There’s something I do which may or may not be weird: I go through phases of hyper-focusing on certain aspects of my wardrobe. (Is that just me?) I’ll be putting together an outfit and find myself thinking something like ‘damn, this would be perfect if I had a velvet navy bag to wear it with,’ because I am a bit obsessive about colour matching, and once the idea occurs to me that my collection has a glaring hole in it, suddenly all I want is to find the perfect piece within my budget to fill it. These phases are often accessories focused—hats, bags, belts, bangles.
My latest phase is all about finding pretty flats. It started at the end of last year, when I treated myself to two pairs of Charlie Stone Shoes‘ not-actually-fully-flat flats. I loved them so much that I began to daydream about their other gorgeous flats, which I didn’t need but definitely wanted. But then, oh ho! What did I realise? I actually do need some of them, because guess what, they fill one of the gaps in my shoe collection: comfortable, good quality flats in staple colours I will regularly wear, that—here is the crucial bit—I CAN EASILY CLEAN.
Shoes: Black Peta flats by Charlie Stone Shoes (Bought with an influencer discount)
Dress: Ganache Stella dress by Lady V London
Shawl: Faux leopard stole from eBay
Bag: Black Gemma bag by Banned Retro
Tights: 50 Denier Builders Tea by Snag Tights
You might be a bit surprised about that last bit. How dirty are your shoes getting, Amy? you may be thinking. Well the answer is, sometimes–and often very specifically when I am taking photos for this blog—REALLY FRICKIN’ DIRTY. Because I live in the English countryside. I take my photos outside. That means grass, and because it’s England, which is wet and sodden for a large portions of the year, that consequently means mud. It’s not unusual that I have to style an outfit for a shoot at least partially with regards to what footwear I can conceivably get away with wearing, either because I will get very muddy and cold feet if I wear something too impractical or because I could easily ruin a pair of shoes at certain locations. In the past I’ve even kept duplicates of my favourite staple pairs of shoes so I could keep one more-than-a-little bedraggled pair for blog shoots and one pair for actual real life wear.
So, yes, I love my new navy velvet London flats, and I love my beautifully glittery Luxe flats, but I love them so much that I couldn’t possibly risk ruining them, so instead I want some more Charlie Stone Shoes that I can wear without that risk, particularly in winter. I wanted a pair of CS’s that could handle a little mud and keep on truckin’ (after a wipe down, of course.) And so it was that I found myself poring over the leather and faux leather black and brown options over my Christmas break, determined to treat myself. I fell in love with the black Peta style and the brown Roma (not to mention the Versailles handbags, my god! But that’s another hyper focus obsession for another time.) After much back and forthing over which pair to treat myself to, I opted for the Peta, with a silent promise to myself to go back for the Roma later.
Peta did not disappoint. A stunning blend of vintage style meeting modern practicality, the Peta features a mix of smooth and textured leather pieces which curve, intersect and overlap to create a beautiful intricate yet timeless design. The T-strap meets the ankle strap, which sports Charlie Stone’s favourite quick release buckle. Said buckle is a saviour and a treasure, cutting what could sometimes be a several minutes long (and frustrated, perhaps sweaty) fastening process for traditional buckles down to a matter of seconds per shoe for me, a plus size woman with repetitive strain in both hands and wrists.
The genuine leather insole is gently cushioned, while the upper is easily cleaned, the aforementioned crucial feature that gave me the perfect excuse to buy myself these pretties. While these shoes are flats, they have a sort-of-secret internal elevated heel of 2cm, as all Charlie Stone Shoes flats do. It’s this internal elevation, coupled with the 1cm deep outer heel, which make Charlie Stone flats so comfortable to wear all day long, a much needed middle ground between the opposing problems that entirely flat or high heels can cause. The Plantar Fasciitis I had 4 years ago in my left foot isn’t active anymore but my foot has never been quite the same since, so finding gorgeous shoes I can wear comfortably without a delayed payment in the form of some pain the day after wearing makes a big difference to my life, especially as someone who so greatly enjoys getting dressed up.
I own Charlie Stone Shoes flats (and indeed many other sh0es) in both sizes 40 and 41, so I dithered a bit over which size to order the Peta in. I plumped for the 41 as shoes that are too tight can trigger some of that aforementioned residual pain in my left foot. In this case I think the 40 probably would have fit fine and I could have used the thick socks and hairdryer trick to stretch out the leather a little if I had needed a bit more room, but the 41 are still a comfortable fit for my slightly wide feet, with no pinching or squeezing. Charlie Stone Shoes offer a size chart and a grading scale with suggested fit details for each of their shoes, so it’s best to refer to their website for full information on any styles you’re interested in to get the most thorough fit advice.
These Peta flats fulfil all the hopes I had for them and I know I’ll get tons of wear out of them. I can’t wait to snap up a pair of the mahogany croc (vegan) Roma flats as my next treat, with the temptation of one of the stunning Versailles handbags looming on that horizon too. In all honesty, Charlie Stone Shoes might just have become its own category in my accessories obsession cycles.
The Peta flats come in both cream and black in sizes 35 – 42. Charlie Stone Shoes ship free worldwide, and also have select stockists across the globe.
Disclaimer: The shoes featured in this review were bought with a discount code provided as part of an influencer program. All opinions expressed are truthful and my own, with no input from any of the companies listed or any other individuals.
COVID-19 NOTE: These pictures were taken alone and safely in a secluded outdoors area, practising strict social distancing measures in an effort to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.