It was the unlikely event of a random Next Directory being left on my mum’s doorstep which started all this. She and I were having cheese on toast at the kitchen table, wondering when the weather would lift and pondering ways to wear our summer dresses prematurely without looking utterly ridiculous (I’m always up for looking ridiculous in the name of fashion while my mum thinks wearing skirts in winter is “draughty”) when the Next Directory caught my eye. A casual flick through the hundreds of pages – it’s now bigger than an encyclopedia – revealed something so unexpectedly fabulous, I nearly choked on my crusts. Red boots. Not dark red or cherry red but unashamedly all over tomato primary coloured red boots. They were ankle boots, chunky heeled and suede-ish and there wasn’t a hint of hooker about them.
You don’t believe me do you? I can see you wincing and backing away from the screen. Or are you just scrolling down to see if there’s a picture of them?
Well, they really weren’t hookerish at all and styled with the worn in denim and bed head hair of the model, they looked as fresh as a daisy. I knew I had to have them but I didn’t get them there and then (it’s my mum’s fault, she offered me pudding) despite the very reasonable £68 price tag. It was a huge mistake. I spent a weekend in Rome dragging my boyfriend in and out of shoe shops in search of red boots and berated myself as I saw image after image posted on Instagram showcasing similar boots doing their thing with a matching slick of scarlet lipstick or an oversized mannish overcoat. There was no doubt about it, the red ankle boot was where it was at and when finally another fashion blogger posted a picture of herself in the very Next boots I’d spotted all those weeks ago, I went into a blind panic. While my boyfriend was in the shower, I went onto the Next website. Now I’ve been to Rome several times but that doesn’t justify shopping online from the hotel room – nobody in the history of shopping goes onto the Next website when in Rome. “You’re very quiet… are you doing your social media-ing?” called out the boyfriend. Naturally I called back that I was texting my sister.
The Next boots were sold out in every size but 8.
I think a red boot in a size 8 might be a bit too much red boot but I’m sure those remaining pairs will find happy homes in the end. As for me, afore-mentioned blogger tipped me off that Top Shop did a very similar boot and so having learned my lesson the hard way, I immediately purchased myself a pair and later on informed my son he had kindly bought me my birthday present while he was at school that day. He wasn’t very pleased – “Mummy, do you know what the hottest colour of the season is?” he demanded. “It’s pink.” Turns out the clever clogs had looked at more than just the article I wrote for S magazine a couple of weeks ago.
So anyway, the boots are on their way and I am contemplating dusting off my Ruby Woo by Mac lipstick because bright red suddenly seems very modern and it’s a simple way to update exactly what you are wearing now until it’s warm enough to go full throttle on the spring garb.
And yes, pink may very well be hot right now but if the pink doesn’t feel quite right with your vitamin D starved skin in the doom and gloom of late February, then please give red a go because a little splash of it goes a long way, it doesn’t have to be top to toe and it doesn’t have to be next to your face if that feels too scary. There is a red for everyone and I won’t hear otherwise, but that said, if you get the wrong red for your skin tone, it can be very wrong.
That’s why accessories are the answer to this trend. There are lots of gorgeous red dresses and tops out there if you have the nerve but if you don’t then go for the pop. It really works as an instant brightener – a bit like Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – just look how lovely this page looks with the odd bit of red here and there. Personally I’m hoping, with eye-catching bright red feet, people will be far less likely to notice my split ends and the irritated skin on my face.
My book SHOPPED is available to buy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Shopped-Story-Secret-Shopping-Self-Discovery/1910463302