s a very neutral shade, which will work with almost anything. I actually wore quite a lot of cream and gold last summer, and really like the combination, which I think would also work well for the party season, due to the glitter sections.

While I was on the Louboutin website, a couple of handbags also caught my eye. I know I’ve professed not be a “bag lady” in the past, but I’m slowly turning into one, and I absolutely love these two:

Christian Louboutin bow handbag

Sweet Charity Patent Spikes, £895

Christian Louboutin spike handbag

Salina Messenger, £975

They’re even more expensive than the shoes, so there’s no danger of me actually buying either of them, but I do love to look at them: those summery colours and cute little bows will get me every time!

CAsadei red butterfly pumps Casadei red suede butterly pumps

Casadei red suede butterfly pumps, £480

OK, how AMAZING are these shoes? Seriously, I’m a huge Casadei fan, and know the brand is capable of making some spectacular shoes, but these are true Shoe Kryptonite for me, and here’s why:

1. The colour

Red is one of the best colours out there for shoes, but it’s also a problematic one, because you want it to be bright enough to make an impact, but not so bright that it looks cheap. This shade reminds me of my favourite red lipstick, which makes it perfect, as far as I’m concerned.

2. The shape

These may not have the classic ‘Blade’ heel which has become the Casadei trademark, but they’re still curvy, elegant, and as much as I hate to use the word “perfect” yet again, they really are, aren’t they? I’d love the shape even without any kind of embellishment, but that brings me to my final point:

3. The BUTTERFLY

It’s just fabulous, isn’t it? I love the gold trim, and the way the wings are lifted, as if the butterfly is either just about to take off, or has just landed. There’s also a sheer section underneath each wing, to add to the effect, which is unusual, and beautifully done.

How to save these shoes?

I’ll be honest: if I owned these shoes I’d wear them with absolutely everything, including pyjamas. I won’t bore you by pointing out (again) that I think red makes a great neutral: one of my favourite ways to wear red shoes, however, is with navy, so if  money was absolutely no object, I’d choose something like this:

red shoes and navy dress

What to wear with Casadei butterfly pumps

 

tamara mellon heaven

Tamara Mellon ‘Heaven’ leopard print pumps, $650

I don’t know about you, but my shoe shelves wouldn’t feel complete without at least one pair of leopard print pumps. In fact, right now I have no less than three pairs, two of which are almost identical: I’d normally advise against that kind of duplication, but the fact is, when there’s a style of shoe you know you wear constantly, and you happen to find a pair that are a perfect example of that style… well, it can be hard to resist the temptation to buy them “just in case” your existing pairs get damaged, or wear out, and you can’t find a replacement. Or, at least, that’s what I tell myself, anyway.

These Tamara Mellon ‘Heaven’ pumps are far too expensive to be a “just in case” purchase for me, but they are a nice example of the leopard-print look. This is a print I only ever wear on accessories; in addition to the aforementioned shoes, I also have leopard print scarves and gloves, but I don’t have any animal print clothing, and although I occasionally find myself hankering after a leopard print coat (I love them, but don’t think I’d be able to pull one off), I probably never will. Animal print can definitely be tricky to wear when it’s used on a large area, but on shoes, it’s just perfect, with exactly the right amount of pizazz to make them head-turning, without being tacky.

How to save leopard print shoes?

As with the polka dot shoes I featured yesterday, the fact that the colours used in this print are fairly neutral – blacks, browns and beige – makes them easier to style than you might expect. They’d look great with bright jewel tones like sapphire or emerald, but I also really like wearing my leopard print shoes with jeans, to dress them up a little:

outfit with jeans and leopard print shoes

What to Wear With Leopard Print Shoes

 

Nicholas Kirkwood stripe pumps

Nicholas Kirkwood stripe pumps, £695

Confession: I picked these shoes purely to go with the outfit, rather than the other way around, which is how I usually operate. I think the Shoe Challenge has gotten me into the habit of always wondering what to wear with various pairs of shoes, but of course, there are also plenty of times when you have a particular dress, or other outfit, which you need to find shoes for, and this was one of those times. I’ve loved this green Ted Baker jacket for a while now, and although it’s hard to find in stores at the moment, I thought it would be fun to style it anyway, and that’s what led me to the shoes.

These are classic Nicholas Kirkwood, with that characteristic ruffle detail on the heel. The ruffle hasn’t gone down well when I’ve featured it here in the past, and I’m not sure it’ll fare any better this time either, but I like it more every time I see it. Sure, it’s a little bit unnecessary, but then again, so are most shoe embellishments, and I think this one gives the shoe an extra bit of flair, and a rather delicate feel into the bargain. As for the uppers, well, stripes are almost always my cup of tea, and gold and black is one of those combinations it’s hard to go wrong with, so it gets the thumbs up from me, too.

A quick word on the jacket: I know a lot of people absolutely hate elbow-length sleeves on outerwear, and think they render the item completely useless. I actually really like them: they have a very elegant feel, and are a great excuse to wear a pair of elbow-length gloves, which will keep you warm while adding a giant dose of that old-Hollywood glamour. This jacket is obviously designed as eveningwear, so it would be a “car to bar” kind of item, this making practicality even less of an issue.

green faux fur jacket

oscar de la renta mimi

Oscar de la Renta ‘Mimi’, $375

Did anyone else happen to catch Lindsay Lohan’s Oprah interview a few weeks ago?

And did anyone else find themselves with one eye on the amazing, polka dot shoes Lindsay was wearing, and the other on their phones, as they frantically Googled, “Where to find Lindsay Lohan’s polka dot shoes?”  or “Who made those amazing polka dot shoes?” Or was that just me?

If you DID catch that interview, and if you loved those shoes as much as I did, you probably already know that they’re by Oscar de la Renta, they’re called ‘Mimi’, and as well as the black-on-white version worn by la Lohan, they also come in a white-on-black colour way, with a slightly smaller dot pattern. What you might not know, however,  is that they’re currently on sale, down to $375 from the original $625, and while not all sizes are available, with two different uppers to choose from, you might just get lucky.

How to save polka dot shoes?

Although these have a statement print, the fact that the base colour is either black or white actually makes them relatively easy to style: you can wear them more-or-less how you’d wear a plain shoe in these colours, with the polka dot print serving to make the look a little more fun. I though the white version looked fantastic with the bright orange dress Linday Lohan was wearing on Oprah (I never thought I’d hear myself praising either bright orange dresses OR Lindsay Lohan, but hey!): mixing prints is concerned a very “edgy”, fashion-forward thing to do, and there are entire blog posts out there dedicated to how to do it, but in general, I prefer to wear prints with block colours, keeping the look simple, with one focal point – in this case, the shoes:

what to wear with polka dot shoes

What to wear with polka dot shoes

 

Sergio Rossi chi chi

toe

Sergio Rossi ‘Chi Chi’, £385

At first glance, I thought these shoes were covered in lots of tiny little crystals: on closer inspection, however, it proved to be simply a crackled leather upper, which makes them slightly less dressy, but possibly not quite as much as you’d think. This is still a very elegant, dressed-up kind of look, and cracked leather gives them a touch of added glamour, without the need for glitter or sequins. (For once.)

Of course, it wouldn’t really matter what that upper was made of: the colour of it was more than enough to grab my attention, and it’s the colour that sets these apart. Aquamarine is a shade that’s become more popular over the past couple of summers, but it’s still quite unusual, and a goes a long way towards making an otherwise unremarkable pump more interesting.

How to save these Sergio Rossi shoes?

Although I think you should be able to wear any colour at ANY time of year, this shade has a very spring/summer feel for me (Unsurprisingly, they’re part of the spring.summer collection), which led me to pair them with a floral-print dress, which picks up the colour of the shoes, and adds a few more shades which you can have fun accessorising with.

styling sergio rossi shoes

What to wear with aquamarine shoes:

 

gold  high heel court shoes

gold high heels

gold pointed toe court shoes

Dune 'Alvino'

Dune ‘Alvino’ gold pointed toe court shoes, £69

I’ve been on the lookout for a pair of plain, gold, pointed-toe pumps for a while now, so when I spotted these ‘Alvino’ pumps in Dune at the weekend, I had to have them.

A quick note on the price of these, before I go any further: they’re showing as £32 on the Dune website, but are out of stock there. I paid full-price for them in-store, and they’re full price everywhere else I’ve found them, so I’m not quite sure what’s going on there, but you might want to shop around a bit if you’re thinking of buying a pair.

Anyway, these are exactly what I was looking for: a simple shape, a low vamp, a high heel, and absolutely no fussy extras. They’re the kind of shoes I’ll wear to death, and as an added bonus, the quality of these is really nice, too: the uppers are a really soft, supple leather, which I think will make them comfortable to wear, and they’re really lightweight and pretty. Also: shiny. Ahem.

I went down one size in these, going for the UK size 3/EUR 36, which has been my usual size in Dune for over a year now. I find their shoes generally run a full size larger than most other retailers, and these a good fit: as with many pointed toe styles, they feel just a little bit snug to begin with, but as I said, the leather is so soft it molds nicely to the foot, and after walking around the house in them for a few minutes, they felt perfect.

How to save these shoes? 

My update to the Shoe Challenge rules this year means new shoes are exempt for the challenge, so I’m under no pressure to wear these by September 1st. Despite this, I’ve been doing my best to wear any new pairs I acquire anyway: one of the aims of the challenge is to help participants think more carefully about new shoe purchases, and make sure they’ll be able to actually wear them before spending money on them, so, in the spirit of the challenge, I thought I’d try styling these up as if I WAS attempting to “save” them in the challenge:

green tulle skirt and Dune Alvino gold stilettos

Shoes  and clutch: Dune | Skirt: eBay | top and belt: ancient, no idea

As I said above, I definitely wouldn’t have any trouble “saving” these if they were part of the Shoe Challenge. Gold goes with almost everything in my wardrobe, and I love using gold shoes to dress up casual outfits just as much I like wearing them with dressier pieces. As it’s December, however, I chose to style them here with a party-appropriate outfit; I’m not sure if I’ll get the chance to wear the outfit for real this party season, but I don’t think it’ll be too long before I’m wearing the shoes!

pewter platform shoes

Dorothy Perkins t-bars, £31.50

It may only be December 2nd, but I’m already feeling a little bit “glittered out”, thanks to all of the sparkly shoes I’ve been looking at over the next few weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I do love them, but by the time January rolls around, I always feel like I need something of a glitter detox!

Even so, I found myself really drawn to these pewter t-bars, which are currently on sale at Dorothy Perkins. I’ve spoken a lot this year about how my taste has shifted away from platforms, but actually, as the weather gets cold enough to require tights most of the time, I’ve found myself wearing them more often. I tend to wear a lot of midi-length skirts and dresses, and I feel the combination of long hem and thick tights can look a little bit frumpy, and a very high shoe is an easy way to avoid that: even easier if the shoe in question has a bit of shimmer to it!

These shoes are a really nice shape: if I AM wearing a platform, I much prefer it to have a pointed toe, like this one, which stops it looking too clumpy. The pewter upper, meanwhile, is dressy, but fairly subtle, and I think it would work well with black tights: it’s not often you hear me say THAT!

How to save these shoes?

Although the glittery finish marks these out as evening shoes, my temptation would be to make them work for daytime. I’ve added the aforementioned black tights (I always go for the highest denier possible) to create an office-friendly (depending on the office, obviously!) look, with a festive feel courtesy of the shoes:

what to wear with pewter shoes

What to wear with pewter platforms:

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green suede knee high boots

♥ DUO ‘Farrah’ green knee high boots, £220

A few weeks ago I showed you DUO’s green suede ‘Bach’ boots, saying I loved everything about them… except the large platform, which gave them a bit too much of a 1970s feel for my taste. Well, the boot-Gods (Yes, they exist…) must have been listening to me, because today I took a look at the DUO website, and ta da! It’s the same green, knee-high suede, but with a slimmer heel and an almost non-existent platform. Perfect!

Well.. not quite. These boots have a mid-height heel, and, because I am me, I’d always prefer a high one. I don’t dislike these heels, though, and I actually think they work pretty well with this particular boot: with brightly coloured knee boots, the colour is a statement in itself, so you don’t really want to be adding too many extras, or it can all just be too much. This heel tones the effect down slightly, and will also make them easier to walk in: always a good thing when it comes to footwear that’s destined to be worn in very cold, potentially slippery, weather conditions.

How to save green suede boots?

I should probably have phrased that question as “How ON EARTH to save green suede boots”. To be completely honest, although I love the look and the IDEA of these boots, styling them could be a little bit daunting: it’s a lot of colour to add to the legs, and as the colour in question is green, it’s always possible you could end up looking a bit like Robin Hood… If you’re a fan of coloured tights, you’ll probably find styling these much easier than those of us who prefer to play it safe in our trusty black opaques will, because you’re already used to building outfits around brightly coloured pins. If you’re NOT used to this kind of styling, however, my advice is to keep it simple, let the boots be the focal point of the outfit, and don’t add too many competing accessories.

what to wear with green knee boots

What to wear with green suede boots

navy and tan

This week I continued working my way through my boot collection, saving two more pairs of of over-the-knee boots in the process. I think I have just one pair of knee-highs left to go before all of the tall boots will be safe: that’s not bad going considering it’s not technically winter yet (Sure feels like it, though!), but, of course, then I have to move on to the ankle boots! A Shoeperhero’s work is never done, apparently. A large part of my boot collection IS done (for this challenge, at least!), though, so here are the two pairs I wore this week:

green dress

Shoe Save 38/108: Sam Edelman OTK boots
Worn on: Saturday, November 23rd
With: Zara dress, Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag, Pieces scarf

I got these boots a couple of years ago, using Shopbop giftcards I’d saved up, and I wear them almost constantly in the winter, because they go with absolutely everything: I definitely wasn’t worried about whether these would make it through the challenge!

zara-boots

Shoe Save 39/108: Zara tan over-the-knee boots
Worn on: Monday, November 25th
With: Dorothy Perkins skirt and top, The Limited anchor necklace

I realise I’m taking my matchy-matchy tendencies to new heights here by matching my boots to my hair, but it’s (mostly) just the effect of the flash, I promise – definitely not intentional! Anyway, these are another pair of old faithful’s: I had to have the heels repaired last winter after they got damaged on Edinburgh’s cobbled streets, and they don’t look perfect up-close, but until I can find some replacements, I’ll no doubt keep on wearing them.

On to our roundup of this week’s shoe saves…

Roundup Rules:

1. The linkup is for shoes worn THIS WEEK only. If you’re doing single roundup posts, I don’t mind you including a few older saves, but if you’re posting each save individually, please only link to this week’s saves: thanks!

2. Your post/picture must include a linkback to ShoeperWoman.com to be included. As the image links on this post link prominently back to your blog/page, I would really appreciate if you could not try to disguise or hide your link back to ShoeperWoman, so that it can be a two-way thing and we can both benefit from the roundup: thanks so much!

 

Christian Louboutin 'Just Soon' striped peep toes

Christian Louboutin 'Just Soon' stripe pumps

Christian Louboutin striped bow

Christian Louboutin Just Soon 85, $795

I thought last week’s Friday Louboutin Fix featured the best stripe shoes I’d see this year, but these? These are even better.

There are stripes – navy and white ones, too, for that perfect nautical effect. There’s a bow – an asymmetric one, which Louboutin does oh-so-well, and which I absolutely love. There’s a red tip to the toe, and a gold trim on the bow, meaning that all of my favourite summer shades are represented on this shoe, which also has a fabulous, peep toe shape, and a walkable 85mm heel.

In summary: these shoes are perfect. Total Kryptonite. And I kinda hope M. Louboutin doesn’t have any more stripey surprises up his sleeve (Figuratively, I mean. Although it would be a little bit awesome if he had shoes up his ACTUAL sleeves…), because I just don’t think my willpower is strong enough to stand up to this kind of temptation on a weekly basis!

Buy them here 

Alice + Olivia 'Stacey' face sandals

 

Alice + Olivia stiletto heel

Alcie + OLivia 'Stacey' face sandals

 

Alice + Olivia ‘Stacey’ sandals, £211

I wrote about Alice + Olivia’s ‘Stacey’ pumps back in March , but now this summery sandal version has been released, I feel compelled to re-visit them. In fact, I feel the need to make them the subject of a “Heroes or Villains” debate, because we haven’t had one of those for a while around here, and although I know what I think about these shoes, I’d like to know what YOU think about them too.

So, what do I think of them?

Well, I’ll start off by saying that I LOVE Alice + Olivia. In fact, it’s been one of my favourite brands this year: I have a couple of  items of clothing from the summer collection, and it would be fair to say that I’m a big fan. Of the clothes, I mean. As for the shoes – and these shoes in particular – I can only echo what I said when I wrote about the closed-toe version, which is that I don’t think I’ll ever really be down with the idea of shoes with faces. Not even when the faces in question are wearing fabulous, retro-tastic heart-shaped sunglasses.

The closed-toe version of ‘Stacey’ here was one thing, however, but this open-toed version is quite another. I can’t help but think the face will look even stranger with a set of toes poking out from under those sunglasses, and as the “lips” will be completely covered when these are being worn, that face/feet combination will be even more pronounced.

That’s just me, though. On the plus side, these are very creative, and I kinda like the bright colours they’ve used, even if I’m not so keen on the shoes themselves.

Now over to you: what do you think of these?

ShoeperHeroes or ShoeperVillains?

Kate Spade pink Krysta pumps

Kate Spade ‘Krysta’ bow pumps, $328

I somehow thought I’d already shown you these shoes, but apparently not: it must have been one of the OTHER pairs of Kate Spade shoes I’ve featured recently. Or one of the OTHER pairs of bow pumps. What can I say: I have  a certain style I like to stick to, and I make no apologies for that – especially when it means I get to admire beautiful shoes like these ones!

These shoes aren’t totally perfect for me. If I’d been the designer, I’d have given them a pointed to and a higher heel, but of course, I’m NOT a designer, and there’s a very good reason for that. The rounded toe and lower heel will be much more comfortable than my (totally imaginary) version of these shoes, but the pink glitter upper and adorable double-bow dresses them up nicely, and makes sure they look nothing like the kind of shoes I normally associate with the word “comfortable”!

How to save these shoes?

Although the colour of these is described by Kate Spade as “rose gold”, this is such a pale pink that it’ll work with just about any other colour, making these a super-easy shoe save. When you can wear a pair of shoes with more-or-less anything you like, you may as well have some fun with it, which is why, although the “fashion” thing to do would be to try to tone down the girlie pinkness of these shoes, I chose to do the “ShoeperWoman” thing instead, and amp it UP. I did try to resist the impulse to get all matchy-matchy with this one, but… I failed. And I’m not sorry.

pink shoes and floral skirt

What to wear with Kate Spade ‘Krysta’

 

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Christmas gifts for Shoe Lovers

Gifts for Shoe Lovers

When it comes to buying gifts for shoe lovers, the most obvious answer is, well, shoes. If you’re shoe-loving recipient is anything like me, however, that may not be the best idea: most shoe aficionados have pretty clear ideas about what they like and don’t like, so unless she’s dropped enough hints that you know EXACTLY which shoes to buy, it could be better to err on the side of caution and find a shoe-related gift instead.

That’s why only two of the items on my Gifts for Shoe Lovers list consist of actual shoes: the roll-up ballet flats (number 4), which are designed for shoe emergencies only, and the “design your own shoes” package (number 10), which allow your shoe lover to create the shoes of her dreams – albeit at a price.

The other items on this list range in price from the affordable to the extortionate, so you’ll find everything from shoe-related stocking fillers, to the most shoeper of gift packages (Seriously, £175 for a Jimmy Choo keyring?). If all else fails, and you’re totally out of ideas, I’m a big fan of the “gift card for her favourite shoe store” option. It may be unimaginative, and I know some people frown upon the giving of money/gift card, but ultimately you’re giving the gift of shoe shopping, and what could be better than that?

Here are some gifts for shoe lovers…

1. Christian Louboutin book, $150

2. Kate Spade shoe stud earrings, $30

3. Stiletto keychain, £12

4. Rollasole roll-up ballet flats, £11.95

5. Shoe fund money bank, 19.99 EUR

6. Shoe charm bracelet, £79

7. Jimmy Choo ‘Anouk’ keychain, £175

8. Shoe clips, £16.95

9. Shoe-print socks gift set, £22

10. Design your own shoes gift package, £500

 

Zara ballet flats

Zara ballet flats, £19.99

Another Zara pick for this week! Every time there’s an update to the brand’s website, there seems to be a similar update to my shoeper wish list, which is why ShoeperMan keeps threatening to block my access to the Zara site.

(I’m kidding. My shoeper powers are far too powerful to allow anything like that…)

These little red and navy ballet flats may not look like much, but while there are always tons of pairs of flats around, I seem to struggle to find ones in the perfect, simple shape. These look like exactly that: they have a low-cut vamp (essential on a flat, I think: too high a vamp can look very frumpy on this style of shoe), a shiny patent upper (in two of my favourite shoe colours, too!) and an affordable price tag, too: these are just £19.99, which means the red version might just sneak their way into my basket the next time I’m ordering something from Zara.

How to save these ballet flats?

I’m pretty sure no one actually needs my advice on how to save ballet flats: they’re one of the simplest styles out there, and they’re REALLY easy to wear, so they’re the kind of shoes that are practically guaranteed to make it safely through any Shoe Challenges you might be taking part in.  Having said that, despite all of the many, many options that exist for styling red flats, I can almost always be relied upon to wear them exactly the same way:

what to wear with red ballet flats

What to wear with red ballet flats

 

Other than the shoes themselves, this is almost exactly what I’m wearing right this very second. The only reason I’m not wearing the shoes (other than that I’m at home, obviously) is because I’ve somehow managed to find myself without any pairs of red flats in my collection. I have no idea how this happened, but I DO know I need to rectify the situation ASAP. Those shoes are DEFINITELY going onto my wish list…

Gianvito Rossi | Embellished satin and PVC slingbacks

Gianvito Rossi embellished satin and PVC slingbacks, £1,035

If you’d told me a year or two ago that PVC would come to be one of my most-loved features on shoes, I’d probably just have laughed – and privately thought you were a little bit crazy. With so many of the major designers making clear PVC sections a major feature of their evening shoes, however, it’s come to seem perfectly normal – and very, very covetable. In fact, some of the most beautiful (not to mention the most expensive: so much for PVC being “cheap”!) shoes around right now use clear plastic somewhere on the upper, and one of those styles is Gianvito Rossi’s satin slingbacks, which are new in at Net-a-Porter this week.

These shoes require little in the way of explanation from me. The transparent section is used to create that “barely there” effect, with the super low-cut vamp revealing the maximum amount of toe-cleavage, too. They’re the type of fancy footwear that are just begging to be worn somewhere glamorous, so if you want to “save” these, you better hope you can live up to their expectations!

How to save Gianvito Rossi’s satin/PVC sandals?

“Barely-there” shoes aren’t at all difficult to style: the whole point of them is that they’re designed to work with absolutely everything, so the question is more WHERE to wear them, rather than HOW to wear them. I can’t, unfortunately, help you with that one, but I can most definitely help you find a dress special enough to do these shoes justice, and here it is:

what to wear with Gianvito rossi gold sandals

What to wear with Gianvito Rossi satin/PVC sandals

 

It’s by Oscar de la Renta, and it’s actually sold out, although I have a feeling that small fact is probably more or less irrelevant to most of, due to the astronomical price. Oh well: we can still dream, right?

Charlotte Olympia Christmas shoes

gold bows on shoes Charlotte Olympia surprise sandals

gold sandals with bows on shoes

No one does a theme quite like Charlotte Olympia.

Whether it’s pumpkins at Halloween or reindeer in December, this is one brand you can always count on to deliver whimsical, and sometimes totally nonsensical (depending on who you’re speaking to) footwear creations to fit right in with the season.

These two pairs of shoes may not be the best example of that thematic design, but they ARE a lot more subtle than some styles I could mention, which is why I’m showing you them today. I know many of my readers dislike the “novelty” shoes, as I call them, but while these pairs have a definite dash of Christmas spirit about them, there isn’t a snowman or Santa Claus in sight, and I’m sure we’re all very grateful for that. By going for a gift-wrap theme with these styles, the designer has allowed herself to go all-out with the gold leather and shiny bows, but given that those are elements we’re pretty used to seeing on shoes by now, they actually blend in pretty well with many of the other party shoes we’ve been seeing in stores – just with a little extra twist.

I think the gold strappy sandals (They’re called ‘Surprise’, just in case you’re wondering) are a particularly lovely take on the Christmas party shoe – with the emphasis on the word “Christmas”, thanks to that cute little bow, which looks exactly like the kind of thing you’d put on top of a gift. (Is anyone else thinking it would be super-easy to create a DIY version of these, by simply sticking one of those gift bows onto your existing shoes? No?)

The second pair, meanwhile, use an equally festive black and gold colourway, with a wide, flat-fronted bow to create that gift-wrap effect. And just in case you’re thinking Charlotte Olympia has slipped up somehow in failing to make maximum use of the “Christmas” theme, there’s also these:

Charlotte Olympia Jingle Bell Dolly

They’re the ‘Jingle Bell’ version of the famous ‘Dolly’ platforms, and yes, you WILL sound like

Zara two-tone court shoes two-tome court shoes

Zara two-tone black and white court shoes, £49.99

I’ve been getting a lot of use out of my Zara tan/black two-tone pumps this autumn, and they’ve proven so versatile in the couple of years I’ve owned them that my interest has naturally been piqued by this black and white version, which are just £50.

These shoes have a slimmer heel than my version (So that’s one more reason for me to want them: a different colour AND a different heel makes a totally different shoe, after all!) and the contrasting black and white creates a very smart, classic look, which never goes out of style.  Many of Zara’s lower-priced shoes have man-made uppers, but these are real leather, which makes the price-tag even more attractive, especially considering that this is a style you could conceivably have in your closet for a few years at least.

At just a touch over 4″, this heel is a good height for walking in, and the pointed toe is also very on-trend if that’s something that matters to you.

How to save two-toned courts?

With toecap shoes, I always tend to lean towards very sharp, tailored looks, which are a little different from my usual skirts and dresses. I think these would look good with crisp, menswear-inspired pieces, but I’ve kept this particular look current with a shot of hot pink, in the form of one of the pink coats that oh-so-fashionable this season. I don’t normally follow trends, but I have to admit, I love some of those coats!

what to wear with black and white shoes

What to wear with two-tone shoes: