FastFreddy2

"Last minute" meeting around the UK?

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Leaving late on Friday meant a visit to Kensington wasn't on the cards, so I'll have to make that trip another day.

Instead, I went for a very late walk around the South Bank. Stopped for food on the way, just off of Tottenham Court Road. Arriving a little after 8.30 and leaving a tad after 10. Service was slow but the food was good. Friday nights in town, are always going to busy....

I'd thought the wind might pick up later, especially around the river, but it didn't. It was a warm night, despite walking by the river. There were fireworks at Somerset House, which looked good to me, but got some unpleasant headlines the next day. Apparently, one or two people confused the fireworks with bombs. I was there, and there was no need for any confusion. If you were close enough to hear the fireworks, you were close enough to see them. In fact we saw them BEFORE we heard them. Must have been some sort of black-tie gig, as we passed about 60 people walking toward Cannon Street station along the Embankment on our return journey. At least 50 of them were men? Mostly over 60 years old too.

The walk was a challenge, especially in 5 inch heels. I was by no means a marathon, but with a belly full of food, the warm air (no refreshment) and the heels all made for an interesting walk. We returned to the car for just past 1am, not getting home until almost 2am. Even out in the sticks, the air was warm, and my feet were still cooking warm. 

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Posted (edited)

We Brits in the South are experiencing a mini (thank goodness) heatwave in June, not seen for 20 years. 

I live in house with a "South facing garden" with my bedroom at the back of the house. It's been unbearably warm the last couple of days, and I have slept on the couch the last two nights. We have at least another two days of this, and I'm struggling to function. Any plans I had for wandering in heels has had to be postponed, as I never feel comfortable while 'leaking'. When younger, I didn't sweat much, if at all. Now older, I only have to look at a hot drink, for me to start leaking through every pore. Yet another one of the 'trials and tribulations'  of getting older. Such fun!

Some time in Winter I will be looking forward to warmer days, drier days, but right now .... I'd welcome a couple of days of showery overcast weather. Obviously, "there's no pleasing some people" and I might be one of them .... 18-22 degrees C is the ideal temperature for me. Preferably with "Altostratus translucidus" (its says here) which is a high thin hazy cloud producing a very light shadow on the ground on an otherwise bright clear day, together with dry air and just a hint of a breeze. I get to see days like this, perhaps once every 3 years? :rolleyes: Although they are probably more frequent in places away from an ocean.

So Kensington next week then .... B) 

  

 

Edited by FastFreddy2

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Posted (edited)

Growing old is not for the faint of heart.

It certainly has been warmish the past few days with temperatures expected to get up to 30C again today. I really can't call that hot weather - for me 'hot' doesn't start until 35C at least - but the stickiness is less than pleasant. I certainly have not been the least bit tempted to wear my boots! 

My favourite sort of day would be 27C with a taut blue sky. In Australia one sees that often. Again, perhaps not the best weather for otk boots, but a lovely day nonetheless. 

Edited by Shyheels

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Posted (edited)

The only time I enjoy a bright blue sky, is during Winter, early Spring or late Autumn. Otherwise, likely too hot for me.

I once experienced 35' in Ibiza. I barely left the pool. Could be that temperature up here in the Home Counties today. It's just ridiculously hot. While other countries might experience these or even greater temperatures (a Turkish friend once told me she expects 40' in Istanbul during the summer) it's something local people have acclimatised to, and is something that usually happens with the progression of the climate through the season, and would include historic experience. I'm pretty sure that doesn't apply here?

We Brits can quite literally have overcoat weather one day, and record breaking temperatures (for the month) a week later. This is pretty much what has happened over the last two weeks. If I remember correctly, twice during the week beginning the 5th of June, my central heating started up. One day, continuously from 6-10pm, so the full evening period. A week later, it gets warm enough to walk around the house naked (I hear) and a couple of days later, too hot to walk around naked. We had some conversation previously about temperature rises of 10 degrees over a short period. We are now talking about a 20 degree rise, and from nowhere.

If I lived in Spain, these temperature swings might be 'usual' over a single day, meaning night time temperatures might fall, though falling 20 degrees? Our temperatures surely 'swing' more than most, and is why (I'm led to believe) our weather is so hard to predict. I am thankful we don't have a summer that includes 3 months of 30' temperatures. Though if it was typical, I would have invested in some air-con by now. :) 

I'm very much looking forward to some cooler weather. B)

 

P.S.

School's out for the summer! Pupils sent home on the hottest June day since 1976 in 93F heatwave... and they've EVEN cancelled the donkey rides

  • Mercury hit 93F (33.9C) at Heathrow, west London - making it the hottest June day for 40 years
  • It is also the warmest Summer Solstice on record, beating the previous record of  89F (31.7C) 
  • Andover Church of England Primary School, Hampshire, closed its doors at 11.30am this morning 
  • Donkey rides at Coney Beach in Porthcawl, South Wales, suspended because it was too hot for the animals 
  • Ambulance service in London has seen 'unprecedented demand' during current heatwave
  • Argos is struggling to cope with demand for electric fans, particularly in London   

 

Full article >> here <<

It's not just me ..... ;)

Edited by FastFreddy2

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Warmest weather I ever experienced was 53C in sub-Saharan Africa; coldest was minus-56C.  Both were fairly unpleasant. 

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2 hours ago, Shyheels said:

Warmest weather I ever experienced was 53C in sub-Saharan Africa; coldest was minus-56C.  Both were fairly unpleasant. 

I would take two doses of the cold, over one of each any day. I have no doubts both would be extremely uncomfortable though. Well done you. :huh:

Needless to say, "I hope they pay you what you're worth." It's not usually the case. 

 

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1 hour ago, FastFreddy2 said:

I would take two doses of the cold, over one of each any day. I have no doubts both would be extremely uncomfortable though. Well done you. :huh:

Needless to say, "I hope they pay you what you're worth." It's not usually the case. 

 

It most certainly isn't the case, being paid what one is worth - at least not with my major employer (although that didn't used to be the case; once upon a time they were the gold standard in my industry) My work has taken me to some very unusual corners of the world.

I, too, much prefer the cold although the air at minus-56C felt astoundingly cold

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Give me between 10 and 25 degrees C. I'd prefer higher to lower, so this heatwave was lovely although I'm glad I was able to dress to suit it. I pity people who are cooped up in an office, in business dress, in this weather. The temperature is much cooler today - I even wore 4-inch lace-up shoes rather than sandals.

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Posted (edited)

Indeed! Back in boots this morning

Edited by Shyheels
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Still humid here, despite the 10 minute shower that the weathermen suggested would be a "thunderstorm", though temperature and humidity are nothing like as oppressive as it was yesterday. It's cooler, which might mean I can sleep in/on my bed tonight ....

As for footwear, still in flat sandals, still repairing floorboards. :rolleyes: I know how to live it up! :)

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You wild and crazy guy, you...

Thunder and rain here, pleasantly cool - definitely boot weather :)

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Posted (edited)

Well, still no rain here, and little prospect of it. Hopefully it will arrive AFTER the weekend, if it's going to arrive at all.

Will be at London't West End tomorrow, Sunday. The Summer sales are here in earnest, and Mrs Freddy would like to scour the shops for bargains. When last we were there, she bought some really nice sandals for £15 that had previously been available at £65 -ish. Not only a bargain, but wearable, and worn to a family gathering only days later.

Two of the pairs of courts I tried on a couple of weeks ago, are 'on sale'. One pair from £75 to £37, the other £72 to £48. I maybe foolishly let a style I tried a year ago (and liked), pass me by.

From £72 to £43.  

594e8d3625cf3_Office-Trouble-highbackcourts.jpg.217c347df989891b693721dca5cc163a.jpg

 

This style had the potential to have an ankle strap fitted, that would help keep them on my feet. £43 isn't as much of a bargain as they could be though, and for an extra £5 I could have bought the courts with the stupidly high heel. (Hampton.) :huh:

The better reduction of the group is the Steve Madden shoes, but patent? I may be tempted tomorrow. Mrs Freddy has already asked if they are to be an early birthday present.... (Some months off yet.) Bless her. B) 

Edited by FastFreddy2

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When we have 'summer' here - by which I mean anything warmer than about 18-20 Celsius - I will likely be in sandals whenever practicable, and shorts too.   Boots, or even light shoes, are simply not right for hot and usually swelling tootsies unless the terrain or activity demands them.   Fortunately, there are not too many venomous snakes or other predators in my part of the world.

I was on holiday for two weeks until yesterday: a week's cruise around Spain from Palma followed by a week in northern Mallorca.   Sunny and quite hot throughout (around 25 - 30 Celsius) so sandals and shorts were a must.   I envied some of the women with (flat) sandals in lighter and more open styles than are usually available for men (with big feet anyway), although I have some that are acceptable and suitably unisex.

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Posted (edited)

I used to wear Teva sandals while hiking in tropical rainforests but too many leeches found their way onto my toes. Back to good old sturdy boots...

Edited by Shyheels

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Posted (edited)

Last Sunday the West End visit did happen. B) Rain had been promised, but it missed us until much later in the day.

Mrs Freddy got dragged into several stores and practically forced to try on shoes she had no intention of buying, nor wearing if she had a say in the matter. Since I had just nursed her through a week of her being pretty ill (proper ill too), I had some brownie points to use. ;) We also looked for the Carolina Herrera Good Girl perfume in the big stores, with none found. :(

 

Arrival was late as usual, with me having done lots of useful things before deciding it was time to get ready. That was about the time we should have left. Hey-ho. 

On arrival, and despite only being a couple of days into the Summer sales, parking was plentiful. TFL had let things slide, possibly because Puffer hadn't been on their case for a couple of weeks. ;) :P :D People being jittery about terrorist attacks might also have contributed, but we benefited if that was the case....

Straight into John Lewis to return the Steve Madden courts I'd bought in the wrong size (they didn't have my size in stock so I took a punt on the smaller size.) Then into the coffee shop for refreshment. I have to say, they do make a good cup of coffee, I'm never disappointed. Not true of their shoe sales though, as anything size 8 was awful, and no Steve Madden courts to be seen anywhere. No luck with the perfume either.

Next stop House of Fraser and their perfume section. Again no joy. Same story with their Steve Madden and Office shoes, none in my size. Especially disappointing as it was HoF I'd tried on the S.M. courts last time. "We" did find some courts in the sale that were Mrs Freddy's size, but her feet are a tad too wide for their style of shoe usually. These were - as expected.

 

5956de40deb8b_MrsF-tryingonOfficecourtshoe.jpg.d75c2bdf9c5f1b8854afa4009792f5fe.jpg

 

I had more luck in Debenhams, a place I wouldn't normally look for shoes, as they mostly do their own brands .... I found the shoe I was looking for, but the place was pretty busy. Eventually I gave up waiting for a quiet moment, and gave up looking for a quiet spot and just tried them on. Shop assistants walked past a number of times and only one gave me a second glance. Two customers had a look, but nothing traumatic happened.

 

5956e04679877_Me-tryingonSteveMaddencourtshoewith5inchheelx1.jpg.2a52dc5d0df9f593d828894242aaf45c.jpg

 

They don't look like a 5 inch heel, but I've measured them: 5 inches exactly.

At the time, I realised they were a good fit, and at £37 I would usually buy them. But with a £500 barristers bill to pay, I felt more than a little apprehensive, even though it's £37 and not £370..... :unsure:

By the time we left, there was either enough time to get to Primarni to look for some T-shirts for me, or time to visit Topshop and their shoe floor ..... I can buy T-shirts anytime so ....

With only about 20 minutes left of shopping time, we made straight to the shoes. Mrs Freddy will buy a 'bargain' shoe she doesn't need, and there were plenty to choose from if she liked them. Not in the sale were the H.o.u.s.e. of C.B. courts I'd mentioned previously, still priced at £120. I didn't need or want to try the 41/8 again but I managed to get Mrs Freddy to put one on for me. A much better fit than the Office shoe, but too high and too expensive.

 

 5956e37cbb016_MrsF-tryingonHouseofCB-5inchheel.thumb.jpg.84c74e78e768470280d2cdab01359780.jpg

 

There was also a Steve Madden in a 41/8 which I tried again. My thinking was the pressure of the store closing might push me into buying? Sadly, not. Hopefully I won't live to regret it, as the fit was/is really good. No marks on this pair, unlike those in Debenhams.

 

5956e47071022_Me-tryingonSteveMaddencourtshoewith5inchheelx2.jpg.0cb697ab2c08dd92257d18806b8b63de.jpg

 

Although it took me looking at the photographs to realise it, they just don't look that high. In fact I double checked against another pair of (measured) 5 inch heels, to make sure I wasn't mistaken. 

 

5956e58618e9d_SteveMaddenvsHoCB.jpg.9f07754de9868d94b66d96097ab6b34d.jpg

 

These are both 41/8 in size, and they are both 5 inch heels. I suspect the sharper rise of the HoCB shoe, together with the slimmer heel, "make" them look higher?

Lastly, I tried on the Office Hampton once again. Lovely shoe, but even in the sale they are £48 and not overly keen on suede shoes. Once again I got spotted, not wearing the courts, but the Bertie shoes I'd chosen to wear for the afternoon because they are easy to get on and off. Two girls who might have been sisters were both shopping for stiletto's. One sat, one in shoes walking around the sale rack. The standing one noticed my shoes, and tried to (discreetly) get her friend/sister to look in my direction. She looked (I looked back) but she couldn't see what she was supposed to be looking at. :rolleyes: I was sorely tempted to show her myself. It was almost comedic. :D

I walked off from the Office shoes and tried on the Hampton in the Dune/Steve Madden area where I had access to a mirror and some seating.

 

5956e82848c15_Me-tryingonOfficecourt-Hamptonwith5inchheel.jpg.0570b7799affe66ebfa6a253e35b1394.jpg

 

Not only does the heel look higher than the Steve Madden, they feel a little higher too (harder to walk in initially), but they are the same height: 5 inches. 

Had these been £40 or less, I'd have taken them despite my misgivings about suede. (Men don't wear suede shoes usually, so an instant second glance is always required.) I managed to get these pictures taken just before the store closed, so no chance of persuading myself it was necessary to own a pair. :(

 

Since the Steve Madden's were so comfortable, I do expect to regret, not having made a purchase, some time in the future when I feel a bit more flush. However, I've three pairs of patent courts already, two of which are from Office. A third pair from a 'cheapo' mail order company, that cost me £30. I haven't worn any of them yet, but would welcome the chance to ... While I'm still able. ;) :D

 

Originally we had planned to eat out, but we had been shopping late the previous evening, and along with perhaps 10-15 (highly trained) bargain hunters, we had bought a fair amount of short dated products in need of immediate consumption. Rather than waste food, we returned home early, though 'early' still meant almost 8pm. Not a great time to start preparing food for a meal, but it didn't take long for us to eat. As we listened to rain falling outside. Is Summer over already? :D

 

 

Edited by FastFreddy2

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I'm assuming, Freddy, that the legs emerging from the stripey skirt belong to Mrs F.   ;)   If so, will we being seeing her here on a regular basis, undergoing further stiletto sampling under extreme coercion?    Perhaps a special feature here:  'Mrs F's Diary' or 'More Brownie points redeemed'?

You say that you don't try much from Debenhams on the basis that it is mostly 'own brands'.   One of which is 'Faith' - surely a label associated with some stylish stilletos and other desirable footwear?   Or has its range and quality gone downhill since it was was of the best High Street sources of sexier shoes (20 or so years ago) when they were otherwise mostly thin (and low!) on the ground, and thick in the heel?   The 'Tina' style of pointed court, with a properly-positioned thin 110mm heel being an excellent example.

I don't agree with your suggestion that men don't usually wear suede shoes, although I accept that they are not so commonly available (in men's styles).   I have in fact a few pairs and quite like them, although wary of them getting marked or too shiny.   A generation or more ago, any man in suede shoes (usually brown) was considered 'fast' or untrustworthy - as suggested by Captain Mainwearing about Sergeant Wilson when the latter wore some to an informal function :o.   My father had a pair in the early 1960s but they would never have been worn for anything related to business or otherwise formal and were essentially 'something for the weekend'.

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2 hours ago, Puffer said:

I'm assuming, Freddy, that the legs emerging from the stripey skirt belong to Mrs F.   ;)   If so, will we being seeing her here on a regular basis, undergoing further stiletto sampling under extreme coercion?    Perhaps a special feature here:  'Mrs F's Diary' or 'More Brownie points redeemed'?

Mrs Freddy has a significant shoe collection, a good 60% having heels, with the balance mostly completely flat. Amongst the flatties is a wide range of Sketchers, which she favours for walking, rather than socialising. The one she wore on Sunday last, are I think some KG's she can and has walked all day in, including foreign climes that took a ten hour flight to arrive at. While I could spend a long working day with her modelling her heels to photograph, it would only serve to make me reminisce of our past life even more than I do already. For that reason alone, there is little chance of the shoe wardrobe being shared. I do get Mrs F trying on heels from time to time, but there is seldom any intention to buy since she has 20+ pairs at home already, mostly unworn. Best we can  hope for, is the occasional brownie point being cashed in.

 

2 hours ago, Puffer said:

You say that you don't try much from Debenhams on the basis that it is mostly 'own brands'.   One of which is 'Faith' - surely a label associated with some stylish stilletos and other desirable footwear?   Or has its range and quality gone downhill since it was was of the best High Street sources of sexier shoes (20 or so years ago) when they were otherwise mostly thin (and low!) on the ground, and thick in the heel?   The 'Tina' style of pointed court, with a properly-positioned thin 110mm heel being an excellent example.

Debenhams bought the name, but not the buyers. You are right about Faith and their style.30 years ago my girlfriends would shop no-where else. (Maybe Derbers, but that is another story.) I can assure you, in the 3-5 years I've been looking, Debenhams version of Faith as a brand, has been cringingly disappointing.   

 

2 hours ago, Puffer said:

I don't agree with your suggestion that men don't usually wear suede shoes, although I accept that they are not so commonly available (in men's styles).   I have in fact a few pairs and quite like them, although wary of them getting marked or too shiny.   A generation or more ago, any man in suede shoes (usually brown) was considered 'fast' or untrustworthy - as suggested by Captain Mainwearing about Sergeant Wilson when the latter wore some to an informal function :o.   My father had a pair in the early 1960s but they would never have been worn for anything related to business or otherwise formal and were essentially 'something for the weekend'.

You don't have to agree, but it's true. Men don't usually wear suede shoes. Stand by a store entrance and let me know how many of he first 100 men walking through the door wear suede shoes. I doubt you'll need a single finger. I once owned a beige pair of perforated buckskin shoes, but that is as close as I have come to owning a suede shoe. Not only do I not remember the last time I saw a man wearing them, I don't recall a man ever wearing a pair. I know men do wear them, but I've not seen them.

 

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, FastFreddy2 said:

Mrs Freddy has a significant shoe collection, a good 60% having heels, with the balance mostly completely flat. Amongst the flatties is a wide range of Sketchers, which she favours for walking, rather than socialising. The one she wore on Sunday last, are I think some KG's she can and has walked all day in, including foreign climes that took a ten hour flight to arrive at. While I could spend a long working day with her modelling her heels to photograph, it would only serve to make me reminisce of our past life even more than I do already. For that reason alone, there is little chance of the shoe wardrobe being shared. I do get Mrs F trying on heels from time to time, but there is seldom any intention to buy since she has 20+ pairs at home already, mostly unworn. Best we can  hope for, is the occasional brownie point being cashed in.

Debenhams bought the name, but not the buyers. You are right about Faith and their style.30 years ago my girlfriends would shop no-where else. (Maybe Derbers, but that is another story.) I can assure you, in the 3-5 years I've been looking, Debenhams version of Faith as a brand, has been cringingly disappointing.   

You don't have to agree, but it's true. Men don't usually wear suede shoes. Stand by a store entrance and let me know how many of he first 100 men walking through the door wear suede shoes. I doubt you'll need a single finger. I once owned a beige pair of perforated buckskin shoes, but that is as close as I have come to owning a suede shoe. Not only do I not remember the last time I saw a man wearing them, I don't recall a man ever wearing a pair. I know men do wear them, but I've not seen them.

 

The devil lies in the detail, as always!

I assume you mean that Mrs F's collection is a mixture of high heels (how high?) and flats, as all shoes have 'heels' (of a sort)!   But I know what you mean about an unworn collection of high heels, languishing in the wardrobe; my wife has the same but is even more resistant to wearing them or trying-on others.

Interesting about Faith, and sad that it is no longer worthwhile.   I know of Derbers, but no detail - can you enlighten us about its products, which I believe were at the more exciting end of the spectrum?

You have edited your original reference to suede shoes but I interpreted it as being a suggestion that suede shoes were a no-no for men (in principle), rather than just a lack of availability or preference.   We are both right: suede shoes for men are neither widely available nor popular - but they do exist and are worn, as I confirmed; here are my favourites:   f46e74c2546747470d19445c3c0f3a1e.png

 

Edited by Puffer
typo

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I have several pair of suede boots and love them. One does have to take greater care with suede, especially in wet weather, but I like suede very much. I never gave any thought to be frank about whether or not suede was a no-go area for men. It didn't occur to be it wasn't.

It is of course a softer look than regular leather - but that is one of the things I like about it, especially for tall boots. Suede softens what could otherwise be a hard look.

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3 hours ago, Shyheels said:

I have several pair of suede boots and love them. One does have to take greater care with suede, especially in wet weather, but I like suede very much. I never gave any thought to be frank about whether or not suede was a no-go area for men. It didn't occur to be it wasn't.

It is of course a softer look than regular leather - but that is one of the things I like about it, especially for tall boots. Suede softens what could otherwise be a hard look.

I agree about the softer, different look of suede - and the need for extra care.   As a matter of interest, I have just looked at the Next website; that retailer alone lists some 118 styles of men's suede footwear (or almost 100 if trainers are excluded).   It may not be an everyday look but it does exist!   (And what else would I wear with my black suede jacket but the boots I showed above - my 'poofy' boots as the wife calls them?)

Elvis didn't seem to lose much street cred by wearing blue suede shoes - although he was rightly wary of them being stepped on.   But, as he has left the building, we can't check the facts with him ...

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Posted (edited)

19 hours ago, Puffer said:

Interesting about Faith, and sad that it is no longer worthwhile.   I know of Derbers, but no detail - can you enlighten us about its products, which I believe were at the more exciting end of the spectrum?

Now you're asking .....

They were (I think) possibly a brand within a brand. There might have been a Derber shop, but I don't remember it being a stand alone retailer. I vaguely remember a shop in New Oxford Street but wouldn't be at all surprised to be told it was a Faith. Any style Faith sold back then, I would have been aware of. Placing shoes and girlfriends into a time frame, 'early eighties' would have it about there. I had two girlfriends who owned them, and I have a picture of one at a family wedding wearing a pair. (A hairdresser, you won't be surprised to learn.) A woman I haven't seen for a considerable time.

The other girl is one I've mentioned several times, and one of two I know with crippled feet. At one stage she was barely able to walk and has had several operations on both feet. (I'm sure I have posted a picture here somewhere.) She still has a pair of Derbers. As I understand her intention, one shoe for her box, one shoe for mine. A hard goal since we haven't spoken for a year, and three before that. She couldn't find time for a cup of coffee together in 9 months, despite working less than a half mile from where I live. She must have very busy lunch-breaks every working day ... :rolleyes: She has always had a very high opinion of herself, an opinion not always shared by others.... Maybe that's why several long term boyfriends dumped her, and why she largely remains single but for a distant relationship with someone she sees perhaps once a month.

Amongst the three of us (as two distinct couples), "Derbers" were a known message, that sex was expected at the end of the evening. A lot like the Tina's you have mentioned, but with a slightly higher heel, I think. Certainly, there was nothing as high available anywhere I found, and I was looking. ;) Back then 'girlfriends' didn't complain about any sort of footwear, they just wore a heel.

If I can copy the lower half of the wedding photo I have, I will include it here. They are not as obviously high/high as a pair of Covergirl 6" heels might be, but I wouldn't relish a day (wedding day) wearing them from 2pm until nearly midnight. Though my girlfriend at the time would have weighed 7 stone, (me not much more) and a lot less weight on a high heel than would be the case for me now. :unsure:    

 

Quote

You have edited your original reference to suede shoes but I interpreted it as being a suggestion that suede shoes were a no-no for men (in principle), rather than just a lack of availability or preference.   We are both right: suede shoes for men are neither widely available nor popular - but they do exist and are worn, as I confirmed; here are my favourites:   

The only "edits" would have been to grammar or for typo's.

I'm fully aware men's shoes were/are available in suede. A style popular in my youth were called "desert boots" though not suitable for such an environment. They had a high cuff that partially enclosed the ankle (as might a modern shoe boot) with light coloured "crepe" soles, and invariably came in a sandy brown suede.  Not unlike these:

5959b45c5c7e0_Desertbootstyle.jpg.77da44d2116f40613a66e11887b7c148.jpg

 

Ironically, these are a woman's shoe... (I found after I'd produced the image for consumption here.)

 

Both men's and women's trainer styles come in suede, and I have a pair, but I doubt these would be included in comments over styles of shoe. "Beatniks" (as was) and maybe mens "goth" shoes with 2 or 3 inch soles might have suede uppers, but these again, are not 'usual' footwear. 

 

Today, Mrs Freddy started her day with coffee and old friends, I started mine with some commercial repair/decorating. A lovely day, and we were both keen to make the most of it. Fair/warm weather, a gentle breeze, and Mrs F has a rest day tomorrow.... So after arriving home for some lunch, I got cleaned up and we away to London, but this time avoided anything to do with retail. (More detail later in the week.) We were out from around 3.45pm until almost midnight. We went to a couple of touristy places, and must have seen perhaps a 1000 or so people. (More likely double that and more, but you get my point...) To my surprise, I saw a man wearing a suede shoe. Baby blue suede (nod to Carl Perkins, and Elvis) and a slightly casual look to them, but suede - and a shoe! I've seen one worn in the flesh. B) Almost certainly someone from offshore though. :P 

Edited by FastFreddy2

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Some interesting info there, Freddy.   

First, I apologise - you did not edit your reference about men in suede shoes; I misread it on looking back.   Yes, 'desert boots' were popular men's footwear in the mid-60s, generally in sandy suede but also in other colours and in ordinary leather.   Commonly worn by 'mods' (as an alternative to cuban heels); they are still around - indeed, I have a pair in dark blue leather.   Their worst trait was their crepe-soled slipperiness in wet weather - I recall sliding down a smooth concrete slope after rain and only just avoiding a nasty collision!

As to Derber, my limited knowledge is as follows.   Around 1985, I quite often bumped into a couple in a business context; the wife (then aged about 50) was nothing special to look at - hardly glamorous - but very often competently wore very high (5 - 5.5") stilettos.   On one such occasion, another woman present asked her where she got her 'high heels' and the answer was 'Derber', which meant nothing to me.   A couple of years later, I was in Oxford Street (between Selfridges and Marble Arch) - definitely not New Oxford Street - with my then (first) wife and we passed a Derber shoe shop, with some very interesting footwear in the smallish window - but 'circumstances' precluded a proper appraisal, to my later regret.  The shop had disappeared when I attempted to find it some time afterwards.   Years later, when Google was around, I searched for 'Derber' and recall that there was indeed an old reference to the shop there, and also I think to another branch in the East End somewhere.   I have just looked again: the company is shown as having its registered office at 1 Great Cumberland Place (almost opposite Marble Arch station) and this was apparently also the shop location - agreeing with my sighting.   The company existed from 1961 until dissolved in 2003.   Another company of the same name currently trades from Neal Street, but I'm guessing there is no connection.

I have seen occasional references elsewhere to Derber as an erstwhile purveyor of sexy footwear.   As you suggest, it was in the 1980s possibly the only ready source of really high heels, apart from Cover Girl, LSB and a couple of general fetish shops.   I'm sure there is a lot more to the Derber story than this.

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2 hours ago, Puffer said:

Around 1985, I quite often bumped into a couple in a business context; the wife (then aged about 50) was nothing special to look at - hardly glamorous - but very often competently wore very high (5 - 5.5") stilettos.   On one such occasion, another woman present asked her where she got her 'high heels' and the answer was 'Derber', which meant nothing to me.   A couple of years later, I was in Oxford Street (between Selfridges and Marble Arch) - definitely not New Oxford Street - with my then (first) wife and we passed a Derber shoe shop, with some very interesting footwear in the smallish window - but 'circumstances' precluded a proper appraisal, to my later regret.  The shop had disappeared when I attempted to find it some time afterwards.   Years later, when Google was around, I searched for 'Derber' and recall that there was indeed an old reference to the shop there, and also I think to another branch in the East End somewhere.   I have just looked again: the company is shown as having its registered office at 1 Great Cumberland Place (almost opposite Marble Arch station) and this was apparently also the shop location - agreeing with my sighting.   The company existed from 1961 until dissolved in 2003.   Another company of the same name currently trades from Neal Street, but I'm guessing there is no connection.

I doubt I would have seen a Derber shoe shop where you saw one. I tended to shop East of Regent Street. There were a number of Sacha shops around there, and I had 'previous' at a man's shoe shop called "Topper" that may have been around Carnaby Street. Shelly's were also around there.

We are talking a good number of years ago, and things that may now seem important were fairly trivial to me back then. I was always into girls who wore heels (I have a theory that heel height is directly related to libido - though not exclusively so) and shoe shops with stiletto heels weren't that unusual. There were very many more shoe shops back then: FHW, Dolcis, Saxone, Faith, Sacha, Ravel; some of which made it to >> this list << some didn't. Derber is not listed. I say "I was into girls who wore a heel", is half the story. I might be into them initially because they could and did wear a heel. I had many girlfriends who were eager to please, so chose clothing/footwear they knew would appeal to me. That situation still exists to a degree even now, but less so. Getting older, losing the shape that made any clothing look attractive, is another reason youth is often wasted on the young. ;) :D

 

It wasn't at all unusual back then for single shop, or a small group of shops to be run by a 'sole trader' entrepreneur, and London's West End provided enough business to keep even the wildest retailer in business - at that time. Rents and rates prevent this now, and may well be the reason why bigger groups seem to thrive - though you don't get much bigger than BHS.

Had I the benefit then of second-sight, I would have made it my life's work to document what has always been a personal interest in social anthropology: The British shoe manufacturing and retail industry. All that diversity, an industry known world-wide, all just about gone thanks to cheap imported (and largely rubbish) footwear. 

 

I think if this line of thought/discussion is to continue, it ought to have it's own thread. 

Hopefully in a day or two (when yet another 'rush job' is put to bed), I'll be able to do a full write up of Sundays adventure. :)

 

 

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A most interesting 'list', Freddy - thanks.   Some definite memories there.   Let's not forget that many of the best-known and largest high street shoe retailers were progressively acquired by the erstwhile British Shoe Corporation, part of Sears Holdings (owned by Charles Clore), which also owned Selfridges.   Much of the footwear sold was merely 'badge engineered' but each of the chains had its own specialities and price ranges.   The names (and shops) have mostly gone now - indeed, it seems that very few high streets outside big towns have any shoe retailers these days.   That said, general fashion shops, large and small, very often sell at least some footwear - almost unheard of until the 1960s or later; one invariably had to go to a 'proper' shoe shop or a big department store.

Yes, maybe a new 'nostalgia' and 'shoe history' thread is called for.   Will you apply for planning permission?

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1 hour ago, Puffer said:

Yes, maybe a new 'nostalgia' and 'shoe history' thread is called for.   Will you apply for planning permission?

If the records are checked, I'm sure any reviewer will conclude I've "applied" for more than my rightful share. I'd be happy if another member here, did the necessary. B) 

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