Every so often there will be ‘the’ must have item to have in your wardrobe and you will see it everywhere – all over Instagram, Facebook, magazines, etc. More often than not they then become so popular that you can’t get your hands on them for love nor money. Have we all seen the Marks & Spencer constellation dress? It has been featured everywhere and fashion bloggers and instagramers everywhere have been splashing photos of themselves sporting this sought after dress. The dress didn’t appeal to much to me as I’m not much of a dress kinda girl but I have to say, it did look lovely on everyone I saw wearing it. However, sometimes we are left wondering whether that thing that everyone is talking about really is as great as it seems or whether it is just a case of everyone jumping on the band wagon? Well this week I thought I’d put one of these trends to the test.
Fortunately one of the latest much publicised products are still available and something I managed to get my hands on to see if they live up to the hype. Also, as a massive shoe fan it felt only right that this be the garment to try. I’m talking about ‘those’ Marks & Spencer shoes that give (a very big nod) to Manolo Blahnik. That’s right, Manolo Blahnik – Carrie Bradshaw’s ultimate idol in Sex & The City and the designer of shoes that are lusted after by women (and possibly some men – I’m not judging) the world over. Manolo Blahnik is a Spanish born shoe designer that now lives in the UK. He opened his first shop in the early 1970s and now has shops and concessions all over the world but his flagship store remains in Chelsea, London. A few little interesting titbits of information about Manolo is that he was the second man ever to be featured on the cover of UK Vogue and he keeps a pair of every single pair of shoes he designs. In terms of price, well they can vary but generally you are looking at between £500 and £1000 a pair.
The ones I’m specifically comparing against today are the Hangisi Blue Satin Jewel Buckle Pumps, coming in at a mere £745.But ladies, never fear because M&S have a much more affordable solution at £35 a pair so you can get that little bit shoe heaven without the price tag. So how do they compare?
Well unfortunately I don’t have a pair of the real thing to compare against in the flesh but I can give my honest opinion on the look and also on how they feel on your feet. In terms of look they are genuinely a gorgeous shoe. I ordered the magenta and the cobalt blue pair. The colours are beautiful but I have to say I prefer the blue. The pink look slightly more purple in the flesh. In terms of fit, I had read reviews on the website that they come up slightly big but as I sometimes find a 5 to be a bit tight and require a certain amount of wearing in, I thought I knew best and ordered my usual size 5. D’oh! They really do come up quite big however, with an insole or heel grip they may be ok (I’d worry that the smaller size might be too small and there’s nothing worse than pinchy shoes right?!) but if in doubt try sizing down.
These shoes make a real statement and are perfect for the party season. For me personally I’d wear them with skinny jeans and a plain jumper or blouse so that the shoes do all the talking. My only issue with these shoes (other than them being a bit roomy) is the heel height. The originals are 70mm heels and the M&S version is 90mm. I am a bit of a wimp where stilettos are concerned and generally opt for a mid heel wherever possible so these are a bit ambitious for me. This is an area that Boden have mastered as they nearly always offer their heels in a mid and a high option. If I could get these shoes in a mid heel I would be as happy as a pig in the proverbial, but without that option the jury is still currently out as to whether I’ll be keeping these or sending them back. But if you love (and more importantly can walk in) high heels then I’d definitely say these are worth the money and a great addition to your shoe collection. They are a classic design so you should get plenty of wear out of them over time and they are an easy way to dress up any outfit. With the different colour options available you can opt for a more subtle colour like ink (navy), pewter or black. And if you want to go for slightly more low key/wearable alternatives then M&S have cleverly offered the same design in a kitten heel in black and blush as well as in a flat option in ink and magenta so whatever your heel height persuasion you are covered.