The Snow and other Slippery Things

(Wearing: Lanvin hearts H&M faux fur coat, Burberry snood, All Saints jeans, Primark boots)

Oh look the snow finally made it’s way over the Pennines! You should have seen my dogs going wild in the snow, they love it I have to drag them in. I like the snow too, but Manchester council decided to ignore the weather warnings and didn’t bother to grit the streets. I was wearing my now battered H! by Henry Holland flat lace up boots and slipping around like I was on ice, so I skidded my way into Primark where I found this near identical pair for ┬ú18 they are really sturdy and have a thick sole to keep your feet warm. Result as I have been looking for a new pair of boots like this for ages, but I am so picky, so I was surprised to find the perfect pair in Primark! I actually went in with the aim to buy some new PJ’s, you can’t beat their microfleece ones, even if they do have ridiculously tweet prints.
New boots
I am also wearing the Lanvin for H&M faux fur military coat – I know, I know I promised not to mention it again, but I LOVE IT!!
I was gutted they didn’t have this coat up here so I had to get it off ebay but it was well worth it. The faux fur is so soft and luxurious and the buttons of course hooked me in! I also went for a little look in H&M to see if there was anything left. There was a full rail of those coats with the fur collar which is not surprise as for ┬ú200 they were very thin material even if the design was lovely. There was also two rails of mixed dresses and about 7 pairs of the shoes. I was lucky enough to snag the one remaining pearl necklace which had sold out when I went last week, apparently it had only just been returned. I also decided to try on the long sleeved black dress they only had one in the size up but I actually like it as a looser fit so I got that and I am sure you will be seeing it soon.
Warm PJ’s
I am off to London this weekend for a little bit of shopping, the main aim is to find my friend a wedding dress but I think a trip to the Selfridges shoe gallery may be in order too!
So I have two questions to ask you guys:
Can anyone suggest any good veggie resturants?
Does anyone know if Louboutin still stock the Rollerball loafers?
P x

Have You Seen This Trench?

I must confess I have never found trenches particularly exciting, more a necessity. But I saw this trench in the Nine West advert and can’t stop obsessing over it. I have a lovely trench from Anthropology, but it is worn purely for function, this trench however is one of fashion needs. The length, cut, belt, shoulder flap, epaulets and colour are all perfect. So all I need to know now is where exactly do I get a trench like that??

Pearl

Love Stella


(Wearing: vintage Chanel jumper, vintage leather skirt, Chanel shoes)
This post just makes me laugh, to be honest it shouldn’t really be a post but I know you all love Stella McCartney too. Let this be a lesson to you all, photography under the influence is not recommended. I wasn’t there as a blogger, I was there as me, so not being there for work meant being there for play, and a bottomless glass of fizz! Which is why I totally forgot to take any photo’s except these really crappy ones, ah well I was having a good time. This was the Stella McCartney Preview.

This is my friend Aimee we were there with the intention of checking out possible wedding dresses for her – if Aimee disappeares later on today it is because I got told off for putting her on the blog LOL! Now if I remember correctly she is wearing a Karen Walker dress and Sports Girl cardi – both New Zealand designers, where Aimee is from. Her belt is from Reiss and I forget where her shoes are from but we have about 10 photos of them, possibly to prove how on trend her petite stilettos are.
The collection was wonderful, such a summery feast. Layers of floral lace, bold garden prints and thousands of sequins (not shown here I realise LOL)
The pale blue dress you can just about see here, paired with nude patent pumps was our absolute favourite look.

This sequin snake skin pattern dress was so beautiful and perfect for shimmery nights out no matter what the season.

Luckily we have Style.com so you can see for yourselves the wonderful Cruise 2011 collection


There was also an influx of mullets on the runway – no not the hair style, the hemlines (seen above bottom left and right). I don’t know if this is an official term or just Aimee’s but I liked it.
The was also the return of Stella’ s leopard t-shirts and a new horse print which I might have to add to my collection. There was also a fine collection of handbags and shoes, damn it I wish I had taken more photos now, oh well I guess that means you will have to take your good selves down to Selfridges!

P

A/Wear

(Wearing: A/Wear trousers with belt, hat and earmuffs; vintage Chanel jumper, Zara boots)

A/Wear asked me if I would like to review their website, as I like nothing better than shopping I happily obliged. I had a good look around the site, which is really easy to navigate and there is plenty of choice. All the information such as terms and conditions etc are clearly at the bottom of the page along side a ‘quick click’ bar with easy to find categories. At present A/Wear only ship to UK and Eire.

In order to fully review the site of course I needed to order something so they also gave me a gift voucher. Hard as it was to chose from all the lovely things I decided on these Belted Trousers £30. I love a good black trouser and the gold lattice belt on these really stood out. As you can see I am very happy with the trousers, they have the perfect loose but smart fit and the fabric has a great drape. I am always weary of articles which come with belts as they are usually poor quality but not the case here, the belt looked much more expensive that it was and really made a feature of the trousers.

I also chose this faux Fur Trapper hat ┬ú16, I think it will become a total staple once the icy weather sets it. The only negative I have about this product is that on the website the hat was cream so I was slightly surprised that it was very much grey. I liked the style and quality of the hat so this didn’t matter too much but I do think they need to be more careful with these details.
As I liked the brand so much I bought these Faux Fur Ear Muffs £6 myself. I think the design is quite chic for ear muffs and they will work well with smarter work wear as well as casual clothes.

The only negative I had was that I was sent the incorrect size trousers. Returning them was very easy, you simply fill out the form in the bag, seal it back up, return postage is free so you just drop it off at the post office. After waiting over a week I had not heard anything so had to contact customer services. I was told that they do not send out replacement products they only refund, so you have to order again if you wanted another size. Once I had explained it was their mistake sending the wrong size however they sent me the correct size no problem. They state returns can take up to two weeks to process so I think this returns policy could be made clearer.

Overall I think A/wear has a great collection of good quality, affordable clothes and accessories. The website is easy to navigate and very user friendly, each product has a review page too so you can read what other shoppers thought about the product. Delivery was prompt and the items came with extra bright pink wrapping and a ribbon so it would be perfect for buying gifts. The site also accepts PayPal which I absolutely wish all sites did, it is so much easier!

Have any of you shopped at A/Wear?
What do you think of the brand?

Pearl

Dress it Up and Down (and a bit more on Lanvin H&M)

(Wearing: Lanvin H&M, Ann Demeulemeester jacket, Primark sweater and socks, Zara trousers, Chanel shoes and Sirius making an appearance)

I usually throw on jeans or leggings when I want something casual but for a change I went for trousers I usually wear with heels, then for later on I switched the flats for heels and added a brooch to the necklace to dress it up a bit.


The Lanvin for H&M brooch pinned to the necklace
Bringing up the subject of the quality of the Lanvin for H&M range. This is the brooch from the range which was only £14.99, I was so surprised by the sheer scale of the piece, it is weighty, made with crystals and absolutely stunning.

I also bought the leather and pearl necklace, again the quality is comparable to Lanvin mainline, the leather is butter soft and the pearls are individually knotted and the fasteners crystal studded.

All the jewellery came in these lovely gift boxes too.
I also fell for the red enamelled jewellery, in fact I think the red necklace might be my absolute favourite piece.
I wasn’t entirely convinced about clip on earrings but after trying them on I see how they would be far too heavy to be pierced. I do like the earrings however I do not like how the beads stick out at the back so I will be taking the pliers to them – apologies Mr Elbaz.


I also bought two of the embellished t-shirts, again they are comparable to mainline, the cotton is very soft and the attention to details is wonderful to behold. With different fabrics used for each part, beads to highlight the faces and even pearls on the illustrations necklace.

I didn’t go for any of the bags but my mum bought this one. She wasn’t sure about it a first but we had a good look at it when we got home and I have to say I really like it. Ok it doesn’t look like a bag which cost hundreds of pounds but for only ┬ú29.99 it is a great buy. It is well made from a floral printed canvas material and embelished with a frayed tomato red flower, the chain handle has a purple bow woven into it. I think it will be the perfect thing for brightening up summer outfits and it works well with the other pieces from the collection.

So there you have it, I think I have proven my point that some of the pieces are exceptional quality. Having said that I did not like everything I saw. I tried on the short faux fur jacket and it did not pass the ‘instant wow test’. This is how I shop, you know how you can spend ages umming and ahhing over something, trying it on, pulling at the sleeves etc. Well I find that if I try it on and it isn’t immediately fabulous then there is no point in buying it. The fur jacket just didn’t do it for me, it looked to boxy and the sleeves felt wrong. I too only a minute to try it on so didn’t really notice the rest of the quality but the fit wasn’t for me. I also by passed the shoes as I didn’t like the look of them and I am insanely fussy over shoes. But I would like a closer look at them to see the quality and fit.
Another thing I feel I have to say is that I have read a few accounts now from those fans who camped out for the collection. OK it is a bit crazy but from what I read it sounds like they all did it for the fun of it. They all reported about the adventure and camaraderie and I think is is pretty cool that they did something wild and fun!
Ok that’s it on the subject!

Just had to show you this, I took this photo as I was typing. This is Han, Sirius’ brother, my mums Pomeranian, he decided to sit patting me on the head as I typed!

Pearl x

Quality Control: Lanvin for H&M vs Vivienne Westwood vs Chanel Tux

(Left Lanvin for H&M, right Vivienne Westwood Red Label)

I have read a lot of blog posts about the Lanvin for H&M collection but one thing that is really getting on my nerves are those who disregard the collection as ‘only H&M quality’ or ‘H&M with a designer tag’. Fair enough everyone is entitled to their opinions but I bet most of them haven’t even see the pieces up close to assess the quality, and some wouldn’t know a well cut jacket if Coco Chanel personally tailored it for them. Granted I wasn’t impressed with the entire collection but I am no idiot I know quality when I see it, and those who know me know I am a total fashion snob. If it was crap I wouldn’t be wearing it no matter what label was on it.

So I thought it was only fair to have a closer look at the quality and compare it to a designer one. I decided to use the tux blazer as an example as I have a fairly similar Vivienne Westwood one (not that similar that I didn’t need to buy another though you understand). I also have Chanel black blazer which you have seen on the blog countless times, so I think I have an authority on blazer quality. Sorry the photo’s aren’t too good but I choose to spend all my money on shoes and not technology!

The most important thing with blazers is the fit, you should be able to tell a good blazer blindfolded just by how it feels, cut it everything. A blazer is a workwear perennial so you need to be able to move around in it, it should not be tight around the shoulders or armpits, if it so it is a bad fit. You should also be able to raise you arms above you head comfortably.

You also should be able to fasten the blazer, sounds obvious but many blazers can fit ok until you fasten it and the button is strained. Buttons can easily be moved over so I wouldn’t let this small issue be a deal breaker. Personally buttons are a bit of an obsession of mine, I just love them so I was drawn to the Lanvin one like a siren call. Big, shiny, beautiful jewel encrusted dobbers!! I also like Westwood buttons due to the signature toffee colour and embossed orbs. Before you wear your blazer (or anything with a button these days) give the button a good tug to make sure it is secure. No matter what the designer buttons just don’t get sewn on properly theses days, so I often restitch them to be on the safe side. The Lanvin ones are well attached with press studs, and none of the stones are loose. They are very well made.

Also check the buttons on the sleeves in this way but also look at the alignment. Sleeve buttons should be perfectly aligned with the holes well stitched. Fabric covered buttons are also a nice touch and usual only found on more expensive items.


I am a pocket lover, however on structured blazers I do not want the pockets open so it is important that they are either fake or well stitched up so I can choose to leave them closed. I am too tempted to constantly shove my hands in pockets which will soon pull a blazer out of shape.


A good blazer will always be lined, preferably in silk but this is really only for very high end. Silk is expensive but the natural fibre lets skin breath for comfort, you won’t get hot or static. Most brands will use a man-made fibre, polyester in the past was a no go but modern polyester is comparable to viscose in many ways. The lanvin is polyester, the Westwood viscose, I haven’t worn the Lanvin yet so will report back on comfort.

For the lining I can cope with man-made materials but the outer is more important, as I have long hair so many materials create static electricity which causes havoc with my hair. No problems here though, the Lanvin is wool and the Westwood cotton.

Both blazers have contrasting material on the collars, Lanvin went for texture contrast whilst Westwood went for colour. The important thing here is that both fabrics are harmonious with each other in quality. Too often I see blazers with a cheaper fabric as trim which instantly detracts from the whole garment.

Overall I really cannot see how anyone could argue this Lanvin blazer is not a high quality piece. It compares with the Westwood in every way for design, cut, fabric and stitching. The Lanvin was ┬ú69.99 the Westwood about ┬ú450 origjnal retail. Unfortunately I do not have a regular H&M blazer to add to this comparison, but that is because I do not like their quality. I last bought a jumper from there which is great for a cheap, everyday item that will keep me warm but I won’t be precious over with my dogs jumping all over me. But a blazer needs to work hard for me.
It needs to be the best quality item I am wearing so I can throw it on and instantly look smart, it needs to represent me at work and it needs to be able to carry me into the evening. I simply could not do that with a cheap blazer, badly fitted, buttons hanging off, threads fraying, easily creased which is what I know would happen with a regular H&M one. That said if you are in need of a cheap priced blazer I think Primark are fairly good. No they will not last you a life time but will carry you through a season. I had a navy jersey one from there which was a good fit and being jersey did not have that terrible polyester sheen you often get on cheap fabrics. If you can stretch your budget a bit more then go to Zara. Vintage men’s blazers can also be a cost effect and original option but go for wool, cotton or tweed – avoid vintage polyester at all costs unless you like you clothes to static shock people – useful for pesky work collegues.

So I guess you are also wondering what makes the difference between hundreds for Westwood and thousands for Chanel??

Here I am wearing my treasured Chanel blazer, I should also point out that this is vintage from the 90’s / 80’s. Looks brand new doesn’t it? It is actually wool but so soft and fine it looks like cotton. It has such an unusual design with the ‘reverse collar’ and who can resist big gold embossed buttons! Look at how it hangs, straight from the shoulders, it feels unusual to wear to most people who try it on as you feel it from the shoulders, not the arms like most blazers. It hangs smooth down to the hem due to the fact the hem is weighted with a chain, as are the sleeves. The fabric is expensive, it will not ‘bobble’ nor will it crease every time I sit down. It is also lined in silk so is comfortable no matter what the weather. Basically if you want to know why Chanel is so expensive go try on something, it is like wearing heaven.


Erm OK I got totally off the point there, what have I told you about getting me started on the Chanel love!! My point was that the Lanvin for H&M blazer is outstanding quality and a beautiful design, I would have been happy to pay more money for it had I see it in Selfridges. In fact if I didn’t know where it was from I would certainly not have guessed.

As I like to get on my soap box for this kind of thing I will show you some of the other pieces quality tomorrow.
Come on guys share your quality opinions and issues, gripes and triumphs!

Pearl

Zoo Uniform

(Wearing: Zoo Uniform grey pig t-shirt, Zara trousers, Vivienne Westwood blazer, Chanel shoes, vintage necklace)
Ask anyone what my two favourite things in life are and they will surely tell you they are fashion and animals, so when the two combine you can imagine my joy!
So, it is with great please I introduce you to Zoo Uniform, a unique design concept which also raises money for WWF animal charity.

In their own words:
The idea
Zoo Uniform is an exclusive lifestyle brand centered around 36 animal faces designs. We’ve been looking to create what we believed was missing in shops and magazines: a clothing brand able to mix multiple animal figures with a trendy and fashionable look. Animals are present all around us in life, so why can’t we buy items exposing them in an enhanced and stylish way?
The animal faces
Our logos are unisex, carefully conceived and most of all cool. They all have an evasive gaze that makes them appear dreamy and adaptable: looking at them, you can imagine whatever your mind lets you envision, and even perceive some features that remind you of your own identity or looks. We have thus designed 36 animal faces, that’s to say most of the customary animals, in order to match each person’s taste in an individual approach.
Zoo Uniform will be an extensive brand universe based on an all-around appeal. Honestly, who doesn’t love animals? Add wicked graphics to that, and you will feel extremely proud of wearing them.
The products
At first, we’re going to launch standard products bearing only five of our designs (The Koala, The Monkey, The Owl, The Panda and The Pig). We will then expand by having a larger range of goods and by introducing our other animal designs over the time. In the future, we plan to add even more animal faces to the current collection.

The collaborations
We welcome collaboration offers from artists, brands and designers as we would love to release customized versions of our animal faces. We are also opened to licensing some of our designs in defined areas as long as our guidelines and quality expectations will be respected.
The stores
Zoo Uniform is a select and luxury brand: our products will be commercialized in numbered editions only. We aim to be distributed in the world’s leading fashion capitals, through a network of exclusive shops in addition to an online store. We also plan to open some Zoo Uniform stores.
The future
We only want people who groove on animals to wear our products. So, which ones will be yours?
Our belief
Zoo Uniform is not related to animals a graphical way only. One of the main reasons why we started the brand was because we truly love animals. We thus feel we have the responsibility to help endangered species survive and animals’ rights be respected. Hence, we have decided to donate a part of our profits to an animal-related charity.
Our foundation
For now, we have chosen WWF, as we believe they do amazing job saving animal lives. We also recommend you to donate money to them (www.worldwildlife.org/donate). In the future, we would like to have our own organization to support precisely the animals that are represented in our logos. Every time you purchase a Zoo Uniform item, you are contributing to making animal lives safer on this planet.
The Lookbook
Here are some of my favourite designs from the lookbook, I chose the grey pig, and am lusting after the white monkey too. The t-shirts are 75 Euros and the panties 25 Euros you can purchase them via the website which also has lots more information and you can see all the ‘animal face’ designs. I love them all, but I do wonder if they could be persuaded to design a Pomeranian!
How cute are the knickers with the little tails on the back!

What do you guys think of the designs and concepts of Zoo Uniform?

Pearl

A Post Not About Lanvin for H&M (almost)

Ah ok I lied in the title, but seriously if you can’t stand to read this then head over to Sister Wolf’s blog it had me in tears, so funny.
The thing is this post might be about Lanvin for H&M but that isn’t the actual point of it. The point is I need to be sat here writing this to take my mind off the fact I am waiting for the hospital to call about how my dad surgery went. Hopefully I will be able to add a note to say all was A-Ok by the end of today.
I wasn’t actually thinking I would get to H&M as we knew my dad had to go in the hospital, I thought I might get some roadkill the day after if I was lucky. I also had my own hospital appointment today but managed to change it till tomorrow. But since we dropped him off at 7:15am, got in the car and thought ‘what exactly do we do now’; so I dragged my mum to town with me more for something to think about other than things that can go wrong in hospitals.

We got there around 8:00am and they were handing out wristbands with a time slot, 30 people to each slot, we got slot 6. As we got there one of the security was handing out some free gift bags so I muscled my way through to nab one. Score a ribbon handled shopper with a huge flower on the front and inside a lovely wool pashmina.

I took a few obligatory snaps of the windows, there wasn’t a queue or any interesting fashion carnage to take photos of. By this point I have been awake since 5am and am loosing the will to live. Starbucks have no soy milk so I then want to kill them, luckily Cafe Nero are better stocked but damn they keep making really sour coffee lately!

We finally got in with a mini 5min queue and they pretty much had most of the stock left – must have been about 10:30am. The only thing they didn’t have was the faux fur military coat which was the thing I wanted most, but I forgot to ask if they just didn’t get it or if they sold out, whatever. They also didn’t have a big pearl necklace left for me, but my mum got one so I can borrow it.

In fact it was all a bit too calm and organised for my liking, I quite enjoy elbowing bitches out of the way for my cheap fashion fix, makes me feel like I earned it. But since there were rails of stuff left (everyone was limited to one per item) it just goes to show how many people buy it to hawk on eBay. Tossers.

Anyway I couldn’t be bothered trying anything on again and you really don’t want to see what I look like right now (the crypt keeper to be precise), I did try the skirt on over my trousers and probably need a smaller size but was beyond caring enough to figure out how to get into the crazy sale area again (if you are thinking of buying on online sizes are generous except for the gilet which I went up a size in). I hear the H&M website crashed this morning I knew it would.

So here are some bad photos I took on my bed which I hadn’t even made yet (how do people get up at this time), I feel like I am about to fall asleep standing up.


Here are the two embellished t-shirts the ‘face’ and ‘girls’ designs, and the black ruffled skirt. On the right are the accessories the red necklace and earrings, the brooch and the pearl and leather necklace which can also be worn as a belt. The thing at the back is the faux fur gilet and the freebie bag with the pashmina it is a really nice teal colour (I actually got a purple one but purple makes me look like a corpse so I made my mum switch).
I also picked up this tux blazer which I didn’t like in the photos but the jewel encrusted buttons won me over.
Overall the quality of the collection is very good, I didn’t get a close look at the shoes but they looked a bit cheap to me so I didn’t bother – I may be wrong but I didn’t feel like trying them on standing up to find out. The blazer and gilet are satin lined and the jewellery is very weighty and made from crystal. The brooch was the cheapest piece at ┬ú14.99 and is outstanding quality and beautifully designed.
Boo to H&M though for the way they treated their staff, they had really cool uniform t-shirts but they aren’t allowed to keep them, they have to hand them back to be destroyed. I also heard the left over pieces from the collection are destroyed to keep the exclusivity of it. They wouldn’t even let the staff take any of the collection, if they wanted it they had to book the day off and queue like everyone else, no staff discount. I mean I know that it is their job and everything but I really believe in staff moral and I think it would have been a nice gesture to all the staff who worked so hard to at least give them a t-shirt! I must also add the H&M staff are always really nice and helpful, and were especially so today even though it was so busy, they deserved a treat.

Whilst in the loo I saw this great poster from the NHS, never mind going to the gym, you can walk around the mall instead?? Awesome I do that anyway.

So did anyone else go, whatcha get?
Or do you just wish everyone would STFU about H&M & Lanvin?
P x
UPDATE: Thanks for all your messages, you will be glad to know my dad is OK, in pain but will be fine which is such a relief. I think I mentioned before in posts I like to wonder round the shops when I am stressed I just find it very calming, and well there aren’t any Alpine forests near me so the rails of Harvey Nics have to suffice.
Not sure if I made too much sense in this post, but there was absolutely no point in queueing. You just turned up got your allocated time slot and went back then. People had been camping out but that is just insane, I doubt they gained anything. There is nothing I would ever camp out for!! The longest I ever queued was 1 hour for Matthew Williamson and I was at the front but that was also in the summer not near freezing. This time slot method was much better than the usual carnage, so chilled out. I even made it to the changing room without the fear of being mugged on the way in. I tried on the short fur jacket but I didn’t like the fit.
The dresses were really beautiful but I have so many vintage party dresses I decided to go for accessories and everyday clothes. Although I am very interested to see how exactly you wash one of the embellished t-shirts?? The tag says handwash but I am thinking dry clean, and that is not mentioning ironing!
I have auto-posted the next couple of posts but hope to give you a better showing of the Lanvin by the weekend.
xx

Shoe Stories 7: Louis XIV to Louboutin – a history

For my final post in the Shoe Stories series I wanted to look at a little bit of the history behind heels. As most of you know my academic background involves a lot of historical research so it is something as close to my heart as shoes themselves. Besides I would be here for another week if I were to show you every single pair of shoes I have, but you will see them on the blog if they haven’t made an appearance already. I don’t want to go into the entire history of shoes and high heels, this is still a much debated topic, but highlight some of my favourite areas. If you would like to read a short history this site gives a pretty good summary. However it is not fully referenced and some parts seem a bit dubious to me, so as with all online articles bear in mind all the ‘facts’ may not always be the case.

Louis XIV to Louboutin

Louis XIV

We are all familiar with Christian Louboutin’s scarlet heels, in fact he has had the famous red soles copyrighted. But he wasn’t the first to become transfixed with red heels. In the 1700’s King Louis XIV of France declared that only royalty could wear shoes with red heels, and that no one could wear heels higher than the king (1).

Statement Shoes


Chopines, Bata Shoe Museum

The actual origins of the first high heeled shoes is unknown, and often debated, however what is possibly the first statement shoe are the Chopines originating from Spain but gaining fame in Venice in the late 1500’s (2). Reserved for women they elevated the wearer from any mud on the streets, but where mainly worn for decoration. The higher the shoe the higher the status of the wearer. Many were between 5-9″ but some are reported to have reached 3ft!! Having two servants to help the lady walk was a common occurrence.

The First Stiletto?

Roger Vivier for Christian Dior 1950’s, V&A (3)

Another subject often debated is the invention of the stiletto heel. It is generally accepted that the creation of the modern stiletto was Roger Vivier to accompany the dresses by Christian Dior in the 1950’s (4). The name stiletto comes from the thin Italian dagger it resembled.

“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot”

Marilyn Monroe

I hope you have enjoyed reading the Shoe Stories, I have enjoyed writing them and am sure there will be more in the future,
Pearl
P.S. There is a new auction site www.IfTheShoeDoesntFit.com set up by shoe lover Ellen, which exclusively auctions only shoes for you to buy and sell your own. The site also offers you the chance to swap your shoes for free!
There is a simple flat fee of $1 to sell, however you can get two free listings using the code SOLES; even better for my blog readers you can have an extra five free listings using the code SHOES. I think this is a great chance to wave goodbye to those shoes which don’t fit and either make some money or swap for new ones!

Shoe Stories 6: Storage

Shoes with the dust bag folded to pad them in the box and tissue in the toe; shoes with tissue to keep the shape and also packed around for protection.

This is a question I get asked a lot – where on earth do you put all those shoes?? Well to be honest I really don’t have enough room for them so until I move house I have random stacks of boxes all over the place. I realised I could probably fit all my shoes into the wardrobe or hang them on shoe racks or even shove them under the bed to free up some space as has been suggested to me before. But that would be sacrilegious, I just cannot stand it when people have no respect for their things. I have always been this way, I was brought up to treasure everything I was lucky enough to have. People are always surprised at how ‘new’ all my shoes look, it isn’t that I don’t wear them it is due to the fact I look after them so well. I have shoes years and years old which look like I could have bought them yesterday.

All my shoes are kept in the original box where possible, I always stuff them with tissue to keep the shape – this is especially important for court shoes so the toe doesn’t wrinkle. I then wrap the shoes in tissue. I don’t use the dust bags to put the shoes in, I keep them folded underneath the shoes for padding, as I find the shoes can become damaged when stuffing them in the bags and you can’t see if anything is squashed etc, also when there is only one bag for two shoes they can rub against each other.

I also buy leather cleaning wipes (like baby wipes for leather you can get in the supermarket) which when damp clean the shoes and when dried out you can keep to buff the leather. After every wear I will polish my shoes like this before putting back in the box, two minutes is all it takes. Shoes I know I will be wearing over the week I sometimes leave out of the box and then put them away, this is mainly due to the fact that juggling so many boxes is a total pain, it is always the bottom box you need, right!

I also always make sure I have shoes re-heeled before they wear down far enough to damage the leather, and with leather soled shoes I have rubber soles added to protect them in the rain and make them non-slip. You can do this to new and already worn shoes, it gives them a lot longer life. With many designer shoes I am convinced they don’t think you will actually wear the shoes! Vivienne Westwood shoes have very thin leather soles so I always have the re-soled prior to wear. Heel tips on many designer shoes are also not built to last they tend to have a small rubber edge on the tip which can wear off with just two outings. If it is a pair you are going to wear a lot I recommend not having the designer re-heel them but a cobbler such as Jones the Bootmaker add more sturdy tips. I have had this done with many Chanel pairs.

Another tip when buying expensive shoes, if they have an unusual heel make sure replacement tips are included in the box. I had a real problem with my Westwood shoes as the heel tip they use is very thin, whilst many cobblers use a standard thickness. Westwood would not replace or even send me spare tips so I am put off buying more from there. Most design houses however will look after you, from experience I know Chanel and Selfridges concessions such as Fendi and Prada will send them out for repair for you so it is always worth asking about prior to purchase.


Stacks and stacks all over the place!

Shoe rack and in the wardrobe

Of course not all shoes come in boxes such as high street and vintage shoes. I really don’t like those clear boxes you can buy because they don’t have lids and you have to slide the shoes in which might get them scratched so if I don’t have any spare boxes I line up my shoes at the bottom of my wardrobe. This is currently filled with vintage boots. I do have one of those shoe racks but only put shoes on it which I have as ‘holiday shoes’. These are shoes which were very cheap to buy and that I would never wear usually but I had my suitcase go missing once and after that I will not risk taking shoes I love away with me. The white pair you can see on the rack I have had to stuff tissue in the toe to try and stop the rack making the toe go out of shape (I know I am obsessive even over a pair I don’t particularly like). As you can see I prefer to use the rack for belts and scarves!


Messy shoes in the basket; the shoes all cleaned up, I have two pairs of flat boots the lace ups are H! by Henry Holland the Chelsea boots Clarks, the wellies are Marc Jacobs, Whooga uggs are my favourite thing to wear around the house, and of course trainers this pair is Nike.

Of course not all my shoes are beautiful heels, there are times when practical shoes are needed, this is mainly when I have to walk my dogs. As boots, wellies and trainers get muddy so easily I keep them in an old washing basket and just clean them when I have a chance.

How do you store your shoes? Any good shoe tips?

P x