I'll be trying to sort the wheat from the chaff as, I'll be honest, there is a fair bit of chaff to be found at both. They both cater for a broad market and some *may* see them as being the fuddier end of the high street. But never let it be said that I judge a shop by its old lady tendencies and yes, I do practise what I preach and have shoes and boots from both Clarks and M&S.
Now yes, I seem to be having a bit of a love in with good old Marks but honestly, their footwear is amazing. Lots of what they do is amazing. But their footwear = stand out. In a time where other high street shops are charging £50/£60/£70 for manmade shoes and boots, all hail M&S for bringing us amazing quality leather options AND with 20% off.
As I said, I am still in love with my leopard print pointy boots from last year - so much so I can't justify another pair of leopard print anything at all.
But on the subject of pointy (my current boot obsession - feeling ridiculously smug with myself that I bought my Sam Edelman ones last year and also the stud Zara ones in the sale) - these are top of my lust list.
If you needed an excuse to buy new boots and don't have a pointy pair, then call off the dogs and look no further.
All prices are PRE 20% discount - code is FOOTWEAR20 and lasts till the 23rd September. It does work on bags as well - see below....
These I love the look of - totally inspired, I will admit by the Baukjen styling from their new season. One of the reasons I always struggled with dresses was footwear. Proper shoes make them look, well, too worky or weddingy but I am totally in love with this look.
And these boots from M&S would be ideal.
M&S Collection Stain away Triple zip ankle boots with Insolia £59
And in red. I adore these in red. I could so let my inner Vivienne Westwood free in these.
Suede Triple Zip Ankle boots £59
More red boots. I have been really good about not mentioning the Toga Pulla boots which I am obsessed with (honesty obsessed - glossing over it but seriously problem time. Vaguely contemplating selling a kidney or a child to purchase) and in the meantime, this red version may well scratch the itch. They're not the same - they're not remotely the same but they're the nearest nod to them that I can find (bar some at Topshop but we'll leave those for another day)
Flat Buckle Ankle Boots £39.50 (not leather)
Now these are higher but they are Insolia boots. I have a leaflet in front of me here which goes into great detail as to what Insolia is. Suffice to say, it's a posh word for "comfy". Pretty much all you need to know.
Leather Pointed Toe Boots with Insolia £85
And in the cognac - lovely rich brown, this colour is perfect for A/W with all shades of everything.
Now these may look ever so slightly random but they are pretty much identical to the Ohio boots I have from Pied a Terre which are 5 or 6 years old now. Very like the Jalouse (which I know I bang on about tirelessly) or the Dicker but with the stud detail. You will either love or hate. I love (as I have a pair)
Twiggy for M&S Collection £69 In the black.
However I will say that as much as mine are black, I do think I prefer these in the Graphite.
NON LEATHER KLAXON.
BUT these are an unbelievably bargainous £25. Before the 20% off. (which makes them £20. I think... gifted at maths I am not)
The perfect mid heel pointed stiletto in a myriad of colours.
I'm starting with the snakeskin £25 (well £20) And even though they're not leather, they're still "Comfy" (ie M&S have cast their Insolia wand over them)
Or the black patent. Useful and then some. And low enough to wear every day (ok so not for the school run but certainly you wouldn't look like you were auditioning for a Beyonce video if you wore them out for lunch)
These to me are LK Bennett. Someone has stolen a job lot of them and has shoved them onto the shelves in M&S. They are gorgeous. Seriously seriously lovely and the perfect not work, not wedding shoe boot for the Christmas season. Buy now before they sell out (I *might* be contemplating. Seriously contemplaing ie flexing card as we speak.)
Suede Elasticated Panel Ankle Boot £59
No these aren't practical but how expensive do they look?
Suede Elastic Panel Shoe Boots in Taupe £59
Now I do like the all black personally but the navy and black together is pure class.
Again - oh hello LK Bennett??! Leather Multi-Strap Elegant Ankle Boots with Insolia £75 (whoa - upping the budget there but pre 20% off....compared to LKB prices? They're double this in the sale)
On the subject of navy, what can I say about these? See what I mean about M&S being so blasted fabulous?
Suede Stiletto High Heel Chelsea boots £69
Or a black leather pair - these would serve you so well. So so so so so well.
Leather pointed Chelsea boot £69 LOVE the mid heel on these. You could skip around London town in these (don't let me buy these as it would take one slightly boozy lunch to prove my point. Which wouldn't be pretty for anyone)
Straying a moment from pointy pointy into copy copy territory. Or should we say "taking inspiration from"....?
Whichever side of the fence you sit on, these have more than a hint of the H by Hudson Horrigans to them
Suede Wide Fit Strap Ankle Boots £59 - if you have narrow feet, I would suggest sizing down in these.
And Acne must be going err ho hum hellooooo, (actually I'm not sure they care) at these (non leather - soz) boots which are remarkably similar to their Donna boots. I know this as I bought an Acne pair and took them back. Warning - these do make your feet look bigger. If you already have big feet and don't want to look like you're wearing canoes, avoid. Otherwise they are ridiculously on trend and for £45 you can't go wrong.
Pointed Toe Western Ankle Boots £45 Also in tan.
Now I was going to look at flat shoes but frankly we'll be here forever and it's a whole different ball game, so I will explore those in a couple of days - those dreaded transition shoes that are for some reason, so hard to master.
Moving onto bags. I have a whole black bag thread up my arm as I am having a real black bag moment (even though I am determined to get through the whole season without buying a bag. She says optimistically.....)
I saw this in a mag - it's fab. Reminds me of a whole host of much more expensive bags without being an exact replica. A great size for a day handbag.
Twiggy for M&S Collection Quilted bag in khaki mix £45
They also do it in a cross body bag which is really quite cute. £35
Leather now - mink bowling bag - this is much better in the flesh than here. £69
Couldn't do a post and not include a little leopard - this one is perfect - both a clutch bag and a cross body bag, in leather for £79 before discount.
Leather Animal Print Clutch bag £79
Alas this isn't leather (WHY M&S??!) but I had to include it as it's such a cute and useful bag. On the upside, it's a great price.
Drawstring Grab Tote Bag £39.50
I was saving this for my black bag post but seeing as there's 20% off, I'm flinging it in here. Again not leather but for an every day bag, this is ideal. I've seen instore and to be totally honest, you wouldn't know it wasn't leather At All.
Front Zip Tote Bag in black M&S £35.00
And again I would defy you not to know this is leather.
Top Handle Midi Across Body bag £35
However they came good on the leather in the end at Autograph in the most delicious dove grey .
Leather Across Body Duffle bag £79 LOVE THIS
Finishing with another bowling bag - M&S really do do these well. Doesn't this one just smell of Christmas?!
Leather Greta Bowler Bag £79
Moving onto another high street shop with which I have a bit of a love hate relationship. Today though we are all about the love as I have one of my favourite pairs of shoes on which are from there and there is also a 20% off voucher if you buy two things - men's women's, shoes or bags.
Oh dear - you just have to buy two things (or even one for The Husband...? They have some fab men's shoes it does have to be said. Or you could just buy two things. Decisions decisions.... Actually you do get 10% off if you just buy one thing. Use the code BLINK for both.
Speaking of my favourite shoes, they don't have the same ones I got two years ago but they do have something similar which would give exactly the same look (I think I may actually prefer these....)
Turin Dreaming £49.99 These are definitely lower than mine which wouldn't be a bad thing to be honest.
Is there such a thing as a practical heeled boot? Well yes there is in the form of the Keswick Water in Oxblood £69.99 Now I'm not saying you could go marching in the snow in these but definitely the grip is useful in the winter in damp, leaves, slight frost etc. I have this grip on an old pair of LK Bennett boots which I have worn in the snow and not fallen over (it was actually my 40th birthday and I had had one or twenty glasses of champagne so not falling over really was a miracle)
Now I haven't even begun to think about knee high boots (being tall it's always a nighmare anyway) but these are definitely worth exploring.
Minster Echo in black £150
However I have to say my favourite boots from Clarks this year are the Kaz Blues in black combi leather £99.99 - love the mix of the patent, the plain leather and the contrast heel. Really unusual but perfect with skirts, dresses or skinny jeans.
Also available in a patent Oxblood. Clarks really do do oxblood better than anyone.
I featured their bags for the first time last year and once again they've come up trumps.
Tan bags - a classic. And this is just perfect, all rather Mulberry if you ask me - a nod to the plait etc etc. For a sniff of the cost.
Tender Boho £89.99
And a navy - again, ode to all expensive bags shape here - Tollard Bag combi leather £99.99 How gorgeous is this? Clarks you say? Really?!
And gawd there are so many more I could go on and on about (I may go in tomorrow and pap some) but I need to leave you all as we're going out for supper for the 9yr old's birthday which is tomorrow. I can't believe she's going to be TEN!
Here I am with the Clarks shoes on. Love 'em.
Rad tee - Zoe Karssen
Paint splattered khakis - Zara
Black sandals - Clarks
Black Faridah Hobo bag - Marc by Marc Jacobs
So shoes from M&S or Clarks? On your radar or nay thank you v much?