My heyday, my early twenties, was a time of complete and utter frivolity – I suppose as it is for most. I had no concern for my health, no concern for my future and absolutely zero responsibilities. My main concern in life was how many new dresses I would need to purchase every month to go out dancing in, how long the fake hair I would apply to my own hair would be before I bordered on looking like black barbie and how few calories I could consume in a day to remain a size eight, to allow me to fit into the hundreds of Lanvin inspired party dresses I had accumulated but would never wear anywhere more than once.
During this period, which I always look back at with such delight, I had a number of completely impractical and ridiculous fashion rules. The kind of rules that nobody required to function in daily life could live by. My rules were, never wear black and white, to be fair I know a lot of people that implement this rule, never wear flat shoes – possibly this one too, never wear jeans and never wear court shoes.
To be honest, I have been unable to shake the black and white rule. When I do wear black and white, it is indeed a conscious effort. I feel comfortable, even stylish, in a Breton striped t-shirt with black jeans and red lipstick ‘a la Chanel’ or a digitally printed monochrome pair of leggings with a black tunic and gold sandals. But pairing plain white bottoms with a plain black top, or vice-versa, I simply cannot allow myself to do. I associate the colour coordination too uniform, too predictable.
In regards to the flat shoes, barring intricate or shiny gold sandals and expensive riding or biker boots, I would refuse to wear anything flat on my feet…not even a ballet pump. In fact, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still find ballet pumps pretty generic, but since commuting for work I am now the proud owner of a pair of brogues, a pair of driving shoes and a pair of moccasins.
You see there’s a pattern here with the rules that I had stipulated for myself; I clearly had a desire to display a more put together, thought out and contrived appearance as opposed to an effortless and simple look. More Olivia Palermo and Kourtney Kardashian as opposed to Kate Moss or the Olsen twins. I would avoid wearing jeans because anyone could wear jeans, now I struggle to avoid wearing my jeans and blouse ensemble, because it is so easy, never fails to look sexy and because I don’t have the time every evening to prepare a fashion forward ensemble for the next day. It sounds terrible, but it’s true!
The last rule to finally be broken is my rule of the court shoe- a rule that was only recently broken. Amidst my shoe collection, that my partner refers to as a disgrace to poverty, are every kind of shoe you can imagine; multi-coloured, wedged, laced, zipped, red, nude, Mary Jane, Miu Miu, Gucci, Cesare Paciotti, spike heeled, stack heeled, banana heeled, mirror heeled, too big, too small, too painful to wear – you name it – I have it somewhere. What I did not own, up until recently, was a pair of court shoes.
In my early twenties the only shoes I needed were the shoes that I wore when I hit the club. Most had heels bordering on the height of a stripper shoe and were as intricate and as elaborate as possible. Studded, strappy and extremely seductive. Victoria Beckham has always championed the court shoe, most predominately those wonderful almond toe YSL court shoes, and anyone who knows me will know that Victoria Beckham has been one of my most inspirational fashion figures, but I could just never get down with the whole court shoe thing. I knew my shoe collection was missing a very important shoe and I knew it was the court, but I couldn’t bring myself to purchase such a simple shoe when there were so many more exciting heels out there.
Kim Kardashian has helped me discover my love for the court shoe. Recently, I was idly clicking through pictures of Kim online, as you do, when I noticed that the reality star often opts to adorn her feet in court shoes, even when she’s attending an event. Court shoes would be the last shoe I would ever wear to a special occasion or event. I associate such a shoe with work or business meetings, but naturally Kim looks fabulous each and every time she dons her court shoes, no matter the occasion or the outfit. And that’s when it dawned on me, court shoes don’t have to be boring or serious and they’re not a fashion cop out.
Indeed they are simple, but how they elongate the leg, enhance the foot’s natural arch and leave the ankle exposed, the ankle being an appealing and understated sexy part of a woman’s body, makes them the perfect balance between sexy and classic – which is just what you need as you approach the maturer end of the 25 -29 age box. So, all the reasons that I had refused to wear or purchase a pair of court shoes beforehand are now all the reasons I now can’t get enough of them. I love their simplicity and, more than anything, I love their versatility.
As I don’t go out as much as I did in my heyday, I no longer need that elaborate shoe that I once wore clubbing, but I still need an edgy shoe for the evenings. I love that the right court shoe can totally transform a jeans and shirt ensemble for the day, but with a high enough platform, will still look amazing with a little body-con dress for a night out. I love that they’re classic and that they’ll still look super chic twenty years from now – even after fashion has changed, reformed and reacted. But what I would love more than anything, would be to have a court shoe collection populated with as many Christian Louboutin pumps (as the Americans call them) as Kim Kardashian’s. After all, surely it was Mr Louboutin that made the masses realise the fashion credibility of a court shoe!
As they say in life, never say never. And isn’t fashion totally emblematic of that sentiment? Gotta love it!
Be charmed, stay inspired! x