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 

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