Style by Claire Lopez

Flats – just because they are practical doesn’t mean they are boring

The irony is not lost on me; as I lie here wearing my hideous thigh-high post-op white stockings, all I can see from my bed is my shoes. My shoes which, given I have just had a knee operation, I cannot currently wear. Never mind, only a few more days of stockings (I decided against posting a photo of me in said passion-killing tights) and I’ll be free to hobble around again, albeit my stilettoes will have to remain on the shelf a while longer on doctor’s orders. So I shall turn to my faithful flats…

Despite not being blessed with tall genes, I am actually fine with flats and wear them all the time. In the winter I do have a couple of pairs of ankle boots but these only have a very low block heel. In the summer, however, it is definitely all about the flat and this season there are a whole host of great styles out there for you to choose from.

So here are my top five shoe essentials for the spring/summer season that will keep your feet down to earth and up-to-date:

1. White Trainers

A key part of my wardrobe as they are perfect for the school run and look great with all denim. Now the weather is just a little bit less chilly, I like to roll up my jeans with them. My husband is not-so-silently guffawing at the fact that I have spent a large number of years lambasting him for wearing white trainers, and here I am now extolling their virtues. I suppose if you do wear the same style for approximately 25 years then they are bound to be on-trend at least once in the cycle! That said, the white trainer is the shoe-equivalent of a white t-shirt or white shirt: something you should always have in your wardrobe.

If you want something a bit feminine and dainty then Converse and Superga are your brands. Office stock both and Converse’s Dance Lace in Optical White at £42.99 would be a good bet as would Superga 1705 £39.99.

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I did have a pair of Converse but personally find the sole a bit too thin so have gone for something a bit chunkier which protects my feet from all the pavement pounding. H&M has a great on line selection of white trainers  from £7.99 upwards.

These are my white ones from H&M £19.99. Looking a bit worn as they have barely left my feet!

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2. Skater Shoes

They have been around for a few seasons now, but they are still bang on. Better still, there are a lot of new ways to wear these from classic black to animal print, silver, sparkling crystals and beyond: the skater shoe world is a large one. These are a great shoe cameleon as you can obviously wear in a casual daytime way, but they can also take you through to evening and look good with body-con jersey dresses/skirts too.

I am always drawn to a bit of leopard print and this Jackson style from Carvela Kurt Geiger is reduced from £85 to £39.

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I did actually end up going for a snakeskin from H&M at £14.99 in the end – thought I would mix up my faux skins.

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Yes, they are a bit more urban looking but if, like me, you live in jeans then these are a great alternative to trainers and more sturdy than ballet pumps.

3. Espadrilles

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I love these because they really make me feel summery; I instantly relax at the thought of popping on a pair of espadrilles. My mind transports me to a palm fringed beach overlooking a turquoise sea with waves gently lapping at the shore where I am reclining on a sun lounger looking sophisticated and tanned – not red, blotchy and a bit sweaty. If there are any men reading this (or women who are shopping for men) then espadrilles are also a great summer option for you. I have this metallic cap-toed pair from Zara £39.99. But I was also torn with this striped pair £39.99.

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River Island has this sophisticated little black toed number at a cracking £24.

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Bertie has this lovely Jarrow slingback espadrille on sale at Selfridges reduced to £23.

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There is also a very pretty moonstone embellished pair from KG also at Selfridges £89 which would look great for a summer night out.

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Slightly off-piste seeing as this is about flats but nonetheless, espadrilles are also great with a platform and the wedge makes them very comfortable to wear.

These Carvella Kold espadrille wedge heels at £110 from Selfridges are perfect for trousers or dresses.

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So too are the Sienna Wedge from Boden at £89 which come in a variety of colours, but tan would be my top pick as most useful. If you want to really channel the 70’s vibe of the season then pair your wedges with a pair of dark denim flares.

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Although I reckon I would go for these Steve Madden Corizon high vamp espadrille wedges at £75 from Selfridges if I was going to choose any.

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Need to step away from the espadrilles now as could quite easily stock an entire cupboard with these styles alone. But you get the idea, there are plenty of options out there to choose from!

 

4. On point

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I bought this pair of Logan black two part pointed shoes from Office £40 a few weeks ago and already they have become a wardrobe staple as they are just enough to smarten up an outfit. With denim and a little black chuck-on jacket they turn my outfit from daytime to evening. Ideally I wanted an actual shoe but I struggled to find a pair that would stay on my feet and not feel like they were going to rub my heels within seconds. So actually the ankle strap is perfect – no shoe loss and no blisters. Not very often you can say that about a new pair of shoes.

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Black are the most versatile of all but a leopard print or a coloured pair would also liven up any outfit. I really had to resist this pair of Colour block Cut out Ballerinas from Accessorize £25 as I loved the colour but feared another shoe purchase would start me on the slippery slope towards becoming Imelda Marcos, although with over 3,000 pairs I definitely have a very long way to go.

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Then I spotted these from Flat Point shoes from Oasis £25 and also had to resist as again the colour looks great on with denim. They look quite red here but in the flesh they were a lovely orange/coral. Perfect for the summer: these two-part shoes are very much on-trend this season too.

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5. Jewelled sandals

There are so many to choose from and if you aren’t keen on a pair of jewelled flat-forms – the jury is still a bit out as to whether they would make my feet look a bit like boats – then there are still a lot of lovely daintier options out there. Casual enough to wear with a pair of shorts but equally pop them on with a dress and you have a little bit of Saint-Tropez glamour on your feet.

If you want to be where it’s at sandal wise then a cross over like this Hoxton Statement Gem Sandal from Accessorize £35 would be spot on.

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Not quite jewelled (but high-shine has the same effect and was another huge trend on the catwalks) are these Birkenstock inspired Double Strap Footbed Sandals £27.

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Otherwise Accessorize is also a great bet for pretty sandals with several bejewelled pairs to choose from including the Alethia stone thonged sandal at £35.

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So if you can’t quite bring yourself to bare your legs maybe these can tempt you to show off a little bit of flesh. Let’s just hope the past couple of weeks’ sunshine hasn’t been our lot for the whole summer!

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