Oddly enough, I seem to have both...
Every January I try to decide what I really need from my wardrobe and makeup in the coming year.
I will be 50 in the spring, and I feel that my style, such as it is, is condensing ever more tightly: clean lines, knit skirts, stretch trousers, block colours and a bit of vintage interest.
However, I'm pretty well catered for in my daily uniform of long-sleeved tees, jeans, cashmere knitwear and winter fleeces. What constitutes my principal, over-riding sartorial problem is shoes.
Footwear has become a bloody nightmare over the past few years, as I can find very little I can actually walk in. Not only do I seem to have absolutely no padding in the soles of my feet any more, so I feel every step as a jarring pain, especially down the outer edges of my feet and in my second toes, I am also plagued with surgical scars on my left sole. And wearing Crocs, as advised by my podiatrist, means my feet have spread.
Heels above 2in are now out of the question, but it is very hard to find heels under 3in, and many flats are just too flat - a 1.5in heel is about perfect, but they seem so very hard to find. The soles on women's shoes are normally paper thin, so you can feel every grain of sand on the pavement, so I now need thicker soles, and I also need support from my shoes - something that actually grips and supports the foot (you know, like MEN wear every bloody day without even thinking twice about it).
Dainty little shoes like ballet slippers are no use at all and even my Lands' End loafers are only good for short periods, as the heel is too low and there is no way of tightening the shoe across the foot in order to provide support. I feel brogues heading my way...
The only shoes I now feel really comfortable in are my Aigle wellies, Ecco trainers, Trex walking boots, Crocs and Fly Flot sandals, which have a shock-absorbing conformable sole. All very well, but - other than the sandals, which are fine for summer - what does one wear with a dress?
It looks to me very much like I am about to have a complete change of style and become that dress-with-biker-boots chick I've never been in my life, dammit.
The thing is, I crave girly boots like this green pair, which have been my best boots for a fair few years now. They're everything I love - suede, coloured, pointy toed, stiletto heeled. The only problem is, I can't actually walk very far in them any more. They're fine for car to bar but utterly useless for anything over a few minutes walking.
What I would like now is something styled like this but with a cushioned sole and a lower heel or a wedge. And affordable, otherwise I'd be heading straight for Arche, but sadly, at $400 a pop, these are way out of my price range.
So the other day, I bought myself a pair of Fly Flot boots (top right) - far more affordable at about £70 in the sale, including postage (you can take it as a given, btw, that I will not be buying footwear here in France, where it is two or three times UK prices).
Fly Flot, with their conformable soles, are a brand I trust. These little babies in burgundy Portuguese leather can be tightened across the top and I think the shade is kinda pretty and will go with most things, including jeans and my new jersey dresses from Wall. The sole is an Air Function anatomic wedge and the boot gets 4.7 stars on the Pavers website, which is where I ordered from.
Panties was just something I put in to have a headline, but come to think of it, big sis bought me some pretty near perfect new pants - M&S no VPL low leg full briefs. Laser cut microfibre, a bit of lace, plenty of coverage and they don't head for your bum crack as soon as they're on - just fire and forget.