Bag ‘n’ Shoes: London Sole Leopard Love Heart Flats and Hobbs Lanesley Bag

Here’s the first reveal of shoes from the epic French Sole factory shop visit I had last week! As you may remember, I came back with a massive haul, so I’m pretty booked up with my plans for these posts for a month and a half! I also hinted that they were very festive in their design, but I have to say, these are probably the least festive of the batch, which is why I decided to wear them first…

London Sole and Hobbs main

I almost didn’t buy these ones, but I couldn’t leave the shop without them in the end! These are from French/London Sole’s spring/summer 2012 collection, specifically, their Valentine’s range. I remember seeing them at the time and thinking they were really pretty. The material is patent olive green leather – which is another reason I busted them out this week – it’s been raining almost every day!

Montage London Sole Hobbs

One of my favourite pairs of French Sole shoes are my classic leopard ponyhair flats with red trim, so I had to get another leopard print pair – I would have loved to have had FS on the heart (or even my own initials!) but LS is good enough for me, especially when they were just £25! I paired the shoes with my trusty black Lanesley bag from Hobbs, which is a versatile satchel style bag with a Mulberry-esque postman’s lock, top handle, and cross body strap. It’s my nod to the now sold-out Polly Push Lock Mulberry satchel – which of course, I would love to own, but alas are now rare as hen’s teeth and considerably more expensive!

London Sole leopard heart flats

Ah, monograms! I’d love to have a pair of personalised, monogrammed smoking slippers from French Sole! I’m thinking MS G would look pretty cool! What do you think of monogrammed shoes, or items with logos on them? Dig them, or find them too flashy?

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Shopping Alert! French / London Sole Factory Shop Visit

Is there anything more delicious than a factory store dedicated to your favourite brand (and, of course, I must mention, a brand worn by the Duchess of Cambridge herself!)? I don’t think so! You might remember I visited the French Sole warehouse sale last October, and came away with five pairs of gorgeous shoes. So, when I heard that there was to be a permanent factory shop, I made plans to visit as soon as I possibly could. I was skeptical that it would be as cheap as the warehouse sale – because, why would it be, when it’s a permanent installation? – but it turned out to be even better than I hoped!

Factory French Sole 1 640

The French Sole warehouse shop might look unassuming from the outside, but inside it’s a bargain boutique that looks amazing, and is full of drop dead gorgeous shoes at rock bottom prices. You can purchase a pair of metallic silver or gold fold up flats for £10, and the bargain bins are full of sample shoes priced at £20 (but these are mostly 37s, I believe). The shoes on display are just £25 each, and boots cost £40! At the warehouse sale, flats were £20 and quilted flats were £40, so I think, on balance, the shop is cheaper by far. With these crazy prices, no wonder I came away with a couple of amazing pairs! Okay, maybe more than a couple… Maybe six…

Factory French Sole 2

I’ll be revealing my gorgeous purchases one by one over the following weeks – I’m calling them my ‘holiday collection’, because I came away with sequins, velvet, lush green, vibrant red, bows and jewels! Here’s a small sneak peek:

The End

The French Sole factory store is open every Friday from 10am to 4.30pm at Lambs Farm Business Park, Basingstoke Road, Swallowfield, RG7 1PQ. They get fresh deliveries every week, and carry end of lines, discounted styles, press samples, factory samples, and catwalk shoes. They also carry London Sole shoes, which is the company’s name in the US, so don’t be put off if you pick up a London Sole pair – they’re the same shoes, same company, just a different name! The shop takes cash or card. And, there’s a very nice farm shop just up the road where you can have lunch if the fancy takes you – or if you want to make a day of it, pop into Reading city centre, which isn’t far at all!

Some small words of caution: you really need to visit this store in person to try these shoes on properly, unless you have a twin sister with the same sized feet as you – who somehow has such sisterly love for you that she’ll sacrifice up her bargains to pass along (I don’t think so… Am I right, girls? Ha!). I came away with shoes in sizes 39, 39.5, 40 and 40.5. French Sole shoe sizes vary from model to model, and with factory samples, you can never be 100% confident with your usual size until you put them on! I truly don’t think you’d save money trying to get someone to pick some up for you, as £25 is only a bargain if the shoes actually fit… Also, there are no exchanges, returns or refunds, as this is a factory store (this is very common policy for these kind of discount shops).

All of this information was correct at time of writing, but I can’t guarantee that the prices or opening hours will remain the same – if you have any doubts, contact info@frenchsole.com for help!

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