modern life isn’t rubbish

two of the six thousand mods that took part in Sunday's scooter ride out

two of the six thousand mods that took part in Sunday’s scooter ride out

So, it’s August bank holiday weekend, and while many of you may have been partying at Carnival (NOT my idea of fun), I’ve been doing what I do every year: hanging out with mods at the Isle of Wight scooter rally. They’ve been coming here in their thousands for as long as I can remember (apparently since 1980, though mods have visited the Island since the Sixties) and I’ve always loved the incredible authentic fashion that they bring with them, as well as that distinctive smell of two-stroke, of course! Plus I’m a bit of a closet mod myself, so any excuse to bring out the Fred Perrys is good as far as I’m concerned.

planning what to wear. Shoes from left: Kurt Geiger, Office, Karen Millen, Russell & Bromley

planning what to wear. Shoes from left: Kurt Geiger, Office, Karen Millen, Russell & Bromley

I do love pointy flats anyway, but I think they look particularly great with a little Sixties-style dress and bare legs (I’m not authentic enough to go in for white tights). I managed to wear four pairs this weekend! Great for dancing in too.

a dress my mum made in the Sixties, Kurt Geiger shoes and a Fiat 500 I fell in love with

a dress my mum made in the Sixties, Kurt Geiger shoes and a Fiat 500 I fell in love with

Russell & Bromley pointy flats reflected in a Lambretta's mirrors

Russell & Bromley pointy flats reflected in a Lambretta’s mirrors

This Fred Perry dress is new for AW13, as are these Karen Millen two-tone flats

This Fred Perry dress is new for AW13, as are these Karen Millen two-tone flats

It's that Fiat 500 again! I'm wearing Russell & Bromley flats, Baracuta Harrington jacket, Sandro top and Marni skirt

It’s that Fiat 500 again! I’m wearing Russell & Bromley flats, Baracuta Harrington jacket, Sandro top and Marni skirt

Other than spending a lot of time dancing to northern soul and ska (the Isle of Wight has an amazing local band called Ska’d for Life; my feet still ache from last night!), there’s a practicality involved with this scene. Sadly I wasn’t actually riding a scooter – though Mr Brogue and I spied a Lambretta and side-car that we’ve rather fallen for – but if you are, you’ll need something more sturdy than a slip-on shoe. Lace-up boots are always popular options; I spied many pairs of classic desert boots and Dr Martens.

My Dr Marten Harris Tweed boots and a splendid scooter with a picnic basket! My scooter would definitely have a picnic basket.

My Dr Marten Harris Tweed boots and a splendid scooter with a picnic basket! My scooter would definitely have a picnic basket.

A scooter girl in desert boots. Love the contrasting laces.

A scooter girl in desert boots. Love the contrasting laces.

Helen from Warrington in boots from Cow Vintage

Helen from Warrington in boots from Cow Vintage

My Swear desert boots. See, I told you I like contrasting laces!

My Swear desert boots. See, I told you I like contrasting laces!

Brogues were also everywhere, and a savvy local shop called Mia was doing a roaring trade in bargain £25 patent ones. In fact, we spotted them on a very cool young girl and when she told us where she’d bought them, my friend Michelle rushed across the road and bought a pair for herself!

Hannah from Portsmouth in London Rebel shoes from Mia

Hannah from Portsmouth in London Rebel shoes from Mia

a scooter girl in red brogues

a scooter girl in red brogues

Holly from the Isle of Wight in H by Hudson brogues

Holly from the Isle of Wight in H by Hudson brogues

Jane from Suffolk in Hobbs lace-ups

Jane from Suffolk in Hobbs lace-ups

Jane's daughter Hayley, also from Suffolk, in French Connection brogues

Jane’s daughter Hayley, also from Suffolk, in French Connection brogues

The Isle of Wight scooter rally really is a flat shoe lover’s dream event! I’ll be back again next year for sure, hopefully being driven around in a Lambretta side-car!

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new season trends now: camouflage print

Pretty soon you’re going to read a magazine telling you about the new season trends. Yep, right in the middle of a heatwave, you’re expected to start thinking about what you’re going to be wearing in autumn. One of the biggest of those trends will be camouflage print. This is my favourite trend to talk about right now, as it translates so well to the summer months.

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Christopher Kane AW13

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Michael Kors AW13

Another reason I want to talk to you about it right now because there are so many brilliant camouflage print shoes available at the moment. I’m going to start with the latest addition to my wardrobe – these fab Pretty Loafers in neon camo.

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Pretty Loafers in orange camo print, from £129, prettyloafers.com (BUY ME HERE!)

I’ve been a fan of Pretty Ballerinas for years (I still mourn my leopard print pair that I wore, literally, to death) but this season sees the launch of Pretty Loafers. Same concept, same company, different shaped shoe. I much prefer the slipper style of Pretty Loafers; it fits better with my tomboy aesthetic. If these neon ones are a bit way out for you, check the website for myriad alternatives, including simple black tassel loafers and, of course, a healthy choice of animal print. There are even a few lace-up brogues thrown in for good measure. And I can confirm that they are every bit as comfortable as your trusty Pretty Ballerinas.

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Del Toro Prince Albert printed loafers, £305, harveynichols.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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CB Made In Italy, £285, my-wardrobe.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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Stubbs & Wootton camouflage slippers, £330, brownsfashion.com (BUY ME HERE!)

This print seems to lend itself particularly well to slipper and loafer styles as you can see from all these other pairs that I’ve found, but it also looks great in a skater shoe or sneaker. And if that’s your preference, your luck is in as most of these are now on sale.

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London Crystal, £49 reduced from £140, kurtgeiger.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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Puma trainer, £51.78 reduced from £86.39, farfetch.com (BUY ME HERE!)

So if you want to buy into next season now, take inspiration from the army and invest in some camouflage.

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it’s my Pretty Loafers again!

sensible sandals: practical AND cheap!

It’s sad when something as simple as a crepe soled leather sandal makes you a bit short of breath whenever you think about it. But we fashion geeks are a sad bunch. Ever since I stumbled across these Clarks Originals last week (I was actually looking for sandals for Mr Brogue and was THRILLED when I discovered they don’t do these in men’s sizes!) I have been hoping for the sun to come out so I can convince myself that I do actually need to buy a new pair of sandals. I don’t, of course, but I won’t let a little thing like already owning at least ten pairs of sandals stop me!

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Kestral Soar sandals in tan, £49.99 (clarks.co.uk) BUY ME HERE!

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the crepe sole that resulted in shortness of breath…

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Kestral Soar sandals in chestnut, £49.99 (clarks.co.uk) BUY ME HERE!

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Kestral Soar sandals in white, £49.99 (clarks.co.uk) BUY ME HERE!

Not everyone is a fan of the school sandal style (Hilary Rose wrote about how much she hates them in yesterday’s Times) but I adore them. It’s not just because of the nostalgia attached – my mum would take me for a annual trip to Clarks for a navy pair for school – but that classic design will literally never go out of style, and best of all, these sandals are cheap!

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Helter sandals, £22 (topshop.com) BUY ME HERE!

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Carvela Kurly sandals, £29, reduced from £75 (kurtgeiger.com) BUY ME HERE!

Topshop, Kurt Geiger and John Lewis all have versions, and even if you think you’re normally priced out of the Toast catalogue, think again. It stocks Salt Water sandals which are very reasonably priced and come in a huge range of colours.

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Joplin sandals, £65 (johnlewis.com) BUY ME HERE!
Top tip: if you don’t like the T-bar, do what my mum used to and just take it off! Much better for tan lines…

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Salt Water sandals, £49 (toast.co.uk) BUY ME HERE!

One final thought: if you swooned over Miu Miu’s crystal embellished school sandals from the SS13 collection but can’t afford them, why not make your own? Get yourself to a hobby centre or haberdashery for some stick on crystals and do it yourself! I like Josy Rose’s black diamond diamante (here) or Stitch n Craft has a big range of Swarovski crystals (here). If you do try this out, please send me pictures!

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Miu Miu’s crystal sandals

Milan Fashion Week: Saturday

Today is my first full day in Milan for fashion week, and I’ve realised I’ve become someone who doesn’t seem to get cold ankles! My toes are freezing though; snow is forecast today.

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I’ve seen countless fashion editors wearing white shoes this season, so I’m in good company with these by Kurt Geiger. The trousers – which look like they have little Andy Warhol heads all over them – are by Issa, the Breton is Jigsaw, and the faux fur coat is Topshop.

Bob’s your ankle

Yesterday I learnt that I’m not only going to be covering London fashion week for The Times, but also jetting off to Milan and Paris too. This is brilliant news, obviously, but did set me off panicking about my outfits a whole three weeks in advance (this would be classed as last minute planning in some fashion editors’ books, mind you!). I worry a bit when going to the shows, as everyone really does make an effort, and more often than not, this involves a vertiginous pair of heels. You know me, readers. I won’t be doing this under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, so I decided to buy me some more flat shoes. I love my two-tone pointy pumps in my avatar picture – they are my fall-back posh outfit shoes – so I fancied getting something in a similar vein.

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Kurt Geiger ANAIS shoes, £150, kurtgeiger.com (BUY ME HERE!)

Before I knew it, I had bought into A Thing. The Thing was ankle straps. I do love this style anyway, but it seems that it is having a moment. I’d spotted this white pair by Kurt Geiger in Vogue, which also come in black, and whipped out my credit card almost straight away. It’s OK to wear white shoes if they’re not stilettos, right?! I ordered them online, opted for free delivery because I wasn’t in a hurry to receive them, and they arrived the next day! Very impressive service. Today I am wearing them with a black and white striped sweater and a Fred Perry Amy Winehouse pinafore dress; quite a sixties look and ticking the monochrome box too.

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Belle by Sigerson Morrison ballerinas, £128, reduced from £195, shoescribe.com

Then, in some kind of shopping frenzy that I don’t usually fall victim to, I bought another pair! This time by Belle by Sigerson Morrison, and they come with the added bonuses of some leopard print and a T-bar. God, I love these shoes (and not just because they were in the sale and came with a hefty discount!).  They’re going to look brilliant with a black dress and black tights, or a pair of battered rolled up blue denim jeans. They’ve just this second been delivered and I am giddy with excitement.

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Boden colourblock pumps, £69, boden.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

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If you fancy buying into this trend, you could do worse than have a look at the Boden catalogue. It has some lovely two-tone pumps with ankle straps, in two different colourways. Pretty Ballerinas also has some very similar monochrome points, and I can vouch for this brand for comfort and durability. For those with their fingers on the fashion pulse (and a tight grip of their purse strings), ASOS’s metallic version might be for you with their brilliant price of £25. Or if you want to splash out and really draw attention to those ankle straps, try Selfridges for some Chloe ballet pumps.

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ASOS metallic pumps, £25, ASOS.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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Pretty Ballerinas Victoria pumps, £169, in store soon

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Chloe Charlotte pumps, £375, selfridges.com (BUY ME HERE!)

Happy nude year!

Happy new year everyone! I’d like to welcome all my new readers: my, have you guys been keen to find out about about stylish flat shoes over the holidays! Perhaps you’ve made resolutions to be kinder to your feet for 2013? En Brogue approves whole heartedly.

Today I had a little look at the sales and it struck me how nude has become as ubiquitous a colour as black for shoes these-days. The Duchess of Cambridge has given this shade of shoe a somewhat uncool image with her penchant for flesh coloured patent heels, but I’ve done some hunting and there are some great flat styles out there that don’t have the slightest whiff of princess about them. And some of them are in the sales too!

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Sam Edelman toe cap slippers, £88, reduced from £148, my-wardrobe.com BUY ME HERE!

I have fallen in love with these slipper style shoes by Sam Edelman, and not just because they have a 40% discount. They would look awesome with cropped cigarette pants and a T-shirt once it’s warm enough to bare your ankles again. Also available in black with silver toe cap, though there aren’t many sizes still available.

Lucca court shoe, £49, reduced from £160, kurtgeiger.com BUY ME HERE!

Lucca court shoe, £49, reduced from £160, kurtgeiger.com BUY ME HERE!

I’ve had my eye on this retro style from Kurt Geiger for months, and with that whopping discount I think it’s about time I got around to buying them. I love the pointy toe and double buckles, and the barely-there heel that for flat shoe lovers will actually feel like quite an elevation!

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Maisy T-bar shoes, £32, Topshop.com BUY ME HERE!

I realise the sales can be disappointing when you can’t get your size, so here’s a pair that’s new and well stocked. And also, cheaper than the others even at full price! If you read my last post about Valentino-style studded pumps, you’ll know that I love this look.

Belle by Sigerson Morrison

Belle by Sigerson Morrison Varsha shoe, £124.42, shopbop.com BUY ME HERE!

Finally, these fab suede pumps by Belle By Sigerson Morrison put a new spin on that studded look I’m so keen on. There’s something almost reptilian about the placement of the rivets, which juxtaposes brilliantly with the feminine shade of pale pink. Again, these aren’t in the sales but I think the price is very reasonable for a designer brand.

tell me about it, stud

En Brogue will be taking a short Christmas break, so I thought I do a festive post about studded pumps before I go and have my first sherry of the holidays. I was inspired by a gorgeous pair I spotted on a friend yesterday, and by my own trusty Zara pumps that I’ll be sporting on Christmas day of course!

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my Valentino inspired Zara studded pumps

They’re perfect for the party season (flat shoes are the best for dancing, naturally), and many similar styles have already been reduced in the sales. 

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Valentino Rockstud pumps, £393.07, farfetch.com BUY ME HERE!

Valentino started this trend with its Rockstud pumps, and now is the time to be looking for the real deal as prices start to reduce. I never buy designer at full price, but I’m always tempted when I see a bargain! These pointy ballet pumps also come in black, nude and hot pink, but I love these striking red ones, especially to wear over Christmas. They’re not in the sale yet, but I’ve got my eyes peeled…

 

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Zara pumps, £99.99, zara.com BUY ME HERE!

At £99.99, these rather showy studs from Zara are a little more pricey than my red ones were (£24.99 and no longer online, sadly) but that’s because you get a lot of bling for your buck (and they’re much cheaper than Valentino). Brilliant if you want to ditch the heels on New Year’s Eve but still have fantastic festive feet.

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KG Kurt Geiger Licorice pumps, £45 (reduced from £95), kurtgeiger.com BUY ME HERE!

Finally, this pair from Kurt Geiger were the inspiration for the post. And they’ve been reduced to £45 already! Love love love that monochrome dalmatian print and the studs are subtle enough so as not to overpower the shoe. They were still in store yesterday so hot-foot it to your nearest Kurt Geiger as these will sell out quick!

Anyway, hope you all have happy holidays partying smugly in your flat shoes while all around you hobble/apply plasters/are forced to dance bare foot. See you soon!