Tuesday 15 November 2011

Essential Winter Preparations

When October rolls around and the clocks go back and the colder weather arrives I know it is time to get all prepared for the really cold spell and this for me means heading out to the shops (yes, yes OK. I know I need no excuse to go shopping, it is my favourite pastime but honestly I am good now. No money equals no shopping). However,  I always find that if you don't shop early to get your winter essentials you are either left with the dross that no-one else wants or you have to spend a fortune and as someone on a budget who still likes to look good, planning and shopping early in the season is the answer.

So what do I need this year?  Not too much actually, which is good news!  Late last year I was shopping in Debenhams with my Mum and it was the very end of their sale and they even had buy one item get another free on sale coats.  My Mum needed a waterproof coat for dog walking and I spotted a gorgeous red wool coat and obviously bagged that.  So coat sorted, my Rocha John Rocha is still in pristine condition and will happily last me this season. What did it cost? I can't remember exactly but I think it had been reduced from about £90 to £25 and of course we got it free as my Mum was buying anyway.

Then thoughts turn to gloves, hats and scarfs and yes I have all those too.  Somehow I have managed to keep my pair of black leather gloves for about 6 years now, which is just perfect as they are all soft and moulded to my shape. Red bobble hat (I kid you not) fits a treat and makes the kids laugh but boy it does the job of keeping me warm on those January school walks.

Next up is boots and I have a couple of pairs currently, a knee high brown smart pair and a beautiful pair of K soft black knee-high casual boots.  I love to wear these but for me they are just not something I can wear under jeans and as a women of larger proportions I just look silly if I try to wear skinny jeans and my boots over them. 

So I need something ultra comfortable, durable, warm, suitable for rain and snow that look good and can be worn under jeans.  Well my answer came in the form of a pair of 'Jade' (no not bright green boots, Jade is the style name)  boots I received from Hotter comfort concept to review. I was not familiar with Hotter before being contacted but I have since found out that my Mum has a pair of Hotter shoes and she loves them.  We both have rubbish problematic feet and never wear the truly glam shoes that some people do, so when my Mum sang their praises I knew they were good, this is a lady I can trust!

The ankle boots I ordered are in a lovely aubergine colour and have a short zip in by the ankle so they go on easily. The leg of the boot is in a crinkle design but depending on the colour you can have them crinkled or straight leg, they do some lovely taupe suede ones but as I wanted boots that would last me through the snow that is bound to show up soon, I was sensible and opted for leather. I did some puddle jumping tests to see how my boots might last when soaking and they came through the test unscathed!

I ordered my boost in extra wide fit and at £85 they are not cheap but I am alway ahappy to pay this kind of money for a pair of boots that last and feel good. The lightweight sole is moulded rubber and there are millions of air bubbles in it, this along with the super soft cushioning is what gives the shoes the complete comfort factor. I kid you not, these are like wearing slippers.  I do love them.

I just took a look at the Hotter site to find out a little more about the company and it has made me smile to see why my boots were as comfy as slippers!  Hotter are a  family owned and run business and they started off in the slipper market back in the 1950's. Most of their shoes are British made at their own factory in Lancashire, 1.3 million pairs last year to be precise.  They are passionate about their product and enjoy making sure the customer is happy.  Every pair of shoes or boots is hand polished and wrapped in tissue paper before being sent out.  I do have to say my boots arrived looking fabulous, the box was good and sturdy and would make a lovely gift.

There are a massive selection of shoes and boots on Hotter and I have to be honest you won't be going on there to buy the latest on-trend platforms or killer heels but I think that clue is in the name Hotter comfort concept!  If you want comfy shoes for work, evening shoes for an older woman or trendy flat boots then I highly recommend taking a look around the site and placing an order. There always seems to be lots of offers, Just tonight I can see £5 off your order and free P&P or buy 2 pairs of boots and save £20. Then when I received my boots they came with a catalogue which had 3 for 2 on shoes and gifts. Bargain!

Then lastly my winter essentials would not be complete without the party pieces and here are my gorgeous but very impractical and very uncomfortable (truth be told) heels that I'll be wearing over the Xmas season. I already have a nice outfit from the MAD blog awards but with my weight loss I do hope that might be too big and then I'll wear a beautiful Wallis top and M&S wide leg black trousers which have been too small for over a year and I was also dreaming about this dress yesterday too.....


Disclosure:  I was supplied with a pair of Hotter comfort concept boost free of charge for the purposes of this review.  They did not instruct me what to write and I remain honest. These really are the most comfy piece of footwear I have ever worn.
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