Naturally, we also did a bit of retail therapy, including a visit to Leia Lingerie, where Hanna bought a fab Elomi bra, and Forever 21, where I bought some great belts (and wanted to buy some faux glasses but they were sold out of the style I wanted...boo).
We also stopped in Clarks. Now, when I was a child I used to get taken to Clarks by my parents to get fitted for school shoes so when I was old enough to buy my own footwear it wasn't my first port of call for fashion items. However, Clarks have taken a real step forward (pun intended) lately and this summer's collection has got some truly gorgeous shoes.
We were served by the marvellous Cat at the Bluewater Clarks store, who was incredibly patient and helpful as she went back and forth to get various styles and sizes for me to try. She also came up with suggestions on how to improve fit, which demonstrated that she really knew her stuff. What a pro! And she didn't try the 'hard sell' either, which was a relief as it can be so off-putting and sometimes makes me leave a store if I feel I can't try an item on in peace. Great work, Cat!
The first pair to catch my eye was the Scent Flower in Metallic (£44.99).
So pretty and yet so simple! These wedge sandals were very comfortable when I tried them on in 5.5 wide (yes, some of Clarks shoes come in a wide 'E' fitting) and thanks to the wedge heel and platform sole they appear to be much higher than they actually are.
You may know from reading previous posts that I find it uncomfortable and sometimes painful to wear heels for very long so platforms are great at helping me have the appearance of high heels without the problems. These sandals had plenty of width across the toe so there was lots of room for my generous tootsies and I was really quite taken with them.
I also tried on (and loved) the Trilby Tweed in Natural Combi (£44.99):
Again, both of these sandals fitted well in a 5.5 E wide fit. The platform sole is great and I love the elegance of the heel rather than a wedge on this style. As the foot straps are quite wide I think a wedge heel would have looked wrong and rather heavy somehow.
All three of these sandals are part of Clarks 'Softwear' range, which, admittedly, doesn't sound very glamorous but what it means is that these shoes are made for serious comfort as well as style. They have a cushioned insole with an extra cushion pocket beneath both the heel and the ball of your foot so it almost feels like you're walking on air!
I was lucky enough to be sent a pair of the Trilby Tweed in Black Suede by the Clarks team. I took these photos after a day at work (where I have to wear flat, covered shoes) and despite having very tired feet I had a fab time prancing around in these beauties.
I love these sandals every bit as much now as when I tried them on in store! They look great and are super comfortable and stable. I can sometimes be a little giddy on my feet so having footwear that does not make me feel wobbly is really important. The Trilby Tweed sandals fit the bill perfectly.
They are made from an incredibly soft black suede leather and fasten with a buckle at the ankle.
The straps feel really nice on my feet thanks to the supple leather lining (such a luxurious touch!). They do not pinch at all and the wide fit E width is perfect.
Here's a close-up of the insides of the sandals. You can see the cushion on the heel and ball parts of the sole which helps gives these shoes their light and bouncy feel when worn. And the pic on the right provides confirmation that these sandals are indeed wide fit - if you have wide feet like me then I would recommend that you keep an eye out for this logo in other Clarks shoes as the extra width makes all the difference to comfort.
The idea of the picture on the right is to show you how high the heel is. Clarks website states that it is 3.5-4 inches; well, I just measured down the back of the heel and made it 4"/10.5cm, with a maximum platform height of 1"/3cm. So the true heel height is 3"/7.5cm at most, which means your foot will not be pitched at quite as extreme an angle as other high heels might make you, but you still get good height. And the 330ml can of orange juice is for reference, to show you that the heel is quite a bit shorter than a regular sized can, so not so bad at all.
I haven't had the chance to wear my Trilby Tweed sandals out yet but I surely will just as soon as the weather improves again. Meanwhile I shall wear them around the house at all times and stare at them in the mirror a lot.
Have you looked at the latest range of footwear from Clarks? What do you think of it and which are your favourite pair?