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  • Stepping out in an outfit? What are the right shoes to wear?

    Nobody ever said that keeping on top of the latest trends and fads of women’s fashion was easy. After all, sometimes it feels like you’re expending a great deal of time and emotional energy on making sure you don’t commit an unacceptable fashion faux pas, just to remain within the realms of acceptable style while trying to carve out your own personal look that you’re comfortable with.

    That said, there are some golden rules to women’s fashion that never seem to change; a few pointers that to see noted down and to read, make perfect, logical sense and help to keep you on the straight and narrow, style-wise. And some of these guidelines cover what footwear to mix and match with specific outfits – undeniably, making sure what you’re wearing on top and what you’re wearing on your feet complement and don’t clash with each other is a pretty universal fashion necessity; it’s something every woman should surely seek to get right. So how do you do it…?

    Complement don’t clash

    To pull this off effectively, a good habit is to ask yourself questions – and, in answering them, put right what’s necessary if you haven’t done it at the outset. It’s often a case of finding a balance when it comes to pairing shoes with an outfit, just as it does when building the different clothing components of the outfit. For example:

    • Does your outfit look relatively simple? If so, pair it with busier shoes (say, leopard print pumps)


    • Do your shoes look relatively simple? If so, pair them with a busier outfit (for instance, dynamic prints)


    • Does one element of the outfit dominate all the others? Is it a good focal point or could it do with toning down?


    • Is the overall look too much – are spikes on your heels competing with sequins on your dress?


    • Does the whole outfit blend together too much (jacket, trousers and shoes)? Does it need some contrast?


    What are you dressing for?

    Forget how much you love the way they look (on their own), how well they fit and, yes, how much a bargain they may have been when you bought them, if the pair of shoes you really want to wear don’t suit an occasion, they’re simply the wrong footwear choice.

    Killer stilettos (especially if strappy) are a big no-no for a workday in the office, almost as much as sandals and anything that resemble flipflops – however, sunny and warm a day it may be outdoors. Take your cue from mens smart shoes and slip on a pair of heeled or flat pumps/ brogues that are somewhat conservative, instead. You’re dressing for office-work, remember. These shoe styles also work adequately for casual events – especially smart-casual crossovers – although they can be a little unimaginative. A lively and cool pair of sneakers may work better here.

    If you don’t want to play it totally safe, change things up by contrasting the colour of shoes with the general colours of your outfit. Or, if you just feel like it one day and can get away with it for the occasion and at the location concerned, really change things up by wearing the likes of stilettos with jeans. It’ll doubtless make you feel dramatic, even a bit glamorous.

    Observe the seasons

    Generally, it’s most appropriate and stylishly embellishes your outfit if you wear the ‘correct’ footwear for the current season. This means then, for instance, matching autumnal and winter clothing (jackets, scarves, hats, gloves and three-quarter-length coats) with the according shoe choices; the likes of Marco Tozzi ankle boots or Gucinari Chelsea boots. Suede – often in browns of varying tones – is a fine shoe material for the colder months, not least because of its autumn- and winter-friendly shades.

    That said, there are exceptions, of course. For instance, if it’s unseasonably warm at the start of autumn, you might want to continue wearing sandals or even flipflops for two or three weeks; after all, in this scenario your wardrobe’s unlikely to have started changing over for the season. And, for nights out on the town, matching strappy heels with long wintry coats is de rigeur even in the depths of winter. Moreover, wearing sophisticated open-toe heeled pumps is entirely acceptable all-year-round.

    Co-ordinating colours

    Let’s be honest, colour co-ordination isn’t the easiest thing to pull off when composing an overall outfit. Probably because of that reason, a lot of people tend to play it safe and wear black shoes the majority of the time (black goes with *everything*), but throwing in a splash of colour (or colour contrast) via your footwear rarely fails in adding a touch of spice to your look without any fear of going overboard. Indeed, here’s a rundown then of died-in-the-wool effective colour co-ordinations:

    • Brown shoes for brown, beige, tan, green and orange clothes


    • Cream shoes for white, light and ‘pastel shade’ clothes


    • Light brown shoes for beige, blue, light tan and ‘earth tone’ clothes


    • Silver shoes for black, blue, purple, white and ‘pastel shade’ clothes


    • Gold shoes for black, brown, green, red and white clothes


    • White shoes for bright, light and ‘pastel shade’ clothes.
  • Blinded by science: it’s official – men find high-heeled women more attractive

    Hands up who among you women out there doesn’t love to pull out that pair of delicious, delightful, sexy heels from the bottom of your wardrobe, slip them on, slip out of the house and wear them for that special night out on the town, ensuring you feel – and look – fabulous? Yes, chances are, there are lots of raised hands. High-heeled shoes, whether stilettos or those with a chunkier heel, have always been a go-to footwear choice for women wanting to look their best and their most beautiful – but have you ever stopped to wonder exactly why?

    Well, a group of academics in Portugal have and their findings make for interesting reading, to say the least. According to them, it’s now undisputed scientific fact that high-heels enhance a woman’s attractiveness because it helps ensure their backs are arched, which – again scientifically speaking – has been found definitively to make them more alluring to men.

    The findings from the experts’ research was published in late October this year in the Evolutionary Psychological Science journal and drew on both 3D models and eye-tracking technology to confirm that it’s true males of the human species are more drawn to females when the latter slightly curve their backs, suggesting then that this posture – which nowadays is aided by the wearing of high-heeled shoes – could just have evolved to be used by early womankind to signal they’re appreciative of mating with a specific sexual partner.

    Research and analysis

    Indeed, there’s certainly no doubt in the mind of the study’s lead author, Farid Pazhoohi, whom said in a statement: “increased curvature increases the perception of attractiveness”. Apparently then, along with the effect of wearing high-heels, like when a woman might shift her body position so her hips move backwards slightly, a curve in her lower back is generated and can have a captivating effect for men, it’s also been suggested the study’s findings may help explain the ‘twerking’ phenomenon of recent years – which, to be fair, when you think about it, would make sense!

    Pazhoohi goes on to explain: “The perception of attractiveness and visual attention to the hip region suggests that lordosis, or the arching of the back, might signal human females’ ‘proceptivity’, or willingness to be courted”.

    But just how did Pazhoohi and his colleagues arrive at their findings then? Well, they deployed half a dozen CGI-created 3D models of a female upper body, each of which suggested a separate posture (featuring the backs arched slightly differently) to produce images, which were presented to 82 straight male and female young people for them to record their responses as to the models’ attractiveness and allure. Additionally, as they looked at each image, the movement of the subjects’ eyes were measured by specialist eye-tracking equipment.

    And, as you might expect then, participants generally rated a model more attractive the more its back was arched. Indeed, overall, the findings noted that subjects tended to take more time looking at the postures of the 3D models where the curve of the backs were more pronounced. Plus, intriguingly, the eye-tracking technology recorded that male participants focused on the models’ hips more than any other part of the anatomy, while the female participants focused their eyes more so on the waist.

    Fabulous, alluring and sophisticated

    Fascinating findings then (and interesting methods in which they were found too, of course); all of which suggests that should you wish to look at your most alluring, attractive and fabulous best – for yourself as much as any potential male admirers, that is – there’s simply no beating purchasing, putting on and showcasing a pair of spectacular heeled shoes on a night out, like perhaps a pair of floridly beautiful and spectacular Ruby Shoo shoes.

    And let’s not forget too that fine high-heeled footwear isn’t just to be worn for a social night out on the tiles; should you hunt down the right looking pair of Ruby Shoo heels (or, for that matter, Marco Tozzi ladies shoes), a pair of terrific high heels will ensure you look fabulous and alluring any time of day, while also dignified and sophisticated – ensuring you get approving glances and just the right level of attention from the opposite sex and other impressed women, needless to say!

  • Transatlantic style: the differences between UK and US women’s fashion

    The world is getting smaller. To some extent, this has always been true, not least throughout the 20th Century. But now, in this new millennium of ours, when we’re all just a mere depressed-keyboard-button or tap of a smartphone screen away from someone or something published thousands of miles away across the globe, our planet feels like it’s shrinking every single day.

    And this is having an effect on women’s fashion, no question. Nowadays, people are aware of what’s hot and not in different countries without even having to visit them – people are curious, for sure. And that influences their own style choices and self-expression through clothes, of course. Indeed, two women’s fashion styles that are often talked about and revered are the UK and US versions, but just how do they differ – and how do you get them right…?

    The British look – in general

    Britain has, of course, a long-held, proud history when it comes to fashion. Images of Swinging Sixties mod fashion (all Mary Quant mini-dresses and sharp suits) and Vivienne Westwood-designed punk style will pop into the heads of many at the sound of this. But, actually, London was a haven for fashion long before then – for instance, Piccadilly Circus owes its name to the type of collar the area’s tailors were famous for making back in the 17th Century.

    As such then, British women’s fashion has a reputation abroad for its ‘fearlessness’; its willingness to push boundaries and imaginatively try different things. British women aren’t afraid to put together outfits that have a ‘thrown together’ vibe; happily mixing, as they do, patterns, prints, colours and even trends to achieve an overall dynamic look. Hardly surprisingly, given the UK obsession with the weather (it’s something of a national pastime over here), women’s fashion on these shores is also somewhat defined by the weather – flipflops are only commonplace in the summer (with the likes of ladies ankle boots worn year-round, such as, say, Marco Tozzi boots) and black tights are regularly to be seen complementing skirts and shorts (and simultaneously keeping legs warm).


    The British look – the lowdown

    To achieve spot-on British style:

    • Focus on layers – create outfits that you can add to or discard items from depending on changeable temperatures throughout the day; so, consider cool, lightweight leather jackets and blazers, scarves for warmth and to accessorise and, as mentioned, never be afraid to turn to tights, as they keep out the cold and add sophistication


    • Prepare for rain – makes sure your shoes are waterproof and don’t forget an umbrella; yes, all-year-round
    • Mix femininity with edginess – throw together a floral dress and Cat boots, a leather jacket over a tea dress or a bomber jacket over a lace dress; there’s an irresistible punkiness to UK fashion.

    The American look – in general

    In a nutshell, it may be fair to say that US women’s fashion is less daring than its counterpart over the pond; a little less edgy. It focuses on a more classic look and, to that end, could even be described as less trend-focused. Don’t forget, the United States is a much bigger and, in its way then, a more regionally-defined country than the UK, with big variations in geography and culture. And that has an effect on the country’s mindset when it comes to fashion; ergo, it has a habit of being more casual, laid back and comfort-driven.

    That said, American women are very fashion conscious and not at all at sea in the style stakes. They have a habit of keeping to simple pieces and wearing them impeccably well. For instance, they’ve a fine eye for embellishing a mere white t-shirt or black tank-top with accessories that turn it into the most stylish thing you’ll see all week. Probably all while wearing a pair of classic jeans, of course.


    The American look – the lowdown

    To get American style right:

    • Classic with a twist – American women’s fashion is all about taking simple, died-in-the-wool pieces like elegant t-shirts and making them your own by adding to them and wearing them in unexpected ways


    • Do you own thing – that phrase could equally be said of fashion-conscious UK women, of course, but in a different way because, on US shores, women are truly comfortable in their own personal style and don’t feel a need to dabble in every new trend the fashion magazines scream at them they should, but that’s not to say they don’t experiment with catwalk-inspired fashion; rather, they know their own style and how to express it


    • Stay laid back and enjoy what you wear – many European clobber obsessives may refer to US fashion as ‘boring’, but that’s arguably to miss the point; as noted, US fashion has is basis in simplicity and comfort, of which there’s much to be said, so much so it’s maybe more about how clothes are worn in the States, rather than exactly what’s worn.
  • The emoji shoe issue: phone symbols don’t reflect women’s choices – why it matters

    Have you ever thought about the emojis you use every day when you message or post online? That’s to say, have you ever *really* though about them? If you have – and you’re a woman – it may have occurred to you just how, well, traditional the female-themed emojis are. Not least the footwear ones. Indeed, all three of them feature high heels; so, basically, in ‘Emoji Land’ no woman’s allowed to wear flats. Which when you think about it, is a bit weird. It’s also a bit retrograde and, frankly, sexist.

    One person who’s definitely noticed this is Floriane Hutchinson, an arts publicist based in the US, and she’s not impressed. So much so, in fact, she’s started an online campaign to get things changed. Using the hashtag #IWearFlats, she’s drawn so much attention to the issue that the matter’s now up for discussion by the organisation responsible for deciding on which emojis are made available and which not, the grand-sounding Unicode Consortium Emoji Subcommittee.

    Hutchinson’s argument goes that when wanting to use an emoji to reflect their footwear in any given online conversation or situation, women aren’t allowed to use an emoji reflecting the kind of shoe – a flat-heeled one – they wear the vast majority of the time. Most women, she reasons, wear high heels less often than flats (indeed, every footwear retailer you could think of offers a wide variety choice, including the likes of women’s flats boots). And yet the three emoji choices are a red stiletto-style shoe, a heeled boot and a sandal with a heel. There’s also a brown man’s shoe and a gender neutral option – a trainer/ sneaker.

    The new digital lexicon – and its influence

    Now, fair dos; you may feel #IWearFlats is rather an insignificant cause given the myriad of undeniably important issues the world finds itself concerned with. And, in many ways, that’s true, of course, but when you consider there are 3.2 billion Internet users on the planet (almost half the world’s total population), 92 percent of whom like to use emojis and, thus, six billion – yes, really six billion – emojis are sent every day, you may conclude that it’s actually important these little digital symbols represent our real world, what we do, who we are and how we dress. And don’t come off as sexist in what they do (or, rather, don’t) offer users.

    Indeed, it’s the very fact that this ‘visual language’ (as Hutchinson quite rightly points out emojis have fast become) could inform her three young daughters and help establish gender biases in their minds in early childhood that she felt driven to do something about this emoji sexism. She’s claimed that women – of all ages – are bombarded with not just imagery of female forms that are deemed as aspirational because they’re objectified in the media and by peers, but now this ‘new digital lexicon’ is doing the same. Her point being then, what message does the choice available in emojis to express oneself via female clothing send her children – and billions of others?

    After all, it’s not just the footwear. The other ‘feminine’ clothing options are a pink blouse (with added décolletage), a bow-featuring hat, a girly dress and a wallet that’s far from unisex – it’s a frilly purse. Is this how all successful and fashionable women who are happy in themselves dress? Hardly.

    Indeed, this issue over women’s footwear and how it’s perceived – especially in the supposedly meritocratic, professional workplace – goes far further than emojis, of course. For instance, recently there was the case of UK temp worker Nicola Thorp, whom was sent home from where she was working because she wasn’t wearing high heels. Rightly creating a public outcry, her online petition looking to outlaw woman being forced to wear stilettos in the workplace received 152,400 signatures.

    According to The Daily Telegraph, on hearing about #IWearFlats, Thorp felt it was ‘brilliant’, adding that “younger generations seem to use emoji to communicate way more, so it’s important that all feel fairly represented. And while we’re at it... I’d love a pair of slippers”. (Maybe she should check out our Skechers womens and Rieker ladies shoes ranges then!)

    Hope on the horizon

    Seriously, though, where does it all leave us – will Hutchinson’s hashtag-driven campaign make any difference or will big influencers (global corporations and bodies) continue to reinforce gender stereotypes through clothing-related restrictions that are so outdated they simply don’t reflect the lives of billions of women across the world?

    Well, happily enough, it seems that #IWearFlats may end up pulling off something of a coup. The aforementioned Unicode Consortium Emoji Subcommittee is meeting again early next year – and with the ‘women’s flat shoe’ having been added to the ‘emoji candidate list’ – it may just get added to smartphone keyboards in the second half of 2018.

    Either way, Hutchinson’s campaign proves one thing, for sure – a very important thing; nobody has to accept the status quo and put up with discrimination in any form, whether it be in practicing a religion, racial abuse or sexist emojis! The new digital lexicon’s here to stay – hopefully soon it’ll be a little more versatile and equal.


  • And God created footwear: could bespoke shoe design be the future?

    High heel shoes are fabulous, aren’t they? Every woman knows it to be true. Beautiful to look at, beautiful to wear and magical in their ability to make you feel beautiful when you slip on a pair. That said, when it comes to such fantastically fashionable footwear, beauty can come at a price – all too often, after wearing them for a while, most women really are ready to slip them off again. And that’s because so many high-heeled shoes have a tendency to make one’s feet hurt.

    It’s an issue with women’s footwear that’s been around for decades – if not as long as anyone can remember – and, for better or worse, one that consumers have learnt just to shrug off and put up with, irrespective of the pain and irritation involved. And yet, where there’s a will there’s almost always a way – and it seems that, thanks to a combination of innovation and modern technology, there may now be an answer; that is, genuinely bespoke high heels, designed specifically and uniquely for your own two feet.

    The brainchild of a US-based podiatrist, a new customised shoe service is proving popular across the pond, driven as it is by a complete diagnostic foot evaluation at the outset, before the shoes of the customer’s choice are manufactured specifically to the unique shape of their feet via state-of-the-art technology.

    Why not a stylish and perfect fit?

    Interviewed about his new venture by the website, Dr Bruce Pinker reckons that more than half of all people suffer from foot problems of some kind during their lives – so, indeed, why shouldn’t women be able to buy and enjoy terrific-looking shoes that aren’t bad for their feet?

    “Shoes should be comfortable, and when they’re not, they lead to a lot of problems such as bunions, hammertoes, heel pain, heel spurs, ingrown toenails and plantar fasciitis,” he said in the interview. “There’s a huge need for comfortable women’s shoes that look beautiful and shoes should be functional, fit well and be stylish. You have to be able to move well in your shoes and if you aren’t able to, your shoes – and your feet – aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do.”

    He also adds, quite rightly, that our feet are the foundation of the body (obviously what we need to stand and walk), so they must be supported not harmed by the shoes we wear. Moreover, he suggests that too many of the foot deformities people have suffered with return after a few years owing to badly fitting footwear – and that can even be after these people have had to undergo foot surgery. Reason, indeed, then for shoes that are moulded to fit individual women’s feet precisely, but not of the ‘grandma’ or ‘orthopaedic’ shoe-type; rather, attractive, fashionable and great-looking shoes that properly fit.

    Innovative technology

    So, how then does this foot expert combine function and fashion into the ultimate shoe solution? How does he manage to produce footwear for women that looks as good as and is as good for the feet as Skechers mens shoes or Wranglers boots are for men? Well, Dr Pinker’s process kicks off with what he calls a computerised scientific gait investigation (CSGI), which enables analysis of a subject’s standing, walking and running patterns, taking into account the variations between each different foot (especially their lower extremities) and the pressure points and their specific locations on the individual foot.

    Next, there’s a biomechanical evaluation and motion testing on the feet’s major joints and muscle strength, as well as recognition of any chronic conditions (the likes of strains, sprains, tendonitis and arthritis); plus, fluoroscopic radiographic evaluations to identify the feet’s bone and cartilage structures and a diagnostic ultrasound evaluation to recognise any anomalies in the feet’s soft tissue.

    Following this, a casting of each foot is produced and, from these, the customer’s shoes can be made, the manufacturer safe in the knowledge that they’re constructing them according to the exact needs of the subject’s foot. Yes, so any killer stiletto heels produced and purchased via this service should be as well-fitting and good for your feet as any super-comfortable pair of women’s winter boots.

    Well, that’s the theory anyway – but it does seem that this CSGI-driven process of making shoes (complex and far from simple and, admittedly, not exactly on the cheap side at present) certainly does deliver footwear for women that both looks fabulous and sexy and is great for the health of their feet. Could it become widespread and the future of footwear production, though? That’s obviously a very good question, but one thing’s for sure; science and technology never stand still. They’re forever moving forward and innovating our world and the way in which what we use, eat and wear in everyday life is created and sold. Which also means what was once only available to a few becomes available to practically all. The answer then perhaps should be ‘watch this space’…

  • Colour confusion: does it matter if people can’t agree on your colour of a shoe?

    It’s scientifically accepted that we don’t all see the same colours in exactly the same shades, but how many of us who aren’t experts on the human eye know this? Now, colour-blindness and, in particular, awareness of it is widespread, but the fact that the red of a London bus may appear slightly different, a slightly different shade, to one person compared to another, is something that might strike many as rather bizarre.

    That said, though, the social media savvy among us – of whom, let’s be honest, there are now billions on the planet – appear to be waking up to this fact. And the latest thing to ensure this penny’s dropping has been a humble shoe, which was posted on a social platform on the Internet in October.

    Many will recall the furore and, frankly, consternation caused throughout the world (and all over the media) by the fact that a similar Internet-posted item appeared white or gold to some people and blue or even black to others. The fact one ‘group’ of people saw it one colour scheme and another ‘group’ saw it in a totally different one, baffled, concerned and irritated both ‘groups’ greatly. And now it’s the turn of a single trainer. Is its colour a pinky white/ whiteish pink or a greyish-green/ greenish-grey?

    Why does it matter?

    What is its true colour, well, is a very good question. But, equally, so too is whether it actually matters at all. Especially as the individual who originally posted the image of their now famous sneaker has fessed up and claimed its colour scheme is pink and white. And yet, it seems hundreds of social media users aren’t satisfied – they see as grey and mint green. And, as with ‘Dress-gate’ last year, it does raise an important point. In that, we should surely look into why so many people seem to see things in quite different colours; that probably should be something that intrigues mankind, shouldn’t it? After all, surely you wouldn’t want your stylish new mens designer shoes or sophisticated mens fashion shoes that are definitely a cool, tan shade to be seen by others as a completely different tone? Although, that said, is that even likely to happen?

    To be fair, it’s unlikely. Because experts have suggested that different people claim to perceive both the famous dress and now nearly as famous shoe in different colours most likely due to the colour settings of their smartphone/ PC screen or the lighting of their surroundings or, quite possibly, because of white balance.


    What is white balance?

    Unless you’re a photographer or photo editor, you may not be familiar with this term. It’s basically the name that’s applied to the action of removing colour from a captured image so that an object in the photo, which is white in reality, appears white in the image too. Why might white balance need to fixed in a photo? Well, each environment around us has different ‘colour temperatures’ and usually the subtle differences this generates in colour are lost on us, which is why we’re not really aware of it (white simply looks white to our eyes, or so our brain says it is), but it will show up in an image captured in a photo. Thus a ‘cool’ colour temperature should result in more blue tones in a photo; a ‘warm’ colour temperature means there’ll be more yellow tones.

    So, in the case of last year’s notorious dress, it may well have been white in reality, but because the image – or at least reproductions of it – hadn’t been treated for white balance, for many people it may well have appeared blue. Conversely, though, other experts, as noted, have suggested as an explanation the colour settings – or even the limitations when it comes to displaying different colours – of smartphone and PC screens.

    This seems a conceivable and persuasive theory, as almost all screens themselves are made up of a combination of different shades, yet they enable their owners to set the proportions of these shades, thus some objects shared on the Internet may look different when viewed on different screens. And yet, surely that wouldn’t realistically explain why some people see golds as blues or blacks (or vice versa) and pinks as greens (and vice versa)?


    Colour is in the eye of the beholder?

    In the end, could it be because of our own eyes? Why people see objects as different colours (through whatever means they view them) is down to biological development of their eyes? After all, it’s been known for decades that the ratio of red to green cones in the human eye varies from individual to individual, thus explaining how people often claim to see objects in slightly different shades, not least when natural or synthetic light is at a premium (such as when looking up at stars in the night’s sky, one person may claim some stars are different colours to those another person claims they are).

    Perhaps we’ll never know why people see things in different shades – or, in some cases, completely different colours – or perhaps, one day, science will provide us with an answer that’s definitive. Who knows? One thing’s for sure, though, the confusion and disagreement shouldn’t stop you from purchasing a great pair of mens casual shoes – so long as you know what colour they are and are pleased with them, what does it matter!

  • Storage solutions: innovative ideas for storing your shoes

    Aside from the dent it makes in your bank account, there’s no downside to increasing your shoe collection, is there? Bright, beautiful, colourful, casual, sophisticated, stylish and delicious footwear fancies for you to salivate over and then pop on your feet when the desire takes you. Well, actually, like it or not, there is another downside – storing them.

    If you’re a woman who’s a dedicated follower of footwear fashion and your collection’s ever increasing, eventually you may find yourself facing the unenviable task of finding new and imaginative places in which to store your supreme new and not-so-new shoes. The key here is, indeed, the word imaginative; cooking up great storage ideas and making use of all those so far unused nooks and crannies in your house or flat where fitting in a few pairs of killer heels wouldn’t just work but actually enhance the look of your home (and aid you to put on it the stamp of your own unique personality – bonus!).

    But yes, unfortunately, it’s easier said than done coming up with creative locations for your shoe collection to ensure you don’t end up with a jumbled and tangled homogenous mass of shoes and laces at the bottom of your wardrobe, under your bed or by the front door. Not least because some footwear (hello, stilettos!) can come in particularly wieldy and unhelpful shapes when it comes to neatly and effectively packing them away somewhere. But don’t fret, for salvation’s now at hand – here’s our list of suggestions for sensible and novel ways to store your multiple pairs of sumptuous shoes…

    Go box-shopping

    Are you one of those people who keeps shoe boxes for a rainy day because it occurs to you they’ll be useful? If so, doubtless you’ll already be using all those you’ve thoughtfully kept owing to their naturally useful sizes and shapes. In which case, get hold of a few easy-to-afford patterned boxes you can pop your shoes into at the bottom of the wardrobe. Moreover, why not print out a photo of the type of shoes each box contains and affix it to the outside if you’re going to store them like this?


    Rack ’em and stack ’em

    Now, lobbing your shoes into the bottom of a wardrobe willy-nilly is one of the worst things you can do for them (it may well scuff and scratch their surfaces or damage them beyond repair), so any alternative’s preferable. If you like the idea of still keeping them in a wardrobe, though, how about getting them up off the floor altogether by stacking them tidily on a rack attached to the wall, so you’ve still lots of space for storing tops, blouses and coats and so on.


    Wind back the clock with dado rails

    Invented way back when, many believe, to prevent chair backs from damaging a room’s walls, dado rails have themselves become a de facto decorative addition to the home, so why not resurrect their functional origins by using them a something from which to hang high-heeled shoes (like Marco Tozzi ladies shoes)?


    Make your shoes stair-masters

    Obviously, the thought of having various pairs of your shoes slung about the place isn’t one that conjures up a vision of tidiness (more like abandoned detritus after coming home following a big night out), but neatly dotting the edges of each stair (wall- or bannister-edges) with a pair of shoes is a dynamic way to ‘put away’ your footwear while also, well, showing it off – ergo, you’ve also happened upon an unusual home décor feature.


    Two – or more – rungs can make a right!

    Storage ladders are very much on-trend in interior design, which makes them ideal as high-heeled shoe-storage solutions; less so for trainers/ sneakers (like Skechers womens shoes), though, as you’ll want to hang the heel of each shoe over the rungs of the ladder.


    Put your ottoman to use

    Solid, sturdy and, yes, suitably Turkish in appearance then, an ottoman can make for a fine feature in the right room, yet doesn’t really do that much beyond that. Not so when it comes to the storage ottoman variety, however; as they’re effectively big, roomy, decorative-on-the-outside boxes rife for putting things like shoes in.


    Embrace the grape

    Well, granted, we’re not suggesting you put to use grapes or actual wine to help you store your shoes per se, rather the storage unit you may have hanging around still that consumed bottles of plonk originally came in – wine crates, no less. Tipped on their side and with slats of wood inserted to create pigeon-hole like spaces to fit individual or pairs of shoes in, this is a great option for fans of Merlot and Prosecco.


    Can it!

    Finally, here’s a suggestion that may be particularly appealing to those who fancy themselves as DIY can-doers. Simply clean up any spare – and empty, obviously – paint cans you have lying about the garage, so they come up with a bright sheen (preferably without any company branding on them) then, nail each one to wall at close intervals and slide your shoes into them. This is an especially fitting solution for storing slim shoes, the likes of flipflops, sandals and Oak and Hyde footwear.

  • The power of a pair of heels: how giving shoes is changing women’s lives

    It’s quite a thought, isn’t it, that a pair of shoes can not only change someone’s life, but even save their life? Yet, that’s exactly what a breast cancer survivor claims of a pair of glittery, spiky blue, killer heels she received from a friend just as she was about to start her all-important cancer treatment. So much so, in fact, that with that friend she’s now set up a donation organisation to ensure other women going through the same thing can experience the extraordinary power of gratitude, platonic support and strength she gained – all through a pair of shoes.

    The thinking behind the US-based Healing Heels concept then is to enable women to battle the cancer that seeks to destroy their bodies with a fierceness provided them by a pair of glorious, fierce shoes, from which they’d otherwise gain self-esteem, strength and belief by wearing out and about in everyday life.

    It’s a brilliant and yet simple idea in its conception and realisation; acknowledging and drawing on the kismet-like connection a woman has with her favourite shoes – by harnessing this very power a fantastic pair of heels possesses (like, say, a floridly patterned, beautiful pair of Ruby Shoo) – to help her through the hardest, toughest, most challenging episode in life she’s ever likely to face.

    The tale behind Healing Heels started a few years back when Lauren Truelock, having been diagnosed with breast cancer, was admitted to hospital to undergo her first round of chemotherapy. And, as she did so, her best friend Sidne Hirsh gave her a carboard box, inside which were the spiky blue, killer heels that Sidne intended to become Lauren’s ‘chemo shoes’ – and that’s exactly what they became, their glamorous fierceness helping give Lauren the strength to face each subsequent session of treatment (she donned them for every single one), until it was completed in June 2012.

    As Lauren explains on the organisation’s website: “I immediately got a huge smile on my face because who knew you got presents for starting chemo! As I made my way through the wrapping paper and opened the box, I had to laugh out loud at what I saw. High heels. And not just any high heels. Five-inch, bright blue, glittery, spike covered stilettos that couldn't have been more perfect”. No question – these were going to be the shoes with which she ‘was going to kick cancer where it hurts’.

    She goes on to say that that’s exactly what she did because, not only did she wear her new heels to every single treatment session she had to face, but also – in some way, at least – began to look forward to them. Not because of what she’d have to face when she got to the hospital or how ill the treatment would make her feel, but because she’d get to wear the shoes again. She’d get to put them on her feet and bravely step into the breach once more, ready and willing to kick cancer’s backside. The shoes then undoubtedly helped to give occasions that could otherwise feel full of foreboding and darkness some sort of positivity; a silver lining to a black cloud, as it were.

    So, armed with her killer heels, Lauren managed to beat her breast cancer – and is in no doubt as to the role they played in her achievement. She advises women everywhere that such a pair of fantastic footwear really can be the difference in a woman’s life – making the point she’s the very proof of it. As are the growing number of women who are doing like she did thanks to her and her friend Sidne’s Healing Heels initiative, which delivers fierce-looking shoes to women throughout the United States who are in need of them due to major cancer treatment.

    Which is a moot point because surely Lauren’s message and the fundamental concept behind Healing Heels can be readily transposed beyond the US and the specifics of the project. The power of receiving and pulling on a fabulous, fierce pair of killer heels is universal for women the world over – especially those who might be having to face a serious life-altering challenge, hardship or turmoil.

    And, of course, they don’t have to be spiky blue heels either; such a gift of power-providing, bravery-generating and friend-in-need-reassuring could be equally achieved via giving a pair of magnificent Marco Tozzi shoes, for instance, or as it’s the time of year for them, a pair of women’s winter boots.

    The point is it’s about helping a loved one or a great friend who’s looking a hard battle in the face and letting them know they’re not alone; their relative or friend’s there to offer love and support and to make sure they know they’re going to win their battle – and look fabulous as they do so. As Lauren maintains, the next time you’re convinced something’s too big or too scary, a pair of perfect, fantastic shoes really can make the difference – for as she points out: “I’m living proof that in the right pair of shoes, you can do anything”.

  • More than just a casual shoe? What to consider when buying trainers

    Statistically speaking, people today spend more of their lives wearing sports shoes – that is, trainers or sneakers – than any other kinds of footwear. And that’s true for both men and women. Which is a moot point because many of us look on finding the right pair of trainers as less a big deal (in terms of fit, what they’re really going to be worn for and, sometimes, how they look) than finding a sophisticated shoe for work and/ or occasions requiring smart acquire.

    That may well be because we look on trainers as ‘casual shoes’; to many of us, they may be less important than the other footwear we own. But if we’re spending so much time wearing them, surely that makes no sense. In which case, what should you think about when selecting a new pair of sneakers…?

    What are you buying them for?

    When you stop and think about it, people buy trainers for different reasons. Now, it’s true that many people – probably most people – buy a pair as an easy-to-slip-on-and-off, comfortable leisure shoe and if you fall into this category of sneaker-buying, fair enough. But many other people primarily buy trainers for functional reasons – so they have a pair of running shoes to keep fit or for specific sports activities.

    As such then, the marketing by shoe manufacturers that their different trainers ought to be bought for different sports isn’t necessarily just a cynical ploy to get you to buy more and different versions of their products. Podiatrists generally agree that it’s important for the welfare of your feet that you’re wearing footwear that’s specifically designed for the activity you’re undertaking.

    Indeed, if you think about running versus tennis, they’re quite different activities and so what they demand of your feet is quite different. Yes, there’s a decent amount of running in tennis (short bursts of sprinting), but it’s not out-and-out running – the former really asks of you a good deal of lateral movement and switches of direction; the latter is all about forward motion. Thus, for tennis, you should seek out a trainer with lateral support and a stable upper, while cushioning and general stability is more important for running.

    How do the trainers fit?

    This may seem an obvious question (and, sure; yes, it is), but it’s also of real importance when choosing a pair of trainers. Now, granted, it’s less easy a proposition to tackle when you’re ordering and buying footwear online but if, when your brand new sneakers are delivered and you try them on, they don’t fit properly; don’t mess about – send them back and request a size that you’re more confident’ll fit you.

    Again, depending on what you’re buying your trainers for (running, gym work, specific sports activity or as a general casual shoe ensuring you’re going to wear them a lot of the time), they’re maybe the most important of all the shoes you own when it comes to a comfortable fit. And that’s because if they’re too tight it could result in calluses and blackening toenails; if they’re too loose, your feet could slip about inside, which could cause blisters. Not good. Indeed, a pair of trainers isn’t the sort of shoe that requires ‘breaking in’ and, remember, as with any type of shoe (anything from, say, Caterpillar boots to mens brogue boots), allow for a thumb’s width of free space at the front of the trainer.

    It pays to shop smartly

    If you’re going to be doing your trainer-shopping the old-fashioned way, then there are two or three things to do to ensure you get the right pair for you – especially when it comes to fit. First, it’s best not to do your shoe-shopping in the morning. Why? Because, to some extent, your feet swell as the day goes on, thus shopping for trainers in the afternoon’s a good bet.

    And, if you’re going to be buying trainers for a specific physical activity, be sure to wear the socks you’ll be wearing for that when you try on different pairs in-store; moreover, don’t skimp on trying on different ones – try on as many as necessary before you’re satisfied you’ve found a pair that’ll be a genuinely good fit for what you need them for. And that means not allowing any pesky shop assistants to pressurise you – note: they’re there to *assist* you. Plus, don’t forget to try on both the shoes in a pair (left and right) and move around in them a bit too.

    To go unisex or not?

    If you’re a woman, you may not consider it a particularly big deal opting for a specific ‘woman’s trainer’ should somewhere stock a ‘men’s trainer’ in your size that you really like the look of. But, again, if you’re looking to do a lot of physical activity in your trainers, it could well pay off to opt for the women’s version. Why? Well, because gender-specific sneakers – like women’s shoes versus men’s shoes of other types – are specifically designed for the feet of their designated sex. So, women’s trainers will cater not just for feet shape but also gait pattern. Experts claim that women tend to have broader forefeet than men, as well as a narrower heel, longer toes and a higher arch in their feet – yes, good women’s trainers (for instance, Skechers womens) should account for all these specifics of the female foot.

  • Flat-out fabulous: channel your inner-Hepburn in a pair of flats

    The world of women’s footwear is nothing if not diverse. Who could resist going all glam for a night out in a pair of strappy stilettos and then slumming it the morning after in comfortable, sleepy sneakers? What better than to take advantage of the ever-growing liberated attitude to office-wear than to change up your work attire with sophisticated chunky heels one day and cool, laid back ladies ankle boots the next? And, should you have never really got on with high heels, why not embrace the long-term trend of the last few years that are the flat alternatives of all sorts of different varieties?

    Why not, indeed. Because, yes – although it may seem anathema to some women – there are others out there who, despite their best efforts, just don’t get on with heeled shoes and more often than not seek out a flat-style option instead. Which means the resurgence of flats (many inspired by the irresistibly clean and simple, stylish retro look of their 1950s forebears worn so memorably by Audrey Hepburn, the fashion icon of that and all ages) has been a real godsend for them.

    For them, there’s no need to embarrass themselves by falling over face-first while walking down a street, or hobble about helplessly after catching and breaking off a heel in a pavement crack or, indeed, wince all-day long due to the pain caused by ill-fitting heels. For them then, the return of the sophisticated and fabulous-looking flat has been nothing short than manna from heaven.

    Flats you can’t live without?

    As noted, though, the vast variety of flat shoes on the market today is a bit mind-boggling. How to choose between them as you browse through pair after pair online and select which of them to part with your hard-earned cash on? Well, perhaps one way to look at it and decide is to focus on which style of flat shoe any woman worth her fashion salt ought to own. Which of them can’t you live without?

    Perhaps the most eye-catching and stylish kind of flat shoe you can opt for is a vintage-inspired pump or loafer. Both have been on-trend for the last few seasons now and for good reason – in the right colour, whether light or dark (to complement the rest of your outfit and/ or your accessories), they’re simply irresistible. Do check out our range of pumps and loafers to get an idea of what we’re talking about (such as Marco Tozzi flats); you’ll doubtless find the look and swish retro style they embrace a real fashion must.

    Close behind the pump and/ or loafer option, of course, is the trainer (or the sneaker, if you’ve a penchant for the American term for this highly diverse footwear type). To be fair, trainers top many women’s lists when it comes to flat shoes; that said, compared to pumps/ loafers they undoubtedly tend to be a more traditionally casual choice – indeed, unless your workplace runs a casual dress policy, they’re hardly the most suitable footwear option.

    And yet, trainers – although they’ve always been popular, of course – have never been more popular for women. The times when the best, coolest and most sought-after designs were available in men’s sizes alone are long gone, ensuring then that the humble trainer truly does represent gender equality and parity (in the footwear stakes, at least); it really is the unisex shoe of choice. That said, owing to the enormous plethora of different designs, styles, brands and colours out there, today’s women’s trainer is far from a humble wardrobe item. And, don’t doubt it, a pair of universal white kicks will go with practically any outfit you care to try on.

    Mixing styles and managing proportion

    Another great thing about trainers/ sneakers, though, is their versatility. That is, when you find their style cleverly morph into something a little less sporty or, rather, a little less conspicuously trainer-y. A good example is the Skechers Go Walk range, which sees trainer-like pumps and loafer shoes designed specifically for ambling in the countryside – and looking effortlessly neat, tidy and stylish while doing so.

    Overall, though, a flat shoe – practically any flat shoe – is ideal for bringing a certain understated chic to whatever outfit you’ve chosen to wear for the day, whether it’s erring on the workday formal side or comfortably, yet trendily casual. And, to get the best look possible, don’t overlook how a flat shoe should work with the outfit. For instance, when wearing an unbeatable sneaker, be sure to turn up the bottom of your jeans and give a flash of ankle – it’s about getting proportion correct. Do that and you won’t need to worry about your silhouette not being enhanced with the extra height afforded by heels; that extra height becomes unnecessary. So much so, in fact, you may never feel the need for stilettos again!


  • Get the Christmas party look - and avoid a festive fashion faux pas

    The work Christmas party… you’re darned if you do; you’re darned if you don’t, right? It’s the out-of-hours event that comes around every December and that every employee’s obliged to attend for appearance’s sake. Sort of like the one-off evening version of getting in each morning for 9am, even if it’s universally accepted that everyone in your office wastes at least the first half-an-hour of the morning anyway.

    And then, of course, you’re there to socialise with your work mates, when too often you’d much prefer to be socialising with your real mates. And yet, if you turn your nose up at the Christmas party, you’ll have to come up with a good excuse, otherwise people’ll suss the reason you’re not attending is because, well, you just don’t want to. And that won’t do. Hardly the season of goodwill to all men and women, is it?

    But hold on a moment… aren’t we forgetting something? Yes, of course, we are! A work Christmas party is still a party; it’s the cornerstone of the ‘party season’, after all. And, above else then, for a woman that means one thing – you get to dress up!

    What look to go for?

    In fact, as you’ll no doubt have found in previous years, the best way to get through the ‘dreaded’ work Christmas party is to surrender to the whole farrago, just dive in and go with it. Let’s face it; nobody who’s cool likes a Christmas party (usually, it puts the fear of God into them). And, really, that’s because such an occasion’s not about dressing up like a clothes horse and posing all night long, looking cool. No, it’s fundamentally, unashamedly and rather marvellously (when you think about it) about letting your hair down and simply *partying*. Also, there’s mince pies. And maybe a slap-up roast dinner. And mulled wine. And mince pies. Again.

    To that end then, the ideal look for a Christmas party is not one that’s all dressy-dressed-up. If you’ve been thinking along those lines, it may best to drop it now – trust us, you’ll feel much better for it and much more yourself when you’re at the party, letting loose in something that, yes, is still all about eveningwear but isn’t your dream outfit for attending a Leicester Square movie premiere. Leave that for New Year’s Eve. Or a real movie premiere.

    Moreover, let’s face it; your party’s likely to follow straight on from the working day, so you’re going to have to plump for an outfit that you can either easily get to the office and jump into come 5.30pm or be dressed in all-day, more or less. Your best option then is a look that’s a sparklier, twinklier, livelier, more buoyant version of you. In short, an outfit that’s genuinely going to bring out the Christmas party in you.

    Blouses and legwear

    Clothes-wise then, what does all that mean? In terms of this season’s fashions and fads, what’s best to don for this year’s Crimbo shindig? Well, simplicity is your friend. For instance, it could be something as uncluttered as a pristine but brilliant-looking black trouser suit with strappy heels. Or a cool, sleek jacket, dark short skirt and killer heeled boots (check out our range of Marco Tozzi ladies shoes). And add to either outfit a printed blouse. Just imagine how both outfits’d go with a glass of mulled wine – or, if you’re starting as you mean to go on, a big glass of deep red?

    Alternatively, you might truly embrace one of the hot trends right now (one that extends beyond mere wearable garb); that is, Nordic hygge-chic by opting for winter-friendly, creamy and chubby cord – you can spruce it up nicely with a pair of dangly earrings and just the right touch-up of make-up. Or how about going the satin route by selecting that fabric for your blouse (long-sleeves in emerald green is perfect for the festive season) and matching it with sequin jeans in a complementary tone. Dressed like that you’ll look far from an illuminated Christmas tree; much more a laid-back, wintry party-goer ready for anything.

    Shoes and accessories

    Finally, what to top off your outfit with? As noted above, if you’re *slightly* dressing down (rather than totally dressing up) for a Christmas party, then you can definitely go dressier when it comes to your footwear. Strappy heels and open toe stilettos always work well with such a look, or how about some fun, florally patterned heels like those offered by Ruby Shoo shoes? They make for perfect partywear.

    Alternatively, you may want to match a sleek jacket-and-trousers outfit with some cool women’s heeled ankle boots. They’re so versatile they do literally go with practically everything, let’s be honest. Apart from maybe a wedding dress. And they’ll go perfectly with almost any handbag or clutch you fancy; even more so if the colours/ tones match.

    Overall, though, when it comes to accessories, anything goes. Truly. It’s a Christmas party, so just go for it. That means popping on some cat’s ears or even throwing a feather boa over your shoulders if you feel like it. It’s the one night of the year when you’ve a real excuse to do so on a night out – and the one time you won’t regret whatever you might do. Probably…!


  • Blazer-ing a trail: great ideas for styling a long blazer

    Women who know their way around fashion have long since mastered the art of getting the most out of a blazer in the style stakes. Elegant but adaptable, this one-time garment of choice for men (and schoolboys) wishing to flaunt their privilege in a uniformed manner, has since become a universal choice for practically every demographic – crossing the genders as it’s done so – to become a high-fashion choice par excellence for suggesting not just sophistication incarnate, but sophistication turned up at the corners when it’s paired with something more casual, more daring or decidedly edgier.

    However, although all that’s true for regular-length blazers (and has been for some time), long blazers are a different kettle of fish. The truth is that you can definitely achieve with a longer version all you can with a regular blazer – but it’s all about knowing how. At first glance and on first trying, it may be far from easy to pull off a great look and a nicely balanced outfit with a longline blazer whose hemline falls somewhere between the hips and the knees. So, how then can you actually do it…?

    Wear it with… something that’s the same length

    This may seem obvious, but you’ll be impressed by the results. Putting a longer-than-regular-length blazer together with a legwear item that falls to more or less the same point can make for a pretty dynamic, thought-out-looking outfit. The deliberate appearance, though, doesn’t tend to look contrived; rather, it just looks simple and elegant. The two options you have here then is to wear either a short skirt (regular waist or high-waisted) or a pair of shorts with the blazer – obviously the latter outfit (especially if the shorts are denim) will give off a more laid-back vibe.

    Wear it with… something that’s knee-length

    A look that doesn’t look quite as deliberate as partnering a long blazer with an item whose own hemline matches that of the blazer itself, this option can nonetheless look sophisticated as can be. Not least because it may effectively double as a cool, rather breezy but she-means-business workwear suit. That is, if you pair the blazer with a knee-length pencil skirt whose shade either matches that of the blazer or contrasts with it nicely in such a way as to complement it (so long as the blouse and shoes and other accessories achieve a harmonious whole, of course). Alternatively, to achieve a more casual attitude, pair a long blazer with knee-length Bermuda shorts; naturally, the overall look you should be aiming for here ought to be looser and more languid – a plain t-shirt and sandals should make for spot-on additions.

    Wear it with… skinny jeans

    Although the blazer’s awesome from a style perspective right now, it can add a bit of bulk to the body, especially if you’re a slim thing, so partnering one with skinny jeans is a fine way to counter this. As ever, the focus is drawn to the narrowness of the legs in of the skinny jeans, with the blazer taking a sophisticated step back. Add a pair of Marco Tozzi ankle boots to complete the look.

    Wear it with… boyfriend jeans

    To less of an extent, but still effective, boyfriend jeans can also be paired with a long blazer to neutralise any unwanted bulkiness. Boyfriend jeans may be loose-fitting, but should they come with a narrow leg, they’ll bring nice balance to the look. Additionally, this is the legwear to go for to achieve that oh-so trendy blend of casual and stylish – especially if the jeans sport rips.

    Wear it with… high-waisted jeans

    What could be the advantage of creating an outfit from a long blazer and high-waisted jeans? Wouldn’t that come off as a little odd? On the contrary. The high-line of the jeans combined with the relatively low hem of the blazer gifts the outfit a sort of multi-level symmetry or, rather, a harmony that’s pleasing on the eye. As with the previous two denim-pairing options, should you add a pair of stylish and extravagant heels (such as Ruby Shoo shoes) to the look, you get something that appears not just appealing and elegant, but also is a blend of sophistication (the blazer and the heels) and everyday-ism (the jeans).

    Wear it… as if it’s a dress

    Finally, are you blessed with fantastic pins? If so, this is the option for you on a night out where you can truly dress up to the nines. With the added advantage of being able to step out in an instantly eye-catching dynamic outfit that’s ridiculously easy to put together (why hunt around for the perfect dress for the night when your long blazer can double as one?). Ideal for blazers that have a touch of glamour about them (we’re talking bold tones like deep reds, blues and greens and materials like velvet or even something sequined), it’s a look that’s sophisticated and daring. elegant and trend-setting, all at the same time.

  • Answer the ankle boot call: why ankle boots are so hot this autumn

    There are some garments that are just timelessly fashionable; some that you can just wear with practically anything, practically any time of the year. When it comes to women’s footwear, that undoubtedly means the ankle boot. And, actually, there’s no time of year when that very item from your shoe closet’s more ideal for wearing than in the autumn and winter.

    So much so, in fact, that the recent major fashion weeks in the UK, the US and on the Continent have seen a particularly fine selection of ankle boots starring on the famed runways of the major fashion label’s exclusive shows. So what, you may ask? So plenty! Because it means that the following looks and styles are seriously hot-to-trot in the ankle boot stakes right now…


    Flat ankle boots

    A design classic; the unisex, utilitarian flat ankle boot is the sensible yet stylish footwear choice for that especially chilly, maybe icy day when smart or smart-casual’s the name of the game – and it’s about dressing for warmth rather than, say, trying to embrace trendsetting fashions. That said, as pointed out, it’s a design classic and with its rather unisex association, the flat ankle boot complements (by contrasting with) the likes of bold midi skirts and long floral dresses in rather an irresistible, even inconceivable way. It’s all about that ever so slightly edgy and off-kilter look in how you build your outfit. You might even want to complete it with an oversized jumper and a long black woollen coat if you really want to go the full androgynous route.

    Heeled ankle boots

    Time for some fun via a night on the tiles? Time then for a colourful, joyous heeled ankle boot! Yup, we’re talking the likes of retro-style lace-up booties and punky, funky buckle boots and suede Western, riding-like styles here… what’s not to love, honestly! Just take a look at the selection of Marco Tozzi ankle boots offered on our website. Earlier this year, the onus was on the heel when it came to this particular kind of women’s boot and, while that continues to some extent as we come to the end of 2017, the focus now is really on the bold, bright, patterned and dynamic prints with which the boots are adorned. To say they lend the footwear additional character is putting it mildly; frankly, they add another dimension to them. For instance, have you checked out the glitter boot yet? It’s a hot seller – and a must for the party season that’s just around the corner!


    Leather and suede ankle boots

    From popping colours to sheer elegance… yes, luxed-up leather and sweetly delicious suede ankle boots are proving just as popular this season as ever. And for very good reason too. As pointed out, the women’s ankle boot’s such an iconic, such a simple and simply such a marvellous footwear design that when you combine it with an undeniably irresistible material, you’re on to a total winner. If you doubt us, take a look at the Rieker ankle boots collection. High-quality, high-gloss and waterproof leather booties are unbeatable this time and, although you’re best advised to dodge the showers and puddles in them, suede boots are hopelessly cool; the perfect way to top off any smart-casual outfit for any fitting occasion.

    Print ankle boots

    Finally, don’t doubt it because, yes, the William Morris look has undoubtedly come to the humble ankle boot. And what a look it is too! Far from coming off as some sort of Edwardian curtain knock-off adorning your feet, these prints are tastefully done, all right. They’re like having a pair of brocade or chinoiserie-styled boots peeking out from beneath your smart, dark jeans (or culottes or kick-flares, which they also match with particularly marvellously). A beautiful combo of elegance *and* bold fashion here then; all brought together by that incredibly stylish footwear number that’s the universally appealing ankle boot.


  • Bargain bin or delicious deal? Getting the right fit when shopping online

    A mainstay of the retail calendar in the United States, Black Friday and its crazy-cheap sales have suddenly – and seemingly from out of nowhere – become a big deal to many fashion-conscious punters on this side of the pond. Well, who can blame them when this late November day or so’s sales see prices plummet on everything – not least the latest, best quality and most stylish garments around.

    That said, it’s important to remain savvy when buying clothes at any price – and especially when you’re doing so via the Internet. And during big-time sales on items. After all, there’s no way you can try it on first, is there? In which case, what steps can you take to make sure you get the right-fitting raiment when you shop online…?

    Know your measurements

    Quite simply, the bottom line is to use common sense and do a bit of pre-planning. Taking the indecision and panic-buying nonsense out of sales shopping; a must when there’s no three-dimensional assistant to give you advice and guide you through a sale. First up then, you need to make sure you’re aware of your proper body measurements before you pop online.

    If you don’t, you’re not going to find that perfect blouse or those snazzy skinny jeans to create the perfect silhouette and sophisticated look topped off by those brand-spanking new Marco Tozzi shoes you bought the other day. And, when measuring yourself, if you’re finding it a bit difficult, don’t despair; just call on the aid of a family member or a friend. And relax your body as you measure/ are being measured (i.e. no sucking in the gut) – and remember that when getting inseam measurements (for the gentlemen) or bust measurements (for the ladies), you really are going to need someone else’s help.

    Sizing charts are your friend

    Don’t ignore them; they’re included on retailers’ websites for a reason. For instance, a ‘medium’ for one clothing manufacturer is different to a ‘medium’ for another; that’s to say, if you’re usually a ‘medium’ you can’t guarantee that every ‘medium’-sized item is going to fit you perfectly. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work like that; you need a more detailed guide, so a sizing chart – especially when it’s offered by a respected, reliable clothes retailer – is what you require.


    Make a note of your favourite retailers

    Speaking of which, trust is all-important for the customer; invariably we feel safer and better buying from retailers we feel we can trust. So, just like on the high-street, high-quality online clothing vendors you can trust are like quicksilver – and they’re there to be used again. For instance, if you’ve bought men’s ankle boots from us a Mr Shoes, we’d like to think you’d come back to us again.

    In which case, to help you trawl through the online jungle when you’re using a search engine for specific items, be sure you have a notebook in which you’ve jotted down all your favourite and trusted online fashion sellers – those that you’ve bought from before and feel comfortable using again because their previous products delivered the right sizes that fitted you well.

    Indeed, if you get into this habit of noting down websites you know you can trust then, before you know it, you’ll have built up a nice little list of them – and it’s likely too that you’ll have noted down more specifically why that’s the case. That is, what brands and designers and cuts they offer and how well they’ll fit you and what specific sizes you know you need to order from them so what you end up with is a good shape for your body and won’t require returning. Or going through the dreaded rigmarole of an exchange; indeed, be sure you’re aware too of the exchange policy on any site before you part with cash – especially when it comes to a fast-moving buying period like the sales. Good luck!

  • Boot-iful deal? What to check when buying a pair of boots

    Let’s face it, buying boots is almost a prerequisite for women this time of the year. And, given the number of gorgeous ankle boots, delicious Chelsea boots and unbeatable moto boots there are out there to select your ideal pairs from, you’re spoilt for choice. But just what are your ideal pairs of ankle, Chelsea and moto boot (and so on)?

    Well, while you’ll doubtless make it a priority to choose boots that fit your aesthetic whims and stylistic needs, there are a few more – admittedly somewhat mundane, undoubtedly necessary – requirements they’ll need to fulfil. What do we mean? Well, to prevent your feet from, at best, feeling a bit pinched or starting to ache to, at worst, swelling up and generating blisters, here’s what you need to bear in mind…

    Fit right; buy right

    Before parting with hard earned cash on a pair of boots, it’s important you try them on first. If this isn’t possible (for instance, because you’re buying, say, Rieker ankle boots from an online retailer), be sure the seller is respected, is reviewed well and has an appropriate and decent returns policy – in case you get your lovely new boots out their box and discover they don’t fit well enough.

    If you are buying the boots from a retailer’s physical location, however, and so can try them on in-store, be sure you follow these steps:

    • Put on the same kind of socks you’ll expect to wear with the boots when you try them on


    • Don’t just try on one pair of the same boots; try on at least four or five if you can (you may get a few looks, but who cares once you’ve walked out the store!)


    • If the boots come with laces, remember to tie them up thoroughly and as you would when you’d wear them normally – and then walk about in them for a few minutes, letting them your feet rest in them now and again before you walk in them again


    • The boots shouldn’t just be a snug but non-pinching fit on the toes and the arches and soles of your feet, but also at the heel; make sure there’s as little movement of the heel as possible by standing on your tip-toes


    • If you’re looking for a pair of boots in which you expect to do a fair bit of walking, you don’t necessarily have to buy specialist walking boots (or seriously chunky desert boots), but you obviously should seek to buy a pair that appear and feel sensible for this purpose (will they be hard-wearing enough? Will they allow your feet to breathe?) – indeed, you might to check through our range of Marco Tozzi boots.


    Caring for your boots

    Finally, once you’ve got your new boots, tried them on, are content they fit and are exactly what you want and need, you’ll then naturally want to preserve them, so they look like new for as long as possible. Here’s what you ought to do:

    • A bit obvious – but be sure to clean them regularly, even if they’re walking boots (and pretty much as soon as you can after getting indoors if they’re soiled from rain or puddles or caked in mud)


    • Should they get wet on the inside, put some newspaper in them to soak up the water as it evaporates and leave them to dry (yes, completely) before you attempt wearing them again


    • Consider buying some gel insoles for the insides of your new boots. Why? Because the insoles can be the first part of a pair of boots or shoes that get worn or damaged – they can lose their shock absorbency and (yes, unfortunately) start to smell too. You can pick up such insertable gel insoles easily, not just from online/ high street shoe sellers, but also supermarkets and even chemists.

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