Scarlet has been through the mill and needs some light relief and I can't think of anything more lightly relieving than shoes. The right pair works wonders for the legs, will see you through from dusk till dawn, and will garner many an admiring glance. It doesn't matter how much weight you put on, or lose, your shoe size will (usually) stay the same. They are easy to try on at the shops: no skulking off to changing rooms and having to strip off your thermals, and there are plenty to choose from for all budgets.
When I was about nineteen my future in-laws said you can tell a lot about a person from their shoes. I was only just being initiated into the ways of the middle-classes and this was news to me, but it must have worked its way in as for a time in my early thirties I was pretty obsessive when it came to shoes. The way I see it, it all began when I bought my first pair of Jimmy Choos
in the Frasers of Glasgow sale. I couldn't get over the fact that they were comfortable from the off. That, and everyone commented on how gorgeous they were. They seemed to take me to a new level of stylish, whenever I wore them I felt grown-up and in control. They gave me a kind of unquestionable power. Suddenly people listened to what I had to say; shop assistants and waiters seemed drawn to serve me. Having always been pretty invisible I reveled in my new status as noticeable in a good way.
After that I was hooked on 'good' shoes and rarely deigned to give even a sideways glance to the cheap shops. I wanted comfort and style, I didn't want to spend weeks breaking in someone's tacky efforts at providing the masses with fashionable footwear. I bought Prada, Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana, Dior and all number of others. Wherever I went I was praised for my shoes. It didn't seem to matter what else I was wearing or whether I'd washed my hair, my shoes said all that needed to be said about me: I was the right sort.
All this changed, of course, when I entered academia. Suddenly my shoes felt like fripperies. One needed more than a pair of Prada trainers or Jimmy Choo slingbacks to prove one's worth. And although a beautiful pair would still draw the desired comment from most women on the campus, that was no longer enough. Shoes had lost their shine. I spent my money on books instead.
For years I didn't buy shoes at all, I had enough to last a lifetime after all. But there's more to shoes than quantity, and recently I have begun to treat myself to the odd pair again. There are two reasons for this: my trainers have become embarrassingly smelly, and my heels are too high and wobbly for my aging sense of balance. Well that's what I've been telling myself, but I picked these up the other day in T K Maxx.
They are irresistibly soft and delicate, elegant and fashionable. Lord knows when I'll wear them, but they were a bargain and they make me feel like Carine Roitfeld. To compensate for their ridiculousness I bought these on Saturday.
They are high enough to do what only a heel can do for a leg, yet low and sturdy enough to not hinder walking. I will wear them all summer, they will give my old dresses a boost. I also got a pair of plimsolls for proper stomping, just to make doubly sure that I'm not an air-head.