what to wear on a staycation

Well aren’t we having a cracking summer in the UK this year? I haven’t been away on my summer holidays yet but I’ve spent a lot of time by the sea in Britain already and it’s been wonderful. Since it’s virtually August (how did that happen?!) and lots of you will no doubt be packing up the car to head to Cornwall, Scotland, or, if you have any sense, the Isle of Wight, here’s what I reckon you should pack for our country’s unpredictable weather.

1. a pair of waterproof sandals

Vagabond slides and lovely tiles

We’re ALL fans of Birkenstocks and they’re all well and good when it’s dry, but get those sandals wet and that cork sole takes a bit of a battering. I’ve got the perfect alternative though: a pair of waterproof pool slides. The pair I’m wearing here is from a lovely Swedish brand called Vagabond (if you don’t know about them already, check them out – great designs and VERY reasonably priced) but you could get a cheap built-for-purpose pair from a sports brand like Nike or adidas if you want a high fashion look. We might be having lots of sun right now but I’ve just seen the weather forecast and there’s some rain heading in for the weekend, so be prepared!!

Erie slides, £38.49, (BUY ME HERE!)
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Taedia Zoon slides, £14, (BUY ME HERE!)

2. don’t discount your brogues

Grenson brogues on Aldeburgh beach

If, like me, you’ve bought heavily into the modern rubber soled brogue styles from brands like Grenson, you’ll know that they are about as practical as it gets when you get caught in the rain. I’ve also become really fond of wearing my brogues with shorts when it’s hot, as it’s a much smarter option than sandals if you’re going out for dinner or drinks. And they’re so bouncy and comfortable, they’re brilliant for strolling around a town or beach (as I’m doing here in Aldeburgh in Suffolk).

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Emily, £285, (BUY ME HERE!)
Louise Derby shoes, £150, (BUY ME HERE!)

3. pack some slip-on skate shoes

my favourite Liberty print skate shoes

For days when the mercury drops, you’ll be glad you remembered to bring these comfy pumps. Smarter than trainers but just as comfortable, they’re brilliant for visiting a theme park, going on long walks or going on a shopping trip (easy to take off and put back on again in the changing rooms). I have different pairs for the winter and summer, and have been living in this floral print pair from Y.M.C. for the past two summers (I switch to darker ones for the winter). Pastel colours are also a great option while the sun is shining.

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floral slip ons, £45, (BUY ME HERE!)
snakeskin effect slip-ons, £39.95, (BUY ME HERE!)

4. find some wellies you actually like

Boden wellies on a fishing boat

If you’re planning a trip that includes muddy walks or, as in my case, a mackerel fishing trip, you might want to consider bringing a pair of Wellington boots. I was lucky enough to go to Padstow with my job at InStyle with Boden, and when Boden take you fishing, they provide the wellies! If these are a bit bright for you, there’s a plain black pair that just looks like biker boots (how chic!) and this leopard print pair would look brilliant with a Breton stripe. Another brand I love for wellies is Ilse Jacobsen, whose boots are in the sale at Office at the moment.

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ankle boot wellie, £39, (BUY ME HERE!)
Isle Jacobsen
Isle Jacobsen wellie boots, £45, (BUY ME HERE!)

Happy holidays everyone!



Dieppa Restrepo loafers, £67 reduced from £168 at (BUY ME HERE!)

Apologies for the radio silence. It’s been a busy week with the En Brogue book (find out how to pre-order it here!) but I’ve found the time to draw your attention to something very important: THE SALES. It’s really hard to resist a hefty discount, even when you have a shoe collection as large as mine. While researching the product for this very post, I got distracted and panic-bought a pair of shoes from (its sale is AMAZING, go there NOW). There was only one pair left in my size! What did you expect me to do?! I’ll share those with you once they arrive but meantime, here’s a round up of my favourite styles in the sales RIGHT NOW! There are a few pairs you might recognise from my own collection, too. Hurry before it’s too late…

Swear ‘Nena’ chukka boots, £69 reduced from £138 at (BUY ME HERE!)
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Grenson ‘Emily’ brogues, £120 reduced from £210, (BUY ME HERE!)
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Penelope Chilvers Safari boots, £119 reduced from £249 at (BUY ME HERE!)


'Punk' sandals, £100 reduced from £195 at
Y.M.C. ‘Punk’ sandals, £100 reduced from £195 at (BUY ME HERE!)


here, kitty kitty

Kitty & Co collection,

I don’t know what’s happening to me. In my last post I purred over some amazing feline shoes from French brand Chatelles (they have a tail!), and now I find myself doing it again. I really don’t like actual real life cats (I’ve just cleared up an almighty amount of the neighbours’ cats’ poo from my garden AGAIN and Mr Brogue is terribly allergic) but these pumps are just TOO CUTE not to draw your attention to. And yes, they’re a little on the expensive side, but everyone I’ve ever known who’s treated themselves to a pair of Charlotte Olympia’s Kitty flats has been quite literally thrilled about it.

Clever Kitty, £465, (BUY ME HERE!)


The Kitty flat isn’t a new thing, but this collection – called the Kitty & Co collection – is new for July. It includes eight styles, all made from luxurious velvet, with a personality all of their own, my favourite being Clever Kitty (above). Imagine wearing a pair of shoes that not only has a face and ears, but is wearing a pair of glasses, too!

Superstar Kitty, £465, (BUY ME HERE!)

If you go on to the website, there’s a fun feature where a digital eight ball will “shake” and tell you what kitty you are today. I was Superstar Kitty (above). Until I tried next time, when I was Pouty Kitty (below).

Pouty Kitty, £465, (BUY ME HERE!)

There’s something so delightfully childlike about this that appeals to a ten year-old me, who was obsessed by My Little Ponies (I had 24, all paid for out of my hard-saved pocket money) and Care Bears. And I do love a pair of shoes with a sense of humour. So even if you won’t be splashing out on a pair, sometimes it’s nice just to admire such pretty things.

Pretty Kitty, £465, (BUY ME HERE!)
Cheeky Kitty, £465, (BUY ME HERE!)
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say “bonjour” to these quirky French shoe brands

With the Tour de France whizzing through London yesterday, my thoughts focused in on my holiday in Brittany I’ve got booked for later this year (can’t wait!), and in turn to French shoe brands. I’ve stumbled across a few recently, and if you like a quirky shoe with a sense of humour, I think you’ll like these three labels from across la Manche.


creepers, £241 (reduced from £430) by Adieu at (BUY ME HERE!)
creepers, £241 (reduced from £430) by Adieu at (BUY ME HERE!)

The shoes at Adieu Paris are actually inspired by British sub cultures like Teddy Boys and punk, and are for the most part creeper styles. I found them on one of my favourite shoe websites – – which just so happens to have a sale on at the moment too!

chunky creepers, £224 (reduced from £430) by Adieu at (BUY ME HERE!)
chunky creepers, £224 (reduced from £430) by Adieu at (BUY ME HERE!)


I love these simple styles; they’re not reinventing the wheel here, but the design is so good that they feel fresh and not quite like anything I’ve seen before. Maybe it’s that super-shiny leather…

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SunJellies, £14 at (BUY ME HERE!)


SunJellies dropped me a line recently and I’m so glad they did. This French brand were the original jellies people, and are now selling the shoes you all wore as kids in the UK (and in adult sizes!).

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As you can see, there are all the colours you can imagine available and best of all, they’re only £14! They have high fashion credibility, too, having been spotted on a few catwalks at London Fashion Week in recent years. I have a pair in navy and they are as comfortable now as they were in 1983. If you’re feeling REALLY nostalgic, pick up a Jellie bag while you’re there to complete your look – at £10 an absolute steal!

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Chatelles cat shoes
Isis slippers, €349 at (BUY ME HERE!)

I’ve written about Chatelles before but they’re still quite under-the-radar so I thought it was worth mentioning them again. Particularly as they’ve brought out these kitty flats…WITH A TAIL. So cute! All this brand sells is smoking slippers, but you can do fun things like customise them with coloured tassels or your initials on the toe. Oh, and the illustrations on the website are BRILLIANT.

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Zephir slippers, €190 at (BUY ME HERE!)


Of course, my favourite French shoes are the cheap espadrilles you can buy in all the supermarkets in the summer. Watch this space for an update on my new pair for this year in August!


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The trouble with writing a shoe blog is I’m always looking at the floor

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve got a thing about tiles. I never used to have a thing about tiles; it started happening when I began taking endless Instagram pictures of my feet. I’m constantly checking out the floor for interesting stuff, and tiles are my favourite shoe backdrop (I’ve even written about it before! You can read that here)

Birkenstocks (buy me here!) and pub tiles (I’m that much of a tile freak I know the tiles are from Topps Tiles!)

It’s a great conversation starter though – the editors AND designer of my book have the same tiles as me in their bathrooms (from Topps Tiles – the BEST place for tiles on a budget), so I knew they had the same taste as me right away. And at a pub birthday drinks on Saturday, people told me about the amazing tiles in the ladies’ before I even needed a wee (my friends know me so well).

Birkenstocks and tiles in Honey & Co (who have a lovely cook book, too, which you can buy here)

Things got a bit out of hand earlier this week, though, when Mr Brogue and I were walking home from a night out. This particular street was littered with original Victorian tiles on paths and in doorways, and I couldn’t help myself. Suddenly, I was standing in a stranger’s porch snapping my (very comfortable) Havva sandals. Thankfully, I didn’t get caught!

Havva sandals (buy me here!) and Victorian tiles in Blackheath

It’s not just tiles, either. Recently, wide blue and orange stripes were painted on the platforms at London Bridge train station. I’ve no idea what purpose they serve, but I’ve been dying to annoy everyone during rush hour by stopping and framing my feet on them for months now, and I finally got my picture this week. Well, my shorts did match perfectly…

Birkenstocks (buy me here!) at London Bridge train station

And while it’s been a really good week for tiles, nothing beats a beautiful dog lying on a crackled floor for a perfect shoefie (that’s a shoe selfie): meet Barry the whippet. Swoon!

Y.M.C. sandals (buy similar here!) and Barry

pre-order a signed copy of my En Brogue book TODAY!

En Brogue the book – ORDER ME HERE!

Today is a pretty exciting day. My book – En Brogue: Love fashion. Love shoes. Hate heels – is now available to pre-order on the Waterstones website. Not only that, you can pre-order one of a limited number of copies that are signed by the author (that’s me!!). As you can imagine, I am thrilled!

The book is a celebration of stylish flat shoes, with my illustrations and quirky photos as well as interesting facts about all your favourite styles. I have had so much fun writing it – I hope you have fun reading it too!

This is only available from the website, not in stores, and there are only a limited number of signed copies available. The book will be published in September.

Anyone for tennis? My pick of the best European-style plimsolls

I’m was inspired to write this post today for two reasons. 1) my friend Daisy was wearing a gorgeous pair of authentic French tennis shoes on Sunday which I LOVED and 2) Wimbledon is on the telly.


Bensimon tennis shoes, £31.99, (BUY ME HERE!)
Bensimon tennis shoes, £31.99, (BUY ME HERE!)

OK, so the players at Wimbledon will be wearing something a bit more high tech than this, but these shoes do have their origins in tennis. And while Daisy’s mum bought her Bensimon plimsolls in a shop in France, you can buy them online in the UK too. I love that they look like a very basic pair of Converse; they have such a charm about them. And the price is certainly charming too! They come in a huge array of colours.

Bata tennis shoes, £35, (BUY ME HERE!)
Bata tennis shoes, £35, (BUY ME HERE!)

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Selfridges had started selling Bata tennis shoes – another brand I’m putting in the category of European plimsolls – but they’re now stocking a lot more colours. This lemon yellow pair is divine, and at £35 are an absolute steal.

Toast Victoria plimsolls, £35, (BUY ME HERE!)
Toast Victoria plimsolls, £35, (BUY ME HERE!)

Even Toast, which can be a little pricey, is selling tennis shoes for just £35. I like this lace-less style for a fuss-free option. The plimsolls I remember from my own French camping holidays, though, which were worn by all the cool local kids, were made by Palladium. The brand is still going strong, and as well as these slim line ones, you can also find those chunky, almost military-style canvas boots on the website.

Palladium Flex, £49.95, (BUY ME HERE!)
Palladium Flex, £49.95, (BUY ME HERE!)

the best wellies for festival season

With the Isle of Wight festival now a distant memory and Glastonbury looming on the horizon, we have officially entered Festival Season. While I’m a firm believer in not wearing wellies unless the weather dictates, the weather does often dictate, so it’s a good idea to bring a sturdy waterproof boot with you to tackle the rain and the mud. There’s absolutely no reason why those boots shouldn’t be stylish though; there are so many brilliant wellies out there to choose from, and they don’t all look like you might expect. Here are a few of my favourites.

For when the weather forecast is good

If you’re expecting dry, warm weather at your festival, you don’t want to take up valuable packing space with your wellies. That’s why these from a little brand called Butterfly Twists are so good. They actually specialise in foldable ballet pumps, but they also do foldable Wellington boots. Absolutely perfect for slinging in the bottom of your rucksack in case of emergencies. They’re really nice too – available in five different colours.


Windsor, £55,
Windsor, £55, (BUY ME HERE!)


For a city festival

I always think it’s weird to go to a one day festival in the city and get all dressed up as if you’re going to be spending a week camping in a field. That’s why I love the shorter versions of Wellington boots – I call them Anklingtons – as they look much more appropriate in an urban environment. These ones from Ted Baker are cool, and have a bit of a rock and roll vibe about them.

Ted Baker boots, available in store from August
Ted Baker boots, available in store from August


For the most stylish girl at the festival

I am IN LOVE with these wellies. They are by Ilse Jacobsen, a brand that always makes beautifully designed boots that actually make you wish for rain (check out the lace-up ones, too). The white sole on this pair is what makes them look particularly cool, and they’re technically high spec too – you won’t get soggy socks in these beauties.

Cruise rain boots, €179, (BUY ME HERE!)
Cruise rain boots, €179, (BUY ME HERE!)


For the cultural festival

Maybe you’re favouring a literally or food festival this summer, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need your wellies. This handsome pair look like the thinking woman’s wellies if you ask me. Hunter has SO MANY designs on its website, you will be absolutely spoilt for choice.

Sandhurst Danescombe, £70, (BUY ME HERE!)
Sandhurst Danescombe, £70, (BUY ME HERE!)


For the Wellington shy

How amazing are these Dr Martens?! They look exactly like a normal pair of cherry reds, but they are made of rubber. Completely waterproof but without the look of a wellie. They come in loads of different colours, and you can get taller boots as well if it looks like it’s going to be a quagmire at the festival.

Drench boot, £75, (BUY ME HERE!)
Drench boot, £75, (BUY ME HERE!)

Stone me! Brilliant high street jewelled sporty sandals

Sometimes, the high street really gets on board with a mad catwalk trend. With sporty embellished sandals it’s taken them a while – Christopher Kane debuted them in his spring/summer 2012 catwalk collection – but man, have they got it right this summer! When you’re investing in something silly like a sporty embellished sandal, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune on it, so I’m thrilled that there are so many reasonably priced options around this season.


embellished pool shoes at Christopher Kane, SS2012
embellished sandals at Christopher Kane, SS2012

You see, I recently went to Bicester Village and tried on a pair in the Marni store. Even at the discounted price, they were still more than £300, so although I really REALLY loved them, I left them behind and returned to London with a heavy heart.

tempted by Marni at Bicester Village
tempted by Marni at Bicester Village

But look what I could have instead, and for a fraction of the price! I’ve already featured the Zara pair once but they are so good I had to include them again. And I’m very tempted to invest in a glue gun and some massive glass stones and just customise my own pair of Birkenstocks…

Daphne, £55, (BUY ME HERE!)
Daphne, £55, (BUY ME HERE!)
Nixon, £89, (BUY ME HERE!)
Nixon, £89, (BUY ME HERE!)
Lambert, £72, (BUY ME HERE!)
Lambert, £72, (BUY ME HERE!)
Studio Punch, £49.99, (BUY ME HERE!)
Studio Punch, £49.99, (BUY ME HERE!)
Florence, £52, (BUY ME HERE!)
Florence, £52, (BUY ME HERE!)
cross over sandals, £59.99, (BUY ME HERE!)
cross over sandals, £59.99, (BUY ME HERE!)

this week’s shoes headlines: it’s all about sneakers

Plimsolls, trainers, sneakers; whatever you want to call these rubber-soled essentials, they’re all over the shoes news this week.

New brand alert

The lovely people at OLI 13 got in touch with me recently to see if I knew about their brand. I didn’t, so I was pleased to hear from them! They make lovely unisex shoes in Spain (don’t worry, they ship to the UK) and I just LOVE those coloured soles. Such a good price, too! I think I might get Mr Brogue a pair…


E.E.1929, €59, (BUY ME HERE!)
E.E.1929, €59, (BUY ME HERE!)
E.E. 1929, €59, (BUY ME HERE!)
E.E. 1929, €59, (BUY ME HERE!)
E.E. 1929, €59, (BUY ME HERE!)
E.E. 1929, €59, (BUY ME HERE!)


Best selling Batas

Bata has been making tennis shoes since 1936 (blimey!), so they know what they’re doing. Widely available in Europe, they’re not so easy to get hold of in the UK, so it’s great news that Selfridges has just started stocking them. An absolute classic, and just in time for Wimbledon!

Bata tennis shoe, £35, (BUY ME HERE!)
Bata tennis shoe, £35, (BUY ME HERE!)


Lily Cole for Veja

Intellectual model Lily Cole has teamed up with vegetarian shoe label Veja and Sky Rainforest Rescue to design these limited edition trainers. For every pair sold, Sky will donate £10 to help save the rain forests. They’re made in Brazil from organic cotton and natural rubber from the Amazon, and are rather nice, too.

Taua, €69, (BUY ME HERE!)
Taua, €69, (BUY ME HERE!)


Festival footwear

The festival season kicks off on the Isle of Wight this weekend, so if you don’t fancy wearing wellies, I’ve got another option for you. These gorgeous trainers and high tops from Inkkas are made in Peru and their bright patterns reflect the traditional fabrics of the region. There’s something about them that I just think works perfectly for standing in a field watching music (so long as the weather stays nice that is – I’ll be covering wellies later this weekend too).

Slate low top, €84, (BUY ME HERE!)
Slate low top, €84, (BUY ME HERE!)
Concrete jungle, €89, (BUY ME HERE!)
Concrete jungle, €89, (BUY ME HERE!)


High street shoe of the week

Be still my beating heart! If there’s one thing I love as much as flat shoes, it’s Star Wars (I kid you not, I know all the words) so imagine my delight when I spied these beauties in Office! I’m not sure I’ve got the nerve to actually buy them and wear them, what with me not being twelve and everything, but I wanted to put them on here to preserve their brilliance for ever…

Vans 'A New Hope', £49.99, office (BUY ME HERE!)
Vans ‘A New Hope’, £49.99, office (BUY ME HERE!)