Party season: a phrase that fills girls who hate sparkly dresses and heels with dread. I for one would much rather just sling on my best jeans, a cashmere sweater and a slick of eyeliner when I’m off to a mulled wine gathering. But, as you know, I am partial to a snazzy pair of shoes, so will sanction the use of metallics and glitter when it’s confined to a place you wouldn’t expect to see it, like a masculine pair of shoes. This Christmas I’m motioning for tomboys everywhere to buck the dress code and invest in a pair of amazing silver masculine shoes to wear with whatever the hell you like. Because when your feet are this well dressed, no-one cares what the rest of your outfit looks like.
I’d love to see what party shoes you’re wearing this festive season – don’t forget to tweet me pictures of your feet to @EnBrogue.
A brand I only really discovered earlier this year is Vagabond. It is HUGE in Sweden and is gaining momentum in the UK too, which is no surprise given the cool designs and great prices. The new season styles are all now available online, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to review a few of my favourites.
Stomping boots – that’s just big, clompy flats – are having a moment this season and you’re spoilt for choice with them at Vagabond. Take styling inspiration from Alexander McQueen and wear with an insanely pretty, white lace dress.
Whether a single monk (one buckle) or double monk (two buckles), this is style is still reigning strong on the high street and with designer brands for AW14. I’m particularly fond of the Amina monk with a leather kiltie, though I would buckle mine underneath the fringe for a look straight off the catwalk.
Vagabond is fond of a chunky sole but it has a good offering of chic classics too. Not only that, most of the styles here come in at least three different colours, so the choice is brilliant as well. Happy shopping!
So you think Fred Perry shoes are all about sneakers? Think again. On a recent trip to its Seven Dials store (which is awesome, by the way; a converted pub with excellent tiles and very well dressed shop assistants) I discovered that it’s really upped its game as far as shoe design is concerned. Sadly, some of my favourite styles only start at a size 6, but as many of you won’t have silly tiny size 4 feet like me, I thought you’d probably like to hear about them.
This first pair is a collaboration with Drake’s of London as part of the Laurel Wreath Collection. When I stumbled across them a few weeks ago on the website I was gutted that they were in the men’s section. “Men aren’t that flamboyant” I thought, “men wouldn’t be brave enough to wear those. What a waste!” but I showed them to Mr Brogue and was pleased to learn that he loved them too. Sometimes it’s good to be proved wrong! Besides, they start at size 6, so will fit most women anyway.
Next up, these fabulous creepers, a Laurel Wreath Collection collaboration with George Cox, and they go as small as a size 3.5. I’ve resisted the creeper trend for years now (I know; why?!) but I’ve finally given in to the temptation. I love the pointy toe and golden colour. They look great with skinny leather trousers and a long-line cardigan.
Fred Perry also has a brilliant selection of Chelsea-style boots, again in women’s sizes. These pull-ons are lovely and lightweight, so have the comfort of a sneaker and the style of a leather shoe combined. The brogues come in tan or brown, or if you prefer something more akin to a safari boot, there’s navy or claret suede versions too.
Read my guest Christmas edit on the Fred Perry blog here.
Now and then, it’s nice to have a little lust after something you can’t have. No, I’m not talking about Daniel Craig in Skyfall (Mr Brogue will be relieved to hear that) but beautifully crafted high end shoes that I can’t afford. The label I keep coming back to recently for a lunch time swoon is Italian brand Pollini.
It’s no wonder that Pollini’s shoes, like these fabulous two-toned boots, are so covetable. The brand’s creative director is Nicholas Kirkwood, who trained at London’s world renowned Cordwainers College (which has been teaching the art of crafting shoes and leather goods since 1887) and has won many accolades including Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards for his self-titled own brand.
I love how Kirkwood has reworked the classic Chelsea boot style, particularly on this second pair with their navy toe and bright yellow sole (regular En Brogue readers will know I am a sucker for a pop of colour). It’s probably a good job, then, that this style has now sold out, so I won’t have a new purchase to feel guilty about. They’ll just have to remain the boots of my dreams.
Neon can be a tricky trend to wear. It says “look at me!” and “I’m a bit whacky!”, and reminds those of us old enough to remember of Timmy Mallett and questionable cycling shorts/crop top combos from Tammy Girl. I find neon far less scary in moderation; a fluoro necklace here, a pop of colour on a bag there. Or how about a flash of elastic on your boots?
I love the neon detailing on these Penelope Chilvers safari boots. It’s the perfect statement if you’re dying to experiment with colour, but aren’t quite brave enough to wear that Acne lime mohair sweater. I can tell you from experience that PC’s safari boots are comfortable and durable, so are a really good investment buy. These also come in black, tan and chocolate.
Urban Outfitters have jumped aboard with bright elastics too. These suede Chelsea boots are currently in the sale and come in a tan/yellow colour option too. A great buy if you suspect this is a trend you will tire of come next season.
This final option – asos.com’s brogue Chelsea boots – is my favourite, though. There’s something about that mix of traditional polished leather alongside such a vibrant colour that’s really unusual, yet very familiar. And 60 quid for a leather boot is an absolute steal!