you CAN wear flat shoes to a wedding…even if you’re the bride

I got married ten years ago this September. I knew exactly what I wanted – from dress, to table settings, to location – but what to wear on my feet had me really stumped. This was back in the day when I still wore heels from time to time – for “special occasions” and job interviews – so I did feel a certain pressure to wear them on my wedding day. I ended up choosing a pair of awful sling back kitten heels; as much height as I could reasonably manage without falling over. I couldn’t bear to spend more than £35 on them because I knew that a) I would never EVER wear them again and b) I would kick them off and patter about barefoot the second the ceremony and pictures were over. I was right about both of these things – they were discarded before we even sat down to eat, never to be worn again.

If I was getting married now I would do things SO differently. My dress -rather than being long and very traditional – would be knee length, meaning it would show off my fantastic flat shoes (they’d obviously be fantastic these days). I’m helping a friend shop for flat wedding shoes at the moment, and as I’ve already done the research for her, I thought I would share it with you too…

If you want a traditional look

There are brands that specifically make flat shoes for weddings, and I’ve listed some of them here, but if you want that very traditional look you’re in luck as thanks to Simone Rocha (John Rocha’s daughter, a hot name on the London Fashion Week circuit), they’re also bang on trend. Look for lace, pearls and satin, and if you want a more modern feel, avoid ballet pumps and opt for a pointy pump instead.

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Pearl ballerina flats, £480, by Simone Rocha at selfridges.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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Lille lace tulle rose, £199.99, harrietwilde.com (BUY ME HERE!)

 

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Ella, 169 euros, prettyballerinas.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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floral lacer-cut leather shoes, £490 by Nicholas Kirkwood at matchesfashion.com (BUY ME HERE!)

 

If you want shoes you’ll wear again

I think the best option for a pair of shoes you can then wear after your wedding is a metallic pointy flat. They look wonderful with anything from a classic little black dress to jeans and a white T-shirt. You can’t move for metallic pointy flats at the moment, both on the high street and at more high end brands too, so this is an absolute winner as far as choice is concerned.

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metallic T-bars, £575, by Tabitha Simmons at shoescribe.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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ballerinas with crystals, £29.99, zara.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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Irani, £165, lkbennett.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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Attila, £395, by Jimmy Choo at net-a-porter.com (BUY ME HERE!)

 

If you’re more unconventional

Who says you can’t adopt a less feminine look for your wedding day? Not me. Last year I read a wonderful blog post about a couple who had both got married wearing Grenson (read it here – they also have tiles to die for, and you lot know how much I love tiles!) which was inspiring. Not all women like to wear frilly dresses and delicate shoes, so here’s a selection of brogues that I think would look amazing with a trouser suit, or a short, A-line shift. In fact, I think this last category would be my choice if I were doing it all over again…maybe me and Mr Brogue should just have a good old knees-up for our anniversary. Any excuse for a new pair of shoes…

Rose, £195, grenson.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

Rose, £195, grenson.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

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Squawfish, £230, northerncobbler.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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Helen, £99, dunelondon.com (BUY ME HERE!)

So if you are getting married, don’t feel pressured into wearing heels if you really don’t want to. There’s nothing better than feeling yourself, being comfortable, and not being in so much pain that you can’t dance to the band you paid a lot of money to play at the reception. Oh, and tweet me pictures of you in your flat shoes at weddings too – whether you’re the bride, a bridesmaid or a guest, I’d love to see you all being comfortably stylish!

The Flatwalk: Milan fashion week

As Paris fashion week kicked off today, I’m still mulling over all the wonderful flat shoes I came across in Milan last week. The fact that Milan – the most glamorous of all four fashion cities – is embracing flat shoes again for AW14 is a sign that they are here to stay. Which can only be a good thing as Italy has a reputation for making some of the finest footwear in the world. Here are some of my favourites.

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flat shoes on the catwalk at Marni

The most exciting thing about going to Milan fashion week for me, is that I get to see my very favourite brand on the catwalk: Marni. I certainly wasn’t disappointed as far as flat shoes were concerned. I think my favourites were the fringed shoes, shown here in white but they also came in red or green. The clothes were rather lovely too.

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cow print: the new leopard

A brand I didn’t realise I liked so much until I went to its catwalk show was No.21. The clothes were really, really nice, but it was these cow print shoes (above) that caught my eye. Cow print has been everywhere during fashion week; I reckon next season it will become as ubiquitous as leopard is now. A real go-with-everything print, and perfect for shoes.

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paint splattered pumps at Fendi

Milan is brimming with opulence, and I love the indulgence of spattering these Fendi shoes with colourful paint (there were also beautiful hand-painted leather jackets in the collection). I like the idea so much I’m planning to paint my own pair in a similar vein, just not on a similar budget. If you can’t afford it, I say do it yourself! Watch this space…

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pointy skate shoe-monk shoe hybrids at Jimmy Choo

Good news from Jimmy Choo – skate shoes are here to stay but get a new twist for next season. These had a pointy toe and the addition of a sporty monk strap. I particularly liked the leopard pair. Fingers crossed for high street copies!

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proper shoes at Tod’s

Tod’s is a brand known for its driving shoes, but it’s time to reconsider its footwear. Finishing off a stunning collection of leather clothes with intricate geometric designs were these lovely buckled loafers and Chelsea boots with penny loafer detailing at the front. Oh, and everything was displayed amongst amazing mid century modern furniture. A little slice of heaven.

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sporty sandals and AMAZING wallpaper in the Prada store, Milan

I managed to do a bit of shopping too while I was there (or window shopping in most cases!). These are current season, spied in the Prada store at a cocktail party for the brand. I’m actually more taken with the incredible wallpaper than I am with the shoes, but they are pretty cool too. I won’t be forking out for them any time soon though; I only buy high end brands like this if I can find them at an outlet. Which is exactly what I did with the next pair.

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my new Marni sandals: so good I wore them without a pedicure

If you know where to find it, there’s a Marni outlet store in Milan, hidden away in the backstreets and down an alleyway. There I found these sandals which I am THRILLED with. You all know how much I love tiles, right? Well here’s a pair of flat shoes sporting a tile print. The best!! I loved them so much I HAD to wear them, even though it was a bit chilly and I’m in need of a pedicure. Speaking of which, here’s what else I wore in Milan. Next stop: PARIS!

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EnBrogue for Jemima Vine and an old Milanese carpet

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Grenson and mosaic tiles

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pink Schuhs and pink tiles

London fashion week: day 3

As fashion week goes on, these posts are going up a bit later each day. Sorry about that. Last night was a late one….
Anyway! Here’s what I was wearing out and about yesterday. As rain was forecast (again) I turned to my trusty (and totally waterproof) Grenson boots. I’m wearing them with a Dorothy Perkins shirt, Zara coat, Marni skirt, Madeleine Thompson hat and Mint Velvet bag.

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As seems to always be the case on the Sunday of LFW, I bumped into Alex – fellow blogger and founder of The Frugality – and we were wearing virtually identical shoes. I also spied plenty more fashion editors opting for comfortable shoes.

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There were more fabulous flats on the catwalk too. It looks like stylish comfortable shoes are here to stay!

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industry insiders part 2: interview with Red’s Emily Gegg

In the second instalment of fashion industry insiders who love flats, I spoke to Emily Gegg, Executive Fashion and Beauty Director at Red Magazine, who was forced off her high heels because of a back problem.

“I was diagnosed with scoilosis and a degenerated disc in my lower spine just before fashion week, so wearing flat shoes was less of a choice and more of a doctor’s order. Now I am two months into my new life in flats and feel strangely liberated, as if I have been let into a secret that heel wearers are yet to discover!!”

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Emily wearing super-shiny Jimmy Choo

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Emily’s Louis Vuitton slippers

“I am quite a scruffy dresser and dressing up for me was always just putting a pair of killer heels on with my jeans and t-shirt to smarten my look up, so I have had to work at creating a new look based around flats. If I am wearing a pair of statement flats like my sparkly Vuitton slippers I’ll tend to dress down the rest of my look, so a pair of ripped jeans and a grey marl T-shirt. But if it is a pair of my new Nike trainers (which I am totally in love with), I tend to wear them with a smarter outfit like a buttoned up white shirt and cashmere jumper to balance the look out (and feel less of a teenager!).”

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how cool are Emily’s Nikes?!

“A lot of the trends on the catwalk for AW13 were about mixing girlie with a tough edge and there is no better way to do this than wearing stylish flats to make your look more understated. Simone Rocha is the perfect example with her whimsical bubblegum pink dresses teamed with chunky flatforms. Even the glamour shoe brands Louboutin and Jimmy Choo have introduced a new kitten heel height and lots more flats for AW13, it is a trend that is catching – hooray!”

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Charlotte Olympia sandals and matching pedicure

“I am excited about the sun coming out, getting a pedi with Essie ‘cute as a button’ and investing in a pair of Valentino studded sandals, although may need to win the lottery first, so more realistically Zara have some amazing flat sandals with braiding detail that I have my eye on. I have too many pairs of shoes but I am a hoarder and can’t throw any away, all those redundant heels mean if I do not have any daughters my goddaughter Poppy is going to have her very own Jimmy Choo archive!!”

Tomorrow, fashion blog pioneer Susie Lau…

is this enough sun to bring on a sandals purchase?

OK, OK, so this slightest hint of sun in London today probably doesn’t warrant buying sandals. But I have a little break in Barcelona booked at the end of the month so I am getting excited at the prospect of doing something I haven’t done since I started this blog in September: getting my toes out. And while I’m a champion of cheap sandals (once the mercury rises I’ll be doing a post on that very subject), I’m also partial to a little designer action in the summer months. That doesn’t mean I spend a fortune though…

A couple of years ago I visited a McCarthurGlen outlet near Venice and purchased a rather lovely pair of Marni sandals for a mere €110. I was delighted! But obviously Venice isn’t exactly a bus ride away, and neither is Bicester Village (my other favourite Marni outlet shop is there), so I thought I would investigate some online designer outlets instead.

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Marni sandals, £160 (yoox.com) BUY ME HERE!

First up is Yoox, which has a brilliant selection of end-of-season fashion from designers including Givenchy, Miu Miu and Prada, but its Marni edit is particularly good. It’s not the cheapest outlet you’ll find online, but it does have a lot more on offer than most. The printed ones above actually made me gasp out loud!

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Marni sandals, £149 (yoox.com) BUY ME HERE!

Next up, The Outnet. I really must get into the habit of checking the website every week, as although the edit is smaller than Yoox, it adds new stock all the time and I prefer to have little and often! These styles are my favourites that are currently available. I’ve bought quite a few items from The Outnet and they always arrive really quickly (I also recommend it if you’re looking for a dress for a special occasion).

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Jimmy Choo sandals, £238 (theoutnet.com) 60% off! BUY ME HERE!

 

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Sergio Rossi sandals, £122.50 (theoutnet.com) 50% off! BUY ME HERE!

Finally, BrandAlley. BrandAlley started as a designer flash sales website – the pop-up style sales only last a few days – but now has its own outlet section too, where you can find items available for longer.

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Chloe sandals, £105 (brandalley.co.uk) 67% off! BUY ME HERE!

It currently has an amazing haul of Chloe sandals which I am finding very hard to resist! You’ll need to sign up to BrandAlley to take advantage of the discounts but it’s totally free and it also stocks clothing and loads of homeware too.

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Chloe sandals, £169 (brandalley.co.uk) 65% off! BUY ME HERE!

 

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Chloe sandals, £169 (brandalley.co.uk) 65% off! BUY ME HERE!

Now I just need the temperature to get up to somewhere resembling average for the time of year and a decent pedicure, and I’ll be all set for summer.

sneaker peek at my favourite skate shoes and tennis pumps

If there’s one thing I didn’t expect to see a lot of in Paris, it’s sneakers, but they were there on my feet, on the feet of the FROW and on the catwalk too. It seems that luxe trainers have moved on from high tops and on to a style more commonly associated with skateboarders and tennis players.

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me in Paris in my Jimmy Choo sneakers BUY THEM HERE!

These easy Jimmy Choo slip ons have a glitter finish so they look great either dressed down with jeans or dressed up with a leather mini skirt (as I wore them). They come in lots of different colours too, I’m rather fond of these white ones.

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Jimmy Choo Demi sneakers, £275 (jimmychoo.com)

On the catwalk, it wasn’t a massive surprise to see trainers at Comme des Garcons, but I managed to get such a good shot of them (because I was late and nearly missed the show so was standing with the photographers!), that I thought I’d share them with you.

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Comme des Garcons AW13 in Paris this week

Of course, you don’t need to spend a fortune to recreate this look as a plain tennis shoe is pretty easy to find without breaking the bank. I love Superga sneakers for their comfort and simplicity, and Zara is also pulling its weight with these lovely black raffia lace-ups.

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Superga 2750 Cotu Classic, £45 (superga.co.uk) BUY ME HERE!

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Zara raffia sneakers, £39.99 (zara.com) BUY ME HERE!

Then at Giambattista Valli, a quite unexpected loafer/skate shoe hybrid graced the catwalk. I loved the way they were styled with luxury skirts and evening dresses. This is my kind of occasion-wear!

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Giambattista Valli AW13 in Paris this week

The brand that a lot of these styles are paying homage to is skate shoe pioneer Vans, which hot label of the moment Kenzo has been collaborating with since last year. But for a cheaper alternative to the designer collection, just look at the Office website; it has over 100 different styles of Vans alone. This pair with its splatter print design are really cool.

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Vans, £54.00 at Office (office.co.uk) BUY ME HERE!

And if you liked those, you’ll love this collaboration between YMC and Liberty. I’ve always meant to get myself a pair of the Liberty x Nike trainers but now I’ve seen these, I think they’re going top of the wish list! They’re not available online just yet, but will be soon.

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YMC – Liberty canvas slip on, £80 (youmustcreate.com)

Paris Fashion Week: Sunday

It’s Sunday at Paris fashion week and I know I’m not the only one who has decided to dress down in trainers today. These are by Jimmy Choo and have a very subtle sparkly finish. I’ve teamed them with a plain leather skirt, Zara jumper and Sarah Baily clutch. Oh, and sunglasses – the weather has finally improved!

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Milan Fashion Week in flat shoes shocker

Well I’m going to have to eat my words. I wasn’t expecting the flat shoe trend to continue on into Milan fashion week, but the catwalks were absolutely littered with them. Fancy that! Luxury designers have really caught on to the fact that some of us want to be comfortable and stylish, and many brands showed no heels at all.

One such show was Marni (one of my favourite ever labels), and while I don’t condone the fact that some of the riding boots were clad with beaver fur, the rest of the footwear was divine.

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Marni riding boots

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Marni sandals

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metallics at Marni

MaxMara showed nothing but trainers, something fashion editors were delightedly tweeting about during the show. Luxe sneakers are nothing new, but they don’t usually make it onto the catwalk.

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trainers at MaxMara

I found plenty more evidence that luxury brands are concentrating on flats for AW13 at the Jimmy Choo showroom. How gorgeous are these monks?

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Jimmy Choo monks for AW13

The list goes on and on. I noted flat shoes at Alberta Ferretti, No21, Prada (pictured below), Emporio Armani, Jil Sander and Dolce & Gabbana (and I’m going to go against everything I believe in and tell you to check out its heels too: beautiful works of art with gold mosiac tiles or caged heels enclosing tiny roses).

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chunky boots at Prada

I also noticed that fashion editors were sticking to flats too and was particularly taken with these on the feet of photographer/blogger/illustrator extraordinaire, Garance Doré.

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Garance Doré at Bottega Veneta

Finally, a funny picture taken by The Telegraph’s deputy fashion editor, Luke Leitch, of someone taking a picture of my shoes. Next stop: Paris, so watch this space!

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my Antipodium for ASOS shoes being snapped by a street style photographer

high fashion hi tops

OK, this post isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste. I’m not even sure it’s to mine. But the sheer volume of luxe hi tops out there has forced my hand and we’re going to discuss. By luxe, I mean either luxury brands turning their hand at making hi tops (something that has been going on for a few years now, particularly within menswear) or high street brands making luxurious looking trainers.

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Jimmy Choo Tokyo sneakers, £325, net-a-porter.com BUY ME HERE!

I am a big fan of hi tops. I own countless pairs of Converse, plus some Nike, Adidas and Puma, and I love wearing them when I am working on a shoot (comfort factor, anyone?). But when I got my hands on this Gerard Darel pair (below), an old sample from last season, initially I wasn’t sure. Gold trainers? Can I do that? Can a girl who loves the look of natural worn leather really do a metallic shoe?

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The answer, as you can see from this picture, is yes. Yes! Why the hell not? If you carefully team your luxe hi tops with a plain outfit, it’s really not that scary. Today I’m wearing some black pleather trousers from Zara (these are AMAZING, by the way, and are the best leather look I have found) and a black oversized Reiss shirt. Simple. The brand has carried this style through to summer 13 in different colourways (shown here), so you’ll be able to get your mitts on a pair soon. I love the black and tweed pair.

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Maison Martin Margiela, £390, shoescribe.com BUY ME HERE!

So what else is out there? We’ll start with some of the more expensive options. They will have you drooling, I’m afraid, but I reckon if you’re going to spend a lot of money on some designer shoes, it makes MUCH more sense to buy a comfortable pair of incredible trainers than some silly heels you can’t even walk in.

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Katie Grand Loves Hogan, £355, store.hogan.com BUY ME HERE!

Love is the word when we come to these green beauties, designed by Love Magazine’s editor-in-chief Katie Grand for Italian brand Hogan. They are achingly cool, especially when modelled by Edie Campbell in the brand’s campaign imagery. Have I talked you into it yet?

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Topshop sneakers (top), £65, topshop.com (BUY HERE!) and Zara sneakers (bottom), £69.99, zara.com (BUY HERE!)

As far as affordable luxe-style hi tops are concerned, good old Toppers has jumped on the bandwagon, as has Zara. These, our two most reliable high street stores for picking up on high end trends and translating them so the rest of us can afford them, have both gone for a spattering of leopard print. Leopard has become as easy-to-wear as a Breton stripe in the past few years, which is no bad thing in my book.

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Nike Dunk high tops, £65, store.nike.com (BUY ME HERE!)

Of course, the best value (and best functioning) trainers tend to come from sports brands, and Nike’s Dunk hi tops can also be found in interesting finishes. Keep an eye out for its regular Liberty collaborations if you’re fond of a floral print.

I’d love to know what you think. Would you step out in a pair of luxe hi tops? Or are they a step too far? I’ll leave you with my absolute favourite pick of the bunch from DSquared2. Because for me, when it comes to sporty footwear, you can’t do better than retro.

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DSquared, £198, reduced from £330, shoescribe.com (BUY ME HERE!)