The Only Boots You Need to be On Trend This Winter

Miranda Kerr in over the knee boots

The winter season does not pass without me purchasing at least one new coat and a new pair of boots. If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely to be the same. How could one possibly miss out on the opportunity to add to our wardrobes items almost as powerful as the handbag, but so much more protective? We don’t!  Today, I want to talk specifically about boots.

I love boots. I am guessing I own around twenty pairs. Most are black, a few tan and brown, some wedged, Chelsea, studded and over the knee. Ankle boots and booties, knee high riding boots or edgy biker chic -you get the picture. Nonetheless, regardless of how many boots I might own and how many varieties I might boast I have the option of choosing from, it recently became very apparent that the majority of the boots in my collection lack the true fashion clout one needs to demonstrate the attitude of the boot this particular winter season.

I realised last Sunday whilst preparing my ensemble for a Monday in the office. I was keeping it pretty simple in a jeans and shirt ensemble – as you do on a Sunday, but was desperate for a pair of boots to ramp up the edge, bring the fashion know how and the bang on trend-ness to what I was wearing. So, I began slipping my feet into the boots all  lined up in my dressing room slash walk in wardrobe (yes, in my new home I have one of these now!) and I realised, I need to step up my boot game at least five fold!

I have every boot you could ever need for whatever the occasion, smart, running around, evening drinks, dressed up drinks, boots to go food shopping in and boots for clothes shopping. Boots that can’t be worn in the rain and  boots to keep you warm. Every single boot, apart from the boots I have decided I need the most, the boot for complete and utter frivolity. 

This winter, boots are on trend in a big way. The same fashion kudos we once got from wearing black stack heeled, round toed ankle boots with a pair of black jeans no longer applies. The shape, the heel, the height, the length, the colour and the entire attitude of the boot has changed. This winter, the approach to wearing boots is to build your ensemble from the feet up, making your boots the major player. And if the boot is the star of this show, then they need to be perfectly on point!  Here’s the boots on my radar for winter 2014-15…

The Over the Knee Flat Boot

Olivia Palermo flat over the knee boots

The over the knee boot literally defined my early twenties. I purchased a pair from Office in the winter of 2009  and wore them throughout the entire winter. Five years later and they are back again! If you want to change up the standard, go to ankle boots and jeans  ensemble, opt for the over the knee boot instead. I recently purchased a new pair of these boots and will only wear mine specifically with black jeans only, as my thighs aren’t exactly pin slim and the length of these boots naturally draws attention to this area of the leg. No need for me to tell you why I absolutely love black. Opt for your over the knee boots black leather as opposed to suede and not only do you get a cleaner and sleeker look, but you’ll love be able to wear these boots come rain or shine.

Black leather over the knee boot

The Heeled Thigh High Boot

Olivia palermo wearing thigh high boots and shorts

In 2010 the world was crazy about the ‘V’ boot. Also known as the Vagina boot – I too was crazy about this boot. They were long, tall and creeping way up our legs till their tops disappeared beneath the hem of your mid-thigh length skirt or worn with trousers, barely showed any of your thigh at all. They were slightly reminiscent of a dominatrix, powerful, commanding and overtly sexual – like many a shoes if this fashion era were. Fashion has refined itself significantly since and the thigh high boot isn’t so eager to make it’s way up to your nether region.

The key to wearing a heeled pair of thigh high boots is, make sure they fit close enough to the leg and ankles. The likelihood is that you’ll want to wear these boots with a midi skirt, another big trend of the season and in my humble opinion long clean lines beneath a midi skirt looks neater and is more slimming. Of course Alber Elbaz’s Fall 2014/15 Lanvin collection says differently. Opt for your heeled thigh high boots in suede to take the sexual edge off, which you are likely to get from a pair of long leather thigh highs and to add extra style kudos, why not avoid black completely and go for a soft grey? I am quite inclined to opt for these boots in berry red – once I find them! Wear these boots in the evening with a shift dress or a pair of high waisted leather shorts or wear with jeans during the day.

Miranda Kerr in thigh high boots

The Knee High Boot

Gucci knee high boots

Well, there’s not much to say on the knee high boot that Frida Giannini hasn’t already said on the Fall 2014/15 Gucci runway. This Gucci catwalk was almost a master class of every which way you should wear the the knee high boot this winter. First and foremost, the boot must sit directly beneath the knee, it just doesn’t work drifting between calf and knee, and  again, they must be slim and close to the leg to create those clean lines I just love Gucci for. Wear these swinging sixties, mod boots with an A-line skirt, a shift dress or a mini dress and select them in any colour, from powder blue or cream snake skin, berry red, nude or black with a barely there heel for the day and a thick high heel for the evening. Wear these boots instead of a loafer or brogue and wear just as Frida has demonstrated, with above the knee hemmed dresses and skirts. I just adore this entire collection.

 Jessica Alba in knee high boots

The Ankle Boot

Ankle boots street style fashion

Let’s face it, it’s not everyday that we’ll want our pins completely wrapped in leather, so the ankle boot still remains the quick go to boot. However, the shape of this fail safe boot has evolved somewhat. To be completely and utterly on the nose, the ankle boot is just a little longer, sitting slightly above the ankle as opposed to on the ankle. The toe of the boot is slightly more elongated and more pointed. The result is a much sharper, maybe even slightly rockier look, than that of the smart casual feel of the round toe Chelsea boot. The difference in the actual boot is only subtle, but what it will do for your jeans ensemble is massive. I can’t wait to get my hands on a pair of these!

Heeled ankle boot street style

The Cut Out Boot

Balenciaga cut out boot street style fashion

 I shunned these boots as the most ridiculous boots ever created! I could NOT get my head around why a shoe worn in the winter, to keep feet from the cold, rain and snow would have chunks cut out of it? Surely the holes defeated the entire purpose of wearing a boot in the first instance? I was perplexed as to why these boots were ever even created. At least, that was my thinking was till I tumbled upon endless pics of the Balenciaga cut out boot all over Tumblr and could not resist how edgy they looked and how much they did for the most basic ensemble. So, naturally I bought a pair. It’s pretty simple really, wear your cut out boots with any and everything. These boots are all about attitude, so wear them when you are prepared to add a little fashion and frivolousness to what would be a typically practical and functional boot. Be warned though, some people still don’t get it!

cut out boots street style fashion

The Cleated Sole Boot

 Cleated sole boot

This boot sits in the same family as the cut out boot. Like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. Right now, I would say I hate them. Of course, I have once said the same about Brikenstocks and the cut out boots and own a pair both. In all fairness, the truth is, I do like the cleated sole boot, I just hate them for me. At thirty years old, I think this is a trend I am going to have to let pass me by. Admittedly, I also said the same about the cut out boot as well. But if you like the idea of stomping around town in the comfort of a cleated sole – it does sound tempting – this boot is indeed for you. Slightly less elegant, more fashion student and Tumblr chic, these boots are perfect for the youthful street style maven.  And if you’ve donned the cut out boots with absolutely no qualms last year, then the cleated boot is a natural progression. I don’t think you’ll be seeing the likes of Olivia Palermo or Victoria Beckham street styling it up in these!

Stella McCartney Cleated Shoes

Which boots will you go for?

My aim is to have them all…because, let’s be honest, I am likely to fall for the cleated boot pretty soon too.

Be charmed, stay inspired! x 

9 Fashion Tips To Help Define Your Trans-seasonal Style

How to fashion yourself now…

Jenna Lyons

For most, September is the hardest month to dress oneself. Of course this makes sense – it’s the time of uncertainty for dandies and fashion concerned clothes wearers. We have been so busy honing and compiling our summer wardrobes, taking to Pinterest and Tumblr for street style inspiration and then shopping accordingly, that we haven’t even given much thought to the 2014-15 autumn/winter catwalk shows that we watched back in February.

I personally feel like, just as I truly got into the swing of my fashioned summer self – lots of shorts, printed trousers, Birkenstocks, camisole tops and a general laid back Celine inspired approach – were the shops displaying winter garb too warm to wear and the magazines discussing new coat trends far too early to invest in.

Yet, in London, August just gone, it was far too chilly to be sporting shorts and camisole tops, however, not quite the season for tights and boots. And, here we are in September, the appearance of the sun is slightly unreliable, but there is a much warmer temperature than the previous month. Indeed, we have reached the time in the year when our summer wardrobes need to be adapted slightly to contend with the colder mornings and evenings and days that may not be as bright as they were in the height of summer.

It is the transitional seasons that I find to be the most intriguing in terms of fashion, particularly the summer to autumn as opposed to winter to spring. The glossies are fatter and more overwhelming than ever. The spectrum of styles and trends worn by street style icons varies more vastly than ever and the commuters that I see every day in London are a mash up of ankle boots worn with dresses, cut off shorts with kimonos, to coats with sandals.

The transitional seasons can bring about uncertainty because the season hasn’t actually managed to synch itself with the edits in the fashion magazines – there is no definitive fashion rhetoric stating that this is what should be worn NOW. The silver lining of this very short lived moment in fashion is, it is our time to shine – to wear whatever we want, to interpret the trends that we loved of the summer just gone and piece them together with the purchases we have made for the coming winter season.

My approach to defining my look and streamlining my wardrobe for this ‘in-between’ time is almost like creating a capsule collection of garments that include pieces from my summer wardrobe, pieces from my winter wardrobe and a few pieces that I have purchased specifically to hack these trans-seasonal dilemmas. I think the challenge is to feel as though you are dressed appropriately as well as fashionably and so far, these nine tips have been my solution…

1.Wear your mum jeans till you can’t wear them any more…

street style fashion spring 15 shows

When in doubt, don’t we all just opt for jeans? I know it’s not very creative, but this is the perfect time to really value mum, boyfriend and tapered jeans. I only wear these more relaxed fit jeans at an ankle grazing length and with heeled sandals, stilettos and shoes that tend to expose the foot as opposed to cover it. The combination of the shoe and a bit ankle on display helps to keep these relaxed fit jeans a little more sexy. I generally don’t enjoy wearing jeans in the height of summer and feel that these particular cut jeans are far too casual for my winter wardrobe, so the transitional seasons are perfect for ankle grazing jeans with stilettos. So I am wearing these mothers as much as I can right now!

2. Wear ripped jeans till the winter fairytale calms the distress…

ripped jeans street style fashion

The distressed jean is back – a little more refined than it was in the early noughties and maybe not as long lasting as it was in its last fashion reign. The 2014/15 winter trends are dreamy, sleek and refined, think shift dresses and long boots at Gucci, cinched waists and pencil skirts at Balmain and the Sicilian fairy tale at Dolce and Gabanna. It seems pretty that ripped jeans won’t be cutting it for much longer.

3. Don’t Cover Up to Soon…Hold off wearing tights and boots 

Leather culottes

My mother once told me, “Stay away from tights till October and boots till November.” I don’t always take her fashion rules on board, but adopting my respect for fashion and dress from her, I do like to consider them. Ankle boots, of course I will wear with a skirt or a dress throughout summer and autumn months, but I will not wear them with jeans and most certainly won’t wear my boots with tights – that’s far too much protection and coverage too soon. If it’s raining so heavily that a court shoe or a sandal is out of the question, I opt for brogues, driving shoes or slip on sneakers and if I can’t get away with wearing a skirt or dress without tights, then I simply go for a smart trouser.  I think a  wardrobe should change and transform as the seasons do. If we  start wearing tights in September, the likelihood is we’ll be wearing them till March next year and where’s the fun in that? With the midi skirt back in fruition this winter, who needs tights anyway?

4. Throw some black trousers into the mix…

Black trousers street style

If you’re opting for a little more elegance than jeans can offer, but are also avoiding tights, like myself, how do you stay warm and tasteful? Tailored trousers! Like jeans, a pair of simple black trousers are trans-seasonal, but they have a slightly more mature edge on jeans. They look sexy and sleek paired with stilettos and smart and androgynous worn with loafers and brogues.

5. Smarten up your maxis….

olivia palermo stye

You can call them maxi skirts and dresses I suppose – but something about the word maxi reminds me of summer and floatiness. Full length skirts and dresses paired with a chambray or denim shirt or a simple round neck jumper lengthens the longevity of a garment mostly associated with the sun. Biker jackets naturally toughen up this typically feminine garment. Wear these full length skirts and dresses with heeled strappy sandals, peep toe heeled shoes and even boots – Olivia Palermo has nailed this look to a T!

6. Replace your camisole vests with tops that cover your decolletage…

Miroslava Duma

As versatile as those camisole tops were for the summer, it’s time to phase them out. You’ll find yourself needing a jacket or a cardigan to cover up wearing these thin and strappy tops – which can be unnecessary fuss, unless of course, your cover up is adding something aesthetically to the style of your ensemble. Never underestimate the good of a great t-shirt to tuck into jeans, culottes, midi skirts or a pair of tailored trousers. And if you’re looking for something a little more pulled together, opt for shell tops, sleeveless or short sleeved. These tops and tees won’t expose too much of your décolletage, therefore you can wear them without a jacket or scarf during the early months of autumn, but still have your arms on show whilst trying to hold on to summer.

7. Don’t be all buttoned up just yet – opt for a casual shirt…

Miranda Kerr in double denim

On the days when it is slightly cooler, maybe too cool for a short sleeve, I opt for a casual shirt. My first choice is denim, but chambray and oxford and even my fiance’s shirts will make the cut. I pair these shirts with skinny jeans and a strappy heeled sandal or stiletto. I know in the midst of the winter I will head to Zara and purchase myself a shed load of smart, sharp and will-dress-up-any-ensemble- Celine-esque shirts and blouses and I will wear them right through till March. However, in the warmer months I like to keep things a little more relaxed than my winter wardrobe.

8. Show off your waistcoats This is a waistcoat’s prime time…

Olivia Palermo Waistcoat

This is a waistcoat’s prime time! In the colder winter months I will wear a waistcoat over my shirt and beneath my coat, which is great for those that see me indoors and coat-less, but not so much when I am running about outside in the cold. If you want to give your waistcoat, which is a seriously cool garment, some serious airtime, now is the time to do it. For me, it is still too warm to wear a leather jacket and I feel too stuffy in a blazer. I am still flitting around London in short sleeve tops and tees without any outerwear at all. But if I want to add a little something to an ensemble, I pull out my waistcoat and throw it over over a shift dress or a shirt and jeans ensemble. Never have I worn it so much!

9. Say goodbye to flippy sandals…

birlenstocks

Stop wearing your strappy flat delicate sandals and opt for a heeled sandal, a heavier and chunkier sandal or Birkenstocks. Strappy sandals are just a little too easy breezy for this transitional autumn period and boots are too wintery, so now is the time for peep toe boots, ankle sandals and shoes in colours or material you fear to wear in the winter. I say wear your Birckemstocks now and keep wearing them till you go off them – if you haven’t already. I think I have already gone off mine!

 Be charmed, stay inspired!

An Ode to the Black Leather Skirt

An Ode to the Black Leather Skirt

All hail the black leather skirt…

black leather

Although this garment is hardly breaking new ground, it has found its second wind and seems to be the new go to  leather item after the much loved leather trousers we’ve all been rocking since last winter. It’s a fact, the black leather skirt will revolutionise our wardrobes this winter which is why I want to write an ode to it, so it might find itself beneath my tree this Christmas.

Although I own two pretty impressive leather skirts already, a wine red knee length skirt and a black leather tasselled shorter skirt, both from Zara, neither of these skirts quite have the ‘je ne sais quoi’ the black leather mini skirt has. You see the wine red skirt and the black leather tasselled skirts mentioned above are game changers, statement makers that need very little styling to look impressive.

Whereas the black leather skirt is impressive because of its massive impact albeit its simplicity. It has just as much versatility and wearability as the trusted black skirt, be it cotton or wool or even velvet, but with loads more style kudos and loads more edge. It’s what the leather trousers did for the black jeans last winter, you’d always just rather opt for the leather, wouldn’t you? At least I would.

The LBS  (leather black skirt) can translate from day to night and is an easy garment to opt for when jeans feel a little too predictable and familiar. Wear the LBS with a pair of tights and boots in the rain, a high platform shoe for a glamorous night on the town or a loafer or brogue to nod towards the youthful back to school trend. Pair it with a blouse or shirt of any colour or print, make it casual with a jumper or edgy with a t-shirt.  

You can’t go wrong with your simple black leather skirt in the winter. Not too dissimilar to your favourite pair of leather trousers, your favourite LBS will see you through your best and your worst days, through job interviews and first dates, meetings at work and dinner with friends – it will never let you down. And although you won’t be the trailblazer of a new fashion trend, if your LBS is conspicuous enough, it will never go out of fashion either.

Olivia Palermo black leather skirt white shirt black cardigan black tights black clutch bag

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

A Dandies Approach to Festival Fashion!

A Dandies Approach to Festival Fashion!

Getting festival ready…

Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles Leaving The Hotel Meurice (USA & OZ RIGHTS ONLY)
Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles Leaving The Hotel Meurice – looking pretty festival chic

We are now officially in the thick of the Festival Season! Oh the festival, the emblem of summer, synonymous with denim shorts, spent in vain without Hunter wellies and not a summer at all if you’re not attending at least one! Well, truth be told in my twenty nine years of living I must have lived only a handful of summers, because I am far from what the likes of Glastonbury and V-Fest goers would call a ‘Festival Goer’. In fact, I’m not. I just happen to wander along to the odd festival the occasional summer, and I am delighted to say that this is one of those summers. Indeed, on Friday I will be attending Wireless Festival at the Olympic Village park and as you would imagine, the ensemble preparation has begun.

My stylish thoughts have led me to the conclusion that festival fashion can be easily imitated; firstly it’s functional, so common sense and practicality, before aesthetic, dictates many of the garments Festival Goers select as a collective. Secondly, festival fashion is pretty much preordained; cut off denim shorts (Levis), sunglasses (Rayban), wellies (Hunters), parka (Babour) and an across the body bag (of your choosing) and of all the aforementioned designers for hardened fashionista festival attendees. These are  what I have called the non-variable garments of a festival ensemble –  although the designer can be varied in accordance to your bank balance, the actual items themselves can’t really be argued with. 

If like me the rock chic/boho/festival/fashion student/Topshop look (all styles make up festival chic) isn’t ‘honestly’ your style remit, then putting together a festival ensemble you feel comfortable and chic in poses a slight fashion challenge. Readers of Charms of a Dandizette will know that I love a fashion challenge –  such challenges allow you to dip into different styles and fashion sub-cultures outside of your comfort zone – giving  you a broader scope to draw upon when creating ensembles, which can only add to your styling capabilities.  

As tempting as it is to go against the grain, which is an approach I would usually take, for my festival ensemble I have looked at what has been working for the masses and imitated the essentials, the non – variables. As much as  what Solange wore to Coachella this year is closer to my own personal style than the likes of denim shorts and wellies, I am not confident enough in this realm to be able to break the rules just yet – so, you could say in this context I am playing it safe. Did I just say that? Admittedly, following the crowds isn’t an overly dandyish or dandizette like approach to dressing, but you see, the festival would not have been a dandies typical playing field anyhow – so I believe there’s no need to feel bad about not being overly creative at this point. Besides, this is just the beginning.

In line with this way of thinking, I was able to select the key garments in my festival ensemble quicker than you can say ‘denim shorts’ and indeed, those cut off denim shorts I have an on again off again relationship with are on again, not Levis but Topshop. My footwear, not Hunters, but black zip up stack heel ankle booties, also from Topshop and my across the body bag, the only one I own, from Marc Jacobs, have all been selected. The variables, on the other hand, the  sunglasses, jacket (or something to keep warm), jewellery and head wear – are the more fun and more expressive elements to the ensemble. These are the game changers and I am going to be using these items to be more expressive, more individual and more on trend – hopefully showing off some fashion savviness at the same time!

My Tom Ford sunglasses, my summer investment piece, will be replaced with a non-designer pair that are loud enough and conspicuous enough to earn their right in the sea of Raybans. And can do so without denting the bank, because let’s face it, although the opulent and frivolous sunglasses, think Dolce and Gabbana, are trending right now, we’re sure to hate this trend by next summer. I’m adopting this attitude for all the variables, replace my everyday cuffs and chunky Marc by Marc Jacobs turn lock bracelet for wrists embellished in a pile up of gold bracelets and plenty of  bangles. And, instead of opting for the conventional parka I’m opting for an elaborately printed  silk bomber jacket.

I am now in the midst of selecting the perfect top, but that’s nothing that a visit to Topshop won’t solve! I am feeling festival ready and pretty fashion confident! Should my ensemble be a success, there could be some personal photos to look out for!

Take a look at my inspirations…

Solange-Coachella
Solange Knowles at Coachella – not so practical, but loving the ensemble
2012 Rihanna
Rihanna rocking the crazy glasses – up the ante on those festival accessories
Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2010 - Day 1 Beyonce
Beyonce at Coachella 2010 – copy this entire outfit and you won’t go far wrong

Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles Leaving The Hotel Meurice (USA & OZ RIGHTS ONLY)

chanel iman-celebrities-present-at-coachella-2013
Chanel Iman at Coachella 1013
Coachella-2013-California_-21
Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio at Coachella 2013 – hat lovin’
Rihanna looking festival chic
Rihanna – if you can pull it off go for it!
Jay+Z+Beyonce+Knowles+Jay+Z+Performs+Coachella+9tJTBNUMyUax
Jay Z and Beyonce perform at Coachella
kate-moss-glastonbury-21
Kate Moss at Glastonbury – queen of festival fashion
Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio and Candace Swanepoel at Coachella
Miranda Kerr rocking out with her Victoria Secrets Angels Alessandra Ambrosio and Candace Swanepoel at Coachella
Miranda Kerr at Coachella
Miranda Kerr at Coachella
Rihanna Performs at the V Festival
Rihanna Performs at the V Festival

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

Miranda Kerr – How Pretty

Miranda Kerr…

Miranda Kerr

Miranda Kerr

Miranda Kerr

Miranda Kerr

miranda 6

miranda 7

miranda 8

miranda 5

 

Have a beautiful weekend Dandizettes,

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

Miranda Kerr Hangs Up her Wings

Miranda Takes Flight From the Runway…

Miranda Kerr

So, indeed, today is the day that Miranda Kerr announces her departure from luxury lingerie house Victoria’s Secrets. Although we have enjoyed admiring Miranda work the Victoria’s Secrets runway with her sweetly pretty face and her stunning body, wings and all, there need be no reason to be sad that the angel is leaving this runway behind. She’s about to take flight in another aspect of life, that celebrates being a woman just as much as an Angel does, she’s making this departure to prioritise her responsibilities as a mother to her two year old son Flynn. Kerr has been modelling since she was thirteen years old, now twenty nine and about to celebrate her 30th birthday on the 20th April, she felt it was the perfect time to hang up her wings.

Miranda is such a fashion icon, with a style that mixes Parisian chic with just enough glamour to be perfect in its effortlessness, that she has become a Pinterest Princess – an icon that the masses can and want to relate to even when her wings aren’t on show. Some of us may never have the body of an angel, but we frequently take inspiration from her style and most would certainly like to be fabulous mothers some day, so to Miranda’s departure from Victoria’s Secrets I say, congratulations!

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

My Thing About Stilettos…

 

If you’ve picked up a Vogue magazine, scoured the Street Style pins on Pinterest or admired the spring summer 2013 ad campaigns of the major fashion houses in the last six months you will know that the stiletto is back and with a vengeance. These days you rarely spot the likes of Olivia Palermo, Kim Kardashian and the the recent addition to my fashion radar, Miranda Kerr, out and about without donning these ever so simple, ever so classic, yet suddenly ever so chic shoes. In my fashion lifetime, which consists of twelve years, defined by the period of time in which I have been a contributor and a consumer of fashion goods afforded by my own pocket as opposed to my parents – this is not the first time the stiletto has been coined ‘chic’. When I say chic, I am not referring to the days when the stereotyped Essex girl claimed this pointed heeled shoe in white leather. No, the stiletto has reigned once before within my fashion life, with a lot more fashion kudos than the Essex girl was rewarded, and if my memory serves me correctly, this was circa 2001.

I remember it categorically. It was about the time when I was studying Performance Art Management at the Brits School and dating a French man 13 years my senior. The pointed stiletto I owned a plenty, mostly from Faith, a few pairs from Ravels and one pair from Karen Millen, complete with matching handbag. I wore them to feel grown up, elegant and worthy of dating an older man. I wore them in pink with a wooden heel,  black mesh with a leather toe cap, silver with a metallic heel, monochrome with a white toe and black heel (which would have been perfect for the trends of the coming spring) and my very special pair from Dune, in gingham check red and white.  On their debut, I wore these shoes with an asymmetric little black dress from Miss Sixty. It was Monday night and I was at Ten Rooms. Indeed, it was about the time when Ten Rooms was the hot London night club and the ultimate place to be Monday nights. That particular night, the night I wore my gingham check shoes to Ten Rooms, John Legend was just launching in the UK. So fresh out of water was he that he required an introduction from the master of ceremony for his performance, which won over the hearts of me and my friends . That was the era – my era, when stilettos were the only shoes you wore.

However, if you weren’t a fan of John Legend nor a fan of the live music scene in London night clubs in the early noughties, then a better reference point to draw upon for any fashionista will be Sex and the City. In 2001 Sex and the City was into its third year. Carrie Bradshaw, my ultimate icon, idol, maybe even professional guru at the time, was flitting all about the streets of Manhattan in these delicate stilettos. And, like I said, she was my life coach, therefore I flit about the streets of London in stilettos too! During this period I wouldn’t have been seen dead without my stilettos, but like all trends, the day came when the pointed shoe was ‘so last season!’ And after becoming very mindful of getting my heels stuck in drains and in between decking and mastering the art of walking on my tip toes when visiting homes that boasted parquet flooring, the stiletto disappeared. In fact, the stiletto didn’t just disappear or slowly fade out, they were thrown out, considered hideous, unfashionable – those items that you’d look back and think, ‘God, I can’t believe I ever wore those’, and very quickly the world became adverse to the pointed toe, pointed heel and all.

Nothing quite confirms you’ve got a few miles on the clock like witnessing a trend complete a full cycle, however the stiletto is back, and in its second term in my fashionable life.  Although the world hasn’t gone stiletto crazy just yet, by Spring 2013 it’s likely that fashionistas will be getting their heels stuck in drains, sunk into grass and ruining parquet floors left right and centre. But, the stiletto uptake has been slow. Stilettos were on the shelves of high street stores as far back as 2011. That may not sound particularly long ago in real life, but in fashion years, two years ago is a long time. I remember because I bought two pairs of stilettos that year, a pair from Zara inspired by the Christian Louboutin Helmut shoe and a pair from Office with gold spikes on the back of the shoe. But I found I never really wore them and by 2012 I had forgotten about them entirely.

You see, nobody was really wearing stilettos around the time I purchased mine and although I’d delight in spotting a snap of Victoria Beckham or the occasional fashionite in a Tommy Ton photograph wearing their thin heeled shoes, truth be told, the stiletto wasn’t really making much of a presence on the high street and therefore I wasn’t enjoying them as much as I would have if they were totally on trend and all the rage. I’m not a fashion victim, at least I don’t think so, but fashion is a two way street and no matter how proud one might be to be fashion forward or fashion savvy, part of the reason we all follow fashion is so we can be in it. If nobody else is really getting it and nobody else is wearing it – then the trend doesn’t really work. So I hung up my stilettos…. but only momentarily.

Now I am keen to add to my stiletto collection – a leopard print pair, a nude pair, a red pair and a designer pair. I am wearing the stilettos I already own as and when I can, but let’s be honest, with the violent cold we have been experiencing in England and the recent downfall of rain, sleet AND snow, wearing stilettos is a major commitment that I cannot make at the moment. This is my thing with stilettos, you see, as excited as I am that I grabbed hold of this trend and have been donning these shoes before they become populace, I am only able to wear them on very select occasions.  Reason being, I can’t flit around town Carrie Bradshaw style in stilettos the way I once did. I have become way to accustomed to the support and protection a platform or a chunky heel provides.  I am not used to the ball of my foot being so close to the ground, I am not used to being able to make out a pebble beneath the sole of my shoe and I am not used to relying on such a thin heel to hold the weight of my body. In my late twenties I have also realised, I am not comfortable having any of my skin exposed to the harsh outdoors of an English winter, apart from my face of course, and this includes my feet. I wear boots and brogues and that’s as far as it goes.

I recently went to dinner with a friend who wore a pair of red suede stilettos with a metal cigarette heel. When she arrived I was a little sad that I had opted for a pair of black suede wedged boots instead of my stilettos and admired her commitment. Let me tell you about my friend – she’s tiny, about five foot tall and she wears heels relentlessly. Even to walk around Portobello Market she’ll adorn her feet in the highest of heels. However, as we readied ourselves to head home, she slipped off her red stilettos and swapped them for a pair of Converse. I was flabbergasted, a little disappointed even – but I got it. Stilettos are not a commuters friend and they are no walk in the park. If you’re jumping in a cab, driving or doing something that involves very little walking, dancing or time on your feet in general, then by all means opt for your stilettos, but these shoes will not see you through hard times, in fact they might create them!

So, I wear my stilettos as and when I can. I wear them when I am going for mid-week drinks or dinner and am driving or jumping in a cab. I wear them to the cinema – as just like drinking and dining, you do this sitting down. I wear them on house visits and I recently wore them at a work conference, (not to, because I carried them in my bag) which also involved lots of sitting down. They look spectacular with a pair of leather trousers, and with skirts and dresses stilettos really elongate your legs and give your feet that perfect ballet dancers arch (think Victoria Beckham’s feet in a pair of court shoes). If I’m wearing my stilettos in the daytime I generally tend to pair these very elegant shoes, which can be looked upon as particularly sexual, with a more casual look. As someone who isn’t a particularly casual dresser, but has desperately been trying to pull off the casual sporty winter trends, namely the sweatshirt, the stiletto has been my game changer. Since committing to my stilettos I have bought four sweatshirts and am feeling very proud! These shoes will glam up any sweatshirt and skinny jeans ensemble instantly and appear almost effortless.I say ‘appear’, because only you will know the effort you are making to wear these shoes. Whether it’s  paying extortionate cab fares to and from a location, driving on a night out, therefore compromising on the merriment of alcohol consumption and knowing, if the night kicks off and the crowd gets dancing, you’ll be spending most of it dancing with your bottom on your chair. 

So, for those like me, not braving the cold in stilettos just yet, I say we enjoy the spring in our step for the rest of the winter, come Spring 2013, we might not be able to. 

Victoria Beckham in stilettos

 

 

Stilettos
Tom Ford Black Pumps with Gold Lock #heels #shoes

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

The Victoria’s Secret Angels…

Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012
Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012

For many a reason the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show is a very special and unique kind of fashion show. The typical runway show is ultimately all about showcasing the design and craftmanship and style of a new collection, admittedly designers might put on a show with an elaborate set, think Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel with his motif of icebergs and crystals mise en scene,  or use the garments to tell a particular story, think Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton autumn winter 2012 runway show inspired by the golden age of rail travel.

But let’s be brutally honest – the Victoria’s Secret show, although a beautiful show, is not about beautiful garments, imaginative sets or enthralling tales. The Victoria’s Secret Show is about the enjoyment of being a woman and feeling beautiful and who embodies this? Well, we all know that at the heart of a Victoria’s Secret show is an angel – the Angels, the celebrated Victoria’s Secret Angels –  and as one might expect, they are celestial.

Unlike the models we are accustomed to seeing on fashion houses runways, that are almost blank canvasses, ready to embody and showcase whatever garment or ensemble they are draped and fitted into – there’s nothing blank about the likes of Miranda Kerr, Chanel ImanAlessandra Ambrosio, Candace Swanepol and Lily Aldridge. Or even Brit’s very own Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevigne, who made their debut walking for the lingerie brand in this show. I watched the show absolutely captivated by these extraordinary looking women and their perfectly trim bodies, but what I loved most about the show was simple – it was watching these women delighting in their womanhood!

 So here’s to feeling beautiful!

Victoria's Secret Angels
Victoria’s Secret Angels
Miranda Kerr at Victoria's Secrets Fashion Show 2012
Miranda Kerr at Victoria’s Secrets Fashion Show 2012
Miranda Kerr
Miranda Kerr
Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012
Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012
Barbara Palvin at the Victoria Secret Fashion Show 2012
Barbara Palvin at the Victoria Secret Fashion Show 2012
Cara Delevingne at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012
Cara Delevingne at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012
Izabel Goulart at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
Izabel Goulart at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
Lily Aldridge at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012
Lily Aldridge at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012
Candace Swanepoel at Victoria's Secret Fashion show 2012
Candace Swanepoel at Victoria’s Secret Fashion show 2012

Be Charmed, Stay Inspired! x