Red shoes, No knickers

Bestie From Africa Archive



August 2013



Hot Spanish days…


The dry heat of Northern Mallorca, the warm, aqua waters & the simple yet ridiculously gorgeous food made me so happy. I turned my phone off for a week, read through 3 unfinished books that have sat by my bed for far too long and loved the fact that my summer wardrobe go the catwalk showcasing that it so rightly deserves.

Denim cut offs, loose cotton tops, strapless java print dresses, flowing printed culottes, neon nails & loose, leather flip flops made my days long, languid and lushious…


{orla kiely top, d.i.m.d.i cut offs, m&s sunnies, gap flip flops}







{self designed java print dress, asos bikini, gap flip flops, m&s sunnies}








{sun hat from a shop in covent garden, boobtube from singapore, orla kiely culottes, m&s sunnies, gap flip flops, oasis clutch}



As per usual my fellow travelling gypset was none other than Bestie From Africa who has been taking my photo, applying sun cream to my back, delivering worthy discussions and supplying many laughs for 21 years now.

I couldn’t think of a better travel companion to traipse the world with….and who is always up for a debate on the best nail varnish colour to wear on a beach holiday.


Posted in Bestie From Africa, Outfit city, Red nix trips, Rise to the occasion, Travel



August 2013



Mellow maxi


One of my favourite things in the world is simply people watching. I recently went to Spain for a week with Bestie From Africa and every evening, in the sweltering heat of Northern Mallorca, we would trip through the little town of Pollenca, where we were staying, to the local plaza, wander past the restaurants and simply sit and people watch…with an ice cream. I love to see other people in their finery and their own personal take on summer gear.

Tim and I will often do it at work too. Sit on the sofa, look out of the large shop front window & check out how people dress for extreme temperatures in the centre of town. We both have the same no no’s ~ no flipflops & no maxi dresses ~ but Tim’s tolerance for a maxi dress is not extended to any time or place. I, on the other hand, am not as offended by them. They were incredibly oversaturated a couple of summers ago and were the go to dress for WAG’s & out of towners on a hot day at Ascot but when you’re tripping around the house, pottering in the garden & lounging on the sofa I’m quite partial to a maxi or two.

My good friend & bon vivant extrodinaire Kass gave me this little freebie~from~a~mag a couple of years ago. I trimmed and branded her with a little left over java print material & made her my own…all in a days tweaking no? YES!



{reworked maxi, gap flips & m&s sunnies}


Posted in Bestie From Africa, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Outfit city



July 2013



Hidden gems


{gifted & then reworked zimbabwean dress from bestie from africa, vintage pink dress from sydney, vintage birds of paradise dress from san francisco}

I’ve done my homework that I set myself yesterday and have been hunting and discovering and loving finding my summer specials. They’re out, they’re going to be worn and their accompaniment will be a big fat smile on my face.


{black and beige flip flops from gap, only hearts cotton vest top}


{gifted supre dress from ms. kass, orla kiely clutch}


{£1 hat from cyprus}


{dimdi dress}


{dimdi grey shorts, self designed playsuit, vintage leather visor, ancient cut off jeans, gifted accesorise sunhat}


{vintage top from nyc}

What have you been unearthing my Shoelets?

Any hidden gems that you’d forgotten about?

Tell all…

Posted in Africa-ca-ca, Bestie From Africa, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Kaspia Calypso, Outfit city, Printastic, Summer plans, Wardrobe work



June 2013



Take me to Africa


When the Zimbabwean’s are in town there is nothing I like better than cracking out my African print dresses and showing them how much I love their material.

When Bestie From Africa lived over in Zimbabwe {technically she should now be called Bestie From Streatham} I was very lucky to receive many beautiful gifts in the post. Often it was simply material that she knew I’d like and would make into something fabulous. Other times it was actual dresses. This beauty came to me one birthday with the note attached

‘Yes, it’s huge but it’s the smallest I could find. I know you’ll be able to do something with it’ 

Huge was an understatement. It was probably a size 26! You know I love a challenge. I took it up, I took it in, I chopped the sleeves and I hemmed the shit out of it. Paired with a floral belt it was perfect for these far eastern style wild summer days.


{reworked gifted african dress, belt from this dress, m&s suede wedges and sunnies, vintage bag from rokit}


For wild adventures in the actual Africa and not just a garden in South London check out here

Posted in Africa-ca-ca, Bestie From Africa, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Outfit city, Printastic, Rise to the occasion



May 2013



Rise to the occasion: My love ~ Paris


My love of Paris has been well documented here at Red Shoes No Knickers. There has been the birthday day trip, the fashion week work expedition, the jolly with a friend from down under, the sweet treat for a client and now another day trip for Bestie From Africa’s birthday.

Paris, for me, needs to be shown respect, elegance and a certain old fashioned nod to dressing up. A pulled together look that acknowledges the beautiful and stylish city that it so very much is.

For more of last week’s adventure across the lake, head on over here.

Posted in Bestie From Africa, Outfit city, Pareeeee, Rise to the occasion



March 2013



Snow Nix holiday ~ Packing & Per~chasing


This #tbt picture is me back in 2010. Slim, successful, happy and wearing Nigel Mansell’s cast offs.

I was actually wearing a £10 Ebay onesie that my friend Tessa had lent me. I took it half as a joke and half as a ‘Yeah, I can rock an all in one on the slopes’  The joomp I’m wearing underneath is this D.I.M.D.I piece, my gloves were hand me down’s from Sister With Massive laugh’s and were approximately 20 years old & my scarf was…well just my everyday scarf. The only thing that was passable for a skiing holiday was my goggles that Bro Dude had just given me for Christmas {I’d asked for them}

Armed with my essentials list {see here} and a severe case of camel toe I decided it was time to invest in some new ski gear. I’d been cobbling & borrowing for too long and although it’s an expensive sport to own clothing in, if you feel like you’re going to get your monies worth then do it.

SALE TIME! Bro Dude suggested Snow and Rock & it didn’t disappoint. I found a new jacket, trousers, fleece & two pairs of ski socks. CHUFFED! I so should rename this holiday Chuffed Nix hols.


{burton jacket, colombia pants, snow & rock fleece, maggie white cotton headband, gifted topshop wool black headband, gifted anon goggles}

DSC01847 - Copy

While my thermal situation is outta this world {check it} I still popped to Uniqlo for another pair of long johns and a new long sleeved top which were both so good. As our instructor/host/driver & friend Simon {Bestie From Africa‘s brother} told us. You can’t wear cotton. You sweat it, it doesn’t dry, you cool down, you freeze, you’re dead. It’s as simple as that. I have also told you similar such death avoidances when it comes to wool here.


{first three vests m&s, last one ms. selfridge}

My apres~ski/travel coat situ needed some work. Although I do own a shit load of coats I don’t own a lot of warm casual coats that I could wear with jeans and trainers. As much as I would have loved it there wasn’t going to be a vintage dress with a heeled boot going on in the Pyrenees. I had to think outside of the box. I had an idea. A stolen idea but still an idea. Being a new coat wasn’t an option so I had to think layers. I’d seen a friend wearing a Uniqlo Ultra light down parka underneath her wool coat and knew that that thin layer was like whale fat ~ warm and vital. I hopped over to my favourite American Apparel nabbed myself a peach hoody, which I have the same intentions for that as I did with this one, bought an orange {come on it’s me!} parka and ON TOP OF THOSE added my faithful, no branded, stolen, Tim hates enormous beige fleece. I was as snug as a bug in a rug.


Only thing left to do was get myself up a mountain…To be continued….

Posted in Bestie From Africa, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Inspiration, PANTS!, Rise to the occasion, Snow Nix holiday, Snowchic



March 2013



Look at me

As a little over a month of fashion weeks around the globe ~ NYC, London, Milan, Paris ~ come to an end in a few days my interest in what has been going on down the runway, as well as out on the streets, has been…well, let’s just say my mind was working over time.  With New York fashion week kicking the whole shebacle off I become addicted to what was going on over the pond. I checked my Instagram constantly and read numerous blogs to keep up to date with what was going on.  As I’ve said before {see here} I am always more interested with what’s going on outside of the shows, the street styling and how everyone is rising to the occasion.

One afternoon I was skimming through twitter and came across this article ‘The circus of fashion’ by Suzy Menkes. While the piece goes on to talk about the relationship that brands have with bloggers the initial emphasis was on the ‘freak’ show outside of the catwalk shows. She talks about the ever increasing peacocking that occurs these days and how people seem to be dressing, not for style sake or perhaps because they believe in what they’re wearing, but simply to get noticed by the mob like papperazzi that loiter outside.

I love street styling and have always said that my inspiration comes from people on the street and not from what’s in the shops but I couldn’t decide whether or not I saw this ‘LOOK AT ME’ tidal wave that is engulfing us as a good or bad thing. As an avid reader and follower of the extremely well written {and very funny} Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller I particularly enjoyed her response to Menkes’ piece. {see here and I really think you should as it is a great piece of journalism}

At the time of reading all this I was getting ready to head off to London Fashion week myself and of course ~ ER! HALLO! It’s ME! ~ was deciding what to wear. Both pieces made me stop and think and wonder whether I was dressing to try and get papped myself. Everyone likes to get noticed but did I need a photograph on the internet to tell me that my outfit was great? Did I need the attention of  a crowd of people I didn’t know to look at my clothes, to comment, to photograph and to judge?

I’ve said before that I like to dress for other people but I dress for MY people. I wear headgear Kass, good knitwear for Tim, stacked jewellery for Bestie from Africa, PANTS for My Husband & Katsy, printed dresses for my Mother.  And while I dress for the occasion, I ultimately dress to feel good, amuse and wow myself in the occasion.

 {m&s sunnies, coat from paris, gifted scarf, vintage bag, d.i.m.d.i leather skirt, tights, beau coops boots}

My outfit for LFW was perfect and so me ~ comfortable & cool. As I strode past the peacoking at Somerset house ~ The backless sequinned dresses {‘where’s your coat love? It’s 2 degrees!!’}, the terry towelling knickers {TRUE STORY} and the unwalkable shoes ~ I felt safe in the knowledge that I was dressing for all the right people. My people.

Posted in Bestie From Africa, Comfy chic, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Fashion week, Kaspia Calypso, Outfit city, Rise to the occasion, Woman in coat



September 2012



Travel chic: Yours truly

{byron bay, australia}

Since January 1st 2012 myself and Flattie have been looking forward to tomorrow so much as we are heading off to the wee island of Kos for some sun, swimming, sunbathing and sleeping.  Seeing as I have, in the past, asked my sassy, sartorailly minded buddies about their summer holiday must haves {see here and here} I thought I’d ask myself those same God damn questions….Hey why not? I love a good questionning by me!

What’s your feel good staple?

:Fabulous outfits.  I like to take on holiday all the pieces in my wardrobe that get such little wear, due to our poor climate, but that are fabulous. Short shortness, fantastical prints, floaty fabulous dresses, kimonos, flip flops, ALL my bikini’s.  Knowing all my clothes will get worn makes me feel good.

Any tips on light travelling?

:Surprisingly for me I have trained myself to become a light packer {10kg limit has forced me rather} and the trick is to plan your outfits before you go.  Get everything you want to take out on the bed.  See what you can mix and match and then start cutting back.  If you can wear an item twice it’s going in.  Dresses take up less space and are easy to wear.  Never bother with a towel. Come on.  A cotton sarong can act as a towel and takes up some much less space…space for swimwear that is.

Who makes the best luggage?

:In an ideal world I would have Globetrotter suitcases but I’m still renting so that’s never gonna happen. For hardcore travelling and backpacking I love my side opening Berghaus rucksack {see a similar one here} it makes such a difference.  For fashionable and printastic I have a small and a large Orla Kiely wheelie case.  These never get lost at the airport.

How do you tackle airport security in style?

:I like to have a bag that lets me have my hands free, I {begrudingly} take all my bangles off before I get to the security and have comfy layers and scarves for sleeping, leaning on and cuddling up in. Bestie From Africa used to always bring me back a sweet treat from her travels and I have some gorgeous pashminas and scarves from India, South Africa, Burma.  She’s in Thailand at the moment…{hint hint}

What are your inflight essentials?

:Like I said soft scarves, loose clothing and warm socks if I’m wearing sandals.  I like to have on me something to read, a bottle of water, my lense case and glasses, Nivea facial wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste, a little MAC cream blusher for when I land and the holy grail – Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream. I smother it all over my face as soon as I get on the plane to prevent looking like Magda from There’s something about Mary

{above four photos zimbabwe, africa}

Whose swimwear makes a splash?

:Australian brand Zimmerman make great bikini’s but I also got some super cute super cheap separates from ASOS out of season a couple of years ago.

And accessories?

:My holiday jewels consist of mainly gifted treats from my travels – shell beads from Sydney, paper beads from Zimbabwe, seed beads from Alice Springs, Morrocan silver earrings, beer can earrings from Africa. I’m obsessed with taking hats {we need to protect our faces, Ladies!} – again pur-chased from my travels – large straw hat £1 bargain from the floor of a shop in Cyprus, reworked cotton sunhat with Zimbabwean print material wrapped round it, a gifted leather visor…

{above two: south of  france}

What is your holiday must-have?

:A guide book with a map of where I’m heading, my camera, at least two hats and two pairs of sunglasses, knowledge of where to head for a little vintage/local shopping trip and a companion who has the same sense of adventure.

What is your summer beauty secret?

:I get a pedicure and a wax before I go. I wear suncream religiously – everywhere – and in the evenings moisturize like my life depended on it. No make up, no perfume just me and my saweeet holiday glow.

{a nudist beach near the gold coast of australia}

See you in a week my Shoelets…..

Posted in Bestie From Africa, Kaspia Calypso, Outfit city, Travel



June 2012



Back to the Future

This was one of my favourite dresses that I per-chased last year from my beloved Rokit.  I was – of course! – drawn to the print, picked it up and instantly thought ‘all island disco, DM boots, Ben Fallows and wearing my brother’s beany hat’ – Yes the 90’s!

I know the 90’s are making a comeback this summer but I believe – told so by Tim who has since changed her mind! – that if you were wearing that decade when it originally came round – say as a teenager – you shouldn’t do it again.  Another mutton dressed as lamb incident me thinks.


My secret power is that I can normally tell whether something fits me just by looking at in and sure enough, this baby fit like a glove and I couldn’t resist buying it.  I wore it so much last summer as it’s easy to wear, fits perfectly around my waist and although is uber short is incredibly full and so doesn’t feel too ‘oooohhh there’s my ass!’ short like these summer treats {here and here}

Also my thinking was that my version of the 90’s NEVER involved showing this much leg – Bestie From Africa can vouch for that she was there with me.  It was all about wearing long hippie skirts, big boots and baggy jeans a la Kris Kross who’ll make you wanna JUMP JUMP!

Hopefully with an M&S wedge and a whiff of age I’ve bought this out of the 90’s and into the 10’s.  What say you?

{Double chin gifted via bread}


Posted in Bestie From Africa, Outfit city



June 2012



Opposites attract

As Paula Abdooool quite rightly said opposites do in fact attract. Case in point this dress.

Now this dress used to be Bestie From Africa‘s.  I gave her a Wardrobe detox back in 2011, showed her how to wear this beauty and happily went on my way safe in the knowledge that she was getting some use out of this jersey polka dot dress.

Skip forward to April 2012 and this dress has not been worn but has made it’s way into the ‘Not bringing back to the UK with me‘ pile.  Well of course I nabbed it for myself because a dress that gives you great boobs should not be sniffed at.

The thing you have to remember with this dress is that it could look bad.  If you style it wrong you could look like you still live at home at the age of 35  and call your parents Mummy and Daddy. {If you’re Irish this is borderline ok ~ anything else and it’s a no no}

It’s a girly, sweet dress and needs a little juxtaposition in it’s life.

It should not and I repeat NOT be worn with the following items:

1. A summer sandal and a cardigan.

2. A flat ballet pump and a pashmina

3. Flip flops and no bra {unless you have gravity defying boobs}

{reworked gifted dress, bullfrogs cagoule, office leopard print heels, orla kiely bag}

What it can be worn with is:

1. Killer heels

2. Any animal print ~ leopard, zebra, giraffe…

3. An ankle boot

4. A hooded top

5. A masculine jacket/coat

6. Ryan Gosling as your date.

Do you get where I’m coming from, My Shoelets?


When getting dressed each morning think what is the extreme opposite of what I am wearing and see what delights you can come up with.  I have no doubt that you’ll look #amazeballs.

Let me know how you get on….

Posted in Bestie From Africa, Outfit city, Tricks of the trade


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