I write this on a particularly drizzly Wednesday, one of those days when as a busy editor I dread the rushing from meeting to meeting – in weather like this, my hair responds about as sulkily as I do. However, I’ve been in the business for long enough to know that preparation is my greatest weapon against soggy West End streets. I recall having to rush to a high street shop to buy a pair of waterproof trainers once when I got my footwear wrong and couldn't face squelching all the way to my next meeting… I will never make this mistake again, and am now a religious weather-checker, verging on obsessive. I am British after all.
I’ve just landed in a coffee shop with my laptop after sheltering in Hatchard’s on Piccadilly, one of the oldest bookshops in London (built as a hotel in Dickens’ time), and one of my favourites to get lost in—not far from Crockett & Jones’s two shops on Jermyn Street. This season is when a practical but smart flat shoe really comes into its own, and thank goodness their women’s collection is teed up for all circumstance. The androgynous look finds its perfect place during transitional months; simple black straight legged trousers (or maybe even a suit) with a shirt, finished perfectly with a pair of lace-up brogues like the Amy.
This chunky brogued Oxford is perfectly suited to the task at hand with its Black or Burgundy Cavalry Calf uppers. Cavlary Calf is finished with a high shine that helps the leather to repel errant raindrops; keeping the Amy’s youthful looks smarter for far longer, taking slippery pavements and Underground steps in its stride. The generously chunky tartan laces add a quirk to keep them playful, and the V-lite sole is faultless, lightweight and practical.
My obsession with the Amy is real – I’d wear them at smart ‘fashion-y’ meetings when I sometimes panic about comfy but acceptable footwear, or equally take them as my only pair of shoes on a city break. Surely, with lace-ups like these, trainers have nearly had their day?
Hetty’s between-season staples
While we’re on the subject of indispensable investments, here are a few of my favourite things for this time of year….
A felt fedora hat. Camilla Rose made my favourite brown number, which goes with everything. Beanie styles are not for me and I prefer a chicer wide brim – perfect for rainy days.
Chelsea boots: I have worn Crockett’s time and time again with a green wool suit. They are now like slippers, and polish up a treat.
Sunglasses: So, when the sun does come out, I’m prepared – Saint Laurent will do nicely.
Earrings: When there’s little time for much else before rushing out the door – a pair of splendid earrings always lifts the face (Laurence Coste makes fun and affordable ones). Wear with a tracksuit or a tailored suit, I’m not judging.
Suit: Speaking of which, I’m verging on obsessed with the beautifully cut suits from The Deck London, where you can mix and match with their semi-bespoke service. Their suits gave me a waist!