Black is considered the (non) colour that goes with everything, suitable for all occasions, stylish and simple and chic. And you know what? I just don’t wear a lot of it. Or, at least, I didn’t used to. In my first couple years of pinup life it was all bright colour all the time. In winter, when I packed away my most summery and colourful of clothes, I pined for them all season long, yearning for the first signs of spring when I could break out the florals and the colours of every shade and brightness.
This winter, though, for the first time, I’ve really been reveling in dressing in the darker shades associated with the season, enjoying the heavy fabrics, drawn to more simpler, plain designs. It’s a change for me, and while I feel my first instinct will always be to finish off almost any outfit with a red shoe, I’ve found that this new liking of darker colours and different styles has been carrying through to my shoe choices as well.
For the first time in perhaps five years, I bought a couple pairs of boots, something I haven’t worn since I gave up socially wearing jeans and T-shirts in 2013. I’ve spent hours browsing more subtle, simple shoes online while the multiple pairs of heels I painstakingly and lovingly bedazzled myself in various colours of crystals sit gathering dust on my shoe rack. And I put these pretty black Bettie Page scalloped heels on my Christmas wishlist, over other twinkly, more attention-grabbing options.
Heels: Black Minny D’orsay heels by Bettie Page
Dress: Red Keely dress by Hell Bunny
Bag: Black Purse by Lola Von Rose
Brooch: Silver Magnetic Starburst from eBay
Cardigan: Old season Primark
These shoes are kind of different for me, though they may not seem it. It might sound weird, but why I know it makes sense to invest in good quality for footwear, I find it hard to spend out a decent amount on a pair of shoes if they seem sensible and plain rather than a statement piece. I know, that’s silly, since it’s the plainer pieces that will be easy to wear more frequently, thus getting more value for your money. These shoes are mostly black and are relatively low-heeled, so the part of my brain (or maybe it’s my heart) that still thinks it’s forever summer and I’m always wearing red and blue and yellow says ‘But y tho?’ But the rest of me, the rest of me thinks these are pretty cute and interesting and different for a pair of little black heels. Let’s look at them closely.
With a slim ankle strap and open peep toe, these shoes can be worn as sandals in summer or smart shoes all year round (admittedly with a possible chill for your toes in winter when worn outdoors as I’ve done.) They’re made from a man-made leatherette that’s soft and pliable, making the cross strap vamp comfortable across the width of your foot. The cone heel is sturdy and easy to walk in, technically 4 inches tall but feeling lower because the cone heel offers such stability. The bottom of the sole is printed with a leopard print pattern, a fun and unexpected addition. The inner sole features colourful polka dots and silver lining under the toes, the same silver that’s echoed in the single line of silver trim wrapped around the back of the heels. And, of course, there’s the scallop detail.
It’s this scalloping that drew me to these shoes in the first place. It’s such a simple but pretty design feature that, paired together with the cross strap style of the peep toe, it felt totally new to me and vintage all at the same time. I honestly can’t say I’ve seen anything like this offered in the modern shops that line the high street, and I found more and more that I was eyeing up my shoes racks, ready to finish and outfit, and thinking ‘Those Bettie Page shoes would be really good with this.’ Finally, on my Christmas list they went, and I was lucky that when I unwrapped my main gift on the day I found them peering up at me.
I find it hard to convert US sizing accurately, as I feel like every time I compare charts between companies they differ in opinion on which US size my UK 7 feet should fit (size 9 or 10, they’re never quite sure.) Luckily, before I put them on my wishlist I found these shoes for sale on a UK website, Prettykittyfashion.co.uk, so I was able to select UK 7 as my size with Pretty Kitty doing all the conversion work for me. I can confirm that they’re a comfortable fit, nearer the snug side than the loose, but not overly tight. The shoe itself is stamped with a US 9, if that helps any other size 7s looking at these shoes and wondering which US size they should order.
I briefly visited the Bettie Page Shoes stall at London Edge in September and saw that they had numerous gorgeous designs lined up for upcoming releases. London Edge for SS17 is coming up in February and now that I’ve experienced how lovely the BP shoes are, I’m excited to stop by the booth to see what upcoming designs they have slated for next season. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to take pictures and report back!
The Minny D’Orsay heels are available in sizes UK 4-8 (US 6-10) from prettykittyfashions.co.uk for £59.99 delivered free in the UK, but they’ve also made in other colours. The sky blue version has recently been on Zulily.com,