Thursday, November 24, 2011

Review: Anthropologie Brass Tacks Boots

Disappointing. As I'd feared, the Brass Tacks boots (now $98) didn't quite live up to my expectations. Reviews on Anthro's website pointed to a narrow shaft, and one reviewer said the boots looked good on her 12" calf. I received the boots today and the calf circumference is about 13.75 inches. It looked pretty ridiculous on my 12 inch calf. I'm having some camera issues but will try to post a pic soon. The leather is stiff and good quality, but seems like it will scuff easily, so some sort of protective spray may be a good idea. The shaft is unlined. The fit is true to size. My usual size 6 fit well, with room for socks. 

For those of you with 13.5 inch calves, this is a nice boot.
 It may also work with leg warmers or thick socks, if you have 13 inch calves. I haven't experimented much with this but saw a pair of leg warmers at Athleta that seem like they could work. 

Ordering info: Anthro is currently having a promotion of 25% off sale items through Sunday. 
On Black Friday, from 6am to 11am, they're offering 50% off sale items. The discount is reflected once you add the item to your cart. According to the site, all sizes are still available. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Boot Roundup

I apologize for the long lag time since my last entry. It’s been a bit challenging to find boots to write about recently (I’m hoping that the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas will be better). Here are some that recently caught my eye, as well as one that I want to caution you all about. 

Anthropologie, Brass Tacks Boots (now $130 $98) 
**Anthro is having a 25% off sale promo so these boots are now $98! But free shipping only kicks in for orders over $100. Add the boots to your cart to see the discount.)
I usually glaze over Anthro’s boots because of their gigantic calves but for some reason these boots caught my eye. The description says the calf circumference is 14” and one of the reviewers said it looked good on her 12” calves! Anthro is offering free shipping on purchases over $100 through Nov. 30, so I quickly ordered them to review. I'm supposed to get them tomorrow so I'll try and post my review as quickly as possible. If you want to take advantage of the free shipping and can't wait for the review, you'll have to order by next Wednesday. If you live near an Anthro store, you can always return them to the store if they doesn't fit. Last time I checked, all sizes were still available. I’m trying not to get my hopes up for reasons you’ll understand as soon as you read about the next pair of boots on the list. 
Anthropologie, Brass Tacks boots ($130 $98)

Aerosoles, Mezzotint (now $100)
Let me just cut to the chase-- do not buy these boots. The description (on both Piperlime and the Aerosoles website) says the calf circumference is 12” with the side zipper closed and 14” with it open (if correctly executed, this is a great idea!). I got so excited that I immediately ordered them to review for this blog. Not a smart move! After ordering, I read through the reviews and realized that the shaft width is way wider than 12”. I even stopped by an Aerosoles store hoping that the reviews were talking about a wide-shaft version of the boot, but was bitterly disappointed to see that the regular shaft is at least 14” with the zipper closed.  I felt deceived and very annoyed. Why not put just the expected level of effort to ensure accurate product descriptions?
Aerosoles, Mezzotint boots ($100)

Very Volatile, Hazel (now $90)
Given my previous experience with questionable product descriptions, I’m hesitant to believe Piperlime’s claim that these boots have an 11” circumference. I’m not sure if it’s worth ordering it to review, because it seems so unlikely. I decided to post about it in case any of you have tried it out and can share your experience. 
Very Volatile, Hazel boots ($90)

Vince Camuto, Braden (now $125)
The description lists a calf circumference of 13” and suggests ordering a half-size larger since the shoe runs small. The reviews seem mostly positive and I like that it’s offered in both a slouchy slade as well as a leather option that seems stiffer. Some reviewers say that the boot was more slouchy than they expected and a couple said the shaft was better suited for tall women.
Vince Camuto, Braden boots (multiple colors) ($125)

Steve Madden, Natalee ($190)
I’m surprised to have a Steve Madden boot on this list because theirs are usually very large in the calf. However, Piperlime claims that this pair of boots have a 13.5” circumference. No reviews yet but I’ll see if I can find these at a Madden store and snap a pic.

Steve Madden, Natalee boots ($190)

Follow-up on a previous boot roundup - Thanks so much to Danielle for commenting about her experience with Diba’s Hear Me Now boot! She said that the boot circumference fit her 12.75” calves well, with a little bit of room for leggings or jeans. I’m so glad she found boots that fit and I hope this will help some of you out there as well!

(P.S. - I added the "follow by email" option, which sends new posts directly to you via email, for those of you who don't want to keep checking the blog to see what's new).

Little Contessa

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: Kamik Ellie Rain Boot

Finding rain boots that fit slim calves can be incredibly frustrating. I always end up feeling like a little kid wearing grown ups’ boots. The reviews on Endless for Kamik’s Ellie rain boot ($80) alluded to its slim shaft so I decided to give it a try.

The Result – I found that they fit better than any other rain boot I’ve tried, but there’s still about an inch of empty space. Surprisingly, you can’t really tell when looking at them from the front and they still don’t look too bad from a side view on my 12-inch calves (compared with others I’ve tried on). The picture below is from a friend of mine, M, who has 13-inch calves. The boots fit her really nicely, with just enough room for skinny pants or socks. I think this is a great option for those with 12 ½ to 13 ½ inch calves, but unfortunately might be too loose for those with smaller calves. Although I thought they looked passable on me, I’m not sure everyone with 12-inch calves would agree.

Fit & Function – I tried on the yellow when it was on sale (that color is no longer available) and thought it was very pretty. The picture above shows the eggplant, which is also quite lovely. The boots seem sturdy, good quality and—most importantly—comfortable. They are also machine washable (!) and recyclable, which I thought was pretty cool. A bonus is the soft polartec lining, which I’m sure will be useful in the winter. I haven’t yet tried them on snow/ice but found the grip sufficient in the rain. The reviews said the boots run small. I wanted to be able to accommodate thick socks in the winter so I ordered a 7--a size larger than my usual since they don't offer half sizes. They were roomy but still wearable and comfortable. In the picture above, M is wearing her true size and suggested sizing up because they could be snug with socks.

Ordering Tips – The price of these boots are a little steep for rain boots, but I do think it’s justified by their quality. I ordered from Endless, but the boots are also on other sites that offer free shipping and returns, including Nordstrom and ZapposOnline Shoes offers free shipping and exchanges (no free returns though), and currently has a promotion (through 11/15/2011) for $20 off purchases of $90 or more with promo code 1FALLDEAL. Amazon currently has them on sale. They're also at and Planet Shoes, which offer free shipping. 

Have any of you had luck finding rain boots that fit narrow calves? Leave a comment—I’d love to hear about your experiences. Thanks to all those who have submitted comments thus far! I know I've yet to write about boots that work well for calves that are less than 12.5 inches, but don't think I'm not looking! I'll keep hunting for boots that work for you girls!

Little Contessa