Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Treasure hunting at Monies - my favourite jewellery pusher :-)

I'm no Imelda Marcos, but I do suffer from a touch of shoe obsession... I always notice people's shoes, and I'd love them to notice mine too :-) However, I have feet like Cinderella's evil sisters!

Kaffesoester's feet in black patent shoes

It's hard to tell how abnormal my feet and legs are just by looking at them. I know, because I have a hard time convincing people how much trouble they're causing.

With half-healed blisters, discoloured toe nails from the pressure of too flat shoe-fronts and an infection in one of the blisters, you'll not see a photo of my nude feet! However, I will show you lots of photos from my latest visit to the shoe shop.

This picture shows the main issues:

Kaffesoester's shoe problems

The circles are the spots that I've considered having cut off. It would make life so much easier! It's not just about getting fashionable footwear. It's about safety and comfort as well.

The shoe in the photo is a size 6, which is the actual size of my foot, lengthwise. But to have shoes at all, I always wear a size 7 or 8. In some of my footwear I have 2 inches of empty space in front of my toes. It's like wearing clown's shoes, and I often trip over my toes.

After having measured my foot across, I have come to the conclusion that I need a size EEEE, super extra wide, according to the measuring forms. I have tried a few of those too, only to discover, that they're too wide at the base, but too flat in the front. For some reason the industry has decided that if your foot is wide, it's also flat like the feet of Donald Duck! 

So, my foot is really not that wide, only very "full", like my toes, since my nails are getting seriously squashed even though I keep them a short as possible!

This shows a typical shoe shopping session for me:

As usual I'm trying a lot of shoes - and in Denmark they're generally black!

Kaffesoester's foot trying on new shoes

Kaffesoester's foot trying on new shoes

Kaffesoester's foot trying on new shoes

All these shoes are hurting my foot, by being too narrow or flat. The brands are among others Arc, Gabor, Vagabond and Ecco. 

Finally I found two pairs of shoes that fit me, or at least will fit me once I've added little suede cushions inside. They're by German brand Rieker:

Kaffesoester's foot trying on new shoes - the best by Rieker

The only problem is, that these are not the types of shoes that I need! One is a sandal, the other one is in suede. With the nasty spring weather we're experiencing this year, I need water proof shoes. Colour hasn't even been considered yet!

Add an extra curvy calf to these issues and see if you can find me a pair of boots!

It's not a joke when I say that it has taken me a decade to find the boots I wore this winter.

Unfortunately they're fur-lined and so too hot for 10 degrees celcius/50 degrees Fahrenheit. But very comfortable to walk in. However, they're still so tight fitting that I can only work my foot into them wearing the thinnest tights or nothing at all (on my feet!!!). They go half way up my calf, and so end at the widest point :-(

So, I have a lot of shoes from Irregular Choice, 10 out of 16 pairs. Some of their styles have more room for the toes than other brands. In a size 8 with additional padding I can usually find something fun and stylish.

Kaffesoester's shoe collection - 16 pairs

- The silver boots are way too large, so I can't walk in them - only stand or sit

- The ballet flats never give me blisters

- The sandals don't give me blisters  either

- Nor do the blue suede heels, the pink suede heels or the red tweed wedges

- I also have green wellies and old black Ecco sneaker style shoes, now only fit for gardening :-(

Living in a wet climate demands water proof footwear. Living in a colder climate also demands warmer footwear - not a lot of sandals. In knee high snow warm boots are a must!

Such a thing as a sneaker or a trekking boot is completely out of the question. A couple of years ago my daughter was going on a hike with her scout's group, with parents and all. I tried every major shoe shop and outdoor shop in Copenhagen as well as in Berlin where we went on holiday just prior to the hike. After having tried hundreds of shoes I even contacted headquarters per e-mail, asking if they had other models than those in the shops.

The answer was the same as always: We dont' carry "that size" or "that shape"

I know they probably wouldn't sell many pieces, so I can't blame them. It's just depressing always being called "that shape" or "that size", in shops and by producers. And even more depressing that I can't go with my family on hikes or longer walks, because I can't find footwear. 

More than 10 years ago I looked at bespoke footwear. I can actually get some "okay" shoes and boots, for 10000 to 20000 Danish Kroner (1000 to 2000 UK Pounds/ 1500 to 3000 US Dollars). Sadly they don't do waterproof boots or shoes, and only velcro closing. So, no Pyrenees, Himalayas or Kilimanjaro :-(

Besides, the orthopaedic shoe makers cater for people with ill or seriously deformed feet (these customers apparently being older), and mine are neither, they're not even particularly fuzzy. They're just "a little abnormal", and I'm reluctant to pay so much money for shoes that I really wouldn't give a second thought if I had normal feet. I may have to change my attitude here - later!

For now I've given up. There's not a thing that I haven't tried. With other body issues limiting my clothing choices, it easily becomes a depressing job to get dressed. How do I comfort myself?

Well, from above the knees, what did I wear for my shoe shop visit?

Kaffesoester ready to go shoe shopping

I wore my navy dress, my teal rings and my favourite necklace by Monies. And coloured tights of course :-)

A close up of the necklace and my hair which is alright here!:

Kaffesoester in navy dress with Monies necklace of Chrysocolla
The day after I went to Hillerød, a town up North, where my daughter applied for a job. Since she's only 15 and it's the first time, she wanted me to go with her. Although I stayed in the background I managed to stand out anyway!

Kaffesoester in red dress pink trench and red tights

It wasn't warm but windy, with clouds and a few seconds of sunshine every now and then. With patience I managed to get a photo of myself, in sunshine :-D

Kaffesoester in red dress pink trench and red tights in sunshine

Here I'm wearing a dress by H&M, bought in a moment of weakness, together with beautifully matching tights, my pink trench and the lovely horn bead necklace bought on holiday in Mallorca years ago. Who cares if I get another blister on my foot, when I get to wear so much colour?

As regular readers will know, I'm a jewellery addict. My favourite "pusher" being the Danish brand Monies, who happened to have a major sale last week...

I was first in line, an hour early - and so went in ahead of everyone :-) 

I bet I got the best offer in the shop!!!!

Here's what I tried on:

Kaffesoester trying on Monies necklaces
Sorry that I forgot to smile, but I had to concentrate hard to get a useful selfie. I've listed the necklaces in the order I tried them, starting from the top left to right...

So funny how I ended up buying the two first I tried on :-)

At the next sale I'm going to ask permission to take photos because the customers are very picturesque! There are so many extremely stylish and elegant women in there! Many in their 50 and above - and then quite a few gorgeous young models! I couldn't take my eyes off of any of them. I just had to sit down for a whole hour, just admiring all these fantastic women!

The next day I was meeting my BFF for lunch in Torvehallerne (again) - introducing treasure number one :-D 

Kaffesoester with new Rose Quartz necklace
A weighty double strand of beautiful, smooth Rose Quartz - original price: 13.000,- Danish Kroner (1300 UK Pounds or 2000 US Dollars).... 

Now down to: 1000,00 Danish Kroner (100 UKP/ 154 USD)!!!!!! I dare say that was the catch of the day, including all other items sold that day! 

The rest of the outfit with includes my old Dash dress:

Kaffesoester with new Rose Quartz necklace and Dash dress
See the colour on my face? All the gardening has given me a tan, so my foundation is too light, and my hairdresser doesn't need to give the roots a touch up :-)

My BFF is always extremely well dressed, Friday no exception...

Kaffesoester's BFF in Torvehallerne
Aren't those sandals just to die for?

For lunch we had a mix of seafood salads: 

Our lunch at Torvehallerne
It was fantastic! What looks like beer next to the plate is a lime and mint fizzy drink, very nice too.

Some of us, I, needed a cup of coffee and a small cake for dessert...

The dessert
It may not look like much, but the taste was amazing! A strong, creamy lemon pudding on the crunchy and light sponge base with the small name plate in dark chocolate. Perfection!

The very next day I had to fight hard to keep my level of glamour up as we went to a photo meet up, on a small, secluded island - in a tent!

The tent is one of those professional mountain climber accomodations that can only be entered or left crawling :-(  To make things worse, leaving the tent would be by backing. Otherwise one's hands would get wet due to the rain.

At my age and size, in my camping gear, this was in no way dignifying! 

I didn't spend much time in the tent. With lots of rain and strong wind I had no choice but wellies for footwear, and skiing underwear under my glamorous maxi dress, and a long cardigan on top, now ready for the mandatory rain coat as outer layer.

Kaffesoester in front of the tent
These are men's wellies, and they're too narrow for my calves, so they don't come all the way up which is slightly annoying when walking. And there's a 2 inch empty space in the front. I walk carefully in these.

As we had a short moment of dry weather we managed another photo, including our car:

Kaffesoester in front of the car
This lovely WV carries all our camping gear and enough photo gear to equip a small studio!

The island was beautiful, and during another dry spell I managed to get a couple of shots:

Orø beach to the North West

Little violets on the beach on Orø
Orø beach to the North West again
The typical Danish beach has lots of stones, with smaller sandy parts, and lots of grasses and smaller plants near the water. In the water we have plenty of seaweed, some of which is edible. I'm going to see if I can find an expert to learn more about this. I love seaweed, and it's such a waist not to eat it when it's there - healthy, tasty and free!

Enough of the dreadful weather - introducing treasure number two:

The bone and mother of pearl necklace with Rose Quartz and very large pearl
A mix of Bone, Mother of Pearl, Rose Quartz and a huge Fresh Water Pearl. Original price 4000,00 Danish Kroner ( 400,00 UKP/ just under 600 USD), now down to: 800,00 (80,00 UKP/ 120 USD)!!!

Here's how I styled my new necklace:

Kaffesoester in beige dress and new bone necklace by Monies
The jacket is years old, by H&M, as is the beige dress, only never worn and bought last summer. With the newly acquired tan, the necklace really stands out. What you don't get from the photos, is the lovely noise it makes when I move.

This is how I comfort myself when I look at my too small shoe collection, predicting where my next blister pops up or how cold my feet will get during the day.

I might just add, that the sale prices of these necklaces are way lower than any thrift shop or second hand prices. It almost felt like stealing!

Hope summer is somewhere and someone is wearing her sandals...

Lots of warm hugs!



  1. I understand you very well, as I wear orthotics and need a very specific kind of shoes, sometimes it's a long hard search to find a pair of shoes which fit my feet!. Your Irregular Choice collection is awesome, anyway!
    Love your colorful tights and contrasting navy dress, and also love that matching dress&tights combo, such a pretty pink trench!!
    And those fabulous necklaces!! my mouth is watering!! wouu, I understand you were first in line!. And you got an amazing piece, so beautiful on your printed dress!
    I'm admiring how cool you look even when camping!!. And that last necklace is amazing, all those mother of pearl and bone piece!!, fabulousness!

    1. Dear Señora, thank you so much! Yes, I felt so lucky going away with those two necklaces. It felt like a fair and just compensation for my shoe trouble :-) The Hotter brand that you mentioned is my next adventure in shoe shopping. My hopes are not that high though, since they do look too flat in the front - but I'm going to try anyway!

  2. Tine, I feel your footwear frustration. In the last year or so, my feet have become far more troublesome than before, aching and developing bunions (my mum and sisters all have them) and I am more restricted in terms of footwear choices. But I can still find shoes and boots that fit and don't hurt, so I probably shouldn't complain. I love your shoe collection, especially the sandals.
    However fed up you get about your feet, rest assured your outfits always shine with colour and interesting jewellery! I love the pink and red ensemble, and of course your maxi dress is gorgeous. And what wonderful Monies pieces you chose - bold and beautiful, like their owner!
    That food looks delicious, and the seascape/beach photos are stunning.
    PS. Just a thought, but have you ever tried Alegria shoes. They are a Spanish brand, and seem wide-fitting and sensibly designed for comfort but have some quite funky Mary Janes. The shoes I am wearing with my shorts and tights are Alegria (found by cheap in a charity shop!) just wondered if they may be worth a try. Xxx

    1. Thank you so much Curtise, you're so kind! I'll definitely look at Algeria, which is totally unknown to me. My mum has bunions too, so I know how much trouble they cause, and pain! Luckily my feet are otherwise healthy - as long as I wear shoes that fit properly :-)

  3. Dear Tine,
    what a bunch of great pics! Where shall I begin...
    Your new arrivals both are beautiful. The rose one is such a cute soft color and is matching perfectly with this pretty dress. The second one is gorgeous, it is such a cute reminder to the sea. And again you styled it well with this look. Btw I also have this jacket from HuM, I still love it because it gives a special hint to each outfit.
    I always thought I have normal feet. But in the last 10 years I noticed that this is not true. My feet always were wide and I have a high instep paired with small heels. That makes, when I found a pair of shoes matchin in the height and width, that the heel is too wide or wise versa. Usually I have to try on a lot of shoes before I buy one pair. The only shoes always matching are boots, sneakers and flipflops. Reading your post I feel favoured. Nevertheless you have a range of marvellous shoes, each of it worth looking more than twice.
    Have a fine time Tine
    Sabine xxx

    1. Thank you very much Dear Sabine! It's quite surprising how many people have foot problems. Does it come with age? Or is it results of ill-fitting shoes during many years? I had troubles all my life, but the problems have certainly grown with time! Luckily I've found this German brand Rieker, that sometimes saves me - like with the sandals. I'm certainly going to try other styles as well.

      How funny that we both have this, not so new jacket, by H&M. It does add personality to an outfit, and the colour is a great neutral. I'm having moral issues with H&M though, so I try to stay away - and buy local "produce" if I can (like you did with that great top in your last post), or from brands with an acceptable CSR-profile, like M&S and the Arcadia group in the UK.

  4. Det var noget af en post. Jeg ved ikke, om jeg har fået det hele med, mit engelsk er sådan lidt bob, bob. Men jeg vil sige, at du er altid i spændende farver og jeg kan godt lide, at du er gennemført. Både det sarte rosa og det gennemføret røde kan jeg godt lide til dig. Og så er jeg bare målløs hvad angår Monies - der, er jeg da godt nok gået glip af noget. Men dejligt at se det båret af dig. Den hvide kæde er altså så smuk og god til det grå. Skal vi ikke satse på at det snart bliver sandalvejr. :)

    1. Kære Anne-Marie, jeg synes absolut du har dækket denne maraton-post - tusind tak! Ja, jeg kan kun anbefale at deltage i denne "gavebod". De er så søde derinde, og selv kunderne er rigtig rare og hjælpsomme overfor hinanden, overhovedet ikke som til andre udsalg. Det er en stor oplevelse såvel som fornøjelse! Jeg tror det er butikkens ånd, deres fantastiske personale, som slår igennem hos kunderne også.

      Nogle gange når jeg er "gennemført", så er jeg faktisk bange for, at jeg matcher for meget. Jeg ved godt, at jeg har tendens til at hænge mig i nuancer og små detaljer, istedet for at tage en chance og prøve noget, der ikke oplagt passer sammen. Men jeg er glad for at du kan lide det :-)

      Med de sidste par vejrudsigter ligner weekenden bestemt sandal-vejr, så nu er spørgsmålet bare, hvilken farve neglelak! :-D

  5. I'm so much like Senora in her comments here. Shoes are so very frustrating and I cracked up when you mention the areas you'd like to cut off!!!
    You look awesome in statement necklaces and should wear them more!

    1. Thank you so much Joni :-) What I don't understand is that plastic surgery can master reducing anything from fat thighs and belly rolls to breasts, as well as remodelling noses, ears and eye-lids. Plus of course puffing up cheeks and lips! Why isn't there any treatment for feet? I bet there's a pot of gold waiting for the surgeon who starts remodelling feet!

      The white necklace is definitely the largest piece in my collection, so far. I always thought it would look "crowded" on me, with my G-cups, but I've certainly changed my mind now :-)

  6. Sorry for your foot troubles, it must be such a challenge! We need our feet all day, and there's nothing like a painful shoe to ruin the mood. Your new pink necklace is beautiful. xox

    1. Thank you very much Patti :-) To add to the problem, I don't drive a car, so I'm always on my bicycle or my feet. That way I save money of course (for more necklaces!) but also experience lots of pain and thus adding to the need for comfort (as in more necklaces) :-)

  7. Wise idea to give up on those troublesome shoes and concentrate on the Monies sale instead, your purchases are stunning and will give you so much pleasure every time you wear them. You are ever so stylish while camping in your maxi dress. Lovely post, boy have you been busy.

    1. Thank you so much Dear Jill, yes I was busy - but like on a merry-go-round kind of way :-)
      Although the camping weekend didn't quite live up to my expectations! Never mind, we've now invested in a totally different kind of tent, which we'll be taking to another Danish island soon - a much more glamorous island, with better weather, know for it's great food, and very beautiful scenery and historic building. And there'll be lots of opportunity to wear necklaces!

  8. I like all the dresses you have shown to us...especially that blue one matched with colourful tights that you wore for shoe shopping...but I also really like the red one that you also paired with colourful tights.

    Finding comfortable shoes can be quite a challenge. I realized that what works best for me is one croatian/slovenian brand Peko. Their leather shoes are of pretty good quality...for me it is often hard to find a proper shoes because I'm in between sizes.

    1. Thank you very much Ivana :-) one of my feet is also in between sizes, so I always add extra padding inside my shoes. That can sometimes also compensate for lower quality. If the Peko brand is sold online I'll certainly have a look at them. Who knows, it could be just what the doctor ordered?

  9. I love all the outfits! You look so colorful and positive. Your necklaces are amazing! I hope you'll find many cool shoes that fit you well and painlessly.
    Have a wonderful evening:))

    1. Thank you very much Dear! I really try to stay as positive as I can - life is so much more enjoyable then! Kind blogger comments help a lot too :-)

  10. Well, at least you can shop your heart out for clothing and amazing jewellery. You are so right - what gorgeous pieces at such a good price. As for the feet, I wish I had some miracle shoe brand to drop in your lap. At least you are smart and persevere so you will find footwear at some point. Hang in there!! Your Irregular Choice shoes are pretty amazing. Too bad they don't make boots! Great photos.

  11. Thank you very much Dear Melanie! Currently I'm considering buying second hand shoes. I imagine that having someone else breaking the shoes in will allow me a wider choice of brands - but it's only a theory so far! You'll be the first to know how it goes, of course :-) Sadly, Irregular Choice do make boots, they just don't fit me very well :-(

  12. Dearie, I cant believe I didnt leave a comment before, I really meant to, blah after having a kid I seem to forget things all the time. OOOOOOOOOOOO girl, you did score some beauties from Monies and such a bargain too!!! Im totally with you being first in line. ;) Im sorry to learn of your issues with shoes, it must be such annoying and painful not being able to wear any shoe you love. Thank heavens for Irregular Choice though, pretty cool shoes! :)

  13. I think you have the right idea: distract the eyes from shoes with a fabulous necklace! trying on shoes is such a nightmare, I always struggle to find comfortable yet stylish shoes, too. And whenever I find something I like, I buy two pairs...

  14. The best part is that your feet are healthy (mine too) - we'll find good shoes eventually. I have quite a few brands that work for me: Rieker, Josef Seibel, Pikolinos, Dansko, Born, Sofft... I usually look for a good arch support and, of course, the right width. Some of Dansko shoes are even way too wide for me, so I always go shoes shopping in person (while I prefer buying dresses and such online). I prefer shops that introduce many brands, and we do have special shoe shops in the US which only sell comfortable, walkable shoes, often designs are funky.

    Your necklaces are amazing! You will have so much fun styling your outfits with these awesome jewelry. Like others, I'm in awe to see you camping in a beautiful maxi dress. What a gorgeous woman!!! xxx

  15. Okay girlfriend, I MIGHT have an answer for you with the shoes. A couple years ago, I started wearing Bernie Mevs. The sole is light as air, the foot bed is memory foam, and the upper is 100% woven elastic except for the part behind the heel which is soft suede. I have the same problem you have, where the shoe will cut me off on the top of the foot, make a weird fat bubble because of a too tight strap, etc. But, I also have the added bonus of having completely hammer toes. If you curl your toes under, that's how mine are permanently. Only my big toe is normal. I also have an extremely high arch, and narrow feet. BUT, I am plus sized and have fat on those feet. The Bernie Mevs are wonderful and have changed my life. They are stylish and totally make my feet sing. The two styles that work for me are the Lulia and the Drake. Because of my toes, that toe style is what works best for me. Now, I know they make a bootie. I just haven't found one for purchase here in the States. I also don't know if they make wide width. But, I think you really should investigate. Besides my Dr. Martens, this is the only other shoe I can wear. Unlike the Docs, the Bernie Mevs are perfect right out of the box every single time without exception. I have tried imitation brands that look the same. But, they are not the same. Just an FYI. I love your blog and your style!