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!

sporty sandals

So, I promised you earlier in the week a guide to summer sandals. And the news this summer is: they’re chunky and sporty. You can blame Phoebe Philo at Celine for this  - as you can for most trends you’ve ended up wearing over the past few years – as well as my favourite brand Marni, Prada and Kenzo amongst others.

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Nicholas Kirkwood sandals, £595 at net-a-porter.com (BUY ME HERE!)

 

This style isn’t for everyone (I’m quoted in today’s Times Magazine on the very subject) but I LOVE them. They’re the ultimate in comfort (particularly if you have the nerve to wear them with socks, though if you’re going to do this I’d advise ribbed socks and NEVER towelling) and the high street has grabbed it with both hands. Good news! Ignoring this spectacular pair by Nicholas Kirkwood, which I can’t afford, so I painted them, I’ve rounded up my favourite more affordable designs available right now. Stock up now before they sell out!

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Selma, £129, hobbs.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

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Erie, £59.99, vagabond.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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strappy sandals with track sole, £49.99, zara.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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Hola, £24, topshop.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

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Maite, £80, Calvin Klein at ASOS.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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Limited Maya, £225, whistles.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

this week’s shoes headlines: Salt Water IN STOCK, bare ankles weather and more

It’s warming up!

Today in London, the temperature is going to reach the heady heights of 15 degrees centigrade. I have a thing called The Fashion Thermometer – my own personal guide to knowing what to wear depending on the weather – and 15 degrees marks the point when you can lose your socks. By Sunday, so Carol on BBC weather has just informed me, it could get as hot as 18 degrees, which means bare legs and enclosed shoes, or sandals with jeans (bare legs AND sandals would be a step too far until it’s at least 20 degrees). Today I’ve gone for my 10 Crosby Derek Lam slippers. Come Sunday, I might be in Birkenstocks!

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Salt Water is now IN STOCK

Speaking of warmer weather, now’s the time to buy your Salt Water sandals as they’ve just come into stock for the new season. I know you lot LOVE Salt Water, so buy now to avoid disappointment later. They ALWAYS sell out. The best place with the most stock is sunsansandals.co.uk. 

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from £38, sunsansandals.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

Adding to my lust list

The trouble with working for a glossy magazine is that I’m constantly coming across the most beautiful shoes that are right out of my price range. These amazing desert boots by Pollini, for example, which were showcased with the brand’s AW14 collection in Paris at the weekend. Seeing as I won’t be able to afford them until they go into the sale in about a year’s time, I’ll just have to enjoy this picture I took of them in the meantime…

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High street shoe of the week

Hot from fashion week, I can tell you that flat shoes are not only very much still on the radar as far as high fashion is concerned, but flat white shoes. Tap into next season right now with these from Zara. They look very high end, like they might cost £350. They don’t.

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cut out moccasins, £79.99, zara.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

London fashion week: day 4

Two shows today had footwear that made me swoon. But before we get on to that, here’s what I wore. The skate shoes are Essentiel Antwerp (new in the UK this season), jumper and bag by Mint Velvet, Zara coat and MiH jeans. I took an arty farty shoe shot on the mirrored catwalk at Christopher Kane (and another in the full length mirror in the loo. Less glamorous).

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But back to those shows. First, Giles, whose gowns and skirts were styled with adidas sneakers. All the best styles were present and correct – Gazelles, Superstars and Stan Smiths – and some looked to me to be hand painted, such was their glossy, slightly cracked finish. My favourites were the pale pink Gazelles.

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My top show of fashion week so far though was the first of the day: Roksanda Ilincic. The whole thing – clothes, colours, ponytails – was beautiful, but it’s the flat boots in particular that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. They are a collaboration with Nicholas Kirkwood, so I’d better start saving now; they won’t come cheap but I reckon it would be worth it for a slice of that neon action. Mmmm….divine.

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London fashion week: day 2

Another great day for flats at LFW, both on and off the catwalk. I wore my Antipodium x ASOS shoes with my new favourite coat from Benetton (of all places!) which looks so much like Marni someone christened it my Marnitton coat!

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Many fashion editors also chose flats to negotiate the cobbles at Somerset House. Here are a few of my favourites.

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As for the catwalks themselves, well, I hope you lot like pool sliders. They were the shoe of choice at both Whistles and the wonderful JW Anderson (fav show so far). And the Chelsea boots at Richard Nicoll were to die for. Check back tomorrow for more reports on London fashion week flats.

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Zoo good to be true? No, these sandals are animal magic.

Regular readers of En Brogue will know I have a penchant for (OK, OK – obsession with) animal print slippers and pumps. This extends into summer footwear too, though my sandal collection isn’t as large, mainly due to the lack of opportunity to wear them because of the increasingly weird British summertime.

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DUO sandals

But it’s July now, and I will insist, even if it’s with cold toes, on wearing sandals whenever it’s dry. Today I went for a bonanza of print clashing, teaming these zebra print sandals by DUO with this lovely animal print bag from Mint Velvet (what animal even is that though? Brindle Greyhound? Answers on a postcard…) and a pair of Zara floral print trousers. This demonstrates perfectly why the animal print shoe is so brilliant: it goes with absolutely everything, even another print. Or two.

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Russell & Bromley sandals (I didn’t go in Miu Miu – too dangerous!)

My love for the animal print sandal began a few summers ago when I bought these Russell & Bromley Dalmatian print sandals as an investment. And it was a good one! R&B’s shoes are always fabulous quality, and these still look good as new despite having been walked through deep seaweed on a bad beach walk on the Isle of Wight and dusted with orange dirt in the Tuscan foothills.

The good news about Britain’s recent tendency for Indian summers is that by the time you think about wearing sandals, most of them are in the sale. Here are my top picks available at the moment. Be warned: some of these low prices will be hard to resist!

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Ravel, £45, at very.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

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Marni, £210 at shoescribe.com (BUY ME HERE!)
it’s that unidentified animal print again! striped hyena? any ideas? tweet me – @enbrogue – or leave a comment!

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Faster, £25 reduced from £42, topshop.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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£19.99 reduced from £29.99, zara.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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Sam Edelman, £59.49 reduced from £84.99, julesb.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

espadrilling it home: you don’t need to spend a fortune on summer shoes

Today’s blog was inspired by my friend Holly’s lovely (and incredibly stylish) mum Joy, who was wearing these gorgeous Jigsaw espadrilles at the weekend. I love Joy’s style; she’s always one step ahead of the game with her brilliant creative eye (she also makes amazing hand-pulled screen printed cushions which you can buy on her Random Retail website here - I highly recommend taking a look!), so it didn’t surprise me to learn that she bought these shoes last year and they’re sadly not available anymore. But it reminded me how much I love espadrilles, and it was really about time I did a post on them.

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Joy’s lovely Jigsaw lace-ups

The brilliant thing about espadrilles is that they are usually pretty cheap. The high street has a great offering at the moment, especially of jaunty stripy ones like Joy’s. These are all perfect for lazy summer days at the beach, and leave plenty of change for a Mr Whippy with a Flake or a bag of fish and chips!

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blue stripe, £24.95, joules.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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red stripe boot, £35, topshop.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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Chevrons, £39.99, zara.com (BUY ME HERE!)

I do think it’s fine to pay a bit more for espadrilles if the design is good enough however, though I’m not talking about the £400 Celine pair I saw in Selfridges recently (yes, FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS!). These particular beauts are from one of my favourite brands, Penelope Chilvers, who is somewhat of a specialist in the espadrille sole.

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Espadrille boot in Saffron Tiles, £155, penelopechilvers.com (BUY ME HERE!)

These are a bit special to be kicking off at the beach mind you! I’ll be taking better care of them than that. Although Penelope herself told me that espadrilles should get thrown away at the end of the summer, I have a pair of hers that are still going well into their third year, so they really are well made (and therefore worth that extra investment!).

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Nonno espadrille in Safron Stripe, £129, penelopechilvers.com (BUY ME HERE!)

The espadrilles that half of you probably own anyway – TOMS – are SO comfortable, and have such a great ethical story (read more about it here), I couldn’t do this post without mentioning them. Plus I took a nice picture of them in the sunshine on Bank Holiday Monday while I was on the Isle of Wight, which would have been a shame not to share. There are dozens of styles and colours available, so there really is something for everyone (my mum has some in yellow, and Mr Brogue is after a pair too).

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TOMS classics, £47, toms.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

One final espadrille thought for you: if you’re holidaying in France this summer, have a look at the clothing department in your local supermarche when you’re picking up a baguette. They ALWAYS have a big range of espadrilles for as little as €5. Bargain!!

aaaah, ah-ah-ah-ah, the Cities of Gold

Today I’m feeling a little bit Aztec, a little bit Peruvian, slightly Inca, and basically inspired by all things south American (which also means I will be singing the theme tune to one of my favourite kids’ TV shows, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, ALL DAY). If you’re looking for some bright coloured printed or embroidered footwear, then this is definitely the season for you. Fancy a bit of a tribal print? You got it. Pom-poms? Check. Desert boots made out of carpet? Yep, I’ve got that covered too. (No, really, I have!)

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Penelope Chilvers Sunshine plimsoll, £109 (penelopechilvers.com) BUY ME HERE!

This trend first caught my eye when the Penelope Chilvers summer look book arrived on my desk a few months ago. I instantly fell in love with these printed plimsolls, and this shot, with its guacamole coloured background, is good enough to hang on your wall! This fabric reminds me of the early Nineties and incense burners, but in a totally good way!

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L.K. Bennett Bamboo slippers, £225 (lkbennett.com) BUY ME HERE!

These gorgeous pom-pom slippers are designed by the uber-stylish fashion director of Tank Magazine, Caroline Issa. Caroline often wears incredible heels (they must be incredible for a flat-lover like me to admire them!), so I was really pleased she included some flats in her collaboration with L.K. Bennett.

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DUO Bloom slippers, £80 (duoboots.com) BUY ME HERE!

DUO (the width fitting specialists, for those of you who struggle to find shoes that fit) has these lovely tassel slippers. The Aztec style fabric is also available on an ankle boot (here), which is worth considering in this freezing weather!

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Zara slipper, £29.99 (zara.com) BUY ME HERE!

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Aldo Lucyna flats, £45 (alsoshoes.com) BUY ME HERE!

And the list goes on. You’ll find this trend trickling into everything too, from jackets to handbags to skirts, but I wouldn’t advise wearing it head-to-toe. I think my favourite discovery must be these fabulous desert boots from Kiboots, made from upcycled rugs. And because they use recycled materials, every pair is different. They’re not yet stocked in the UK, but you can buy on their website and they’re hoping to be stocked over here soon.

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Kiboots Terry boots, €159.95 (kiboots.com) BUY SOMETHING VERY SIMILAR TO ME HERE!

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: Wednesday

It’s my last day in Paris! And I have to say I’m excited to get home and see Mr Brogue. I’m wearing my EnBrogue shoes from Office with a Paule Ka clutch and this fab oversized sweater I picked up from Zara on rue Saint Honore as I want to be comfortable on the Eurostar later. Just got back from Louis Vuitton, then Miu Miu, then home!

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