Paying tribute: designer inspired workwear shoes

When designers create beautiful looking shoes, its often the case that the high street then interprets the designs to bring out similar looking shoes.  Tribute shoes, if you like.  So, here are the shoes that I have noticed lately that seem to be designer inspired:

1. BANANA REPUBLIC | Adelia T Bar heels in black | leather upper, breathable synthetic lining, synthetic sole | Heel height: 3 1/2″ | £85

BANANA REPUBLIC | Adelia T Bar heels in black | leather upper, breathable synthetic lining, synthetic sole | Heel height: 3 1/2" | £85

These shoes appear to be inspired by the VALENTINO | Rockstud Leather Pumps in black| Heel height: 10cm |£590:

And how about in a nude colourway…?

2. BANANA REPUBLIC | Adelia T Bar heels in nude brindle | suede upper, breathable synthetic lining, synthetic sole | Heel height: 3 1/2″ | £85

BANANA REPUBLIC | Adelia T Bar heels in nude brindle | suede upper, breathable synthetic lining, synthetic sole | Heel height: 3 1/2" | £85

 

These shoes look to be inspired by the VALENTINO | Rockstud Leather Pumps in light brown | Heel height: 10cm | £590:

Shop Valentino Garavani 'Rockstud' pumps in Biondini Paris from the world's best independent boutiques at farfetch.com. Over 1000 designers from 60 boutiques in one website.

 

3. SAM EDELMAN | Zavier Cut Out Lace Up Heeled Shoes in black | Upper: 100% Real Leather, Lining and sole: 100% Other Materials | Heel height: 9cm/4″ | £149:

SAM EDELMAN | Zavier Cut Out Lace Up Heeled Shoes in black | Upper: 100% Real Leather, Lining: 100% Other Materials, Sole: 100% Other Materials | Heel height: 9cm/4" | £149

These shoes look to be inspired by the AQUAZURRA | Belgravia suede cut out heels | Heel height: 7.5cm | £495:

Aquazzura | Belgravia cutout suede pumps | NET-A-PORTER.COM

 

4. BODEN | Jackie Heels in silver | Metallic leather upper, leather lining and sole | £99

BODEN | Jackie Heels in silver | Metallic leather upper, leather lining and sole | £99

These shoes look to be inspired by the JIMMY CHOO | Attila mirrored leather flats | Leather upper, lining and sole | £395:

Jimmy Choo | Attila mirrored-leather point-toe flats | NET-A-PORTER.COM

 

 

5. RUSSELL & BROMLEY | Tiara Jewel buckle pointy flat in silver | Silver crackle leather, leather lining and rubber sole | £195

RUSSELL & BROMLEY | Tiara Jewel buckle pointy flat in silver | Silver crackle leather, leather lining and rubber sole | £195

These shoes look to be inspired by the MANOLO BLAHNIK | Hangisi satin pump navy | Satin upper, leather lining and sole| Heel height: 10.5cm £650:

<strong>Manolo Blahnik</strong> Hangisi satin pump navy

 

6. RUSSELL & BROMLEY | Charlie point toe slipper flat in black | Leather upper, lining and sole | £195:

RUSSELL & BROMLEY | Charlie point toe slipper in black | Grained calf leather upper, leather lining and sole | £195

 

These shoes look to be inspired by the JIMMY CHOO | Gala mirrored-leather point-toe flats | £395:

JIMMY CHOO Gala mirrored-leather point-toe flats £395

 

7. ZARA | Leather high heel ankle boots in black | Upper: 100% cow leather. Lining: synthetic. Sole: rubber | £79.99

ZARA | Leather high heel ankle boots in black | Upper: 100% cow leather.  Lining: synthetic. Sole: rubber | £79.99

These shoes look to be inspired by the GIANVITO ROSSI | Leather ankle boots in black | Leather upper, lining and sole | Heel height: 10cm |£680:

GIANVITO ROSSI Leather ankle boots £680

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A few points, Reader, on this post:

1. It is not intended to be a snide “oh look at the knock offs” post.  Not at all;

2. None of these shoes are direct copies or are attempting to pass themselves off as designer items, which is quite key here; and

3. I wrote this post as I find it interesting to see how the high street brands often interpret designer items.  As long as they aren’t fakes or copies, it can be a good thing: not many of us can afford designer items, but the designs can be so fabulous.  Interpreting (not copying) these designs is part of the democratization of fashion.  Given that this is a workwear fashion blog based on the high street, you can take it that the idea of “fashion for all” is dear to my heart.

By |August 25th, 2014|shoes|0 Comments|

The top 15 winter wool coats: its time

I thought I could put thinking about wool coats off for a month or so.  However, its suddenly turned cool, so its time.  I find its worth thinking about wool coats early for a few reasons:

  1. they cost a lot, so you want to be sure of what you want and don’t make a rushed purchase when its cold and you realise you hate your existing coat.  Been there.;
  2. some of the good coats tend to sell out very early, like this this pretty blue wool mix coat from Marks & Spencer Autograph that I saw and Instagrammed the other week.  It obviously didn’t sell out due to me – its been getting lots of press!; and
  3. its what people see you most in, over the long, wintery months, so you want it to be a flattering one.

I am not suggesting that its panic stations, time to stock pile coats.  Just that its time to consider what we want (camel, actually) and what’s available to buy.  Presumably there will be more wool coats coming as the autumn /winter ranges progress.  However, at this point, here are the top 15 winter wool coats I have seen on the high street:

 

1. MASSIMO DUTTI | Belted orange coat | 80% wool, 20% polyamide | £195

Orange, wool rich and beautiful: I’ve seen it in real life.  Not a bright orange, but the infinitely more wearable burnt orange.

MASSIMO DUTTI | Belted orange coat | 80% wool, 20% polyamide.  Lining: 89% viscose, 11% acetate | £195

 

2. & OTHER STORIES | Wool trench coat in black | 80% Wool, 20% Polyamide | £165

I remember APC used to do a beautiful, navy wool trench and this reminds me of it, albeit in black.  As mentioned in my recent & Other Stories post, the heavy weight of their wool coats leads me to think that they will be very warm, not to mention shower and wind proof.

& OTHER STORIES | Wool trench coat in black | 80% Wool, 20% Polyamide | £165

 

3. HOBBS | NW3 Hetty Coat in blue | 79% Wool, 19% Polyamide Nylon, 2% Other Fibers | Length: 86.5cm | £269

This charming looking coat also comes in grey, and looks like it would be very flattering cut.  I prefer some of the more interesting cuts, but this is really the sort of slim silhouette I need to go for.

HOBBS | NW3 Hetty Coat in blue | 79% Wool, 19% Polyamide Nylon, 2% Other Fibers | Length: 86.5cm | £269

 

4. JIGSAW | Woven Edie coat in red | 73% Wool, 22% PA, 5% WS | £229

A classic, buttoned up coat in a cheery red.

JIGSAW | Woven Edie coat in red | 73% Wool, 22% PA, 5% WS | £229

If you want a slightly different style of red coat, and have more to spend there is the LK BENNETT | Cadiz belted coat in scarlet red | 73% Wool, 22% Polyamide. Dry Clean | Length: 99cm | £425.  The price limit for coats in the Top 15 in this post is £300, anything lovely above that is just mentioned.  ‘T’is a high street blog, after all!

 

5. MASSIMO DUTTI | Coat with belt in grey | 90% wool, 10% cashmere | £265

Grey is always so chic, especially an outfit with varying shades of grey.  This one, looks particularly luxe.

MASSIMO DUTTI | Coat with belt in grey | 90% wool, 10% cashmere | £265

If you like this style, but would prefer a softer colour, and have more to spend there is the HOBBS | Loretta Waterfall Coat in pink | 100% Wool | Length: 107cm | £599.  Its divinely pretty, but the price tag has, sadly, relegated it to a mention, here.

 

6. & OTHER STORIES | Wool blend coat in blue | 80% wool, 20% polyamide | £165

This coat has interesting neck detailing, and, in real life, looks more expensive than it is.

& OTHER STORIES | Wool blend coat in blue | 80% wool, 20% polyamide | £165

 

7.  FRENCH CONNECTION | Platform Felt Faux Fur Collar Coat in white hare | 75% Virgin Wool, 20% Nylon, 5% Cashmere | £190

Winter white seems so impractical, but if you are cavalier like me and put your wool coats in the washing machine, they are are more useful than they seem.  Certainly a pale coat makes a nice change from the sea of black coats I usually see in winter.

FRENCH CONNECTION | Platform Felt Faux Fur Collar Coat in white hare | 75% Virgin Wool, 20% Nylon, 5% Cashmere | £190

 

8. & OTHER STORIES | Waisted coat in turquoise green | 80% Wool, 20% Polyamide | £185

You’ve already seen this, too, in my & Other Stories post, but the unique colour means it makes the cut here, too.  Plus, its beautifully tailored.  In a season awash with oversized coats, these fitted ones are harder to find, than before.

& OTHER STORIES | Waisted coat in turquoise green | 80% Wool, 20% Polyamide | £185

If you want a similar shape, but in grey there is the HOBBS | Elsa Coat in grey melange | 100% Wool | Length: 116.5cm | £269.

 

9. COS | A-Line wool coat in navy | 80% Wool, 20% Polyamide | Length: 78cm (Size 38) | £150

A beautiful looking coat, in a slightly unusual shape.

COS | A-Line wool coat in navy | 80% Wool, 20% Polyamide | Length: 78cm (Size 38) | £150

 

10. FRENCH CONNECTION | Imperial Wool Coat in blue | 80% Wool 20% Nylon | £169

A gorgeous, vibrant coat, which also comes in black.

FRENCH CONNECTION | Imperial Wool Coat in blue | 80% Wool 20% Nylon | £169

 

11. COS | Slim wool coat in charcoal grey | 75% Wool, 20% Polyamide, 5% Cashmere. Dry clean | £150

Described as slim, this still looks roomy, but not oversized.

COS | Slim wool coat in charcoal grey | 75% Wool, 20% Polyamide, 5% Cashmere. Dry clean | £150

 

12. MASSIMO DUTTI | Coat with metallic clasp in camel | 75% wool, 25% polyamide. Lining: 100% viscose | £195

This coat is so sharp, I love it: Massimo Dutti do make great coats.

MASSIMO DUTTI | Coat with metallic clasp in camel | 75% wool, 25% polyamide.  Lining: 100% viscose | £195

If you want a funnel neck camel coat and have more money to spend, there is the JAEGER | Wool Cashmere Funnel Neck Coat in Camel | 90% Wool,10% Cashmere | Length: 98cm | £399.

 

13. M&S | Collection Buttonsafe™ Wool Blend Coat with Cashmere in black | 69% wool, 22% polyamide and 9% cashmere| Length: 100cm | £120

A classic, affordable coat with a little cashmere, from Marks & Spencer.  A smart buy.

M&S | Collection Buttonsafe™ Wool Blend Coat with Cashmere in black | 69% wool, 22% polyamide and 9% cashmere.  Lining- 100% polyester | Length: 100cm | £120

 

 

14. COS | Wide collar wool coat in olive green | 80% Wool, 20% Polyamide. Dry clean | Length: 104cm (Size 38) | £190

Navy, charcoal and black coats, I can find a-plenty, but this olive green one is a rare beast.

 

COS | Wide collar wool coat in olive green | 80% Wool, 20% Polyamide.  Dry clean | Length: 104cm (Size 38) | £190

 

15. REISS | Noir coat in neutral | 78% Wool 22% Polyamide | £265

To finish off with, an elegant, flattering jacket / coat, and the shorter length means it won’t pick up as much dirt as a longer coat would.

REISS | Noir High-collar Fitted Jacket in neutral | 78% Wool 22% Polyamide | £265

If you love the shape of this coat, but want a longer, darker one, and have more money to spend, there is the REISS | Emile coat in burgundy | 78% Wool 22% Polyamide |£325.

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If you aren’t in the market for a new coat, but would like to refresh the ones you have, Helen Moore (formerly Moore & Moore) sells the most beautiful faux fur collars and scarves, which would really lift your existing coats.  Alternatively, it could be that new buttons are just what they need. Personally, I have faux fur scarves and have changed some buttons, but I still want a camel coat.  The feature in September’s Harpers Bazaar, on camel coats and leopard print shoes is on my mind.

Finally, if you need a coat, and haven’t found one in this post, there are many, many more on my workwear coats Pinterest board:
Follow the workwear edit’s board workwear coats on Pinterest.

What would Lauren Bacall wear to work?

Today’s post is in honour of Lauren Bacall, who passed away yesterday.  To me, she was magnificent: strong, witty and honest.  Also, while Bacall was fortunate enough to be very beautiful, she also had tremendous style: bold but timeless.  So, here is the outfit board I have created, imagining what the late, great Lauren Bacall might have worn to work:

What would Lauren Bacall wear to work?

The individual pieces are:

RIP  to the fabulous, inspiring Betty Bacall!

& Other Stories

I went to the & Other Stories store on Regent Street the other week.  I often talk about & Other Stories, as they have some fabulous, interesting shapes, colours and prints, all at high street prices.  So, here are the pieces that really stood out to me on my last visit:

1. & OTHER STORIES | Kaleidoscope scarf | 75% Cotton, 25% Mulberry silk | £29

Its all about the print here, and what a print!  Also, the cotton and silk mix means that it will always feel soft, and not go floppy (hello, yes modal and viscose, I am talking to you).  Here is the website photo:

& Other Stories | Kaleidoscope Scarf

Here’s my close up:

20140811-161020.jpg

 

2. & OTHER STORIES | Silk shirt in mint green | 100% Mulberry silk | £65

& Other Stories have many silk shirts, in some beautiful colours.  This colour, in particular, is both flattering and luxe.  When pastels work, they really work.    Here is the website photo:

& Other Stories | Silk Blouse

Here is my iPhone’s dismal attempt to capture the lovely colour:

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3. & OTHER STORIES | Botanic Print Dress | 100% viscose | £65

This dress has a fine botanic print, and could be worn buttoned up, or undone a little.  It also comes in a slightly more casual, round neck style that is £45.  Either would be a perfect work dress.  Here is the website photo:

& Other Stories | Botanic Print Dress

Here are my photos, including of the print detail:

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4. & OTHER STORIES | Kaleidoscope Pumps | Fabric outer, Cushioned leather insole | £55

This superb kaleidoscope print also comes in shoes (both these heels and, also, flats).  Here is the website photo:

& Other Stories | Kaleidoscope Pumps

Here they are, with a sign saying “Try me”, in my size (39 – I size down at & Other Stories):

20140811-161134.jpg

I complied:

20140811-161156.jpg

 

 

5. & OTHER STORIES | Silk Blouse in pink | 100% mulberry silk | £65

The mint green shirt also comes in a bright pink.  Not too bright for work, but too Barbie pink for a blonde like me, I fear.  Best left to the brunettes, who can look amazing in this sort of pink.  Here is the website photo:

& OTHER STORIES | Silk Blouse in pink | 100% mulberry silk | £65

Here’s how it looks in real life: not different to the website photo, is it?  Its a striking, fresh shade of pink.

20140811-161249.jpg

 

 

6. & OTHER STORIES | Silk blouse in cream | 100% mulberry silk | £65

Do you know why I think this top is popular?  Because its cream, silk and has sleeves?  No. It’s because every single one had make up around the neckline – they have all been tried on.  Who knows, I may be wrong, but it was my immediate thought (apart from “hmm, one to order online”).  Here is the website photo:

& Other Stories | Silk Blouse

Here it is in real life, lovely despite any besmirching:

20140811-161351.jpg

 

7 and 8: & OTHER STORIES | Pointy Flats in black and orange (the latter is taupe in real life)| 100% Sheep leather | £65

As you may have noticed, I love a pointed flat, and here a couple more.  These & Other Stories ones differentiate themselves with the gleaming gold strip around the heel.  I like it.  Here is the website photo of the black version:

& Other Stories | Pointy Flats

Here’s how the black and orange (aka taupe) versions look when viewed from above:

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20140811-161313.jpg

 

9. & OTHER STORIES | Nail colour in Faison Dust | £5

I’m not a rampant beauty products user (ie I find the bare minimum that works and I stick with it), but have been impressed with & Other Stories’ eyebrow pencil (Worcester Taupe (select the “beige” option) - its £6 and is just the thing for making your blonde eyebrows darker, but not ginger).  I have also heard good things about the beauty and longevity of & Other Stories’ nail polishes.  The range of colours is incredible, with Faison Dust a particularly pretty, but chic pale dusty pink shade:

20140811-161326.jpg

 

10. & OTHER STORIES | Wool trench coat in black | 80% Wool, 20% Polyamide | £165

Its odd to be thinking about coats while the weather is so warm, but experience tells me its smart to work out what coat you want, before you need to rush out and buy one.  The coats I saw at & Other Stories were both stylish and heavy weight wool, so I trust that means they would keep you warm in the depths of winter.  These are what people see you in for many months of the year, so its worth getting the right one.

Here is the website photo of the first coat I saw.  The quality of this coat really stood out to me, and its a timeless style:

& Other Stories | Wool Trench Coat

Here is the photo I took:

20140811-161339.jpg

 

11. & OTHER STORIES | Wool blend coat in blue | 80% wool, 20% polyamide | £165

Looking for a coat that’s a little different, but still classic?  This dark blue beauty could be a good option.  Here is the website photo:

& Other Stories | Wool-Blend Coat

Here’s how it looked in my photo.  The neck detail is nice, no?:

20140811-161401.jpg

 

12. & OTHER STORIES | Waisted coat in turquoise green | 80% Wool, 20% Polyamide | £185

I must say, the colour of this coat is outstanding, and the cut looks sharp, too.  Here is the website photo:

& Other Stories | Waisted Coat

Here is a rather inadequate iPhone photo of it:

20140811-161417.jpg

 

13. & OTHER STORIES | Double breasted cape in pink |60% Wool, 22% Polyester, 15% Polyamide, 3% Polyurethane | £165

Dusty pink coats were huge last winter, and here’s a contender for this winter.  Only this one can be worn as a cape or as a coat.  Here is the website photo showing it worn as a coat:

& Other Stories | Double Breasted Cape

Here is the website photo showing it worn as a cape:

& Other Stories | Double Breasted Cape

Here is the little lovely, in real life:

20140811-161430.jpg

 

13. & Other Stories | Pleat Handbag in black | 100% cow leather, Lining: 100% polyester |£145

This is a fantastic large work bag.  Beautifully shaped, lovely leather, flattened handles to make it easier to carry, a zipped flap for security, but with a side pocket and an internal zipped pocket.  No logos or branding.  All for £145.  Here is the website photo:

& Other Stories | Pleat Handbag

Here’s how it looks in real life (same same, but better):

20140811-161442.jpg

20140811-161453.jpg

 

15. & OTHER STORIES | Pointy pumps in dark pink | 100% cow nappa | Heel height: 8cm | £65

And, last but not least, we are back to shoes…  Here is the website photo:

& Other Stories | Pointy Pumps

Here’s how they look, from above:

20140811-161504.jpg

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So, what did you think, Reader, there are some really beautiful things in at & Other Stories, aren’t there?!  Definitely a brand to keep an eye on.

Trying it on at Roland Mouret for Banana Republic

The Roland Mouret for Banana Republic collection has just become available, and has been one of the more promising designer collaborations.  As part of publicising the collection, some of the dresses have been worn by Anh from 9 to 5 Chic, and also tried on in the Daily Mail.  In both cases, the dresses looked good, so I went and tried on the 2 dresses that appealed to me, to see for myself:

 

1. Roland Mouret Collection | Vee Dress in navy star | 79% Nylon, 21% Spandex | £88.30 in size US 4 (UK 8)

Here is the website photo:

Here’s how it looked on me:

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VERDICT:  This particular dress is quite tight around my stomach, and I could really feel the structure of the dress.  I didn’t feel physically comfortable in it.  However, this is my fault, as I have put on a bit of weight.  However, even so, this dress was also tight around my arms and bust, as that’s just my shape, so I would only feel comfortable in a larger size.

 

2. Roland Mouret | Sleeveless dress in black and white | around £90 in size US 8 or UK 12 Petite (as its long) 

As is often the way with these designer collaborations, this dress is sold out online but there is lots of stock in the Regent St store.  Here is the website photo:

Here’s how it looked on me:

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VERDICT: This is the right size for me to breathe in, but you can see that it is cut for a very specific shape, and to be worn tighter.  The length is also right in the petite fit, as its one of the longer dresses in the collection.  However, to get the correct fit, this dress would need to be taken in at the hips.

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Overall,  I wasn’t impressed with the dresses I tried from the Roland Mouret collection for Banana Republic.  They are quite thick, but unlined, so it would be hard to wear them with tights.  Also, they are also made of synthetic materials and are designed to be worn in a body con fit, which I don’t recommend for work.

However, if you have a cocktail party to go to, and fancy a flattering, fitted dress, these could be perfect.  Just make sure you have enough time to have it altered, if need be, as the dresses are cut for a specific hourglass shape, and any shape that deviates from it causes the fabric to buckle and bulge.