Baby High Heels

Baby High Heels

I’m really not sure what I think about these. Are they very silly? Yes. Do I think it is a good idea to train baby girls into thinking they need to dress up in slinky footwear? No. Would I buy some if I had granddaughters?  Hmmm…. I actually might… even at S$12.90 a pair, if only as part of some costume, like baby’s first Halloween.

There’s a bit of a disconnect going on here, starting with the fact that I refused to buy shoes for daughters #1 and #2 until they could walk. Up to that point, I thought they would do far better with their bare feet in touch with whatever they were trying to walk on. These particular items, however, cannot seriously be designed for anything but decoration – the heels are softly padded and fold down immediately, so would seriously hamper the progress of any toddler trying to walk in them.

But they are cute and rather witty, more of a joke than anything slightly sinister. And anyone who has seen how much fun little girls can have playing with grown-up shoes might reasonably consider adding some of these to the dressing-up box.


Heel Decals

How to give your shoes that designer look without spending hundreds of dollars? Well, if you are after the full ‘Louboutin’ then you could always try red enamel paint or even nail polish, otherwise there are heel decals like these.

Another fun product from Heels Diva, there are patterns ranging from hearts and houndstooth to wavy stripes and flowers, all for under S$13. According to the packaging, they ‘add a flash of personality to the arch of a pair of heels, instantly making personal statement shoes!’

The blurb also claims these are ‘easily applied’, although I would take that with a pinch of salt. The decals are peel and stick, but the shiny plastic is so thin that it tears very easily so has to be handled really carefully.

Having tried to stick them onto an old pair of heels, I would suggest you start with a brand new pair undamaged by wear and tear and completely free from the dirt and grit you pick up in the great outdoors (because however well you think you have cleaned them up, those soles will never be completely smooth again).

I would also make a template of the area you want to cover, then trace it out extremely carefully on the decals before you cut them to size. Even then, the slightest miscalculation as you start to stick them down will mean a serious overlap further along the shoe.

The major problem we found was that trimming the decals to size after application was extremely difficult. Small tears and ragged edges were impossible to avoid, although the worst of the damage was fairly easily fixed with judicious use of a black Sharpie round the edges. How long the decals will stay on remains to be seen, especially in British weather, and I await reports from ‘club night’ with interest.

 

 


Heels Diva

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Singapore is a great place for dressing up. A typical outfit for a day at the office here seems to be the sort of cocktail dress and high heels combo that you’d probably only see at Christmas in the UK, and  makes morning rush hour on the MRT a fascinating experience.

If you are already dressed to kill by breakfast, you need a great deal more bling in your handbag to carry you on from work to a night out. This is where these shoe accessories come in.

From Heels Diva, amongst other brands, they come as a variety of clips, chains and even heel wraps which you can slip on in seconds to transform your shoes into something special. The clips in particular can be added to front, back or sides of your shoes to suit your current fancy. All of them are small, light, and easy to pop into place.

They aren’t even terribly expensive, with prices ranging from S$20 to S$40, so it is easy to build up a small wardrobe of different designs which makes it look like you own way more pairs of evening shoes than you actually do. One or two in your suitcase can also transform the single pair of heels you packed to cover a variety of unexpectedly smart situations on a holiday or business trip.

We love these!

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Make Your Sandal

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Always a fan of some item you can customise at will, I was delighted by these sandals. MYS stands for Make Your Sandal, an Australian firm which gives you the pieces to do just that: a selection of basic soles with loops along the edges, a wide range of colourful  straps and ‘socks’ to thread through those loops in whatever style you choose, plus a collection of accessories for variety and decoration. You can mix and match the colours, twist and tie the straps in endless combinations, and produce a different pair of sandals every day – ideal for saving space on your travels.

The sandal bases range from AU$32-55, each pair of straps from AU$8-18, and the accessories from AU$6-14. There are plenty of ideas on the website for how to play with these, with video tutorials explaining the more complicated designs. It is all a lot of fun to play around with.

One key thing for me is that the straps are really soft, so you get none of the painful spots between your toes which can happen when you wear standard flip flops all day. There is also no reason why you can’t use your own ribbons or laces to match an outfit or vary the look. This one is a winner!


Onesole

Category : Fashion

popper sandals

How to get round that packing problem of needing different shoes to go with different outfits on your trip? This could be a solution…

Onesole is just that – you buy a single set of shoe soles then team them with a huge variety of interchangeable pop-on-and-off tops. The soles are made from comfortable polyurethane, the tops are stretchy but non-shrink neoprene, and both are impervious to rain.

They were invented by American pharmacist Dominique McClain Barteet, and are sold in more than 80 countries, although you can also buy from the full collection online. Different colours and heel heights are available, plus literally thousands of colourful snap on tops, and they cost upwards of US$85 for the basic set although there are special package deals, too.

I went for the simplest, flat, soles with a small selection of plain and patterned tops, and have had some fun with them. There’s a knack to popping the soles on, and especially off, without hurting your fingers, but that means they are very unlikely to come apart whilst you are walking. I like the fact that I can wear them in our tropical rain without any ill effects, and that they wash well and dry quickly – pretty much what you would expect considering they are made from wetsuit material.

My only complaint is that the soles tend to slap against my feet as I walk, the same way flip flops do, but with rather more noise. That means I prefer not to wear them when I am rushing around on a normal day, but find them perfect for holiday time, pottering between pool, bar and hotel room. And anything that saves on suitcase space is a winner for me!

 


Shoe Bands

Category : Fashion

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The idea is a sound one – thick plastic bands that slide over a shoe to hold it in place on your foot. If you have ever suffered the annoyance of your feet constantly lifting out of loose slip-on shoes, then this must be worth a try.

And technically, they work, although I say that with reservations.

I found these ‘stylish and functional’ offerings in Daiso, the ever-entertaining Japanese version of the £1 shop, for their standard Singapore price of S$2. The bands are sturdy enough not to come apart as soon as you put them on, and being clear they are more or less invisible. Depending on what you are wearing, they could also be covered up completely by your trousers.

That said, they were very tight, although that may have something to do with the size of my larger than Asian feet. I found they soon cut off the circulation to my toes, and at the same time were creasing the sides of my shoes. Which is why I did not wear them long enough to discover how soon the plastic would wear away on the pavement during a normal day.

But if you had small feet, and were needing something for a civilised evening out – say in a carpeted restaurant or similar, these may well work a treat.


Rain Shoes

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In tropical Asia, when it rains it rarely does so in a half-hearted fashion. You can literally see the water approaching, like the rapid advance of a dirty shower curtain, or – in extreme cases – an actual waterfall. It rains so hard you can barely see across the road, and bounces off the pavement so high you will swiftly be soaked to the knees despite your umbrella. There are days when it all gets too much for the storm drains to handle, and low-lying roads turn into rivers.

You might think I would be used to this by now, but old habits die hard and I am always taken by surprise those days when I set out in bright sunshine yet find myself wading home in ankle deep water. I cannot tell you how many pairs of pretty sandals have died a hideous death in these circumstances…

But I seem to have found an answer. Local ladies, who are usually half my size, get around just fine in Chinese-made plastic shoes designed with a lace-effect pattern of holes that let the water out. I have some, (see the picture on the left), only they are just so tight I don’t wear them for more than 10 minutes except in emergencies. Recently, however, the shoe market in Singapore has expanded to include several new brands selling bright and fashionable waterproof shoes that are nice enough to wear all day.

My favourite is Melissa, a Brazilian brand, which has such an extensive range it even includes high heels. The company, which has been going for more than 35 years now, uses a recyclable PVC which is both tough and flexible, so their shoes are comfortable as well as practical. They don’t always have the larger sizes, but my 2 pairs (above centre and right) cover most eventualities and I am very pleased with them.


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