New Look is a bit of a conundrum to me. Very occasionally I'll find clothes in there that I like but they always manage to produce shoes that are stylish, comfortable and cheap. Given that I love their shoes so much, why don't I feel the same about the clothes?
No matter. These low wedge sandals are perfect for summer and come in 4 colours - black (pictured), white, tan and a kinda olive-y brown sludge colour. For £12 a pair, you really could get one in every colour!
One of the curses of living in the UK is the weather. True, it is a national stereotype that the denizens of this fair isle are a tad obsessed with all things meteorological but with good reason. If you know what the weather's going to do then you can dress appropriately for it.
So take yesterday. It was a lovely spring day and it meant I could bring out my favourite spring coat - a lovely mint/sea green bracelet sleeve length confection from Topshop that manages to keep the chill of but not render me too hot or too cold. As I drifted of to sleep last night planning today's outfit, the coat was a key component.
On waking, I noticed a few more clouds than yesterday but crucially no rain. I decided a nautical look would do for today and dug out my high waisted flared jeans, toffee brown leather and sand canvas wedges and a short sleeved close knitted blue and cream stripy top with a boat neck. Chunky cream bracelet and chunky red beaded necklace, finish with the coat and I was good to go.
Except I wasn't. Due to an incident involving cornflakes, The Daughter and escaping milk, I missed the weather forecast.
The one that said it was going to rain today.
Wedges off, skate trainers on. Lovely spring coat off, heavy winter parka on (it's the only one with a hood. Umbrellas and pushchairs Do Not Mix). Turn jeans up, wedges in bag to change into at work.
Ok, problem solved.
Except I hadn't accounted for the temperature to be quite so high. My hood while doing a sterling job of keeping my oh so carefully styled casual up do (read hastily scrabbled back ponytail) dry, it was also creating a humid micro-climate worthy of the sub-tropics.
And I hadn't accounted for my jeans not wanting to stay unfashionably turned up.
And I hadn't accounted for forgetting the last crucial step of that process.
So it is with a heavy heart and annoyance that I write to you now in jeans with a 4" ring of rain soaked into the bottom, skate trainers struggling to peek out from underneath the sodden sorry mess.
Especially as it's just stopped raining and the sun's struggling out. Bah.
In honour of the joyous news that I no longer have to save my pennies to go to Paris to gaze adoringly upon all of M. Louboutin's creations, feast your eyes on these classic, timelessly chic satin pumps.
So following straight on from the final of Season 9 (9?!) of America's Next Top Model last week, came Season 4 (4?!) of Britain's Next Top Model on that bastion of all that is good and slightly trashy, Living.
I know, I know that everything in these shows is a set up and that none of the poor deluded souls involved will ever work in 'high' fashion (despite what Her High Priestess Of Fieeerrrrce! Miz Tyra claims) but dammit if I don't just love, love, love the whole chaotic delusion of it all!
I don't know what it says if I can name all nine winners of ANTM but struggle to remember even the faces of the three winners of BNTM. Are the British girls not pretty enough? Are they not dynamic enough? Is it that Lisa Snowdon cannot begin to even hope to match the crazy of HHPOF! Miz Tyra? That there's no Mr Jay and Miz Jay? Who knows.
Now that I think about it though, I vaguely remember the face of the first winner simply from recognising her in a Warehouse campaign a few seasons ago and I remember Liana - was that her name? - from Season 2 simply because that was the season that launched Abi Clancy onto the nation's lads mags and Liana whined and bitched like a spoilt child and was a crap walker. Whoever won last year I know shouldn't have done because Louise who was the runner up was far the better model but too fat for regular modelling but not fat enough for plus size.
What about the new crop then?
A whole heap o'meh. The thing that annoyed me most though? NONE OF THEM COULD STAND UP STRAIGHT! (phew! glad I got that out!). Seriously, it was like an audition for the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The worst out of the 14 were Aaron and Martha. They actually made me shout at the tv they were that bad.
Aaron did not cover herself in glory. First task? Tell a room full of fashion students (not fashion industry bigwigs like was claimed. I can spot St Martins and LCF undergrads a mile off) why you should be BNTM. Now see this is where the girls on ANTM come into their own. They've researched and obsessively watched every series for clues and tips on what to say and when to say it to make HHPOF! Miz Tyra do that cat's ass smile of approval. Basically, big yourself up like nothing else.
Aaron, poor love, was first up and said immediately that she didn't think she could win it.
Oh no she din't! Oh yes she did!
Lisa Snowdon Was Not Impressed.
Aaron clearly had not done her homework. The others had though albeit hurriedly and trotted out the usual crap about "living for this industry" and "loving fashion" and being "confident and friendly". Blah, blah, blah. I couldn't tell you their names because they all look the same - another BNTM trait that I've not seen in any others.
The first shoot was the girls paired up and topless, clad in ass hugging jeans. Again, this threw up the unbelievable revelation that none of the girls had the slightest hint of awareness about their bodies. For people who are supposed to be competing for their "dream and life's ambition", you'd think they'd have done some prep work. Or at least watched some old skool ANTM with Janice and Miz Jay bitching at people to suck the flab in. Instead it was awkward facial angles and saggy tummies all round.
And herein lies the major difference between ANTM and BNTM. ANTM claims to be all about the high fashion and no matter which way you cut it, right or wrong, you have to be a certain kind of skinny for that. HHPOF! Miz Tyra knows that, her production teams know that and they also know that they have a responsibility to the audience to include at least one plus size girl. But they make sure she could actually work in plus size.
BNTM doesn't harp on so much about the 'high' fashion but none of the girls have the right kind of skinny to do it. I remember reading an article in The Sunday Times Style section last year about the final weeks of BNTM when they were in Brazil. All of the professionals involved said that they couldn't work with any of the girls as they were simply too fat for regular shoots but too skinny for plus size. Never mind the blatant unprofessionalism. In a way, this should be applauded at a time when the size of models continues to be a source of debate (and indeed, legislation in France) but only if they are open about it. Say these girls can do commercial so why not 'high' fashion?
Anyway. The results were all a bit dismal and the photographer said she'd book one of them at a push. On to panel.
Lisa Snowdon's pretty but why does she have to do the Renee/Keira moué with her mouth all the time? This time round the slightly creepy Johnathon Phang had been replaced by Gerry DeVeaux (occupying the Mr Jay role) and loopy Paula Hamilton with Huggy Ragnarsson. Now I know who these people are but it was quite clear that none of the prospective models did. Strained smiles any one?
In a surprising touch they ripped everyone apart and almost gave up. I didn't blame them. It was Sophie who got booted first. She didn't think she should've been. I was finding it hard to care.
Which isn't to say I won't watch until the bitter end of course!
Catwalk Queen have reported that Christian Louboutin is opening his European flagship store in fair ol' London Town!
Apparently it opens next month and will be a haven for all things beautiful and red soled. The only thing that could excite me more would be if I got a Supermarket Sweep style dash around and could keep all the preciouses for free.
Oops! I forgot yesterday so you get twoferone today!
First up, what's this?! Behold my lovelies, a lovely pair of shoes from Irregular Choice! Praise be! I happened across these cute yet practical peep toe flats on the UK Urban Outfitters site and initially thought they were own brand. Not so! So apart from being cute and practical, they're also less than half price! Huzzah for inbetweeny seasons and the sales they bring!
These silver sandals - another Faith pair - would go with pretty much everything from jeans to evening gowns. The versatility and classic shape means that the £55 investment would more than pay for itself in terms of CPW (Cost Per Wear).
Today's shoe - the Carta from Faith - should be a mash up too far in shoe terms yet I always find myself picking them up and seriously pondering purchasing (or scouring eBay from now on!). They come in black too which is a tad more versatile yet a tad more boring. I think the grey really makes the most of the double T, stitching and the bow.
Ok, I have to admit I squeed when I saw these at lunch today. They are the cutest, most adorable shoes I've seen in Office for a looooong time. Office and I might be back on speaking terms now after we fell out due to the increase in fugly monstrosities adorning their shelves.
But these - near perfection. The shape, the practical low hexagonal heel (just make sure you have a good shoe repairer who'll re-heel them and not complain or charge extra!), the bow! The only criticism I have is that I think they'd look a teeny bit better in a darker shade of red but hell, these are straight on my wish list. Oh and they are a bit expensive for what they are.
I know, I know. I've been a bit slack recently but Shoe Of The Day is back with a vengeance and I promise I'll give it my full attention at around 3pm every day.
That said, here's today's offering. It may be a bit divisive - hell, it's causing my mind to argue with itself! Part of me thinks it's fugly but the other.... that part kinda likes it. Likes the boldness and the over the top fabulousity of an outfit that would go with such creations. I like to think that they fully represent the Miu Miu ethos - to be the slightly tearaway, over the top, in your face little sister to the more sophisticated and refined Prada.
If you can afford such luxuries, cough up £350 to Net A Porter and they're yours.
Fair readers, I've concocted an ambitious plan. Possibly a foolish plan, a plan that could induce heartbreak or elation or a bizarre hybrid of the two.
I, Never Enough Shoes, am, for the rest of the year, only buying my clothes and shoes off eBay.
I know, I know, everyone buys stuff off eBay but it is a personal challenge to see if I can get all those beautiful clothes and shoes I desire via the medium of bidding and bidding alone. Obviously I have some exceptions - Primark covetables and basics and any underwear I may need. Mainly because it is very hard to get cheaper than Primark prices and because I'm a bit squeamish about buying my smalls from eBay - don't ask me why, it's just one of those little irrationalities I have.
So what is included? Basically anything and everything else. For example, say I see a dress in Oasis that I like. My thought process runs something like this:
"Oooh that's pretty. Touchy feel time"
Touch, feel. Crinkle nose at the unexpected slight cheapness of the fabric.
"Hm. Ok Price."
Check price. Nearly faint at the number. Realise am looking at the price in euros. Breathe sigh of relief. Realise that it's still as expensive in sterling.
"How much?! For that?! Hell no!"
So I don't want to buy the dress for full price but I know in the sale it'll only go down to 50% off at most if I'm lucky enough to still find one that fits. And I'd have to wait for the sales.
I'm not going to pretend it's going to be easy. It's not. The likelihood of me finding everything I like is minimal. But it does give me a great excuse to get some great vintage bargains from the States.
I'll be updating with any new purchases and the Bargain Margin. Wish me luck!