With all the different materials we have in our range, it can be a little intimidating when you first start to design your shoes. If you are anything like me, and suffer from major decision paralysis, it can be tough choosing from all our options!
That is why I've decided to break down the fabric decision making process into a few simple steps.
Firstly, I like to start with the situation that I'll be wearing the shoes in. For an everyday office heel or a versatile ballet flat, I would consider something that is durable and comfortable enough to be in all day.
Next, consider the environment - if I'm going somewhere outdoors that's likely to have me stomping across grass I would need something that is hard-wearing and can handle all types of weather. I would also most likely go with something that is easy to clean too.
Lastly, I would consider the type of outfits I plan to wear these shoes with. Do I want something that is versatile that I can wear with anything? Or do I want something that will be a statement piece and brighten up my whole outfit?
Phew! That's still a lot of things to consider! So, to help you along the design process, I've compiled a list of some of our all-time favourite materials.
If I'm creating an everyday office heel to scoot from the train to the office in then I'll use the butter soft, classic yet practical soft leather. Combining looks and durability, this ultra-vibrant lambskin offers serious bang for your buck. Consider it as the LBD of materials: polished, practical and perfect for every occasion! Soft leather can be stunning as a full design or pair it with more exuberant materials for a grounding effect!
For an even more hard wearing option, I'll go with a patent leather. It's super-durable and virtually waterproof! The trick you may not know here is that patent leather barely stretches at all where as soft leather will get to know and love your feet over time. If you've chosen a closed toe design and used patent leather then you can expect these to be a nice firm fit.
Furry, soft and stretchy suede on the other hand is full of give and may in fact stretch more than you're hoping it will over time. When you partner this with a peep toe design that has a heel (thereby pushing your feet forward) you can be almost certain that it will stretch enough to have you need to use insoles over time - which is why we include a lovely insole pack with every pair of shoes! Any suede shoes or accessories should be protected because of the permeability to stains. Because of the material's ability to take up dye so well, colours can vary a little between batches and may fade over time.
I'm loving red suede this season because it has the ability to bring a beautiful pop of colour to any outfit. You can pair it with pink suede for a great colour blocking look. Or pair it with zebra print hair to give a nod to this season's hottest monochrome look.
Hair is a very exciting material to work with because it has a great texture and is surprisingly tough to boot! Leopard print looks stunning when paired with a pop of colour. Our fave combo is pairing it with red, whether it is red suede, red soft leather or even red hair, it will instantly give your outfit that extra boost of confidence.
One thing to remember is to take extra care when storing shoes designed with hair. Over time, it can wear down and cause bald spots in really high traffic areas of your shoe!
JODIE'S TIPS ON HOW TO USE THEM
If you want to learn a little more about our materials or see them in action, click play on the video below!
What are your favourite materials to work with? What types of combinations work the best for you? Comment below to share some of your design tips and tricks!
Posted by Jodie Fox on 08 October 2013.