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Why you should buy your shoes on Amazon

So, you’ve all used Amazon before, right? You’ve bought DVDs on there. You might have bought a camera. You’ve definitely bought books (hey, maybe you bought MY book on Amazon). But had you thought about buying your shoes there too? No? Thought not. I was recently asked by Amazon to pick my favourite 8 flat shoes currently available on their website, and it turns out there are TONNES on offer. I figured I should probably share this information with you lovely lot, so here are my top reasons why you should try Amazon next time you’re thinking of buying a pair of shoes.

1. There are some great trainers brands available. Some of my favourites! You’ll find classic Mexico ’66 trainers from Onitsuka Tiger, everyday sneakers from Superga and Converse, and fashion slip-ons from Vans.

Onitsuka Tiger

2. The prices are great. As with everything on Amazon, you’re likely to find what you’re looking for at a fraction of the price you might find it elsewhere. A pair of Havaiana flip-flops could set you back as little as 99p!

3. It’s particularly well stocked with sandals at the moment. As well as Havaianas, they’ve got Birkenstocks, Fit Flops and this season’s hot brand, Teva.

4. You’ll find a good selection of fashion shoes, from fisherman’s sandals by Hudson to the Isabel Marant-style pool slides that were so popular by Dune last summer.

Hudson

5. It’s super convenient. As someone who has used Amazon a lot to buy all the other stuff for my life, I know I can rely on it to deliver really quickly, when it says it will. I recently ordered some trainers from another online retailer and they were left out in the open on my doorstep (even though they said they’d been left somewhere secure) so I’m keen on using people I trust from now on!

For my top picks of what’s available on Amazon right now, click here.

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I’ve seen Clarks’ next season shoes…and they’re LOVELY

One of my perks being fashion features editor at InStyle, is that I get to see next season’s shoes so far in advance. And the most recent collection I’ve been swooning over is from Clarks. I know lots of you are big Clarks fans anyway, but I’m happy to report that the design has come on even more for the new season, and I literally don’t know where to start in terms of telling you about it. I am the bearer of bad news as well though – sadly next season will be the last collaboration with Orla Kiely (boo!) but I’ve been assured that we can look forward to an equally exciting collaboration for summer 2016. Anyway, down to business – let’s take a look at those shoes!

Clarks womenswear mainline

I have to say, I was a little disappointed with this summer’s collection, but winter has gone up a gear again and there are some REALLY cool shoes to choose from here. I much prefer the Anniston loafer to the Busby Folly loafer, for example, and there are some really interesting colour combinations and textures. A few favourites are Anniston Fudge and Empress Moon (white ankle boots are BIG news for AW2015).

Anniston Fudge Cognac Interest Leather
Anniston Fudge
Empress Moon
Empress Moon
Anniston Vale
Anniston Vale
Hotel Secret
Hotel Secret
Busby Fayre
Busby Fayre

Clarks pre-fall

“What on earth is pre-fall?” I hear you cry? Well, it’s just a collection that designers bring out between their summer and winter collections to keep the customers interested, and this season, Clarks is doing it too. These shoes should hit stores in May, and I love their sporty designs.

Glove Candy
Glove Candy
Glick Avalee Black Interest Leather
Glick Avalee
Junelle Polly
Junelle Polly

Clarks England

This new range is, as the name suggests, made in England, which I think is great as so many of us are now interested in the provinance of our clothes. The prices will be quite a lot higher than you’re used to from Clarks – over £200 – but the quality is excellent.

Isabella Carla
Isabella Carla
Isabella Carla
Isabella Carla
Isabella Daisy
Isabella Daisy

Clarks x Orla Kiely

I am SO sad that this is the last season that Orla Kiely is collaborating with Clarks, but we’ve had a good run! You won’t be disappointed with next season’s prints; I think my favourites are the floral print ponyskin ankle boots.

Orla Alice
Orla Alice
Orla Andie
Orla Andie
Orla Alice Black Mock Croc Leather
Orla Alice
Orla Angelina-Clarks_Orla_Gold Sparkle
Orla Angelina

Clarks Originals

Originals are my favourite section in Clarks. I’m glad to see that there are plenty of Wallabees and desert boots (WITHOUT wedges) on offer, but I think I am most taken with the Trigenic shoes. They’re a sort of moccasin-trainer hybrid, and the pair shown here are unisex. I’m glad Clarks realise that women don’t always want a feminised version – we just want the men’s shoes in our sizes!

Trigenic
Trigenic
Priddy Desert
Priddy Desert
Phenia Point
Phenia Point
Wallamoc Trek
Wallamoc Trek

I’d love to know what you think – leave comments below!

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a totally new shoe brand you are going to LOVE

There seems to be a bit of a trend emerging in flat shoe design: there are loads of new brands that are headed up by women. This is BRILLIANT news (obvs) and a brand I’ve had my eye on for a good few months now is Rogues, whose website launches today.

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Tutti Frutti, £150, roguesshoes.com (BUY ME HERE!)

The lady behind Rogues is Katie Harland, and I really like what she’s doing. She decided to start Rogues when she struggled to find comfortable shoes that were also professional looking. Trainers were too casual, and traditional brogues often tricky to wear, so she decided to make shoes that were a hybrid of the two. The result is the Rogue lace-up; a simple, flattering shoe with the formal feeling of a traditional shoe as well as the fun (and comfort) of a trainer. I think they look a bit like a desert boot, too (thumbs up!), plus you all know I’m a big fan of a bouncy, white rubber sole.

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Taffy, £150, roguesshoes.com (BUY ME HERE!)
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Bubblegum, £150, roguesshoes.com (BUY ME HERE!)

All the shoes are lovingly made in Portugal (Portugal makes great shoes, so the quality will be good) and they are all priced at £150. You can also buy a pack of laces for £5 so you can get different looks (and give other shoes in your collection a new lease of life, too!). In fact, the only problem I can foresee with this brand is that I love ALL of them – I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite! I’d love to know what you think too – leave comments below!

nougat 1
Nougat, £150, roguesshoes.com (BUY ME HERE!)
Rogues white
Marhsmallow, £150, roguesshoes.com (BUY ME HERE!)
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Northern Cobbler’s brand new trainers

Northern Cobbler is one of my favourite shoe brands, not least because they have a great sense of humour and name all of their shoes styles after types of fish. They also stock my book! You can buy it here.

Anyway, Northern Cobbler believe in making really beautiful, comfortable, quality shoes and their new trainers are just that. With styles for both men and women, my favourites (and new addition to my wardrobe) are called Stonefish. They’re made of leather and have the cool, simple design of a classic tennis shoe. I also love that slightly off-white rubber sole. I really can’t see a time in my life when I won’t want to put these on my feet.

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Stonefish pile
Stonefish in white, £145, northerncobbler.com (BUY ME HERE!)

The other trainer style for women is called Threadfin, and is leather and suede with a cool square design on the side. And Stonefish is also available for men in grey or tan woven leather as well as white, so if you are a size 7 or bigger, you have that option too!

Threadfish
Threadfin, £145, northerncobbler.com (BUY ME HERE!)
Stonefish grey
Stonefish in grey, £140, northerncobbler.com (BUY ME HERE!)
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beautiful (and VERY comfortable) French shoes from Anne Thomas

I love finding brands that don’t really sell in the UK, but do ship to the UK, because it means that you can get hold of shoes that you are very unlikely to ever see anyone else wearing. I like that kind of exclusivity! Which I certainly didn’t get when my friend Gav and I both took our Adidas Superstars (same colour and everything!) to Bruges…Anyway, I came across Anne Thomas last season (actually, to be totally honest, they found me!) and I have been really impressed with the boots I got from the winter collection. They are incredibly comfortable, and I often get complimented on them because they’re quite unusual. So I was very excited that my shoes from the new season collection arrived this week.

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me in my Anne Thomas shoes

The style I am wearing here is called Kingston. I am very fond of an ankle strap (I think they are very flattering) and these are a very elegant shape with the almond-shaped toe. They also have a lovely white sole which gives them a modern edge (and is also why they are so comfortable).

Anne Thomas my shoes
Kingston shoes, €215, by Anne Thomas (BUY ME HERE!)

Maybe it’s because the sun’s been out this week, but I’m really into white shoes at the moment, and you’ll find plenty more of them at Anne Thomas including these lovely fisherman shoes (below). There are also some iridescent styles, which are good fun, and all that sparkle might stem from the fact that Anne is also a jewellery designer. Plus those denim sandals are a timeless classic. This is such a lovely band, and comes highly recommended from me!

Portobello sandals, €220, by Anne Thomas (BUY ME HERE!)
Portobello sandals, €220, by Anne Thomas (BUY ME HERE!)
Kyoto sandals, €185, by Anne Thomas (BY ME HERE!)
Kyoto sandals, €185, by Anne Thomas (BY ME HERE!)
Pigalle shoes, €225, by Anne Thomas (BUY ME HERE!)
Pigalle shoes, €225, by Anne Thomas (BUY ME HERE!)
Meatpacking sandals, €180, by Anne Thomas (BUY ME HERE!)
Meatpacking sandals, €180, by Anne Thomas (BUY ME HERE!)
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En Brogue In Bruges

I’ve just got back from a weekend break in Bruges and it was lovely. I highly recommend going if you like a) beer b) tiles and c) constantly making the joke about wearing brogues in Bruges. I also recommend staying in a B&B that has thoughtfully matched its decor to your entire wardrobe (see below).

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Anyway, I am pleased to report that my travelling companions were also clever enough to bring plenty of pairs of brogues with them as well. So here is a little round-up of shoefies that I took while we were there. Enjoy!

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me in Barbour (bottom left); Michelle in Dr Martens
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me in Russell & Bromley
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me in Grenson ‘Peggy’ saddle shoes, £225, grenson.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)
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me in adidas Superstars
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clockwise from top left – Mr Brogue in Grenson; Daisy in Grenson; me in Grenson. Oh, a Grenson holiday!
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me in adidas Superstars
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You’re going to LOVE the new Salt-Water sandals

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Meet Shark. Shark is a brand new sandal style from Salt-Water sandals and I LOVE it! If you’re not familiar with Salt-Water, I’ll get you up to speed. Founded by Walter Hoy in St Louis, U.S.A during the leather shortage after World War II, Salt-Water originally used scraps of leather that were left over from making military boots to make its sandals. They are also completely waterproof, as the leather is coated in a sealant and the buckles are rust-proof. So they’re brilliant if, like me, you spend a lot of your summer swimming in the British sea (not exactly white sandy beaches) or fishing for mackerel from a small boat (I admit, I have only done this twice, but I plan to do it again and I will be wearing Salt-Water sandals when I do it).

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Shark Original in white, £60, salt-watersandals.com (BUY ME HERE!)

Anyway, the Shark is a style that has been discovered in the archives and is new for this summer. It’s a more traditional fisherman-style of sandal (the enclosed toe is what makes it a fisherman sandal) and that makes it more versatile than the more traditional sandals style that you might be used to from Salt-Water.

Sharl silver
Shark Original in silver, £60, salt-watersandals.com (BUY ME HERE!)

(hardcore Salt-Water fans shouldn’t panic – there are still LOADS of colours on offer in the original style!)

They’re available in four colours – black, navy, silver and white – and I’ve already ordered mine in navy. I’ll be wearing them with turned up jeans and Breton stripes (OBVS!) but what I love about them is that they’ll also look great with socks. With tights, even – if they’re of the thick, ribbed variety. Oh, and you can wear them swimming/in the rain/to a festival and they’ll still look good as new. What’s not to love?

Sharl navy
Shark Original in navy, £60, salt-watersandals.com (BUY ME HERE!)
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WIN this gorgeous pair of La Paire sandals

It’s competition time! To celebrate Easter, En Brogue has teamed up with sandal specialist La Paire to give you the chance to win this lovely pair of ‘Josephine’ sandals in leopard print. And you know how I feel about leopard shoes – you can never have enough pairs and they go with EVERYTHING (particularly a nice Breton stripe and jeans). La Paire makes lovely sandals – very comfortable, with a squishy insole, and in eye-catching designs. I have a yellow pair that always generate compliments from strangers.

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Anyway, the competition is really easy. To enter, simply post the illustration above onto Instagram with the hashtag #EnBroguelovesLaPaire before the end of Easter Monday (that’s April 6th) tagging @EnBrogue. I’ve popped it on my own Instagram feed too to make it easy for you. One winner will be picked at random (we’re old fashioned here at En Brogue Towers – I’ll write out all the names on pieces of paper and Mr Brogue will literally pick one out of a hat!) and I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday April 7th.

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If you’re not lucky enough to win, do check out the full range over at La Paire’s website here. Good luck!

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monochrome dreams…

Not all fashion inspiration comes from the catwalk. After I stumbled across this wonderful picture of Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth, I was admiring both pairs of shoes, and it got me thinking about just how great two-tone monochrome shoes are. I have a couple of pairs myself, and there are so many great things about them. They go with everything. They’re eternally chic. They never go out of style. And they might make you want to break out into a tap dance.

fred-astaire-brogues

So…here are a few of my favourite monochrome shoes available right now. I’ve included loads of different styles – from sandals to winkle pickers – but they all tick that black and white box. Happy shopping!

Zara
patent toe bluchers, £39.99, zara.com (BUY ME HERE!)
Stories
slingbacks, £65, stories.com (BUY ME HERE!)
Finery
Amersham leather slides, £45, finerylondon.com (BUY ME HERE!)
Clarks
Taylor Palm T-bars, £45, clarks.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)
YMC
Solovair tassel loafers, £225, youmustcreate.com (BUY ME HERE!)
Swear
Olly 18 sneakers, £135, swear-london.com (BUY ME HERE!)
Senso
Isa slider, £130 by Senso at danielfootwear.com (BUY ME HERE!)
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Ronnie Northampton: beautiful boyish shoes for girls, handmade to order

You might remember back in November I told you about Ronnie Northampton, a fledgling shoe company that was using Kickstarter to raise enough funds to launch its brand. And I’m happy to tell you that yesterday, the website went live for the first time. Congratulations to the brand’s brainchild, Kirsty Ronnie, whose passion for hand making beautiful shoes in the UK has won out. Yay!

Joycee2
Joycee double strap monk, £349, ronnie-northampton.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

What I love about Ronnie Northampton, other than those AMAZING designs, is that Kirsty is using the same thinking that a lot of us apply to food these days: keep it local. By sourcing materials locally and making her shoes in Northampton, she’s playing her part in preserving skills and traditions that this country is so good at. So while I’m eating my freshly caught mackerel and tucking into some beautiful Isle of Wight cherry tomatoes, I can be confident that the shoes on my feet weren’t mass produced in a factory on the other side of the world either. Rather, they were hand-made to order by a skilled crafts person in the shoe making capital of Britain.

Miriam15
Miriam tassel loafer, £349, ronnie-northampton.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

Anyway, on to those shoes. They’re all based on traditional masculine styles but have a quirky feminine twist. Take the Miriam for example; on the face of it, a smart black loafer, but look closer and you’ll notice that it has FOUR tassels, rather than the usual two. Or the Minnie, a Derby with a contrasting silver T-bar inlaid into the toe cap. These are shoes that will get you noticed and get people talking, and anyone who knows anything about shoes will want to know where you got them!

Nelly9
Nelly Oxford, £349, ronnie-northampton.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

To see the full range, head to the Ronnie Northampton website.