Smartening up in September

Earlier this year I made the big leap of becoming a freelance editor. I haven’t really blogged about it because it was, at times, incredibly stressful and I wondered on many an occasion whether I was doing the right thing. I’m the sort of person who takes a lot of self-confidence from the quality of the work I produce, so if work is thin on the ground, I tend to take it personally and then get myself into a right tizz. There are pros and cons to everything, and although I do miss the buzz of working in central London and having work colleagues, a stressful office and a public transport system that was regularly driving me to despair (and charging me a massive amount in the process), as well as the age-old question of consistent childcare, finally pushed me over the edge and into the no-mans land of working from home.

It is, I’m pleased to say, going well. Even in the summer holidays when I was sharing my workspace with a six-year-old, who are by their nature intrusive, I feel like I’ve just about managed. I have, however, noticed a slight but noticeable slide into an eternal uniform of jeans, t-shirts and trainers, more so recently perhaps because it’s the summer holidays and when you have to walk the dog with a recalcitrant child, followed by making a ketchup-centric lunch, and then an afternoon of ‘craft’, it’s hard enough to get out of bed, nevermind pick something to wear that totally slays. Not to say I look awful, it’s just I don’t really feel the need to dress like it’s not the weekend any more, and I really miss that.

So, it’s my new (academic) year’s resolution to dress like I might well be going into the office. I’ve been noseying around the shops (or more accurately their websites, because my kid doesn’t shop well), and getting kind of excited about the new season stuff coming in (I love autumn), but I think a lot of excitement has been to do with the fact that everything is new, and there’s not that been that much that I thought, ‘yes, I want that’.

However, I did see these pair of shoes on the Uterqüe website , and my eyes became little hearts. Red strappy shoes, studs and, best of all, a cute comfortable heel — it’s what my dreams are made of:

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Uterque studded shoes: £115

Uterqüe are owned by the same company as Zara, and it’s a sort of higher quality version (a bit like H&M with & Other Stories), which is good because although the clothes in Zara are often bang on the money style-wise, the quality of the fabric is sometimes a lot to be desired…

They don’t look it, but they are also very comfortable to wear, the straps aren’t tight and the shoes have a nice width so no pinching, so no issues about them rubbing my swollen joints or restricting my movement, but my feet don’t feel like they’re going to fall out of them either:

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I’m not usually into getting matchy-matchy with my accessories, but I am very tempted to buy this bag from Hush to just set the red of the shoes off nicely:

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Hush aveline bag: £99

These shoes, although pretty awesome are also quite pricey, but there are some red strappy shoes from M&S, which are a total bargain for leather shoes:

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M&S red strappy shoes: £39.50

And if you’re really on a tight budget (September always means new school shoes and uniform, so it’s a tight month for a lot of people), ASOS have some black textile strappy shoes for £20!

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ASOS lunge: £20

Now, I will be wearing these shoes with my jeans a lot, but in the spirit of getting out of my jeans, I think these shoes also work really well with shirt dresses. There are lots of statement midi dresses in the shops, and I can’t decide whether I actually like them or whether I’m just bored of summer dresses. I love the colour of this one from M&S (though maybe not with the red shoes), or, for a bit more length, this one, but I don’t really like the flared sleeves, and I think anything too ruffley with strappy ballet shoes runs the risk of looking twee and too ladylike. Because shirt dresses are kind of masculine, they aren’t always great with boobs, and simple shirts are hard enough with the gaping risk to be honest, let alone a whole dress, but as long as there is a belt, or you can add a belt, you can size up if gaping at the boob or hip is an issue and draw it in to define your waist. I really like all of these, and I’m rather tempted by the checked pattern which seems to be in for September:

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1 ASOS: £58. 2 Zara: £39.99. 3 French Connection: £120. 4 Karen Millen: £215. 5 Ganni: £180

I also like the idea of wearing a long shirt dress, unbuttoned a little, with jeans as with the French Connection dress. I bought this dress and, although I washed it very carefully, it shrunk a little (most noticeably on the sleeves, but I roll mine up anyway), so you have to be very careful with it. So, yes, I am definitely going to be weaning myself off the jeans slowly (you don’t want to go cold turkey though, right?), but at least my steps in the right direction will be in glorious shoes.

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Author: shoeslifeblog

Being diagnosed with osteoarthritis didn't stop me loving shoes, so I've spent many years seeking shoes that weren't awful for my joints yet weren't awful on the eye. I have learnt that not all shoes are equal, and it is possible to wear amazing shoes while having arthritis (and other leg issues). I try out shoes so you don't have to.

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