Always this time of year. Winter - I am over you. The weather, for sure, but also the clothes. Dare I say it, but the one thing I always love - yes you little polo neck - I suddenly feel strangled by. I am tempted by emails offering things of gorgeousness that are just not possible to wear now. And I'm bored of jumpers. Every year, at this time, the same. They're still necessary but they're just not exciting any more.
Interestingly I find that so many of the emails I get through are with little dresses that, with the best will in the world, if previous years' weather is anything to go by, we won't be wearing till July. That is absolutely no use to me whatsoever right now. I want to buy things and I want to wear them. Immediately.
So if clothes are out of the climate equation, what's the next best thing? Why that'll be shoes of course.
The thing of beauty - the transitional shoe. Clearly that's a completely fabricated concept and there's no such thing, but there should be. For some people (and I will say some people as it's not me - I can be found wearing ankle boots in 25 degree heat but for the purpose of justifying new shoe purchases, I'm going to shelve that thought) there is that tricky time between boots and sandals. What do you wear?
Well, one option is trainers but we know they divide the nation. Plus for some, they're a no go for work. And for others, they're a no go on taste grounds.
But I have a couple of options up my sleeve which you may find interesting. I say that, like it's something new and exciting. Apologies if I've over egged the pudding here as I'm not reinventing any form of fashion wheel - I am merely re-introducing the humble loafer.
Loafers - a thing of beauty. And a thing of comfort. And a thing for all budgets. Plus they go with everything. I never got round to wearing mine with dresses or skirts but if you'd said to me at the beginning of last year, I would have worn trainers with a midi skirt, I would have said you were insane. Yet it now seems like the most natural thing in the world.
Perfect for giving a different look to jeans, wide leg cropped trousers, wide leg full length versions, culottes, skinnies, peg leg trousers - you name it, they're perfect with them. I also adore with dungarees. Somehow makes them seem lightly more demure (although the husband's raised eyebrow and stifled smirk when I shared my views with him, leads me to believe not everyone buys into this theory).
So last year I caved big style on a big ticket pair. But they are complete classics. Which have totally rocketed in price. Gucci is clearly following a different interest baseline from the rest of us, as the ones I bought are £120 more than they were last year. Are they worth it? How long's a piece of string? I will have them forever and the 12yr old has already said she's having them as soon as her feet are big enough (along with my Louis Vuitton scarf and Anya Hindmarch silver bag which she has begged to use. Errr no. You're 12).
These are the more *reasonable* version.
Gucci Horsebit detailed loafer in black £450
Alternatively there are the Jordaan classic leather loafers (these are the ones I have - which don't have the optional mule back as above - not that you'd ever stamp the back of them down, I could hear my mum turning in her grave were I to do that. This was her biggest bug bear when we were children. In honour of my mum, I would stump up the extra and just get the sturdier Jordanns).
Jordaan Classic Leather Loafer from Gucci £540
And in the red £540
However fear not. Genuinely I don't think you need to spend that much on loafers. It really is for purely sentimental reasons, although yes, the leather is divine and ages like a dream. But blah insane money blah - seriously, there are some amazing options out there.
If you are looking for alternative versions, my top tip for the most similar are from Topshop. I don't actually have a pair of these (I got a gold pair without bar from Kurt Geiger which I wore to death last year and will definitely be wearing this Spring too) but I tried them on loads and the leather is amazing.
Kendall Leather Loafers from Topshop £52
Karter Loafer in Black from Topshop £62
Adore the detailing on the bar with these ones. Snap them up now before everyone realises loafer season is open. (again, this is not a *thing*. I have totally made this up).
Black LOSS by Carvela from Shoeaholics was £110 now £49 (sign up to their website for 15% off your first order).
Other black versions without any metal detailing.
Autograph Leather Tie Detail Loafers in Black from M&S £59
Tassel Loafers from & Other Stories £65
And if not black, how about white? I went gold last year instead of white but I do sort of wish I'd gone white (maybe this year.... actually I'm going black, definitely).
Karpenter Loafers from Topshop £65
Gold from Carvela at Shoeaholics - Loss loafers - were £110 now £29. Yes, £29 for leather loafers.
Leather Tie Detail from Autograph at M&S £59
And then we have the off the wall ones. Random, deliciously different and not to be worn in the rain. Yes, these are men's shoes but yes they do them in (larger) sizes for women. So long as you haven't got tiny feet, obviously.
Walk London Embroidered Lion Loafers in black were £85 now £41.85
ASOS loafers in leopard print were £40 now £20 (in a 5, 6 and 7) - more men's....
ASOS Loafers in Velvet with Beetle Embroidery were £45 now £18 again men's....
Or the grey skull embroidered version now only £18 yawn men's yawn.
However if we're talking statement shoes. These. Oh these...
Embroidered velvet loafers from Mango £59.99
So have you bought into the loafer look until you can get your sandals out? Plain or embroidered? Bar or no bar? Subtle or statement?
I have clearly decided that whilst I can't wear a statement shirt, I am going to let my shoes do the talking.
As witnessed today with my outfit. And yes, obviously I had to wear a polo neck as it was freezing. It was exceptionally miserable with fog and drizzle all day. So I got the jazz hands boots out and started to dream about all things Spring.
Black leather mini skirt - Zara
Tattoo Me jumper - Donna Ida at Jaeger
Boucle coat - Warehouse
Rawi leopard boots - Isabel Marant
Willow fedora - Penmayne London
Dark grey scarf - hush
Red Soho Disco bag - Gucci
The holiday saga rumbles on. Thank you to everyone who gave amazing advice on South Africa yesterday. Lots to think about and we'll hopefully get something sorted tomorrow. Day of paperwork and research here with the usual after school chaos. Tomorrow I will be back with hmmm.. not sure yet. A couple of things I've been working on today, it will depend how I feel!