It’s fast approaching my favourite season of the year: autumn! Although we’re still deep in summer, the recent thunderstorms here have turned my mind to wet-weather footgear, and first on my shopping list for the new season is definitely ankle boots!
At the end of 2013, I got a little bit obsessed by Mulberry’s pointed signature ballerinas. As usual, I waited for a sales bargain, but somehow I completely missed the start of the sale and by the time I got my act together, they had sold out in my size. Not even Mulberry’s helpful customer service department could track any down (there were a pair at Heathrow, apparently! Hmm!). So, I purchased the gorgeous high heeled versions (which I love!) – but I live in flats, so my wistful lusting wasn’t sated… Until I saw a mention of the shoes in the Mulberry section of Purseblog’s forum, that is! Turns out, Kafka.co.uk had some in stock… Not only that, but they were at sale prices. Not only that, but they were in my size. Not only that, but they had both pairs I was hankering after! NOT ONLY THAT, but there was a 10% off code as well! My goodness…
If there’s one thing I’m adverse to neglecting, it’s a bargain. Both of these beauties were bargains, and looking at my collection I realised I actually rarely pay full price for anything – unless it’s an item I think will sell out and then get listed on eBay for twice the price!
Yet another new English designer for me – this time, it’s Lamb 1887, which is a reasonably priced label that has been seen on a few celebs (Pippa Middleton, Millie Mackintosh, Diana Vickers etc).
I paired it with an older pair of French Sole flats that I picked up from a warehouse sale a few years ago.
I also thought that the bronze went pretty well with the rose gold and black of the leather. Also, I haven’t had much of a chance to wear these yet, so when I realised there was a bit of a match, I jumped at the chance!
The interior of the bag has a lovely beige suede interior, with a handy zip pocket section for holding your cards or blotting paper and the like!
I purchased the Lamb 1887 Agnes bag from Atterley Road, which is a great retailer with an amazing edit of some great brands – perfect for picking up smart day wear, work wear and the like! You can also purchase it directly from Lamb at their website here. The bag retails for £150 and also comes in beige.
The French Sole shoes are no longer available, but you can visit their website for more in similar styles and colours here.
The lovely Tatiana from Tatiana’s Delights recently posted a great lead for the Modalu sale on her Facebook page, which prompted me to do a bit of investigation – and a lot of shopping! I had a couple of weekends away looming (one of which I’ll be posting about very soon!) and so I was in the market for a smart leather tote bag which could double as an overnight bag. Enter the large Dickens Tote!
In the sale for a fairly hefty discount (although, sadly not any more), this bag is enormous, but it’s not so comically large that you can’t use it as an everyday bag when you have a lot to carry.
It also comes with this nifty, detachable, horse head clutch, which would be great for storing travel documents! I’ve also detached it to use it as a clutch for evenings – it makes the perfect travel companion for the tote, I have to say!
I paired it with my Russell & Bromley / Aquatalia New Dry wedge boots – as the weather gets warmer I’m going to have to retire these trusty boots with a heavy heart, so I thought I’d get some more use from them while I can!
As I live in leggings and skinny jeans, they fit perfectly in my wardrobe!
Also, you can’t go too far wrong with matching black to black!
I’m also a bit in love with the simple design touches that add a generous dash of luxury to this tote. The horse head envelope clutch and the gold Modalu logo…
And these cute shell motifs which adorn the zipper tags!
What’s not to love? I am definitely incredibly impressed with the customer service, the quality of the product, and the speed of delivery, too.
Inside the tote is one large open space with a zip top, plus an internal zipped pocket and slip cases for a phone and papers. On the back of the tote is another zipped pocket, meaning there’s plenty of room for sectioning off your pills, receipts and other important things!
The Russell & Bromley New Dry wedge boot is currently available in most sizes at their site here for £225.
Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone! I don’t usually get into the swing of this celebration (my Irish heritage is non-existent, sadly!), but it was the perfect opportunity to break out two of my favourite items!
You all know I have an obsession with Mulberry and French Sole, so it seems pretty fitting that I have a pair of shoes and bag from these two companies that match pretty well, and are perfect for the celebrations!
I absolutely adore the velvet ostrich finish on these French Sole flats that I bought on my factory store visit last year. So far it’s been too cold to wear them out, but I did manage to bust them out for a relaxed New Year’s Eve party! They’re so comfy, and they look very plush indeed.
And here’s my beautiful emerald green Lily in micrograin calf – absolutely lusted after for over a year and bought in the Harrods’ cardholder sale late 2013. I just love the simple shape of the Lily, and the adjustable strap. (This Lily is still available at Mulberry for £750 here)
It’s a classic shape which means it’ll never go out of fashion – and it can be dressed up or down for any occasion! Did I mention the adjustable strap is awesome? Because it is! I have a massive thing for chain and leather straps at the moment.
My Fendi B bag was the bag I kicked off this blog series with, all those months ago! I recently dug it back out of my cupboard to pair it with these awesome McQ boots I bought in the January sales!
I’m a huge McQueen fan so I leapt on the chance to nab a pair of these when Naomi of the Bewitchery blog tweeted me about them!
What do you think of super high heels? Do you compulsively buy shoes higher than you are comfortable wearing just to admire them in person like me? Or are you far too sensible to fall for their seductive charms?!
I thought it was about time I did another bag and shoes post – especially considering that the bag in question is a limited edition design, only available for another week or so! I bought this bag late last year from Zatchels – it’s part of a collaboration with the Chinese artist Jacky Tsai, and the range consists of satchels and saddle bags with three designs on; the iconic floral skulls design, the psychedelic virus pattern, and the purple and lime green petrol motif. As soon as I saw the saddle bag with the floral skull design, I knew I had to add it to my collection!
As you can see, the leather is printed with a beautiful pattern of skulls crafted out of silver flowers. Here’s what Zatchels says about the design: “Instinctively recognizable, Jacky Tsai’s skulls print designs take inspiration from one of his most well-known pieces of art, the iconic Floral Skull design he created for Alexander McQueen. The placement and positioning of the skulls show a 360 degree view of this unique piece of art. A deep black background sets off the metallic skull shapes.”
The boots I’ve been wearing pretty much all winter – they’re no longer available from Next, but you can purchase a similar design here. Simple, basic, flat heeled boots are the perfect addition to my winter wardrobe, so this was a definite no-brainer purchase for me!
What do you think – will you be picking up one of these beauties whilst they’re still available?
The Great French Sole Factory Shop Haul continues – this time, with the incredibly festive looking pair of red Henriettas with white trim! The main body of these flats are quilted, but the toe is nubuck, which makes them look really pretty, but is a bit of a nightmare if you’re going anywhere that’s a bit damp!
However, there’s no denying that white and red seem made for Christmas (thanks, Coca Cola!). And, I paired it with one of my favourite bags, my red Alessandra satchel from Accessorize, which my friend Lisa bought me for my 30th birthday. You can purchase similar bags from Accessorize here: they’re one of my favourite companies!
Attached to it is a little Parazul charm I bought on holiday in the Caribbean. Parazul are one of those companies you see everywhere on a cruise, but at the time there was no way I could drop $100s on a bag, so I bought myself a little charm instead. On the shuttle back to the ship, one of the crew started cooing over my shopping bag, but his face completely dropped when I showed him what I’d actually bought! Still, I like it! And, as well as being a reminder of my holiday, it’s also a nod to my family’s shipbuilding heritage too!
We all like a little luxury in our lives, and when you have an expensive leather product with an unusual finish that you want to keep fresh, it doesn’t matter whether it cost £10 or £1000 – you still want to treat it with care! So I thought I’d put together a guide for protecting and caring for patent and suede leather shoes and bags.
First of all, the most important thing is to check with the company you purchased the product from about what they recommend. Brands like Russell & Bromley, Mulberry and L.K. Bennett all recommend specific brands or treatment for their products. In some cases, failure to use the recommended product could result in your warranty being invalid, as these higher end retailers are all happy to take in items to repair after you’ve bought them, provided you have followed the care instructions carefully. You may not always be given this information at the point of purchase, but often they will have guidance on their websites – or you can contact their customer services for more information. I haven’t experienced this personally, but I have heard, for example, that Russell & Bromley will repair shoes, but only if you haven’t taken them to your own cobbler beforehand. Always check first!
Secondly, you should note that this is advice from my own personal experience, and I can’t be responsible for any damage that could occur from following it… As with everything on the internet, do your research first, and always make sure you have tested any products you are going to use in an inconspicuous area before you begin using them.
Suede is gorgeous. I love suede shoes and bags – but let’s face it, suede is not the most forgiving of fabrics. Before you take the plunge and purchase a suede product, just ask yourself whether you’re prepared to baby it. Suede can rub off, get wet and grow damaged as a result, and the nap is easily disrupted by simple knocks that happen during the course of everyday wear. If you’re prepared for that to happen, you’re ready to purchase suede!
Mulberry recommend just one product for suede, and that is Collonil Waterstop Spray. You can purchase it at any Mulberry store (and they’ll even give you a lovely bag, too!) for £10. You should treat your bag (or shoes) with this spray once every six months at a minimum. However, before you do so, you should use a suede brush or sponge to remove dirt and fluff to ensure that the suede is clean. I use this Woly sponge which is recommended by L.K. Bennett. I’ve cut it into halves as I have navy suede items, and black suede items, and as you can see, some of the colour does come off onto the sponge. It just takes a very light brush and your suede will look in great condition again.
To apply suede protective spray, follow the directions on the can, and spray lightly, in small bursts, and from a distance. Do not let the item get soaking wet, and ensure that you cover or wipe off any embellishments, bag furniture, detailing, or heel material that isn’t suede right afterwards. Allow to dry for 2-3 hours after application. When I’m spraying my shoes, I like to put rolled up newspaper inside them to prevent the spray from touching the leather inside, as it can get incredibly damp and hard to dry off.
Just remember that this doesn’t protect your bag or shoes from the elements. Avoid wearing suede in the rain at all costs!
A final point is to avoid completely coloured liquids that are sold for the care of suede shoes. Not only can they ruin the nap of the leather, but they may not match the colour of your shoes and can result in a patchy effect when used. And, I’ve found them harder and more time-consuming to apply as well.
Patent is often thought of as being more durable than other kinds of leather, but it still requires special care. Two issues with patent leather are blemishes or marks which can appear when it gets rubbed, and also cracking, which can occur if you don’t take care to polish and nourish the leather between uses.
To take care of patent leather bags and shoes, I use Woly patent liquid, which is recommended by L.K. Bennett for their patent products. I have also used this on my black patent Jaeger Kate bag as well. It’s a white creme which you polish into the shoe using a duster or some other soft material – be sure to use one that won’t scratch. The same liquid can be used to try to remove patent marks that appear, but they can be very very stubborn and require several attempts to remove. Never try to remove marks without first checking with the manufacturer what they recommend, as some tips online (such as using nail varnish remover) can damage your finish.
To apply patent creme, you simply pour a little liquid onto the shoe and polish it in until it disappears. This should keep the leather supple and very shiny! As with suede protector, always purchase a colourless liquid – not only is it better, but it also means you only need one bottle for all your patent (or suede) products!
Now, if only I could buy something to get rid of marks inside the shoes! Pro-tip – this is what happens when you remove your shoes wearing tights, and stand on the dusty ground, and then get back in your shoes again. Where possible, do not do this…