I am short and rather round, with asymmetrical boobs and really wide feet. As you can imagine, trying to find clothes and shoes that both fit properly and suit me can be really distressing! I remember once as a chubby teenager shopping at Camden Market and trying on a T-Shirt that literally had “One Size Fits All” written as the size. As T-Shirts are usually a bit stretchy, I naively believed what was written on the label, tried it on, then shortly afterwards had to ask for help getting out of the damn thing!
I seriously doubt I am alone in this situation, and although, yes, I could shed a few pounds, I don’t feel like I should have to completely change myself to conform to the norms of mainstream fashion (most of us will never be anything like the six foot tall anorexics that grace the catwalk, so why should we try to be?). I acknowledge that Plus and Petite ranges have improved over the years, but I still find them much more restricted than the mainstream ranges, and don’t necessarily suit people who are both short and larger than a size 8. What also doesn’t help is that when you shop in the likes of Topshop or River Island there are those unmissable images of super skinny models above the tills, then the impulse buys in the queue area are literally nothing but bags of sweets. It’s a good job I’m not a comfort eater!
What prompted me to start writing was a pair of shoes that made me feel like I’d finally made a breakthrough. Usually, the only shoes that fit me properly are size 6 trainers, or an extra wide size 4½ pair of granny shoes from the likes of Clark’s or M&S, so nothing particularly pretty or fashionable. However, when I got made redundant and had to update my wardrobe for interviews and hopefully a new job, I came across the beauties pictured below by Red Or Dead (£60 from Schuh). I bought these from Schuh’s Oxford Street store, where I was assisted by a lovely member of staff, who kindly listened to my wide feet problems, and suggested things like insoles and heel grips. The shoes are a size 5, and guess what – my heels don’t slip out at the back, and I didn’t have to stretch them out with a ton of balled up newspaper to stretch them out before wearing them (oh the joys of real leather!). This also meant that I didn’t need to spend any more money on any extras like heel grips or insoles. Another plus is that my feet weren’t entirely ripped to shreds after the first wear, which is another common problem for me.
For the first time, I feel like I haven’t been beaten by fashionable footwear!