The New Shoe Heaven at Harrods

I might not have a huge, gorgeous collection of shoes, but I do admire and love them.  So many shoes are like little works of art, how can you not love them?  If you love shoes too, you’ll be really impressed and amazed with the new Shoe Heaven at Harrods that opened yesterday.

Harrods Shoe Heaven has taken over the fifth floor of their Knightsbridge store and covers an impressive 42,000 square foot.  Imagine that, 42,000 square foot of shoe shopping nirvana.  Harrods has created a new way of shopping with velvet banquet lounge seating, private shopping suites, and best of all beautifully crafted displays.  Within the overall space they have seventeen individual boutiques with collections from all of the leading designers and brands.  Here’s just a small sampling of the more than fifty designers represented in Shoe Heaven:

A little piece of Shoe Heaven at Harrods
A little piece of Shoe Heaven at Harrods
  • Aquazurra
  • Bottega Veneta
  • Chanel
  • Charlotte Olympia
  • Christian Louboutin
  • Giuseppe Zanotti
  • Jimmy Choo
  • Lanvin
  • Salvatore Ferragamo
  • Tod’s
  • UGG Australia

If there’s a shoe or style that you are looking for, there’s no way you won’t be able to find it here!  I can’t wait to do a little shoe shopping now.  You can find out more about the wonderful new shoe boutique at Harrods, including a full list of the designers, on the Harrods website.

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Scholl Party Feet Gel Cushions

Scholl Party Feet Gel Cushions
Scholl Party Feet Gel Cushions

I don’t wear heels very often, so when I do, it pretty much kills my feet.  And depending on what kind of heels, and how high they are, that pain can come almost immediately, it seems.  There’s also the added issue of your feet sliding around sometimes in your heels because the insole is too slick, or your feet get sweaty (we all sweat, it happens) when you have all of the pressure on the ball of your foot.  So, when I saw an ad for the Scholl Party Feet gel cushions, I thought I would give them a try and see how they worked for me.  I have to say, I was pretty pleased with the results.

The Scholl Party Feet Gel Cushions are clear silicone (I think though they just say “gel”) pad that gives the ball of your foot a little bit of cushion so that you can wear heels without pain.  The gel cushion has a bit of sticky on one side that you put towards the insole to keep the pad in place, while the side that goes towards your foot has little thin bumps to help keep your foot from slipping.  The pads are pretty thin, so it isn’t ever going to be as cushiony as wearing a pair of trainers.  However, it is just enough cushion to keep your foot more comfortable.  Where I think the real benefit comes from, at least for me, is that it keeps your foot from sliding forward putting additional pressure on your toes and the areas of your foot that definitely weren’t meant for cushioning.  They are super grippy if you are using them when you are not wearing tights or hose, but they also work remarkably well with them, which is great because you don’t have to worry about your foot sliding around all night just because you wanted to have something covering your legs.

A bit of comfort for your foot without being obvious
A bit of comfort for your foot without being obvious

The little bit of added volume in your shoe, could make your shoe uncomfortably tight across the top, so it really does depend on the type of shoe.  Also, I think if you have a very high arch you might get the same problem.  I have a pretty high arch and I have found that these work really well in strappy sandal type of heels but can be a bit too tight with heels that are more closed across the top.  So, it is a bit of a trial period for any shoe/foot combination, I think.  The latest ones are 17% slimmer than the previous version though, so they have improved the slimness so that you have that little bit more space for your feet.  This also might mean that if you have tried these in the past, you might want to give them another shot.

The gel cushions are meant to be reusable, meaning that you can take them out of one pair of shoes and pop them in another.  However, I would caution about is that the sticky substance that keeps the cushion in place, is something you shouldn’t leave for a long time in your shoe if you plan on removing it.  You need to remove it within a day or you might end up damaging the insole of your shoe when you remove it.  I’ve never had this problem because I remove them right after I take my shoes off, but I’ve read a couple of reviews that mention this as a problem.  Alternatively, you can just keep the cushions in your shoes permanently.  No matter if you keep them in a single pair of shoes, or move them about, you’ll probably be happy to hear that they are totally washable, as well.  Also, since the cushions are clear, when you have them in strappy type heels they are pretty invisible and really blend in well with the insole of your shoes.

You can buy these at a lot of different retailers, like Boots or Superdrug, or Amazon.  I got mine from Amazon for £4.19, which is the same price as Superdrug.  Both of which are a bit cheaper than the £4.99 they cost at Boots.  I think the price seems quite good because these are going to last quite a while, I would imagine.  Plus, at that price you could definitely afford to buy a couple of pairs and consider just leaving them in a pair of heels permanently.  If your problem isn’t really cushioning for the ball of your foot, you might want to check out some of the other products that they have in the Scholl Party Feet lineup.  They pretty much have cushioning for all of the problem areas of your feet.

Style Notebook: Summer Sale Bargains

As you probably know, all of the stores have been having terrific Summer sales, which are sadly starting to wind down.  Though sometimes you can get even better deals right at the end of the sale because there have been additional reductions.  I took full advantage of the sales recently to pick up some great new pieces to add to my wardrobe.  Well, one of the items wasn’t actually on sale, but was still a good deal.  All in all, I came out way ahead and now have some great new clothes.  You can’t beat that!

My Super Savings during Summer Sales
My Super Savings during Summer Sales

I can’t believe all of the good deals there were this Summer.  I tried to keep myself in check and I think I did a pretty good job even with just one impulse buy of the not on sale scarf from John Lewis.  But, for £20.00, I don’t feel that guilty.  All total, I ended up saving £135.00 on my recent sale purchases, or just over 33% on the originally priced total.  And spending £289.00 is certainly better than spending £424.00.  I mean, with that kind of savings, I could maybe hit up the final reductions at a few more sales even.

As you can see pretty easily, my biggest spend and biggest savings, came from Jaeger.  They have great final reduction prices on now and still have a decent amount of items in a variety of sizes too.  I am actually thinking that I might have to take just another peek through their sale to see if there’s anything else I should pick up; I’m sure there’s at least one or two things.  The Patch Pocket Silk Blouse is something that I’ve had my eye on for a while but really cringed at paying the full £120.00 for it, so when I saw it in the sale for £40.00 off, I knew I had to get it.  The shirt is beautifully tailored as you would expect from Jaeger.  The silk is a bit heavy for the hot part of Summer but will be perfect when it starts transitioning to Fall; it’s pretty wearable all year long, just not on a hot Summer day.  I got mine in Blue, but they also have Navy, Bright Coral, Camel, and Ivory.  They’ve reduced the Navy to just £60.00, the other colours are all still £80.00, except for Ivory which is still full price, of course.  I also got a beautifully designed pair of white Linen Shorts, reduced from £80.00 to £60.00.  These are very long shorts coming to the bottom of my knee.  They are made from a very nice linen, not that super thin stuff, and are also fully lined so that you’re not showing your pants; that is not an elegant look.  I really like them and find they are perfect for wearing in the evening to dinner, but equally as nice during the day for errands and shopping.  I like them so much I’m actually thinking of getting a black pair too, while the sale is still on.

This was my first order from Baukjen and I have to say, so far, I’m liking it.  I got the top and cardigan both in the same colour, but not necessarily to wear together.  The fabric is an incredibly soft viscose jersey that feels great on and is the perfect lightweight layer for Summer.  The Cowl Top drapes beautifully because of the lightness of the fabric and is rather flattering.  The Drape Cardigan feels similarly nice on and looks perfect with a cute little tank under it for something that is ideal for a cooling Summer evening.  I also like that these are great for travel because they fold up quite small and don’t seem to get terribly wrinkly looking.  Either of these pieces look great with my new white linen shorts from Jaeger too.  The sale is still on at Baukjen but they do seem to be quite limited on sizes now.

The ballet flats from Merrell were something that I was actually replacing.  I bought a pair of these last year when we were in Australia for a wildly inflated price, that really irritates me now in retrospect.  In any case, they seemed really comfortable at first and then I realized when we were on holiday in Japan that the left shoe was mis-cut so that the upper was off center and that caused it to dig into the top of my foot in a most uncomfortable way.  So, then I was stuck with this stupid pair of shoes that I couldn’t take back and I had already worn.  So, I was annoyed but willing to give them another chance when I saw the shoes on sale this Summer.  The price of £49.00 that I paid during the sale was way less than I paid in Australia and seemed reasonable, as long as I didn’t get another pair that were messed up too.  I was quite relieved when they arrived and were perfect, and perfectly comfortable.  The Vibram barefoot sole is so comfortable, even if you’ve been out walking all day.  They are just as comfortable as having a pair of trainers on, but certainly look much nicer.  The upper of the shoe is a very, very soft leather that feels comfortable from the very first time you put on the shoes.  The insole is made from M-Select FRESH which keeps your shoes from getting a bit whiffy when you’re wearing them without socks in warm weather.  All in all a great shoe as long as it is put together properly.  Sadly, the sale at Merrell has ended, so these are back to their full price of £70.00.  I’d like to get a pair of the black ones too but I’ll have to wait until the next sale perhaps.

The John Lewis Birdie Branch Scarf was a total impulse buy.  I popped in for a super small umbrella and casually looked through the scarves that are right next to it and totally fell for the cute bird print in crisp navy and white.  It wasn’t on sale but was just £20.00 so it seemed like a reasonable price.  I’ve worn it a couple of times this Summer and it just adds that bit of something to outfits.  I did get an ivory cashmere scarf for just £10.00 that was way on sale from like £30.00 or 40.00, so I felt good about that and will be really pleased with that purchase this Winter.  Also, I really recommend the small umbrella too for £18.00.  It is small enough that when you are walking along on the sidewalk you aren’t in danger of putting anyone’s eye out but it is just wide enough for one person.  The small size of it though means that it can fit in even a tiny handbag, so you don’t have to be without an umbrella, which is kind of important here in the rainy UK.

I hope you made out as well in all of the great Summer sales!  And if you haven’t taken advantage of them yet, you’d better hurry because pretty much every store is on their final reductions.

Check out Net-A-Porter’s Sister Site: The Outnet

Do you have a weakness for designer clothing, beautiful shoes, and great designer accessories?  But maybe you really hate paying the high prices often associated with those types of items?  Well, you’re in luck because The Outnet is an outlet store that is perfect for the fashion lover on a budget.  They offer great fashion items for HUGE discounts, some as much as 75% off.

THE OUTNET:  The Most Fashionable Fashion Outlet
THE OUTNET: The Most Fashionable Fashion Outlet

The Outnet was created by the team behind Net-A-Porter and has over 250 designer brands.  Their collection is as carefully curated as that on Net-A-Porter so that you are getting a great selection at outstanding prices.  Sure, it’s not all from the latest collections, but for 60% off, you can probably deal with that.  Since they offer more than 250 designers, you should be able to find just about any brand that you love, designers like Alice + Olivia, Charlotte Olympia, Diane von Furstenberg, Issa, Miu Miu, Temperley London, Tory Burch, and Valentino.  Seriously, there are a ton of great designers to choose from.  Plus, they get new arrivals every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday so there is fresh stock quite often.  Since they are a sister company of Net-A-Porter, I imagine that the customer service will be just as outstanding too, with nice shipping options and easy returns.

And before you start having flashbacks of all of the horrible outlet stores you’ve ever been in before, with their out of date and ugly options, I will just say that this is not that outlet store.  The selection does not seem to be made up of all of the ugliest designer items ever created, most everything I have seen while browsing it is still just as gorgeous as you would expect from the designers.  The only downside is the limited selection of sizes.  Since it is an outlet, not every size is available so it might take some extra searching by you to find something.  However, you can quite easily search by size so that you only see the things that will work for you.  Also, if you sign up for their newsletter you can select a size and they will tailor your emails for your specified size to make your shopping time more efficient.

I really like their “Dress Me” section since I’m not that great at putting things together all the time.  They list different style types or occasions so that you can see some example outfits and buy the looks that you like.  They have a tailored selection of the appropriate clothing, accessories, shoes, and bags so that you can pull off a specific look.  It certainly makes shopping a little easier, especially on a site that has so wide a selection.  I can’t wait to really take a good look around and find some deals!

And to make it even more attractive, right now they are offering free shipping.  You just have to enter SHIPFORFREE during checkout.

I’m in Love with these Lanvin Boots

Lanvin Blue Suede Ankle Boots
Lanvin Blue Suede Ankle Boots

Every once in a while you see something while doing a little internet shopping, that just really catches your eye.  That’s how it was for me with these lovely suede ankle boots.  I got my daily email update from Net-A-Porter this morning and immediately was drawn to these.  I don’t know if it is the colour or what, but I just love them.  I’m not even the kind of girl that wears heels this high.  Ever.  But I want them. Here’s what the editors at Net-A-Porter have to say about my new favourite boots that I don’t own:

Heel measures approximately 95mm/ 4 inches. Crafted from supple suede, Lanvin’sbright-blue ankle boots fit like a glove. This beautifully sleek and luxurious pair fastens with a gold zip, which makes them easy to slip on and off.

I like that they had to bold the heel height.  Honestly, I thought they were going to be higher than 4 inches, but that’s plenty high enough to someone like me that is afraid of heights, especially when the height is all coming from my own shoes.  I wonder how comfortable they would be to actually wear? Aside from the heel height, the other most shocking thing is the whopping £665.00 price tag.  That’s enough to make me a little light headed.  I love them but I’m not sure my love can survive that kind of spending.  I’ve seen them on another site in black, which is more mix and matchable with things in my wardrobe.  Of course, I did lose a little bit of the infatuation with the black  boots.

As a result of sticker shock, I immediately started to search for something with the same look as these Lanvin beauties, but for a lower price.  So far I haven’t had all that much luck finding a replacement.  There’s just nothing that has the same instant appeal for me.  I did find some Giuseppe Zanotti boots that were nice, but not as alluring, but the price was just £100.00 less, so that’s not really that big a difference.   So, I guess I’ll keep drooling over these from afar, while I search for something less pricey but still as lovely.