Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Outfit: Pink & Grey

This sweater is VERY pink, I don’t think the picture does it justice.

Pink ribbed polo neck sweater – Long Tall Sally
Grey knit skirt – Mackays
Grey tights – Ethel Austin
Grey boots – Ethel Austin

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing red
…reading the November issue of US Glamour
…watching Hollyoaks…maybe
…listening to Joseph & the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, the OCR from 1991 featuring Jason Donovan
…eating Cadbury’s Dairy Milks
…shopping for nothing except Christmas presents

Outfit – Red and Black

Black trouser suit – Long Tall Sally
Red v neck cashmere sweater – George at ASDA
Red boots – Nine West (Century 21)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Outfit: New Shoes!

I got these shoes on Saturday. They were in the Dorothy Perkins sale for just £7!

Black polo neck sweater – Long Tall Sally
Grey wool mix pinstripe trousers – Dorothy Perkins
Red belt – Next
Red patent flats – Dorothy Perkins
Red earrings – Claire’s

Why I Love: My Black Shoe Boots

I bought these from Next about 4 years ago, primarily because they were pointed with a smallish heel and would look great under jeans. They also came in a size 9. I wore them plenty when they were new – the fact that they have had a new zip on one boot and new soles at the toe end on both is testament to this. For some reason they have been stashed away in their box recently and I have not worn them for ages. Last week I got them out again and they are so comfortable! The heel is not too high and is positioned further forward than on most shoes, and I believe that this adds to the comfort. Your weight is forced backwards more on to your heels so the pressure on the balls of your feet is not so great. And for some reason I had it in my head that they were painful to wear.

The boots are made of leather and cost just £44.99 when they were new. And this year they are really coming into their own because they still look fab under trousers, but can also be worn with skirts and dresses as the shoe boot trend is still huge.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Outfit: Keeping It Simple

Because sometimes it’s the best way.

Black polo neck sweater – Long Tall Sally
Dark skinny jeans – Topshop
Red shoes – Next

Thursday, October 25, 2007

St Crispin & Crispinian

St Crispin and Crispinian were twins and are the patron saints of cobblers, glove makers, lace makers, lace workers, leather workers, saddle makers, saddlers, shoemakers, tanners and weavers. They were also missionaries, becoming martyrs when they were beheaded in Rome in 286. Their memorial day is today, October 25th, so what better excuse than to go and buy some shoes, or have those boots reheeled that you’ve been meaning to take to the cobbler since last spring?

(Information and picture taken from here.)

Outfit: Red, Grey & Black

I feel very tall today! That’s what wearing platforms when you’re already 5’11” will do for you! I love these trousers as I had them taken in so they fit me really well.
Grey v neck sweater – Gap
Red long sleeve t – Primark
Black cord trousers – Topshop
Black patent platform shoes – Matalan

Outfit: Red Shoes and New Glasses Wednesday

I picked up my new glasses on Friday but hadn’t got around to doing a proper picture of them until today.

Denim dress – Miss Selfridge
Black wool sweater – Tommy Hilfiger (outlet store)
Red belt – market stall
Black tights – George at ASDA
Red shoes – Barratts

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Outfit: Layers of Cashmere

I was cold all day yesterday so I’m not taking any chances today!

Red v neck cashmere sweater – George at ASDA
Black cashmere cardi – Florence + Fred at Tesco
Black skirt – Dunnes
Black patent belt – Dorothy Perkins
Black tights – George at ASDA
Black shoe boots – Next

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fictional Reader Mail (and a Real One!!)

First up, the real one. The lovely Bec writes:
Shoegal, my work ankle boots are nearing the end of their life and so I need some comfortable hardwearing shoes that I can wear socks with (my feet aren't built for the Northern climate), what would you recommend?Shoe-shy of Guiseley

If you take a look at her excellent blog, you will see that she is trying to live ethically and this therefore rules out many of the stores I would immediately go to. However, not one to be easily deterred, I have still come up with some ideas.

Dear Shoe-shy
I know you work in the city centre and this involves walking a fair bit so you won’t want much of a heel. (I would advise a small heel as opposed to flats though as this will make the footwear look more professional.) As I am not sure of your budget, I have kept my recommendations to around £50. Mary-Janes are huge at the moment and this pair from Clarks have a fairly low heel:

In a lovely shade of burgundy (because you don’t have to stick to black), they are £39.99.

Sticking with Clarks, if you want to replace your boots with more boots, there are a couple of options:


A knee high boot is a versatile option, perfect for keeping the rain out (and we get a lot of that in the North!). They can be worn with skirts or trousers and always look smart. This pair is from Marks & Spencer and at £65.00 they are excellent value for leather boots.

Turning to Shoewawa for inspiration, I recommend you try Beyond Skin for ethically produced shoes. They are not harmful either animals or humans and their footwear is produced in England. However, you will be paying a price for the ethics, as many of the styles are around £150.

And now for the questions taken from the referals page of my stat counter:

Are brown tights with cream shoes OK?
As long as the tights are not too dark a brown, and there is cream somewhere else in the outfit then yes. However, I don’t think cream shoes are really the best choice for the autumn winter season. Couldn’t you go with brown shoes and cream tights instead?

Where can I buy suits for tall gals?
My favourite sites are Long Tall Sally and Tall Girls. Miory also has some lovely suits in long lengths. Check out any of the links in my ‘Shops I Love’ section.

What outfits go with grey tights?
Loads of things! My favourite at the moment is a denim skirt and grey sweater with boots. Grey is a great alternative to black and will go with practically any colour so have some fun and experiment! Whatever you put with it, you’ll be bang on trend as grey is a hot colour this season.

Is it OK to wear nothing over leggings?
No, absolutely not! It is never OK to wear any trouser garment with nothing on top. But for the purposes of this reply I shall assume you mean ‘is it OK to wear leggings without a dress or tunic over them, just with a regular top?’ In which case, my answer would be: No, absolutely not! Leggings are supposed to be an alternative to tights and you wouldn’t wear just your tights as your lower garment, I hope. So stick to putting a mini skirt, tunic or dress over those leggings and you will continue to look fab.

Can I wear brown shoes with black tights?
Yes, so long as you are wearing something else brown and something else black in the outfit. It used to be considered a huge fashion faux pas to wear brown and black together, but the rules have changed in the last few years and I think it looks quite chic. However, you should never wear a brown outfit with brown shoes and black tights: people will think you got dressed in the dark and took the wrong pair of tights out of the drawer.

Half Size Shoes

My mum was complaining the other day that her feet were hurting. She was wearing a small heel for the second time in about 20 years but that wasn’t the problem. She said it was the top part of her shoe that was rubbing because she was wearing a 7 and really needed a 7½. But the shop didn’t do half sizes and not so many places do. So I thought I’d do some research to help her out as it will also make a good post. However, it didn’t turn out too well as my mum was right, not many places do make half sizes. In fact, all I managed to turn up was Marks & Spencer, Jones the Bootmaker (who also stock a size 9/42 I was pleased to note) and a site called And that’s it unless you want E fitting or wider, in which case there are a limited number of specialist sites.
If anyone knows of any where else that I’ve missed, please feel free to let me know in the comments.

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing sweater dresses over jeans in a bit to keep warm
…reading US Glamour magazine
…watching Neighbours on DVD – all the best old episodes
…listening to something other than The Bangles, I’m bored of them now
…eating Cadbury’s Wispa – they’re back by popular demand!
…shopping for beauty necessities at Boots

Outfit: Blue and Brown Monday

Brown wool mix pinstripe trouser suit – Long Tall Sally
Blue v neck sweater – Florence + Fred at Tesco
Blue patent shoes – New Look

Friday, October 19, 2007

Outfit: Casual Friday

Black sweater – New Look (charity shop)
Dark skinny jeans – Gap
White cami – Dorothy Perkins
Chain belt – Dorothy Perkins
Blue boots – Priceless Shoes

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Outfit: Pink & Grey Wednesday

Grey sweater dress – Tall Girls
Pink tights – My Tights
Pink belt – charity shop
Grey boots – Ethel Austin

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Outfit: Witchy Woman

I feel like a witch today in hob-nail boots. Well it is nearly Halloween! I got these boots about 3 or 4 years ago, long before they became fashionable. I’ve said it before: fashion follows me!
There’s a teal flower pinned to my cardi but I think my hand is covering it to take the picture. Oops!

Black wrap dress – Luxuriously Tall
Black cardi – Long Tall Sally
Black cami – Topshop
Teal tights – Primark
Teal belt – Primark
Teal flower – Primark
Black shoe boots – Next

Monday, October 15, 2007

Why I Love: Stylebytes

I have been reading the Stylebytes blog for over a year now and I still love it. Agathe lives in Norway is so bold with her outfits. Whilst there are some things she wears that I don’t like (her 80s phase for instance), she usually manages to look great and certainly elicits a good deal of comments from her many readers. I have referenced her here before and it was she who inspired me to buy red shoes last year, and also introduced me to Sock Dreams. She loves thrift shopping and blogs about her finds, and the pictures of her recent wedding were a delight to see. Here are some of her finest moments:

My favourite blogs tend to be those with outfit pictures and I will feature more in the coming weeks.

Angeline Tournier

This is the second of my lunchtime finds in the back of Vogue. This site is much more professional and offers a more promising range of shoes and boots in sizes UK 3-10.

There are also a few bizarre styles:

The shoes are available online and are also stocked at various boutiques around the UK, and I like the sound of this general description of materials from their website:

Our shoes are designed in London and manufactured in Portugal.We use the finest quality leather from Italy, mainly goat and sheep skin. Sometimes our leather has variations in colour or texture: this is normal and reflects the skin of the animal used. Our insoles are padded for extra comfort. Our soles are made of leather and embossed with our logo. Our boots come with stylish rubber moulds on the sole, for protection against slippage. We pack each pair of shoes in our own shoe box with a cotton flannel shoe bag, both exclusively designed and made for us.

Check it out here.

Ellie Dickins Shoes

Browsing through the classifieds at the back of Vogue this lunchtime, I was excited to find adverts for two shops/sites that stock shoes for ladies in larger sizes. Ellie Dickins has a shop in Hungerford in addition to the website. Logging back on to my computer, I entered the URL and at once my excitement turned to disappointment. Aside from the fact that the woman clearly has no idea how to use apostrophes (and I won’t shop somewhere that is badly punctuated), the site is so out of date it still states that:

“The shop will be closed for the Christmas holidays from 5.00 pm on Friday 23rd December 2005 and will re-open on Thursday 5th January 2006 at 10.00 am”

and also carries an advert for a roadshow that took place on 8th October 2006. The shoes range from basic to hideous.

But that’s just my opinion. Judge for yourself here.

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing grey – it’s my new favourite shade for Autumn
…reading Lucky magazine when it finally arrives in the UK – damn you, postal strike!
…watching Secret Diary of a Call Girl
…listening to the Bangles again probably as I keep forgetting to change the CD in my car
…eating Cadbury’s Dairy Milk – I won 9 small bars last week in a work competition
…shopping the gift guides for Christmas present ideas

Outfit: Grey Monday

It's hard to know what to wear at the moment - one day it's warm, the next it's not. And when it's still dark out when I set out for work... that doesn't help me either!

Grey wool skirt – Gap
Grey wool rib polo neck – Chain store seconds shop
Grey tights – Aristoc (Ethel Austin)
Green suede boots – River Island

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fictional Reader Mail

(Sorry Kasmira, I’ve pinched this idea from you!)
Since my readers don’t email me to ask for my advice (why don’t you do that?), I’ll answer some of the questions asked in referring searches instead, and put it in the style of a letter because, well, it’s just more fun that way.

Dear Shoegal
What are the best shoes to wear with a long denim skirt?

Dear Confused
I have a long denim skirt of my own (although I don’t wear it much, it’s hard to walk in) and I find that knee high boots work well with it, either heeled or flat, especially when paired with thick tights in winter. If the denim is not too heavy, you could try it with flip flops in summer too. Mine is a thick, heavy denim so I stick to wearing it in the winter and pairing it with boots.

Hello Shoegal
How do I stop my shoes and boots rubbing my poor little tootsies?
Sore Feet

Dear Sore Feet
If you are wearing your shoes with bare feet you need to get yourself to Boots or Superdrug (or the local equivalent) and buy yourself the magic green stick that is Compeed Anti-Blister. You will find it with the other foot products such as corn plasters, Scholl everything and innersoles.
For boots that rub, I suggest wearing thick socks inside them for a while to help stretch them out a bit. Do this even when you’re wearing tights: no one is going to see the socks inside your boots. If you know it is a particular toe that gets rubbed, put a large plaster on it for cushioning. I know Scholl make some sort of gel cushions for the tops of toes as part of their Party Feet range but I have not experimented with those and so I don’t know how effective they are. If anyone has tried them, please leave a comment and let us all know how you got on.

Shoegal, I’m really tall (6ft) and I am struggling to find tights that are long enough for me. Can you help?

Hi there,
Try MyTights – they have a section for extra-tall and XXTall ladies and offer advice on the best brands for tall ladies of the ones they stock. Tall Girls currently have a range of footless tights, if that’s what you’re looking for; personally I don’t see the point. Long Tall Sally also carry a small selection of tights but these are all by Levante (who I can highly recommend for length), who are stocked at MyTights. I am happy to buy tights in pretty much any high street store – just check the size guide on the back and the Lycra content. If there’s plenty of Lycra in them then even those tights that say they are only suitable for up to a height of 5’10” will be fine for you.

Outfit: Brown and Blue Layers

Layering is a great way to get some more use out of those pieces you loved over the summer, and it’s also a great way to beat the erratic weather and keep yourself at the right temperature. I loved this blue top all summer (and it only cost me £2) and now I can get a bit more wear out of it by putting it over long sleeve ts (not that I’ll need one today – it’s forecast to be 20˚C in some places today – in mid October!). Another look to try is putting your favourite summer dress over a polo neck sweater, and over jeans when it gets chillier.

Blue top – Primark
Brown top – Tall Girls
Dark skinny jeans – Topshop
Blue patent shoes – New Look

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Outfit: Brown & Teal

Brown tweed city shorts – H&M
White shirt – Oasis
Teal v neck tank – Next
Teal tights – Jonathan Aston at MyTights
Brown shoes – Roberto Vianni (Debenhams)
Brown scarf – Charity shop

Outfit: Tea With the Young Man’s Parents

I don't post enough casual outfits so here's one for you from last night.

Blue top – Dorothy Perkins
White rib cami – Topshop
Dark skinny jeans – Gap
Beige flat shoes – Evans
Brown scarf – Charity shop

An Open Letter to The Gap

Dear Gap
What are you doing to me? Just as I had made up my mind to write you off with your thin sweaters, poor quality and high prices, you bring out your Fall 2007 collection and include such gems as these gorgeous sweater dresses and chunky cardi:

Yes, you are still expensive and you don’t stock your tall sizes over here in the UK, but really, what’s not to like?

Granted, some of your knit wear is still thin – I don’t care if it’s finest quality merino wool – if I can see my hand through it without holding it up to the light, it’s TOO THIN. Really. And I don’t want to have to tell you again.

But what I really want to know is why did you have dark denim (without fading) Long and Lean jeans in the sale at £19.99 today, and not have any in my size?!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Why I Love: Elle Woods From ‘Legally Blonde’

I have always seen ‘Legally Blonde’ as kind of a grown up ‘Clueless’. When we first meet her, Elle Woods is a senior in college and decides she will go to law school to win back her boyfriend who has ditched her for someone “more serious”, someone he and his parents view as good marriage material. She of course succeeds in her quest to become a lawyer and looks pretty darn good whilst she’s doing it. There’s too much pink for her to be a real style icon, but that’s Elle’s thing and it is why we love her. I only wish I had had some of her style when I was at university (some of these images are from 'Legally Blonde 2').