A fashion and style blog for the over 40s covering body shapes, colour palettes, how to wear neutrals, style personality and capsule wardrobes. Come on in!

3.16.2015

ACHIEVING THAT POLISHED LOOK PART 5

So we save the best until last......shoes. My absolute favourite subject in the whole wide world. Those delicious little creatures that come in twos, and have so much more to offer than their evolutionary purpose of walking. My goodness, if I were unfortunate enough to be allocated one pair of shoes for the rest of my life, darn it, they would have to be fabulous or I would surely wilt and die.

These. At £140,000 I'd be quite happy to wear them for the rest of my life.



Some years ago, I attended a creative thinking course at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park,  the great Henry Moore has several pieces displayed. We were asked to take a piece of art along. There were little miniatures, family heirlooms and various other offerings. I took in a shoe!! Well, we didn't really have a Monet hanging around at home at the time and anyway, I like shoes!

Shoes are just as important as jackets, scarves and jewellery for completing an outfit. And as I've mentioned in this series of posts, it's down to your own individual style personality. There really is little point in buying a pair of 6 inch heels if your lifestyle and personal preference are crying out for flats. You'll end up not wearing them no matter how fabulous they are.

Take the skater shoe (bloody things are still around this year I notice). I bought a pair last summer just because.....well because I was a sheep and I thought I should have some. They've been worn twice. I'm really not feeling the love for them. As I look down, all I see is a pair of Cornish pasties on my feet. That said, I love to see them on other people. And, I hasten to add, they don't look remotely like Cornish pasties on them.

But....that's ok because there's choices out there for everyone. If you want to find out a little bit more about your feet's style personality, have a look at this post here 

Let's start with a basic pair of jeans and t-shirt.



It's a pretty simple style, fairly contemporary with the slouchy t-shirt and boyfriend jeans. But how can we achieve that polished look, that effortless outfit that's simple but special. With a pair of shoes of course! Here, I've taken a selection of leopard prints...





Come on, there's something for everyone here isn't there.  Ok they all do different things, for example the Rockstud lookalike ankle strap pair dress up the outfit whilst the Espadrille dress give a more day time feel but regardless of which one you choose, they're all going to give the outfit a bit of pazazz. And whichever one you do choose, well that's down to your own individual style.

Wearing a pop of colour on your feet can really give you that extra edge.

Here an all black outfit would look great with a pair of black shoes. But she's chosen pink to really stand out.




And here, basics are taken up a notch or two with the addition of cobalt blue. Who hasn't got a white tee and black jeans in their wardrobe? This is so easy to do if you have a killer shoe (and I don't necessarily mean a killer heel either, this would work equally as well with blue flats).


Oh gosh Olivia, stunning. Another outfit so easily copied, distressed jeans, white shirt and power-house shoes.



And for the flatty wearers amongst you. A column of black with a pop of purple. Slimming and stunning.


And trainers measure up too.



A little bit of tangerine (big colour for this season) carries the whole outfit



There's so much inspiration on Pinterest, you need never buy a boring shoe again! If you really want to add colour to your feet though, I'd suggest taking a really good look in your wardrobe. There's no point in buying the tangerine Converse if most of your tops are pink based (unless you want to do the colour-clash thingy of course).

The humble shoe can really carry your whole outfit. They don't need to be full-on colour if that's not for you but they do need to have something, detail, pattern, texture.

The 'it' shoes this season seem to be coming from Boden. And here is one of them..

Boden Lille Lace-up Point £89


Metallic - tick, lace-up - tick, flats for comfort - tick. Come on someone has to think these are their perfect statement shoe??


Marks & Spencer Stiletto Mid Heel Strappy Sandal £29.50 (currently with 20% off)



One for the Classic style personalities. A really great neutral colour with a hint of the gladiator trend (ok that might be stretching it a little). Black pants, black shirt and you've got a great little outfit without having to put too much thought into it.

Dune Golled Slipper Cut Espadrille in Grey £69



So if the leopard print above is too loud, how about these toned down snakeskin ones? As a heel wearer, I think these are utterly gorgeous. I'd wear them over and above the Cornish pasties any day. Distressed boyfriend jeans, black t-shirt and winter white blazer. That's about as cool as I can get these days.

Adidas Originals Honey Lo Leather £50



If you've tried on the Stan Smiths (I have Stan-love, he doesn't love me), you'll know that they're quite chunky. Skinny ankles and Stans don't mix, believe me, I've been there, done it and put them back on the shelf. I ended up with these. The Honey-Los in leather. They're cut lower so have a more feminine feel. There's something about all white that makes them special. I've been wearing them with jeans (just a small cuff - it's too cold at the moment to expose too much ankle), breton top and blazer.

Top Shop Lisbon Suede Loafers £32


A great way to keep your wardrobe current is to update your shoes. Tan loafers are everywhere this season. Love the weave on the top of the shoe. I'd put these with dark ink jeans (deep cuffed - I'm thinking summer here) and a cream boho style top. Actually I'm really liking this idea.

Mint Velvet Grey Toni Stud Wedge Shoe £99

These actually look so different on that I need to show you them worn too.


A.D.O.R.E. them. Love with the shorts (which I need to check out for my hols) and I'm also thinking a little A-line denim skirt.

So there's a few neutrals, all very different but each pair have something special whether it's the print, texture, detail and so on.


The beauty about shoes:

- Our weight may fluctuate, our shoe size rarely does!
- Anyone who wears a heel will tell you that they make you feel different. They lengthen our shape and change our posture by arching the back.
- You don't need to spend a crazy amount of money on shoes, the High Street is awash with gorgeous footwear.
- They're mood enhancing - slip on a great pair of shoes and you feel great...or is that just me!


And a few tips:

Ankle straps look sexy but they can cut off the leg length. Avoid if you are low-waisted or try a t-bar shoe instead.

A low front shoe (such as a ballet pump) is a great way of lengthening the foot and giving the illusion of a longer leg.

Similarly, skin tone shoes are also great leg lengtheners.

This is probably the last thing you feel like doing but the best time to try on a shoe is at the end of the day when feet are at there most swollen.

Keep footwear in proportion with the rest of your body. Petite women and chunky shoes are probably not the best - they end up looking like clodhoppers. Of course if that's your thing.... And, larger women could look bigger than they really are if they attempt to wear delicate footwear.

Here is a selection of shoes I wore last summer. As style personality goes, I'm definitely a Dramatic (a totally impractical heel wearer).



Hope you've enjoyed this little series. It's been interesting putting pen to paper, often we do things without thinking about it don't we so at times, I've had to really dig deep into the grey matter.

I've been adding a few things to my wardrobe over the last few weeks which I'll tell you about soon.

Back later in the week with something a bit different. But in the meantime, I'll leave you with just one thought.




So go and buy the bloody shoes.












18 comments on "ACHIEVING THAT POLISHED LOOK PART 5"
  1. I would happily live in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt for the rest of my life if I only had money for shoes - they are my weakness - but somehow I can always justify a new pair!

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    1. Oh I can so agree with that too. I plan outfits around my shoes not the other way around x

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  2. Loved your recent posts. Very helpful, are you doing bags too? I really really want the boden flat shoes, I am playing a dangerous game waiting for a decent discount code because I just know they will sell out super quick, ggaaahh! Loved seeing your mum on the blog again too. Lucy :)

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    1. Ahhh thanks for that. I'm glad you found the of interst. As I was writing this last post, I thought I ought to do bags and there's a couple of other little things too so give me a couple of weeks and I'll revisit this. Boden have some cracking shoes this year don't they. It was all about the jewelled pump last season which I wasn't too bothered about but my goodness I could do some serious damage with the credit card this time x

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  3. Please don't show me anymore shoes Donna....I now *need* 3 new pairs that I've seen over the last 24 hours thanks to my naughty blogging friends! The trouble is that for me shoes are the outfit maker and they seem to be my achilles heel (pardon the pun) more so in the Spring/Summer! xx

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    1. Shoes or wine, shoes or wine Michelle?? I think you'd choose the same as me (and it doesn't begin with a 'w') x

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  4. I totally believe that any bog standard dull day outfit can be transformed by a pair of heels. I live by this for the Spring/Summer (hard to wear in Winter).

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    1. I was looking at some pictures of you last week Fiona (for necklace research I hasten to add, I'm not a stalker!?!?) and noticed that you use shoes to really bring colour to an outfit - love your bright pinks and blues and reds xx

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  5. As an 'everyday' flat wearer I must admit I do feel very different when I wear a heel - more grown up I guess (she says most definitely on the wrong side of 40!)! I do like a heel for a night out but do sometimes sway to the chunkier side of the fence - don't know what it is - I like em chunky most of the time! xx

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  6. Even though the heels are now getting a wee bit lower & most definitely more comfortable, there's still something fabulous about slipping a pair on to go out! Jeans, blazer & heels - that's me!! ;). I adore the tangerine converse ( there are now 5 colours I want) & I *need* the leopard clogs :) x

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  7. Shoes make the outfit no doubt, and now you have me hankering after even more.....So naughty but nice! Helen xx

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  8. You speak such sense, Donna. I am a huge believer in the ability of a pair of shoes to transform an outfit (at least that's my justification for buying so many pairs!) Skaters look ridiculous on me too, so I've steered clear of those, and heels are just impractical - even though I spent my working years in 4 inchers walking a shop floor for 8 hours a day, how did I do it??! - so I've given in to the lure of the trainer and the low-heeled boot. I have been lusting after those Topshop animal clogs, but I just can't believe that they'll be comfy. I may have to investigate more closely...xx

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  9. I have loved these posts Donna. I think I can definitely say that I am a footwear person. I do adore heels but I walk like a farmer when I put them on. I also have the problem of shortening my legs, even further, when I wear flats. I guess I am slightly buggered then! ;0) xx

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  10. I've really enjoyed these posts too, Donna. Love the M&S sandals. Just gorgeous. Lynne xx

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  11. Love these posts too and kinda sad that is the last one, loads of fab inspiration and tips in there and I am loving the pop of colour shoe with all black...looks fab!

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  12. I'm definitely a shoe girl but I seem to have a problem at the moment - I'm living in my Stans or my grey felted skate pumps - I am such a practical moo! But wait till the warmer weather hits - it will be lovely to free the toes and wear ... flat sandals. Do you know what? That first pair of sandals? I saw them and I winced.

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  13. LOL at Cornish Pasties! I love my skaters but as a Mum of 2 little ones they are much needed! I love shoes too & yes they can transform any outfit! You can wear the same outfit but a different pair of shoes changes the look totally! I once had an obscene amout of shoes! God I wish I'd kept some of them now! x

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  14. Nice Shoes that were provided here and is looking good and having the any discount codes like Debenhams Discount Code

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