Big Feet? Why you should buy your sandals now…

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(Clarks Sandals Left+ Right+)

The sad fact of the matter is, if you are rocking size nine feet or larger, now is probably the first and last time you are going to be able to secure your summer sandals. Especially if you have a desire for flat, practical shoes.

In the autumn and winter you needn’t worry as quickly but in terms of the summer months? You have to make a plan and get your shoes tied down and fast.

If you think I’m joking I received my first pair in the mail last month (These cheap-ish flats from Clarks+ – I have sent these back, being as they are too flat for my feet) and after having decided they were not for me I found a further two pairs to send to my Mum and Nanna for inspection. My mum fell in love with the heavier soled pair pair whilst my nanna preferred the others and also informed me that she had bought hers two weeks prior!

See? It pays to get them in early, but why? because last year I didn’t get any, frankly because there were none! It seems that the unfortunate truth for any of us with difficult feet or bigger or smaller feet means far less choice, but seemingly no less demand. Therefore however much I wanted to wait them out for the next sale it just couldn’t be on the cards, although I may be keeping an eye on this pair+ just in case.

If you want to know about the two pairs I will more than likely review them later in the year. Upon first wearing they are both nicely cushioned and comfortable although even in the wide fittings they probably won’t be enough for anyone with very wide feet.

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Building a closet for life | Holy Mackerel shoe collection

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2 pairs of knee-high boots

7 pairs of ankle boots (3 leather, 4 suede)

1 pair of trainers

2 pairs of brogues

1 pair of loafers

2 pairs of heels

When I began this blog I had in the first year garnered quite a lot of inexpensive shoes that inevitably fell apart quite quickly (although I have an embarrassingly amount of them still stored up in boxes but that’s later in the post). So two to three years ago I started changing my ways with a pair of blue suede boots with purple elasticated sides. From Clarks in the sale it opened a doorway to taking better care of my feet by wearing leather shoes and boots.

Post-ankle break I have continual ankle and foot issues (because the restricted ankle gives me metatarsal pain on top) so after a second load of physio it quickly became apparent that sticking by cheap, badly fitting shoes just wasn’t going to cut it, and so began the slow creation of 15, yes, 15! Pairs of decent shoes.

If I’m honest the moment I thought about this post and started pulling them from my various stashes across the house I felt a little embarrassed. 15 pairs? That is an awful lot. Such a lot that it made me realize how important it is to go through those cheap shoe boxes and be honest with myself as to what anyone really needs in a shoe cupboard and then donate for those who can’t afford size nine shoes, period. After all, we all have to start somewhere.

Although a couple of pairs were c/o it took me a long time to build this shoe-drobe so really I guess I shouldn’t be too embarrassed after all I did so for a reason. To have a collection of shoes which work for all occasions and which can take me through several years (rather than a season).

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When it began

After the first pair, I’ll admit I was a little addicted but only in the sale. The blue suede boots, the red and taupe heels, the pale brogues… in fact the only pair of shoes, which I bought full price? The orange desert boots.

I still tend to buy in the sales, laying in wait for the next deal to make them more affordable I pre game. The moment the new collection launches I do a reckie, which ones do I like and previously what do I need. Then I wait for deals, full on Sales, 15%, 40% you name it and then I go for it.

Do I need that many or realistically what do I or you need…

Need vs. want is a huge part of a capsule wardrobe or anyone’s life when they are trying to be conscientious of what we are consuming. At first I wasn’t so good at the needs vs. the wants in fact I went by what I loved the look of. Reality is heels are rarely needed but a great pair of boots for rain and snow, yes, they should be on my needs list. The problem is knowing actually what do you need and in the last three + years there has been a lot of learning going on.

Now, when I look at this collection I know that the last pair of boots (Black leather lace ups) should have been first on my list. I would never have known that however, if I hadn’t of had a cheap pair of sand boots like that last year. I would not have known that lace up boots? Totally my jam.

Most importantly weather is a big consideration. Rain? Snow or dry winters you have to know what you are preparing for. I have gone through a lot of winters with wet feet. Wet feet help no one but it took me an embarrassingly long time to finally just tough it up and buy leather boots, leather protection spray and just have dry feet.

The problem is always wants vs. needs. I love suede, just like my mum its way more comfortable, way cuter but it hates rain and it certainly doesn’t appreciate snow so really I needed to get myself leather boots.

Another interesting conundrum is what type of shoe I like to wear and where I need to wear them. Ultimately we spend, sadly, most of our lives at work so the main point I’m making here is they need to be smart, or at least smart-ish. Due to this I thought loafers, great, smart shoes the only issue is they take so long to wear in and my feet don’t like being hurt. In all honesty they are still a little bit of a bust but something big came to me this year, you have to wear in good shoes.

Cheap plastic shoes? They don’t take any time to wear in, in fact if they wear in its because they have fallen apart.

What I know is I love boots. Boots are my thing. In fact in posts they might even become my tell. This is Jess, she wears boots. The only thing is we like variety so having one pair it might never work, that’s not saying I’ve not over done it however, so here is my key (specific for me) as to the types of shoes I actually need in my wardrobe.

1 pair of knee high boots

1 pair of leather (waterproof boots)

1 pair of suede boots (hardship guys I want five (I only have four now)

1 pair of brogues

1 pair of trainers

1 pair of heels

Yup, that’s only six pairs of shoes overall. It seems a small amount but really its all we need. Shocking, isn’t it.

Now please make me feel better and tell me you also have a crazy amount of shoes!

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AW2016 | The Shoes you need for Autumn

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It’s shoe week!!

Every girl, woman and man needs a shoe wardrobe to get them both from home to work safely but also in style. As we’ve learnt from Tuesday finding said shoes isn’t always an easy journey but knowing what you need for a successful shoe-drobe? I’ve got that covered.

The waterproof boot

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Similar +

The downside to living in England? Lots of rain. Its not so bad as to be a daily occurrence but it is more often than not so a pair of sturdy waterproof boots are a must have. These are last years boots from Long Tall Sally but they are perfect for those wet days! Make sure that they are sprayed with water-proof spray and you are ready to go, puddles and all!

Even better still this classic design is great under jeans or with skirts and dresses they are also continually professional looking and isn’t that what we all need?

Suede boots

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(I’ve literally just bought these but couldn’t find the colour . . . this is the same boot in a pale pink and its so beautiful)

I can’t live without a pair of suede boots, or suede shoes for that matter. Super comfortable this material stretches with time and is great for adding warmth and texture into an outfit. This are classic Clarks desert boots. They run narrow but I’m currently wearing these in so i’ll let you know how they work out moving forward!

Trainers

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Trainers+

A great pair of trainers which are both comfortable and supportive and surprisingly hard to find. This pair of boots that I’ve spoken about lately continue to be firm favourites  Super wearable I’m incredibly grateful for their wide toe box and the suede mix uppers have meant they have never rubbed me, rare but wonderful when you find them!

Work-appropriate loafers 

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The same style is available in burgundy and forest green+

Finally, you need a great pair of smart shoes for work. This particular pair didn’t get half the amount of wear they needed to have last year, this was because they have taken a liking to biting my heels. This year however, is the year of wearing in unforgiving shoes. My feet have always struggled with hard leather but the need for great shoes that fit all the bills means this year I’m not giving up.

 

 

The Capsule Wardrobe | Still Picking Favourites, Shoe Addition

_DSC0402I thought when I started capsuling that having only 9 pairs of shoes would be the worst thing ever.

Perhaps I was over dramatic but it was a serious concern of mine that maybe 9 pairs would not be enough. Funnily, once you get immersed in a capsule after a few months you start realising that it doesn’t matter how many pairs of shoes or how many T-shirts you own, you still pick favourites.

For todays post I wanted to focus primarily on three pairs of shoes that I have worn to death even when I have various other pairs to choose from!

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The suede boot from, New Look

I made such a killing on this pair. I bought them for only £8 when they were around £50 full price. Even more surprising is they are only a size eight but over the past autumn and winter I have worn this pair so much that one is now a drastically different colour to the other. They perhaps won’t last long past this winter but they have been my constant, friendly companion and for that I am really thankful.

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The fur lined boot from, New Look

As much as I am a magpie, I am a hoarder for all things faux fur. These lined boots are so warm its criminal and even better they have fantastic grip for those icy days!
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The Leopard print flats from LTS, barefoot Tess

I was so worried about these because they are really flat with minimal support but these have made an appearance during all our house demo work and I love them for a casual weekend. Now, I’m not even sure if I could live without them, not to mention they are leopard print so really, how could you not?

The Capsule Wardrobe: When you don’t have to follow the rules.

When you first start looking into capsule wardrobes it can be the most daunting experience, especially for those of us who became accustomed to lots of shopping and large extendable wardrobes.

However as my year of capsules has gone on I have begun to realise that participants can take big and small liberties with their rules. But thats great for newbies like me because it means you can decide how you change your shopping habits.

Now onto the reason for this post? I have some strange and painful foot issues at the moment and because of this (as you’ve probably already noticed) I am taking shoes out of my capsule. This means my capsule number is dropping but that my shoe choices will be more varied than most other capsule bloggers.

In this time however I will not be popping down the shops every other week for new shoes, thats not the point. Instead I will be wearing my shoes that I own and working out what works best with my feet and body and this will hopefully help me come October if I need any other pieces.I am also hoping this will mean I can donate a few more pieces and lighten how much stuff is in our home!

TRJL SHOPS | Best of the sandals SS15

1. Long Tall Sally, Gardenia

2. Scholl, Pocket Ballerina Sandal

3. Toms, Correa in Burlap

4. Long Tall Sally, Mimosa

5. Clarks, Romantic Moon

6. Office, Williamsburg

7. Birkenstock, Arizona

Holy Cow. Sandals.

I have had a two year bad streak and I know I’m in my capsule and I shouldn’t be looking but my sandals rub. Isn’t that always the way? I. am. so. sad about the state of the summer shoe situation! Why must you hurt? So I have been searching the internet and here you have it my list of gorgeous shoes that have support or cushioned soles!

That’s all I ask for in life, you know? Memory foam, soles! May I also point out, Toms!! I want, I want, I want! I just have to wait until June and I am all in!!

Attack of the Ugly Shoe. (Are Ugly shoes still cute?)

image from google

Are Ugly shoes still cute? It may appear a daft question but it’s important for a girl like me who has constant foot problems, that we ask are ugly shoes still appropriate for SS15? If the high street is anything to go by then the jury says yes, buy those godawful shoes! And I think the blogging world can still back me up here. Although I will not be going on trend with Birks I will be going on trend with ugly shoes.

Image from Google

What prompted this rapid turnaround after buying the beauty which is my Dulcie Meg wedges from Clarks? Injury when in doubt always guess injury my friends!

I like to run, not because I like feeling out of breath and like I am a whale trying to swim out of water but because it’s a quick power boost. It rids me of commuting stress (four hours a day will do that to you) and its quick way to lose a few pounds without spending days cycling up hills. But running yesterday?

Well running yesterday didn’t go so well. I have a repeat injury on my bad leg and it feels as if someone has stabbed a fork through the top of my foot. Its not comfortable I’ll tell you that. It comes from my muscles contracting and shortening from my bad ankle no longer bending enough. Its beyond irritating and even more painful and on occasion debilitating but its taught me something about the line between fashion and comfort.

As a kid I hated wearing what I thought were ugly supportive shoes*, but let me tell you this as a clumsy, accident prone girl I rarely did any real damage! But fast forward to being an adult making my own bad footwear choices and I’m rocking pins and a metal plate, coincidence? Probably not.

But now I’m trying to mend the damage. I’m going to work in my running shoes and changing at work and I have been only investing in more sensible shoes which offer often hidden support. Taking this further I have finally realised that shoes which repeatedly cause me problems like knock of Vans? they just have to be thrown away and never spoken about again! See sometimes fashion is worth it, but other times when you can’t walk to work and miss your train home it stops making so much sense!

Where do you guys draw the line with fashion and your footwear?

*when I was at school kickers were the height of fashion, emphasis on height and I am retroactively so glad I never wore them! Whatever did we see in these?

Shoes must.

Red Flats: New Look, Black Sandals: New Look Similar, Lime Green Shoes: Clarks on sale!, Lemon Flats: New Look similar (can you say lets add polka dots to that? I can!), White Birkoffs: Next

Shoes Must.

There are so many things in fashion that someone can turn to us and say, “You don’t need that” you look at them firstly of course with pure hate, I mean, how dare you? But then of course the reality sets in. Do I really need another pair of jeans? No, but I want them . . . But then we have shoes which to me are a totally different kettle of fish!

For example in winter you need a waterproof pair, you need the snow safe pair, the trecking pair, the running . . . you get the point. But then we have summer when we have an entirely different set of priorities! You need them to be cool for the hot days, smart for work, beach appropriate, date night appropriate you name it, you need it. Thats why I always tell Josh, shoes are not a choice, they’re a must and having as many pairs as possible is a totally viable decision. Right?

I love birks for the beach Red Points and Yellow flats for the office, black strappy sandals for hot days! and those beautiful neon yellow dollies for summer date nights and errands . . .

Not so mellow yellow

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Jumper: Gap (sale – my favourite word), Black Pencil Skirt: H&M (old as time but I know stores like Dorothy Perkins do these kinda things!) Black bag: Primark (my 2nd) Yellow Flats: New Look

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I’m on a mission. A colour mission. I may have  mentioned this before but back in university my wardrobe considered off four colours, black, white, red and navy. Don’t get me wrong this made dressing pretty easy and let me be pretty put together at all times, but you know what else? It was incredibly boring. Yep you heard that right, dressing, boring? so incredibly boring.

So as I do I set out on a mission to not only focus on better quality (less cheap bulk buys – le sigh) but to also make sure that each piece can both fit in with my wardrobe and be well loved and remixed but to also be at the same time completely different!

I am really trying to not only inject some much needed colour but to also add patterns and interest and I hope with paying that little bit more that I will also get some more textures and often its the little fancy extras on a piece of clothing (like a little bit of velvet covering the seems) that just adds to that wow I feel good factor! and who doesn’t want that?

From home to the office

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Coat: Primark, Blazer: Topshop Similar, Bag: (strap seperate) both Accessorize different colour same bag, Scarf: Accessorize cute alternative, Tunic: Next, Treggings: Next Similar pattern, Flats: New Look

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The worst has happened. I am struggling to wear heels. Since just before Christmas I have been having prolific cramp in my toes and calves which heels have not helped. In fact the last time I wore my wedge trainers walking (Which I used to do all the time – not just to sit in the office or go between car and dinner) Josh threatened to get us a cab pick the car up because I couldn’t walk or shake the cramp out of my poor damn toes. It has been hell on earth.

Add in consistent rain and I have been wearing a pair of low brown boots (which have yet to make it on the blog probably because I look at them like they are the evil rain spawns. (They totally are.) My grey ankle pirate boots and black knee high boots are all I have worn lately. I am so over boots believe me. So I am very much looking forward to spring/summer as I intend to pick myself up some bright coloured flats (I have seen online, mint and yellow hello! come home with me?) sandals and maybe some more brogues to bring in the new seasons while I can’t wear all my favourite heels.

But I am very cut up over this. I can’t think of anything worse than flats forever but fingers crossed with more exercise and stretching I can perhaps work this cramp away!

p.s. excuse that crinkle bag I can’t get the crinkles out!?! crazy . . .

Like Father . . .

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Hat: Marks and Spencers  Scarf: Accessorize Sale (January 2014) Similar Top: H&M Basics Bag: Accessorize Sale (January 2014) Similar Jeans: Next Concert Ticket Heels: Clarks Similar (want, want, want!) Watch: Michael Kors (December 2011).

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(This was for comical reasons – I try not to pull this face too often. It scares people.)

Like Father, Like Daughter. 

Growing up, my dad was a Scout and Venturer Scout leader. This meant that several nights a week he was down at the ‘hut’ with a division of Hitchins Scouts. One of my dads favourite parts of scouting was the 40 mile walk. Several days of walking and camping was like a dream to my dad. Now before we get ahead of ourselves I am not saying that was all passed down. In fact I feel the oposite about camping. However walking is something he did pass on, however much we didn’t realise this when I was a kid.

When I left for University I spent a huge amount of time exploring London, by foot.

I didn’t expect to be the girl who would end up spending her free time working out how to walk from Greenwich & Deptford to Blackheath, Lewisham, Canary Warf, Bank, . . .Central. I even took trains into central to walk from Bank to Piccadily Circus (for the National Gallery) Westminister, Waterloo, Southbank . . .

And then when I met Josh our first date was us walking from Greenwich first to Canary Warf caught a train to Bank walked around Covent Garden for Lunch walked over to Green Park, Hyde Park down to St James and started back to greenwich via Elephant and Castle (thats how far we made before catching a bus).

Cities are my thing. Where my dad walks the countryside over hills and moutains I’m more the urban explorer. Luckily three years of exploring the city have meant that I have gained a slightly odd internal compass when it comes to the London Streets. So when the tube stikes hit I knew what I wanted to do. Walk it.

The first day, I didn’t. Primarily because I was concerned about not making it in on time. On google it said 38 minutes to work. Back in my hayday that would have been an easy 20 minutes but with a broken ankle dividing me from my prime I was little bit concerned on timings but by the second day I was away.

In fact, I got into work earlier than the day befores bus trip 25 minutes? Not bad. Especially for the girl who wanted to lay down by the time she got to The Oval Stadium. But the buzz that I get from walking is equivilant to when I’m on my bike, when I have gone on a run, you name it. Like father Like Daughter apparently. So with that in mind heres to the next Strike!

p.s. I didn’t wear this to walk in. I wore leggings and a “We love fish and chips tee from Zara” But I’d love to think that I am this stylish all the time . . .

Just Jeans, Tee and a Jacket

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Scarf: FatFace (old) Similar Jacket: H&M (Sale) Similar White Top: H&M Basics Watch: Michael Kors (These have actually been around for a while my gorgeous boyfriend Josh bought this for me for christmas a couple of christmas’s a go and its still a keeper!), Jeans: Dorothy Perkins Also available in Tall – these are in Regular and I am 5ft 11′ Heels: Clarks (instore) Same but in Black and not available in size 9! which is annoying cause I love them!

 

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Ring: Jules In Hitchin a while back . . . Bag: Primark (£6? This is my second the first died after getting trapped in the tubes doors after a concert, haha)

 

 

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So one of my resolutions this year was to buy less but buy more quality. So really should I have been in H&M? Probably not. But then I saw this jacket and I have got to be honest I had had my eye on it for some time before but had always said no, it was probably only around £25 but being both busty and tall I also knew it might not be the best investment. But then when I saw it reduced to £15 I thought, ok Jess just try it on. So I did and Josh liked it, I liked it. and there you have it! The most boring story about a jacket you have ever had the misfortune to read.

What can I say? Perhaps I have the Thursday drain . . .