I love it when I take people shopping and they point at something and say, “WHAT is that?”
It isn’t a curious or surprised ‘what’ so much as a ‘what on God’s earth was that fashion designer thinking when he dreamt that creation up?’
Exactly what happened recently when we floated past the above leopard print plimsol in Kurt Geiger!
So in case you too are wondering what on earth is going on with shoe shapes this season, here’s a little run down of what you can expect to see a lot of; the good, the bad and why you may just may end up wearing them despite the fact you hate them!
Block heels and Ankle Straps…
Block heels have made a huge come back and feature on both low heeled pumps, high heeled sandals or court shoes. The good thing about them is that they are in fact really comfortable and definitely more hard wearing than a stiletto or kitten heel. If you have a wedding this summer you won’t be sinking into the grass or get your foot caught in the lattice iron work floor of a church (as I once did!)
The down side is that they can make your ankles and calves look a little chunky (even if they are not). I find they look best with less fitted styles of trousers and jeans or with an eye catching print on your skirt or dress so that your shoes don’t grab all the attention. The other thing that helps is to avoid the ankle strap versions which can really short your legs. Opt for a sling back instead which is more flattering on less than perfect pins.
I tried on the Autograph from M&S ones (above) and really liked them. I also tried these ones from Hobbs which were super comfy and stylish too!
Hobbs Cora Slingback £169
Mannish Plimsols and Sandals
My Birkenstock sandals have previously only been worn while pregnant or on holiday. But now we can all breathe a sigh of relief – comfortable shoes are well and truly on trend. In fact, I think Birkenstocks now look positively elegant when compared to some of the more chunky offerings from Whistles, Hobbs, Topshop and major fashion brands like Prada and Chloe (left).
Walk around the shops right now and you’ll catch a glimpse of a whole array of plimsols and loafers (whether espadrille or canvas) as well as chunky leather sandals and would you believe it – Jelly Shoes!!! You may at first be alarmed at some of the prints but these are shoes you may well fall in love with, simply because they are comfortable and tick the style factor box at the same time!
Here are my tips for wearing them…
The plimsol or loafer is fairly easy to wear whether with skinny jeans, rolled up summer chinos or a pair of relaxed boyfriend jeans. These are a really good choice for those of us who can’t wear heels and they can be brilliant for dressing down your smarter trousers,skirts or dresses. There are loads of plain coloured loafers out there if you want something less daring. They make a nice change from converse and there are no laces to faff around with!
The chunky sandal is also fine for most people but I would avoid the cross ankle versions and dark colours if you have chubby ankles or calves. The thong versions can be really flattering however, and if you get a lighter colour they work well with summer dresses and skirts.