In the spring I ran a post about my very own pair of  hand made, made to measure brogues. Given that brogues are just about the best pair of shoes you can invest in this season, and that Selve who make them are in London doing fittings at the end of the month, I thought I’d run the post again.


Yup, that’s made to measure as in made to fit my wonky feet exactly by Selve, a shoemaker who customise shoes to the customer’s specifications, not just in size, but in everything from colour to heel height.


I chose brogues as they are timeless and will last me for years, I hope. I thought a very dark brown would be more useful than black as I am trying hard not to wear black clothes all the time, and especially not outside of work.

And aren’t they just heavenly? (Although slightly annoyed that I forgot to put the leather laces in for the photos.)


Look at those bee-yootiful soles…works of art, they are.


I was thrilled when Selve offered to make shoes to fit me as my feet are different sizes and, with my abnormally narrow heels skinny calves & high insteps, I find it almost impossible to buy shoes that fit correctly.

When I last had boots made to fit by Selve, the whole process of measuring me up was more complicated but it’s been considerably progressed by technology, and now only takes an hour or so. After the initial appointment, your specs are kept on file so subsequent orders can be taken by phone or e mail.

So, I stripped off my tights and my feet were measured at 5 points using a 3D noninvasive foot scanner.


which creates a 3D image of the feet, ankles & calves.


My measurements were compared to Selve’s library of lasts, and the software progamme then recommends the correct shoe size(s) for each foot.

Leila from Selve then brought out a vast array of shoes in different styles, sizes & widths so we could check that the computer’s measurements were accurate, as fit can be a very subjective matter, depending on what the individual customer finds comfortable.

Then, I wandered around the showroom, looking at the myriad styles on offer and bearing in mind that each shoe can be almost entirely customised once the basic style has been fixed on. With a choice of heel, color, fabric, lining and style, the customer’s finished shoe can bear little or no resemblance to the Selve basic model.


The shoe above could be made in leather. It could have no contrast trim, or equally the contrast trim could be in suede. It could have one of many different heel types…you could make it look entirely different. For example: the shoe below could be made in red patent leather with shocking pink trim and a two inch heel…


Admission: about five years ago Selve made me a pair of leather boots for a piece I wrote in The Observer. I’m pretty sure I have the boot on the right below. Thing is, by the time I had chosen black leather, nixed the patchwork, changed the heel shape & heel height and raised the instep, it’s hard to work out just which boot I started with..



I decided to choose a classic pair of brogues from their extensive mens collection. This should have been pretty simple, as I just went with the standard Selve brogue style and had only to pick the fabric & lining but this took me forever as I couldn’t decide between leather & suede or the colour.


I could have ended up with something like this:


and I played briefly with the idea of silver or black patent brogues, but then my sensible side took hold, and dark brown was fixed upon. Then I just had to wait for my shoes to arrive in the post.

If you are tempted, (look they even do a bespoke over the knee boot):

selve 2

Their next trunk show appointments in the UK are on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st September from 1pm – 9pm at The Boundary Hotel, London.Unfortunately their US salon in Red Bank, NJ is now closed.) You can choose to have your feet scanned if you have difficult feet like mine, or you can just go for the advanced fit and customisation options.

(I also wrote about Selve handbags here.)

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With regards to keeping specs on file, if a customer was to gain inches on their calves, would it just be a case of ringing up to ask them to up the values or would they need a full remeasure?


It’s a wonderful thing that craft can exist. Bespoke … it’s an epiphany and almost a meditation. A very fine antidote to fast fashion and wondering exactly how small the fingers sewing were.

Your description of your feet from wonky on had me almost in tears. Something like what many feel when, quelle horror, it’s bathing suit try-on season.




Beautiful brogues! I also have an impossible time finding pretty shoes to buy and I can’t tell you how envious I am of these! Custom made shoes can often look so orthopedic, but these look fantastic – I think I’ll be saving for a while though…


Ooh I remember when you did this last time – they are so, so beautifully made, and absolutely classic. Loving the sound of the silver or black patent too! I think I need to get me a pair…

Briony xx


they are so beautiful. love the fuchsia one in particular. x


I LOVE Those brogues! Keen to invest but do you think they will still be fashionable for the next few seasons?


I’ve been looking all over the place for made-to-measure brogues. It’s impossible to buy shoes to fit my abnormally narrow feet/average toe width combo. How much does the service cost?


I would love to invest in a pair of these beautiful brouges, as l have really small narrow feet this would be perfect for me. Was wondering are they very expensive as l know they will be a life time shoe.


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