As the world of retail changes shape before our eyes, I can’t help thinking about the many brands across the board who are touched by both the current state of play, and the aftermath. I urge you all to go out and shop. With the ‘when will this all end?’ question hanging in the air, I think now is a pertinent time for a spot of reflection when it comes to purchasing, something I was in fact forced into back in March. I was ‘locked down’ in south Northamptonshire, with rather more thinking time on my hands than I had planned. Having packed minimally (not my usual style), with no idea what was to come, I spent eight weeks with a handbag’s worth of clothes, and (gasp!) just one pair of shoes. I could have gone online and bulk bought, but I made the decision to manage without, borrowing here and there and, frankly, not looking in the mirror as much (very good for you it turns out). The realisation dawned that I simply have far too much, and made a pact to reassess my entire wardrobe once I was allowed back to my London flat.
Sustainability comes to mind of course, and before ‘life as we now know it’, sustainability was a word on lips of more than just the eco-conscious. Fast Fashion was no longer cool—there was a red faced shame on admitting that a garment was from a not-so-eco high street chain, and it was becoming far more interesting to own something that had longevity but also a story. Shoes have just that, whether every day lace ups or a fabulous stiletto, the power of a shoe is like no other accessory in your arsenal. I (just about) managed with my one pair of trainers when I had nowhere to go, but now I am back in London and can amble about town—albeit with less vigour than my usual gallivanting—I’m enjoying having a little bit more choice back in my life. But how much choice do we really need? Enough, but not too much, and I think a capsule shoe collection should read as follows for summer:
Lace ups – smart and casual for everything and anything, ideally perfectly worn in from last year, and set to last you another 10 at least if you look after them (shoe trees are key I have learned) – C&J’s Sara in Nut Suede is perfect.
Boots – I adore an ethereal summer dress paired with rougher ankle boots. Let’s not be lulled by this glorious weather, remember this is England, and this look means a leather jacket works over the top too. – Bonnie or Rachel Chelsea boots get my vote here.
Trainers – yes, they have become quite the norm, Axel Arigato make my favourites at the moment and I have my eye on some Alexander McQueen’s too.
Sandals – I get mine when on holiday, my current are orange Aztec pattern from Walkaholics a boutique I found in Tel Aviv.
Heels – Manolo Blahnik designs the most exquisite, and Emmy London the most comfortable thanks to her engineering skills.
What I enjoyed most about lockdown was that a lot of choice was taken away from us. Yes, this was terrible in many respects, but when it came to what to wear I found it invigorating, enlightening and it opened my eyes to what we truly need, rather than what we think we need. I’ll be giving a lot to charity shops as soon as they open.