I have a bit of a head block when it comes to leopard print footwear. It always feels a bit 'out there' and that aule cow Bet Lynch is partly to blame. I think for me, she made 'full on' leopard print middle aged & desperate and I cringe when people use terms to describe leopard that include her name! No, I am not wearing a 'bit of Bet' today...because that just makes me feel like I've 'TRAGIC' tattooed across my forehead.
Don't get me wrong, I do like leopard accessories...scarves, glasses, belts. It's footwear, and specifically the wearing of leopard footwear in daylight hours that up until now, I always declared never for me.
But we're on a theme here of being brave - so meet my new leopard print boots.
I got them at an event Next organised in Belfast last week. Next are one of the few big brands that make an effort to come over to Belfast regularly with their UK-based team and meet bloggers and when they contacted me to say that the event they were organising was a shoe event...well I was ALL over it.
Held in their Donegal Place flagship store, we were treated to pedicures and sweet treats and offered the opportunity to try on as many pairs of shoes as we wanted and bring a pair home. I passed on the pedi and food and went straight for the trying on. Priorities.
I thought I knew what I would pick - I'd seen some fab mules online
these gorgeous wooden heeled court shoes have been worn by several of my favourite bloggers on Instagram
These orange/red boots have been all over the press and are rather fabulous (as modelled by Rosanna).
You're not allowed to call yourself a fashion blogger unless you have a pair of metallic loafer style shoes at the moment..
and this is definitely the Spring/Summer of fabulous flats
I was strongly drawn throughout to the leopard. But I kept talking myself out of them and instead tried on EVERYTHING else. But 1.5 hours and a lot of enabling later (Jess & Rosanna, I'm looking at you!), I went back and got the boots. Size down by the way.....they're generous.
Then in much the same way as you'd face your fears with anything else, the next day I wore these full-on fabulous boots in daylight in Belfast for the whole day. I walked around Holywood, trudged up and down the Cregagh Road, parked a mile away from a coffee shop on the Ormeau Road and did the school run twice. All in these boots.
Do you know what? They are SO comfortable....I was able to stride out in them and they didn't pinch or rub anywhere. The heel height is perfect - small enough for day to day but high enough that I know they would work really well at night too. Jess has made me promise to wear them with black cigarette pants, a black cashmere jumper and a leather jacket. She's a good enbaler.
I'm not entirely there yet...these things take time but I'm half way to overcoming my leopard footwear fears and I'm now associating them with being fierce and fabulous (thanks for that one Michelle!). Watch this space.
Rather appropriately, this is what I wore to the Next event. I dug out the M&S leopard print midi skirt that I promised I'd wear on my being brave post from the other week. I got laughed out of the house...the husband and son really don't get midi skirts at all. I wonder if now fierce I felt that night had something to do with the boots being chosen?!
Skirt - M&S Winter Sale (down to £11.49!)
Black Cashmere Crew Neck - John Lewis (AW16)
Black Studded Boots - Zara (years old)
Cross Body Bag - Boden (past season)
Winning at the #BeingBrave at the moment.... *punching hand emoji*
Disclaimer - I was gifted the shoes by the team at Next but was not paid to or required to blog about them. All the words are my own. (My goodness...who on earth else could come up with them?!) Thank you for supporting the brands who support this blog...especially the ones who come all the way from England bouncing about in a plane while Storm Doris rages #respect