Shoes can hold an extraordinary amount of power. They can quite literally elevate you. As a petite woman, heels have always been my best friend - but I'm suddenly finding shoes, like love, come in all different shapes and sizes.
The shoes above, are the ones that a few months ago, I became obsessed by. A pitch perfect shade of magenta, satin, ankle strap, 4 inch heel. They made my legs seem endless, my thighs lean, my stance confident. A classic court shoe with a delicate strap, I was just the right side of the 90s divide; heels high enough to mean business, straps strong enough to keep these babies on my feet, whatever the weather, the hour, or as is so often the case with me, the rush. In these shoes, I felt like the best version of myself; powerful, confident, stylish. At the time they were a work shoe, sometimes worn with ripped denim, sometimes with neat mid length pleats - either way they were perfection, and with them, I could rule the world.
"Motherhood wasn't going to change me. I would be one of those chic, insta-cool-mothers who wore their babies like a Birkin bag."
Eat, pray, shoe shop
Throughout my 36 years, shoes have always played a defining role in where I am in life. They are a barometer for my state of mind. Some people wear their heart on their sleeves, I wear mine on my shoes. During my first pregnancy and subsequent maternity leave, I was all delicate ballet flats in neutral shades of buttery soft leather and velvet. Practical and elegant, I wore these with skinny jeans, slub tees and the occasional 50s shift dress. I was a busy mother on the go - but never without her lipstick! Motherhood wasn't going to change me. I would be one of those chic, insta-cool-mothers who wore their babies like a Birkin bag. My return to work on the other hand, was all rock star style - vertiginous heels, long skirts and leather jackets. I was hip again, the cool older sister to my young(er) team wards. By contrast, my second pregnancy was a mix of pistol boots and Birkenstocks, I was too busy for beautiful footwear, it was cooler not to care. This time round, the last time, the return to work was marked by a purple suede ankle boot - a gorgeous, impractical thing that made me look stylish, but serious, a mother with a mission.
"They slip on with the level of comfort normally only associated with tracksuit bottoms, but somehow elevate every outfit to Prada, Marfa territory."
Little drummer girl
So what about now? Now that life is somewhere between the two (albeit slightly closer to a mid life crisis). My current obsession is a mid calf cowboy boot. Slim enough to flatter the leg, but wide enough to feel like a pair of leather wellies; almond toe and leather looped tops, with a heel neither high now low but solid enough to run(way), walk and stomp in. They slip on with the level of comfort normally only associated with tracksuit bottoms, but somehow elevate every outfit to Prada, Marfa territory. With these cowboy boots I am having it all - delicate floral tea dresses and 80s bodycon, skinny jeans and ankle length flares; these boots were made for walking. With two ankle biting know all's to cart around on a daily basis, they are also letting me be the best of what I can be right now. Somewhere between knowingly stylish and alarmingly outdated, they are the perfect metaphor for me. Sometimes I follow the fashion without even knowing it, but sometimes, I just march to the beat of my own drum.