One of the nicest parts of working on a business idea is all the market research I’ve had to do. This has involved palming the kids off on willing mothers and other nice people and sauntering off to the British Library to look at various reports into the trends and forecasts of the clothing and apparel industry.
What is really interesting is that non-standard size sales in 2012 reached a value of £4,284 billion and it is estimated that by 2017 it will have reached just over £8,00 billion. I know that I should be able to give you a percentage value of the entire clothing & apparel industry and that is something I will find out, but even without a comparison, that figure is staggering. The fact also that they expect that to have more than doubled by 2017, suggests that these market researches and trend forecasters all know what I’ve been whanging on about for years – that the number of people like me (ie who need to wear non-standard sizes) is growing and will continue to grow for years to come.
Yet again, I ask myself why shoe retailers are not jumping on that bandwagon already? I asked a friend who works at a very well known fashion mag who also has size nines, if she could shed any light on this and she said its because at the moment, there is not enough money in it for the big retailers to make it worth their while. They all say ‘they are looking in to it’ but that is a long way from doing anything about it.
Well, we knew it had to be about money didn’t we. In the meantime, I’m trying to hunt down some heels with just two straps, for spring and summer, like the ones seen at many of the shoes in NYFW. Its London’s turn in a few weeks, it will be interesting to see what that brings for UK footwear.
I went for a run yesterday, forcing myself out into the cold winter morning and leaving my warm house and slightly annoying family behind (only the kids were slightly annoying, my husband was just resigned to the irritation which I suppose made that slightly irritating in itself.)
I tied up my trainers and put my head down and as usual my mind began to wonderfully wander, as running seems to enable it to do.
My trainers are too wide for me and frankly, quite ugly but up to yesterday it hadn’t actually bothered me. It was only when I saw three other women jog serenely past me, ponytails swinging happily, neat and really quite attractive trainers daintily threading their way through the mud and shit of the south London park, that I realised yet again my sense of style was being threatened by my footwear. Obviously you don’t go running with fashion in mind, but there’s no harm in your clothes and shoes looking good, especially when I know the rest of me will be a bright red sweaty mess at the end of it. I can’t buy womens trainers because they stop at size 8. So I am left having to buy mens, too wide, brash trainers and just making do. I suppose I could buy innersoles to make them fit a little better, but its yet another thing that convinces me that things have to change. I know I could probably buy some cool Nikes’ who probably do uni-sex styles, but as I only wear my trainers for running in that seems like a waste of time & money.
At the moment I am living in wonderfully warm but utterly un-sexy Ugg like but not Ugg boots. I have to say, I really don’t like Uggs – I think they make almost anyone who wears them sloppy – but in these cold days even I will make an exception.
Sorry, I digress. I’m going to be buying new trainers soon – maybe I’ll head in to Nike, see whats on offer. And then I’ll go and buy some cheaper mens ones and just moan about it a little bit to my long suffering husband. Maybe he should be the one going for a run……
I threw back the curtains this morning with an added zing in my step. I had taken a peek a few minutes earlier and to my surprise, rather than seeing grey skyies and rain I had seen blue sky, streaked with the most perfect shade of pinky orange. It made me remember what colour can actually do for a persons state of mind. Its been a tough few weeks, but now the eldest child is back at school I feel I can look forward – and that means thinking about spring. And specifically, what shoes I’m going to wear.
The colour thing got me, because spring is the time when its almost a given you will wear colour. Its like its a right of passage. We all wear popping neons in spring to sweep away the winter greys and then by the end of summer we’re all gagging to wear dark colours again. So – shoes. I want shoes with colour and I want to be wearing them by April (at the latest mother nature, you got that!?).
These are those kind of shoes – they make me want to wear light denim and a nice shirt, probably white and maybe some red lipstick and some sunglasses, whilst spending the day with friends, having some lunch, before going to see a good film and a few drinks.
Not sure how a pair of shoes can make me want to have such a specific day, but these ones sum up spring so well.
It seems that Stateside, there is a movement which is picking up, by women with larger feet. They are taking action and they are talking about the fact that they want more choice. Do they realise that they have a huge amount more choice than us here in the UK? I don’t know. But what I do know is that whatever happens, stylewise, in the States, always gets here in the end.
Size Queens: Women’s Size 14 Shoes.