Wednesday, 5 May 2010

J'aime my New Boots

Despite the fact that I'm approximately 3 feet taller, it seems that CBeebies' Pui and I have some wardrobe crossover: namely a red, ruffly, flamingo-print blouse from Next that I bought last year as a 2nd trimester top. I hardly wore it then, and never wear it now, but hang on to it purely because it delights The Princess and Master C so much when she wears it. "Mum-meeeeeee! Pui's stolen your top!! Call the police, she stole your flamingo top!" Cue two pairs of little feet thundering upstairs to check whether it's still in my closet: sometimes I get there first and hide it.

And then there was the time, about 18 months ago, that she wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the Eiffel Tower and the words "J'aime Paris". I wouldn't call myself fashion forward but I was that day: forward enough to email CBeebies and ask where, please, might I find one? Much to my chagrin, they didn't answer.

Variations on those tops are everywhere at the moment - I've seen them in Oasis and River Island, for starters, but, still sulking about CBeebies and their blatant disregard for my interest in their broadcasts, I've refused to buy one on the grounds of general bloody-mindedness.

But then I was tinkering around on the New Look site one day, after a fellow fashion-obsessionista bought and spoke highly of their turned-up chinos. Height-wise, she's of Pui-like proportions (though much slimmer) but I'm not about to let that put me off: add to bag, and while we're at it, we may as well fill it up because, well, it would be a waste of the delivery man's time not to, wouldn't it? So although I was iffy about their take on the Gay Paree thing - a long-sleeve cotton knit saying "J'adore Paris" on an Eiffel Tower background - it was a tenner and worth a punt.

Unlike the CBeebies lot, New Look emailed me: to say that despite my size appearing to be available when I placed the order, it actually wasn't. I can take a hint - clearly my love of Paris is not destined to be advertised, at least not across my chest.

In fact, most of that New Look order wasn't meant to be. The chinos looked good but were of dubious quality: my fingers went straight through the inside-pocket seam when I thrust my hands in and affected a nonchalant pose in front of the glass doors (this household's answer to a mirror). There were a few tops and t-shirt dresses - too dull to write about and certainly too dull to keep. And then there were the suede lace-up ankle boots.

In the store (despite the free returns policy, I've decided I don't trust Royal Mail) the harassed assistant is struggling to fill out the returns form, her naturally loopy handwriting crabbed and awkward in the teeny boxes provided for the 'reason for return'. "Didn't like it," I say flatly. "Didn't like it. Didn't like it. Lousy quality. Didn't like it."

It's when we get to the boots, however, that she gets really flustered. "Reason for return?" she asks. I lean over the counter conspiratorially. "Well the thing is, right, almost as soon as I bought them for £50, they got reduced to £20! So I've reordered them at the lower price, and I'll leave these ones with you."

She looks at me, looks at the form, looks vaguely horrified. I affect nonchalance, rather well after all that practice with my reflection.

A few days later, the £20 boots arrive. I'm surprised by how much I like them, but I really do: comfortable, heel high enough to make my legs look longer and slimmer but not so vertiginous that I can't wear them when I'm with the children. I rather like them with my Leona Edmiston tea dresses and lucky-find trench, and love them with my skinny jeans, slightly turned up to sit just above the boots, and a sand-coloured linen tee from Zara. Wearing this to Sunday lunch, my flat-shod friend goes to kiss me and complains that I am too tall. I don't think anyone's ever going to say that to Pui. Not that I'm still smarting from the email incident or anything (oh no) but you know what? She can keep her bloody Paris tee.

Paris sweater photo from, other pics mine. I admit, I ain't no stylist, nor photographer!


  1. oh my those boots really are great! screw all the other items!
    now I want to see the boots ON you :)
    cute blog xx

  2. Lovely boots - a great find. New Look can be very hit and miss. I'm waaaaaay too old to venture into their shops and try to get through the teenage girls to the clothes, but I order online from them sometimes. Was it me who mentioned the chinos? A colleague recommended them but I didn't buy them in the end - feel too pear-shaped in these peg leg things. Not for me! xx

  3. no, it was someone else. I agree though - my hips are broad enough without having to emphasise them! x