OK, I don’t usually do full look blog posts, mainly because I hate having my picture taken, but seeing as a) one of you lovely lot recently emailed me asking me to do a post with styling tips and b) I HAD to have my photo taken for my job at InStyle by a proper photographer, I thought it was OK just this once. So, here in all my full-length glory, are my London fashion week outfits (and why I wore them).
I’m well aware that this look is totally mental, but I LOVE it! There’s also no getting away from the fact that these trousers were designed for a tall person, but I decided to go with a late 1980s Madchester-inspired baggy look and I think I got away with it. Top tip: those trousers you think you need to wear a heel with? Opt for some Grensons with a stacked sole. They’ll stop the hem dragging along the floor and getting ruined.
Every year, my New Year’s resolution is to wear more hats. And every year I make it to about January 3rd before feeling too self-conscious to continue. But if there’s one time I can guarantee there will always be at least one person looking more flamboyant than me, it’s at fashion week. So I wore a hat. But what about the shoes? These amazing beauts aren’t available until November but they’re a collaboration between ASOS and Le Coq Sportif and they’re comfy as hell. I like how they give this sweater dress a sporty edge.
I might look like I am (to quote Tyra Banks) “smizing” here, but the fact is I was probably about to sneeze (note the lack of a day 3 outfit due to illness). Anyway, socks and trousers are tricky territory at the best of times, but add an elasticated cuff into the mix and it can all go horribly wrong. I think the trick – as with all trouser-sock combos – is to make sure you’re showing a tiny bit of leg. It only needs to be a centimetre, but it makes all the difference.
I’ve recently taken to breaking all my own rules (“an A-line skirt that hits just above the knee is best for me because I’m short” – pah!) but this below-knee hem is my newest go-to skirt length. I don’t know why or how the addition of socks works (and you might not think it does) but it’s my new favourite thing. If I’m going somewhere less flash than fashion week, I’ll switch these red socks for something a bit more subtle, like a black crochet sock.
You can see what the rest of the InStyle team wore here (there are more flats!).
I’ve just finished London fashion week (literally – I just pressed ‘send’ on my final show report for InStyle) and a curious catwalk trend has emerged for next summer. Maybe it’s because designers couldn’t ignore how much we’ve all loved the comfort of our Birkenstocks this summer. Or maybe my mum actually wrote to some of them in the hope that I would write the piece she’s been asking me to write since I started En Brogue: “when are you going to do a blog post on walking sandals?”
Well, mum, I thought this wouldn’t ever happen but it’s totally happening! And just proves what a fickle creature I am. Because when one of my favourite designers at LFW – Christopher Raeburn – teamed every look in his collection with a pair of sensible walking sandals, I had to sit up and take note. I mean, look how amazing they look with this shortie (that’s a bermuda shorts onesie, if you were wondering).
It turns out that you don’t need to wait until next season to get your hands on a pair of these catwalk sandals. You don’t even need to save up for them. Because the sandals in the show were from Gola, and they’re online now for twenty five quid. TWENTY FIVE POUNDS! The ones in the show were the grey/blue ones above, but I’ve just ordered myself some of these yellow ones below.
I realise I’m going to get some stick for this (my colleague was refused entry into a fashion party in New York last week wearing her Tevas, so it’s a bit of a Marmite trend) but at least my mum will be happy. And to be fair to me, I do do a LOT of walking, so it’s sensible to have a pair of walking sandals. Right? #fashionvictim
It wasn’t just Christopher Raeburn on a walking vibe either. Burberry got on board too, with brightly coloured double strap sandals that had a cork sole (so a bit of a Birk in there too). How ridiculously comfortable do they look? I’ve found a few more sandals in the same vibe. You might think I’m mad now, but come next summer I reckon we’ll all be wearing these! You heard it here first…
Last week was a BUSY week for me, what with my book being published on Thursday and London fashion week starting on Friday (I admit, I headed out to the shows with a small hangover on Friday), so apologies for the lack of posts over the weekend!
Anyway, I thought I would share with you a few pictures from the launch party which was in – rather fittingly – Grenson’s beautiful store on Lamb’s Conduit Street in London. We drank sloe gin cocktails (courtesy of Sipsmith) and everyone who bought a book got a free pair of socks (thanks to Pantherella). I also banned anyone from wearing heels, so here is a round-up of some of the flat shoes that partied with me last week. Flats are the future!
A very short but very excited post, this one. My book – En Brogue: Love Fashion. Love Shoes. Hate Heels – is now available to buy in actual shops!! Which makes it all seem a bit more real. You can also still buy it at Waterstones.com and Amazon.co.uk and it’s only a tenner…the perfect gift for your flat loving friends!
OK, this is the last time I’m going to bore you with the Italian tiles thing (well, until I head off to Milan fashion week later this month but really, you’re not ACTUALLY bored of the tiles are you?!). Our final stop was the town of Ravello high up in the hills overlooking the Amalfi Coast – another place you would be well advised NOT to visit in heels (though I spied a girl teetering about in virtigineous Louboutins on her way to a wedding – I dread to think how that ended after a couple of drinks on the cobbles!).
We stayed at Villa Cimbrone, which dates back to the 11th Century AD, although I doubt these tiles are as old as that! It counts among its guests Greta Garbo, D.H. Lawrence, Winston Churchill and the Bloomsbury Group, though it came to our attention on the BBC’s The Trip to Italy with Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan. The goldfinch tiles in one of the public sitting rooms (above) are just gorgeous, and were particularly fitting as I was reading Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch at the time.
That’s all on Italian tiles for now, and back to reality – my book is published on Thursday – SQUEEEE!!
Welcome to the second instalment in my Italian tile extravaganza! I was delighted when we (eventually) ventured out of our amazing hotel in Sorrento to find that there are tiles literally EVERYWHERE. In this corner of Italy, nowhere is too “normal” for a beautiful floor, even the pavement outside a bog-standard supermarket. It’s a wonder I ever looked up to see the stunning scenery (I did though, obvs!).
At this point I feel I should point out that I travelled VERY light and only packed four pairs of shoes. I know! Brave or what? Hence the constant Birkenshots…
Anyway, after Sorrento we moved on to Positano, a delightful town perched on the cliffs. You wouldn’t want to visit this place in heels, that’s for sure, as it’s impossible to get anywhere without walking up or down steep steps. Our apartment (above) was only accessible by walking up around 70 steps (lucky we’re relatively fit!) had kitsch hand-painted tiles on the floor.
The square outside the cathedral in Positano features a number of quirky mosaics. Not 100% sure what they mean but they’re pretty cool! We also visited Pompeii, which was AMAZING. I couldn’t believe the condition some of the tiles were in – obviously you’re not actually allowed to stand on these ancient relics, but how beautiful?
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll be well aware of my unhealthy obsession with tiles (in fact, I’ve written about it a couple of times before on here). It’s only really been apparent since I started taking so many pictures of my shoes for the blog, but it’s got to the point now where Mr Brogue booked the hotels we just stayed in for our 10th wedding anniversary purely on the strength of their tiles (well, for the most part anyway) and I’ve just spent the week in tile heaven in the Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast…
I think our first hotel might be my favourite hotel in the world. The Parco dei Principi in Sorrento is AMAZING. Designed by Gio Ponti in 1961, it’s rammed with incredible mid-century modern furniture, Ponti’s hand-drawn architectural plans, as well as thirty (THIRTY!) different tile designs, all in blue and white (not to mention a lift through the cliff to a private beach, views of Vesuvius and a great restaurant). Sadly I didn’t get to see all thirty designs as they’re dotted throughout the bedrooms, but I got pictures of as many of them as I could!
There was also an older building within the stunning grounds that I’d happily move into a live in for the rest of my life! It housed my favourite tiles of the whole trip, featuring a floral design that was worn and chipped in places giving it a beautiful charm, as well as more older tiles within the building and on the terrace that overlooked the sea.
I love Clarks. You know I do. I’ve been wearing Clarks’ shoes for longer than any other brand (school shoes), they’re part of my favourite sub culture (mods and their desert boots) and they even appeared in the best TV show EVER (Walt’s Wallabees in Breaking Bad). I also love Orla Kiely. My house is littered with bedsheets, towels and mugs in the signature stem print; it taps into the bright, retro aesthetic that I’m really drawn to.
So I’m delighted that Clarks’ collaboration with Orla Kiely continues for A/W2014 and the new season designs go on sale today! There are a lot of heels in the collection, but there are two offerings of flats too. The first is Dora, a lovely two-tone loafer with big chocolate buttons that look good enough to eat. It comes in three different colourways including a texture mixed black pair which you could wear with absolutely anything.
I also love Daphne, a simple Chelsea boot with that same luxurious two-tone feel; both designs use pony skin (that’s just unshaved leather, not actual ponies!) as a contrasting texture which I think looks really smart. I would wear these with my fall-back turned up skinny jeans or even my Hobbs tartan trouser suit from a few winters ago. Dapper shoes like this deserve a dapper outfit!
Mr Brogue and I have been married 10 years today! Sadly I don’t have a shoefie (shoe selfie) from our wedding day (though I spent most of the day in bare feet) so I thought I’d celebrate with a few of my favourites from more recent times.
So, it’s getting exciting now. My book – En Brogue: Love Fashion. Love Shoes. Hate Heels – is published TWO WEEKS TODAY on September 11th. This week I got an actual copy of the book sent to me, which was REALLY exciting!
Up until this point, it’s sort of felt like a dream. The whole process – from getting a book deal with the wonderful people at Saltyard, to writing and illustrating the contents, to proof reading, to it being sent off to the printers – has all happened so quickly that I haven’t had time to stop and think about it! Although the book has been available to pre-order for a while now (you can do that here), until I actually see a copy of it in a bookshop, I think it’s still going to feel like it’s happening to someone else…only two weeks to wait until that happens! SQUEEEE!!