Tag Archives: Folk

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 14.07.42

Investment shoes: why it’s worth it, and what’s on offer for the new season

I admit it. I am partial to an investment shoe. Some of my very favourite brands aren’t exactly cheap, but they make beautiful footwear of an amazing quality and with brilliant design, and that’s why I love them so much. So when the new season styles start to trickle on to their websites, it’s time to get really, REALLY excited. The brands I’ve included in this new season round-up all fall into the investment shoe category. They’re not MEGA expensive, but you’ll probably need to save up to buy a pair, and I hope that my endorsement of them will be helpful and reassuring if you’re thinking of doing that. They’re brands that I’ve been wearing for years and that I’ve always found to be incredibly comfortable, as well as durable. Oh, and they just so happen to make designs that actually make my heart race!

Penelope Chilvers

What I love about this brand is the celebration of colour and print that you can always find. As I write this I’m wearing an old favourite pair of Penelope Chilvers desert boots in blue velvet, and I have another pair in an orange and blue tile print – they’re shoes to wear when you’re feeling happy. This season I’m loving the Jungle boot in a variety of prints – a sort of chukka-trainer hybrid – and the pool slide espadrilles.

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 14.05.11
Jungle Maun Needlepoint boots, £229, penelopechilvers.com (BUY ME HERE!)
Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 14.05.54
Pool Sandal Pony, £169, penelopechilvers.com (BUY ME HERE!)

Northern Cobbler

This little company is based in Northampton – the shoe-making capital of Britain – and only has a couple of new styles so far this season, choosing instead to continue some old favourites like its ‘Nibblefish’ fisherman’s shoes and ‘Platy’ fringed sandals (plus keep your eyes peeled for the trainers which drop online in a few weeks). ‘Cavefish’ is an eternally chic monochrome style, and you can’t get much more summery than the gorgeous two-tone ‘Damselfish’ loafers. Swoon.

Northern Cobbler 1
Cavefish, £210, northerncobbler.com (BUY ME HERE!)
Northern Cobbler 2
Damselfish, £210, northerncobbler.com (BUY ME HERE!)


I think that when you’re into flat shoes, it goes hand-in-hand that you shop at places that do his-and-hers stuff. Grenson, Northern Cobbler, Fred Perry and Folk are all places that Mr Brogue and I shop at together, and Folk’s shoes are REALLY lovely – they’re incredibly comfortable and the unusual yet subtle designs are an absolute winner. These Lore sandals do have a micro-wedge, but it’s so minimal that I will let it pass! And I love the look of these silver sneakers. It’s worth looking at the clothing while you’re there; if you’re a fan of colour and print with lashings of navy and grey, then I think you’ll like it.

Folk sandals
Lore, £240, folkclothing.com (BUY ME HERE!)
Folk silver
Isa, £195, folkclothing.com (BUY ME HERE!)


Well, you don’t think that Grenson WOULDN’T feature on here, did you? I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve recommended this brand to who have since become complete addicts. My editor at InStyle – a previous lover of chunky high heels – is a total convert since I got her to wear a bright yellow pair of brogues over fashion week. When I was writing my book I really fancied getting a pair of saddle shoes but I couldn’t find any, so I was delighted when  I saw ‘Peggy’ at Grenson’s press day a few months ago. I promptly ordered myself a pair in yellow and white (they are also available in blue and white) and I can’t wait for them to arrive. I’m also pleased to see some old favourites – like ‘Emily’ – in new, exciting colours (more yellow!) and the new ‘Carrie’ with removable kiltie, which is a reworking of an old style that just so happened to be my first ever pair of Grensons.

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 14.03.11
Peggy, £225, grenson.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)
Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 14.03.48
Carrie, £225, grenson.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

If you’re investing in a special pair of shoes I’d love to hear about it! Tweet me a picture of your new shoes to @EnBrogue with the hashtag #newshoes.

happy anniversary Mr Brogue!

Grenson and Folk tiles in Barcelona
Mr Brogue in Grenson, me in Folk

Mr Brogue and I have been married 10 years today! Sadly I don’t have a shoefie (shoe selfie) from our wedding day (though I spent most of the day in bare feet) so I thought I’d celebrate with a few of my favourites from more recent times.

both wearing Clarks
desert boots Clarks with Mr Brogue
Err, someone’s going to have to get changed! Both in Clarks Originals desert boots
Mr Brogue in Clarks, me in Toast



Sock it to me

Regular readers of EnBrogue will know I am a BIG fan of the snazzy sock, and yesterday I hit the shops to stock up on some new season pairs. Socks are a hot trend for SS14, which means there are some much cooler designs available than normal. It’s a quick, cheap and easy way of updating an old pair of shoes, so even if you’re not up for wearing ankle socks and flat shoes with a skirt, you can at least turn up your jeans and show a bit of colour! Here are my favourite pairs for a bit of inspiration.

Love love LOVE this first pair from Topshop (with Grenson shoes) because of their retro masculine vibe. They’re part of a ‘3 pairs for £8’ deal, or are £3.50 per pair. I like them so much I also bought them in grey.

If you don’t live in London, you might not have discovered & Other Stories yet (sister store to H&M and COS) but the website is great so check it out. These crochet socks (£5) are really handy at this time of year for shoes like these by 10 Crosby Derek Lam that you would usually wear with bare ankles. Normal black socks would look weird, but these pretty ones are just right.

Unlike & Other Stories, Muji’s website is hopeless, but it has plenty of stores so hopefully you’ll be able to track one down as its socks are excellent. They are really good quality and are around £4.50 per pair. As well as this spotty pair (worn with NW3 Hobbs loafers) it has a great selection of subtle Argyle designs too.

Back to & Other Stories now, and these cute neon trim socks (worn with Folk sneakers) come in a two-pack for £5 (the other pair is darker grey with yellow trim). They add a feminine touch to your casual trainers.

Finally, the most fashion-forward of the bunch. Prada’s SS14 collection was littered with footless knee-high hockey socks but Topshop has put a more wearable spin on the look with these ankle socks. Die-hard fashionistas will be teaming them with skirts and this season’s chunky sandals (more on those soon), but I’ll stick to my Grenson brogues I think.
Happy socks shopping!

a night on the tiles

If there’s one thing I love almost as much as flat shoes, it’s colourful tiles. This obsession has escalated since I started this blog, since I’m always looking for interesting floors to use as a backdrop to the pictures I constantly take of my feet.

tiles in Gaudi’s Park Guell, Barcelona

You have an En Brogue reader to thank for this post – Sophie – who even suggested the name when I tweeted a picture of the fabulous tiles in my local pub (below). So here is a selection of my favourite tiles that I have stumbled across recently. Enjoy!

Fratelli Rossetti loafers and tiles in my local pub
Mr Brogue in Grenson, me in Folk, tapas bar, Barcelona
Diane vin Furstenberg pumps and tiles in the Petit Palais, Paris
Grenson boots and mosaic pavement tiles, Brighton
By Larin sandals and my bathroom floor (they’re from Topps Tiles – recently – I should get commission as so many people have asked about them since I tweeted this pic!)

forgive me Lord, for I have moccasinned…

Allow me to introduce you to my newest purchase: the Harriet boots by Folk. They were my birthday present to myself (you all buy a birthday present for yourself, right?) and I am in love with them. They look a bit like a desert boot, a lot like a moccasin, and are more comfortable than a pair of Nike Air Max.

Harriet boots, £170, by Folk (folkclothing.com) BUY ME HERE!

This particular style also comes in brown (here) or neon pink (here), and Folk also has some even more moccasin-y boots – the Charlie – in the same shades.

Folk Charlie white
Charlie boots, £250, by Folk (folkclothing.com) BUY ME HERE!
Folk Charlie sand
Charlie boots, £250, by Folk (folkclothing.com) BUY ME HERE!


Just when I thought Folk were the only ones making white moccasin hybrid boots, I stumbled across these by YMC. They feel a bit more Pocahontas with their fringing, and will require a fair amount of leather protection before wearing (as did my Folk boots; the Lamb’s Conduit store provided me with everything I needed) but will look very cute with a floral tea dress once (IF!!) the weather improves. They’re not available online just yet (I saw these in the press showroom) but should be very soon.

YMC moccasin boots, available soon

As I was wandering through SoHo planning this post, these final boots caught my eye. They were in the window of somewhere I don’t usually associate with stylish flat shoes: UGG. But how stylish are these?! And at just £65, they are the cheapest of the lot. I’m pleased this brand is putting more effort into summer footwear, and it’s doing a pretty good job so far.

Azin boots, £65, by UGG (uggaustralia.co.uk) BUY ME HERE!

Anyway, hope you all have a fantastic FOUR DAY WEEKEND! I’m off to drink lots of wine…

cut out and keep

If you’ve looked for a new pair of shoes in Topshop recently, you wouldn’t have been able to escape the plethora of cut out boots on the shelves (it currently has eight different styles on its website in the low heel section alone). The trend for this well-ventilated footwear originated last year at Balenciaga, but has finally started to catch on on the high street. 

Miley Cyrus (I know, I was surprised too!) wearing Balenciaga

It’s a look that works best with no socks, but as that’s not really an option on a day like today when London is shrouded in freezing fog, take heart in the fact that they also look great with thick black tights, or with a plain, ribbed sock on show.

AJ cut out heavy ankle boots, £95, topshop.com BUY ME HERE!

This first pair from Topshop are a dead ringer for the Balenciaga originals but at only £95, are a fraction of the price. I love that chunky hardware on the buckles and the zip up the back.

ACTON clean buckle boots, £78, topshop.com BUY ME HERE!

For something a little less goth, Topshop also has these smart burgundy boots. That little gold toe-cap is a lovely detail, and they look pretty comfortable too.

Shakuhachi riding boot, £258.96, farfetch.com BUY ME HERE!

If you have a little more cash to splash and would rather never be caught wearing the same shoes as anyone else, these luxurious Shakuhachi boots might be for you. Farfetch.com is a brilliant website that brings together the best designer boutiques from around the world. If you bought this particular pair of boots, they’d be shipped to you from American Rag in L.A. Exclusive!

Folk Lily shoes, £375, folkclothing.com BUY ME HERE!

Finally, I’m going to break a few rules. These are a shoe rather than a boot but I like their two-tone multi-texture loveliness so much that I had to include them. Also, they have a very small wedge, so I suppose technically they’re not entirely flat, but as it’s party season and we’re only talking about an inch, I’m feeling OK about it. Especially since I’ve imagined myself wearing them with some grey ribbed tights and a checked shirt dress…