Class is in session. Today's lesson: How to Dress Like a Future Queen Consort. First step, rock a Camilla Parker-Bowles favorite: Sole Bliss. Known for their wide-footbed styles, the London-based company was founded in 2017 after designer Lisa Kay realized shoe options for women with bunions were horribly limited—and that looking your best shouldn't have to mean sacrificing comfort. In the last five years, Sole Bliss has taken off, and been worn by Hollywood and British royalty alike. (Prince Charles's wife reportedly owns 11 pairs, including two pairs of their "trainers," or as we Americans call them: sneakers.)
Royally Obsessed | fashion
Our Editors Tested the Duchess of Cornwall's Beloved Shoes—Here's What They Had to Say
Here, the Duchess of Cornwall is rocking the Carmen style during a visit to Canada House in London this month, and below she's wearing the Ingrid style (with a fabulous feather print shirt dress by Fiona Clare) for a visit to Exeter Cathedral with Prince Charles.
That's why my Royally Obsessed podcast cohost, Rachel Bowie, and I decided to test out the shoes ourselves. (Hey, if they're good enough for *actual* royalty...) Rachel went with the classic Ingrid pump style in black suede, while I tried out the new Ruby platform sandals in gold. Both have three layers of underfoot cushioning, a wider footbed (regardless of whether you have bunions or wide feet, it allows more room for your toes to breathe), a shock-resistant block heel for all-day comfort and are podiatrist-approved and handmade in Spain.
I originally tried my actual shoe size (size 6.5) but realized that with my narrower feet I should size down, so I ended up with a size 5 that fit like a dream. I wore them everywhere: a bachelorette weekend in Miami (where I stood/danced for six hours straight with the bride-to-be), a wedding in Cabo, a bridal shower in Palm Beach (can you tell I'm at the age where all of my friends are tying the knot?!)...and received so many compliments everywhere I went.
With the Ruby, the chunkier style feels retro and very on-trend, while the 3.5-inch heel and extra toe space let me wear them for hours without even a little discomfort.
Rachel also sized down in the Ingrid—she’s typically a size 7.5, but went with the size 7 in this case. (As a rule of thumb with the brand, you may want to consider sizing down by a half to a whole size for a more accurate fit.) The low heel combined with the extra padding meant that this shoe fit comfortably right from the first wear. No wonder Camilla chooses the brand for a day’s worth of engagements! Rachel was also struck by how versatile the style is. "I loved pairing it with a dress for the office, but it felt equally chic with jeans running errands, too," she said.
So whether you have wide feet, bunions or just searching for a heel that's actually comfortable for all-day wear (and has a royal stamp of approval), the FQC is definitely onto something. (Psst: That's Future Queen Consort, for us commoners.)