Having been initiated into the tribe of Grenson-wearers after spotting a particularly amazing pair on Susan Calman (now a Strictly-Come-Dancing goddess), I am rather pleased that I can get 20% off with the code THANKYOU20 (until midnight GMT on the 27th of November), as I want more and they’re expensive.
Grenson do some amazing flatform shoes, and the colour of these metallic chocolate are just beautiful, they look like melted galaxy bar (a good thing!):
and I also love the colour contrast of these monks:
Alas, flatforms and I don’t really get on, but that’s not a problem because there are plenty of other shoes, including some lovely sneakers, to choose from, although I think I am most taken with these, because you can always rely on a pair of black boots, and these would look awesome with some rolled-up jeans and bright knit:
Susan Calman is my favourite on Strictly, and hopefully she’ll stay in tonight. She’s not the best dancer, but I love watching her dance with Kevin. If she does go through to next week, I may treat myself to a pair of Grensons to celebrate…
I’m not going to do a massive Black Friday post. Mainly because I think people are more likely to be shopping than reading blogs about shopping, and hopefully everyone knows the rule that you buy something you have had your eye on anyway, so don’t feel swayed by what I want. Also be aware that discounts are often meaningless in these days of dynamic pricing, so don’t feel pressured (for example, mahabis slippers are offering a 10% discount on Black Friday with the code BLACKFRIDAY, but they email me a 10% discount at least once a fortnight throughout the year. In fact, of you have been on the mahabis website, you’ll probably get a 10% discount come up in targeted advertising… could do better, mahabis).
So, things I really have had my eye on includes most of Uterqüe, and they have up to 40% off selected items from 22:00 tonight (GMT). I don’t know which selected items but given I do want a lot of the shop, there is bound to be something I covet. Bear in mind that Uterqüe recently did 40% off their lovely trainers, so if I don’t get that discount again, I’ll feel short-changed.
Also on my wishlist have been these amazing burgundy (slightly too high but don’t ruin the moment with facts) velvet boots from Office, which is doing a 20% discount with the code SHINE:
However, Black Friday is most useful for things that are usually out of your price range that rarely go into the sale, but are kind of essentials. Last year I bought a Protected Species waterproof coat (regular readers will know I spend a good junk of my time walking the dog in Britain’s crappy weather), and not being wet is of utmost importance. Not looking like a tit is also pretty high up there, so when I found a coat in which I could walk the dog and follow that immediately with a pub lunch without looking like I had been up Snowdon, I was over the moon. I had to pay dearly, however, for such coats do not come cheap. However, Protected Species are doing a 20% Black Friday discount with the code CYBER20 across all their coats:
The parka is great, the fabric is soft and not at all ‘rustly’, and it keeps the rain out. It’s a great coat and I’ve no qualms about wearing it into town when it’s chucking it down.
I am a massive fan of Gore-Tex here on shoeslifeblog, and who wouldn’t be? Waterproof yet breathable, it prevents soggy feet and cold, sore bones, especially in winter, without having to don a pair of massive wellies. For my arthritis, wet bones are excruciatingly painful.
More and more shoe manufacturers are lining their winter offerings with Gore-Tex, and most interestingly, Adidas have just brought out a pair of Gore-Tex NMDs (they seem to be based on their original versions looking at the support on the heels). I know a lot of people really like NMDs, myself included, although I much prefer the R2 versions. I find them cool and modern and supportive without being bulky. I think I’ve said before, I wouldn’t run in them (I mean, I can’t really run, but I wouldn’t advise other people to), their lack of laces/adjustability means your foot could slip, and the knit fabric isn’t supportive. But for walking about, they’re good, and have lots of cushioning.
Now, typically, they have only brought the Gore-Tex versions out in men’s sizes. It’s frustrating; I don’t know why — maybe they don’t think women go out in the rain (hahaha) or maybe NMDs just don’t shift in sufficient quantities in women’s sizes to warrant a special run. If you really want a pair and you have small feet, please write to them and tell them. If you’ve got big feet like me, the non-Gore-Tex NMDs tend to run small, so I would go up a size. I wear a UK7 (but I am actually a 6.5) and they are snug on me, but bear in mind that a men’s UK7 is a women’s UK8, so if you’re a woman, I would go for your normal size and hope for the best.
They come in black and white, and have a sleek urban design:
They’re not cheap, but Gore-Tex never is, but if you’re a fan of the NMDs and having dry feet, they’re something to know about.
I’m feeling a little bit of a retro vibe this morning, and Adidas are feeling it too as they have released a shoe from the archives that were last produced in 1984, the Köln:
Adidas re-release small runs their archive shoes quite regularly, but I’m never particularly interested in buying a limited run at an inflated price. Also, the colours aren’t always for me, like these London gazelles, that came out last year:
The Köln aren’t that much more expensive than a pair of regular gazelles, and they have a 70s, boxier soccer look, which I really like. They only come in men’s sizes, which can be frustrating for the girls, but if your feet run large, the increased width in men’s shoes can be beneficial if you have swollen joints. I also really like the blue suede and gum sole combination:
And unlike the limited runs, you’re much more likely to get a pair.
Alternative title: 40% off looking smart when you have to wear trainers (priceless)
As I have written about several times, I am a fan of embellished trainers. If you have to wear trainers all the time for foot health (I certainly had a long stint when I was recovering from surgery on my legs) then you need options beyond jeans and jogging bottoms.
One of the problems with wearing trainers is trying to smarten them up, especially if you work somewhere you need to dress a certain way. I think embellished trainers actually look better with tailoring than casual clothes because there is a contrast between the clothes and shoes, but the embellishment ties it together, so you don’t look like you lost your shoes at the gym in your lunch-break.
Uterqüe are currently doing 40% of selected footwear, which includes their sparkly trainers, and they’re all really good.
I think these are my favourites; I like the ribbon detail, and monochrome always looks good and it’s easier to style:
But I also really like these too:
And there’s a green hi-top version, I really like how they look with the shirt and skirt:
And I also love these:
And if you prefer to keep it subtle, these little pearl embellishments are removable:
And for smart trousers, my favourite place is still ME+EM, I especially like this side stripe pair, and you can see they look pretty good with trainers:
I also love this dress, and it would look great with the hi-tops above:
But for a cheaper option, Zara has some good work trousers:
and knitted dresses that would look great with trainers: