Thursday, December 31, 2015

Winter Bohemian








Free People Hat
Fred Meyer Scarf
Urban Outfitters Cardigan (thrifted)
Madewell Silk Dress (ebay)
American Eagle Outfitters Belt
Coach Bag (gift - thrifted)
Sandgrens' Manhattan Clog Boots c/o Sandgrens

I talked yesterday about these great clog boots and how I choose them but looking at my outfit formals. I wear a lot of maxi dresses, even in the winter and I love boots with dresses, not just for practicality! These clog boots have a really great visual weight which I think looks amazing with a silk dress, a thick cardigan and a big scarf, it just sort of balances the whole look where a slim heel would look off. My personal style leans very rustic bohemian-western-ish and while I love how these boots work with it, I also think they would work with a variety of styles.
I know, I was holding my bag backwards the entire time - I'm a derp. :P

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Nice Boots! Sandgrens Clogs

 







 
American Eagle Outfitters Hat and Belt
Free People Dress and Bag (ebay)
Helmut Lang Coat (ebay)
Scarf (consignment)
Manhattan Clog Boots for Women c/o Sandgrens

 
 
Sandgrens' is a company I've known about for years and actually grew up "barrowing" my mom's clogs for school until my feet grew bigger than hers.  (Back when overalls were cool and we wore them with one strap attached and then platform sandals or clogs.) I have a lot of nostalgia towards this brand and I was really excited when they approached me to review a pair of their clogs.  You guys, you know me and clogs - I was really excited about it! I was allowed to pick out a pair and that was really difficult! My first instinct was to ask for a pair of the shearling clog boots - isn't the Seattle amazing? I have another pair of shearling clog boots that I love and wear a bunch and ultimately that's what made me decided against them - I have a pair I like already.

If you aren't familiar with Sandgrens', they are a Swedish based company that was started in 1846 and are now considered one of the oldest clog crafting companies. The clogs are hand made in Sweden, you can actually see a behind-the-scenes video about creating the clogs on their front page!  They are one of the few Swedish clog making companies to still manufacture in Sweden and the wide variety of clogs they create really speaks to how fashion forward they are.  I looked at a lot of clogs this past summer trying to find the perfect pairs and I was really blown away by the selection that Sandgrens offers.  Sandgrens also sells through their Etsy webpage - when I buy shoes online I do a lot of research now and I loved seeing all of the reviews!  Nothing will make me buy a shoe faster than lots and lots of reviews.

I did want to pick out something that I would get a ton of mileage out of and when I look at my style formula, I realized it was a pretty easy choice. I wear either high rise black skinny jeans with a blouse and leather jacket, a maxi dress with tights and boots or a short dress with black tights and boots. I reach for black boots more often than I do my brown or red ones so as much as I love the burgundy lace up boots, I knew that black boots were what I'd wear the most. I choose the Manhattan Women's Clog Boot because I loved the sleek profile, it is so sharp looking from the side and I really appreciate the adjustable strap at the top. I can loosen it if I'm wearing jeans or tighten it up a little if I'm wearing tights and no end up with a large gap between my calf and the boot. These have a very walkable heel and while I did order the highest height, there's also a version with a lower heel, the Soho, which is great for an every day shoe. I went with the Manhattan because I really like the black leather with the dark wood sole but there's quite a few other color choices, such as burgundy and brown!  There's also the New York which features a light wood sole if dark wood isn't really your thing.

I really appreciated that the website gave such extensive measurements on the shoes. I buy most of my shoes online now and it can be really frustrating sometimes trying to tell how a boot will fit or look. I've been burned a few times with boots not fitting my calf or ankle so I am really careful about paying attention to calf circumference now. The guide was very helpful, it mentions both the shaft height and the shaft circumference for the different sizes which I really appreciate. The measurements are extensive so I will say this, pay attention to the sizing guide! With boots I usually go up a size and wear a EU 40 but the Sandgrens' boots seem to run small according to the guide.  I went up to an EU 41 and I'm very happy I did, they would have been too small otherwise!
Brochures were included with the packaging that outlined how the boots were suppose to fit and I thought that was very helpful. Leather boots can feel very snug at first and sometimes it can be hard to tell if the tightness you feel means the boot just needs to be broken in or if it's just too small.  The boots were tight for the first 10 mins, right behind the ball of my foot but the leather loosened up pretty quickly and mine were completely broken in after a few days of easy wearing. (The guide says about 2 weeks to break in and not to wear them for long periods of time until then but mine felt very comfortable after wearing them around the house and even after the first day of standing on my feet, they still didn't hurt.) The leather is really incredible, it's much thicker than my Rag and Bone boots and while it's not "buttery soft" it is very smooth and is vey high quality. (Buttery soft leather is not great for boots - it wears out quickly and in my experience, is difficult and expensive to have repaired.)

  What impressed me the most about these boots was the zipper - I've never had a pair of boots with this good of a zipper! It's very sturdy and the teeth are thick, they zip up very smoothly and it's going to take a lot to blow these out. I have to get the zippers on my paddock boots repaired about once a year and it's always very expensive so it made me very happy to see that Sanndgren's put this much thought into the boot and didn't cheap out in an area than even work boot brands often cut corners on.   Knowing that I won't have to keep replacing the zipper at $70 a pop means I would have no qualms about buying a more expensive boot.  The price feels steep at $319 but I really feel that is a fair price considering that the clogs are hand carved and that they use such nice materials - the leather is very thick compared to other boots in the  $200 - $400 range that I've looked at and as I mentioned, none have had that nice of a zipper.  Sandgren's does run sales however so keep an eye out for a good deal!

The only down side to these boots was that while they have a really amazing grip on the bottom, you do get balls of snow packed on.  I didn't have this problem at all with packed down snow or walking on ice, just loose wet snow so it's really not a big deal - just knock the snow off your boots before walking on a slick floor.  The sole are really great for walking on ice, I haven't slipped in these at all and the tread is pretty aggressive. (Which I think it what makes the bottoms ball up, I've had this problem with other boots with aggressive treads so to me, it's not a big deal.) 

 
I mentioned I really liked the "Seattle"  shearling boot that they have out so I thought I should show it.  Isn't it pretty?  If I wasn't so happy with my shearling clog boots I have now I would have gone for these in a heart beat, as it was it was hard not to choose them!  They also feature these in a lower heel (again, great for every day) and in both a shorter boot and a lace up bootie - one of the things I really like about Sandgrens is the variety of heel heights.  Not all of us want a super high boot or need to wear flatter shoes and it's nice to see a brand acknowledge that.  (Not surprising seeing as they offer clogs for nurses.)
While I did choose the Manhattan Boots, I was really tempted by the Victoria.  Last summer I really wanted a pair of vivid red leather clogs, low heel and closed toe and I could not find a pair that was just right. Everything either had a t-strap or open toe or that straps weren't exactly what I wanted. But then I found these on Sandgrens and they are so perfect! The only reason I choose the Manhattan over these was because of how long our winters are. with 8 months or snow, boots just make a little more sense but ooooooh, these are so cute. I think I'll have to save up and buy these because how great with they be with shorts or maxi dresses in the summer? (Or haha, black skinny jeans?)

*I was gifted a pair of Sandgrens clogs in return for a review.  This is my honest option regarding these clogs - Alaskan Weredork doesn't accept many c/o products and when I do accept, it's because I really love the product.  Thank you to Sandgrens for giving me these boots, I really am impressed with them and am grateful for the opportunity!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 2015 Budget

1. Free People "Percy" Clog in Metallic - $49.99 on ebay (retailed for $199)
2. Antik Batik Black Dress - $25 on ebay, paid in paypal credit paid $0
3. Topshop Parka - $8.99 - thrifted
Total paid = $57.98 cash , $25 in paypal credit from reselling clothes

First time posting with Franish's Budget Bloggers! I don't normally participate in linkups but I've always loved Franish's budget posts and have been following since she started it. I'm nosey and it's always really interesting to see what other people buy and how good of a deal you can get! I've always meant to join in but alas - laziness or not being on the ball enough meant I slacked off on joining. This year I'm resolving to work aa little harder on the blog and as part of that, I want to start joining up with the Budget Bloggers. (And I like talking about the cool stuff I find.)

My budget varies from month to month, I put aside my tip money and use that as my clothes money for the month and usually if I get a bonus, I'll throw half of that in. However, some months are poor and some months are great so it's never quite the same. I did get about $250 in tips for December but I put most of that towards buying presents. I didn't really thrift this month this Topshop parka was in the men's section and looked like it's hardly been worn. It's a good replacement for my Old Navy Parka which I've had for a while now, the ON one has some large rips and frays in the sleeves that aren't really repairable.

Ugh, you guys know me and clogs - I can't resist them. I bought the black Percy clogs half way during the summer and wore them a ton, they are really comfortable and while thick ankle straps aren't recommended usually if you have cankles, these are actually very flattering on the leg! I love them and I found the black glitter pair for a great price. Now that I have them, I don't think i would pay any more for them because the leather is very odd - it's "crackled" I suppose to give it texture but while it looks cute from a distance, it looks very worn close up. I do like them, I think I'll just be really gentle with the leather.

I love this black Antik Batik dress, the brand has a really great bohemian vibe but after an article came out exposing that the brand was suing to have exclusive copyright to indigenous designs, I don't really feel comfortable supporting them. (It's been tossed around that it was Isabel Marant suing to have copyright over these designs but the Isabel Marant brand is actually the ones being sued by Antik Batik - Marant has admitted to copying the indigenous designs but is not claiming copyright.)

I'm looking forward to future Budget Blogger posts, right now I feel like I have my closet in a good place style wise but I do want to save up for a few things. My Forever21 jacket has done really well for being from, well, F21 but the fake leather is starting to crack off and I would love to find a nice replacement. I've been looking at All Saints' jackets or in a perfect world, a Rick Owens' one but seeing as the RO one resell for crazy prices, I think I would have the best luck finding an All Saints' jacket for a decent price.

In Black







Free People Hat
Forever21 Jacket (thrifted)
Free People Dress (ebay)
Suede Bag (thrifted)
Rag and Bone "Margot" Boots (ebay)
Silk Scarf (thrifted)

I've really been enjoying wearing this scarf lately, it's a silk one I thrifted a while back and usually pull out in the winter time. (I suppose nothing says winter like a silk scarf eh?) As I was tying the scarf on I realized I haven't reached for this hat in almost forever, I'm usually boring and just go with the same old black hat. An all black outfit seems like it needed a little color however! I know I go through phases with my hats, a lot of it is due to brim length and how each one looks as my hair grows out from the pixie - sometimes it takes me a little while to get use to a big brim hat and having my hair down because it just seems like a lot going on visually. I know that's just due to not being use to having hair there - it's sort of like trying on red lipstick for the first time. It seems like "a lot" when it is perfectly fine, your eyes just need to get use to the change and I think it's that way for me with some of my hats.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Cozy

 





Urban Outfitters Hat
Fred Meyer Scarf
BCBG Cardigan (thrifted)
Max Mara Cashmere Sweater (consignment)
J.Brand "Maria" High Rise Jeans (ebay)
Pendleton Bag (consignment)
UGG Clog Boots (thrifted)

Blanket scarves can seem overwhelming in size but I think a lot of that has to do with what climate you deal with - I live in a bitterly cold climate so alllll the extra warmth from the scarf is welcome. Blanket scarves are nice because of their size, you can wrap them multiple times around you neck and they're wide enough they can be folded in half, giving a little extra weight and helping seal in heat. If you wear them for warmth, you just sort of deal with all of the extra material because hey, it's nice to be warm! However, I think they would feel pretty irrating if you live in a warm climate, that's a lot of scarf and if you aren't using it for warmth it really might feel like too much. (They do make for cute shawls or ponchos.)

It's really up to you if they're your thing or not, personally I love them and really enjoy mine. I don't think I would buy another unless I really fell in love with the pattern or material, I try to keep a little variety with my scarves and not have a ton of the same thing. I do have two snoods, a AEO maroon one and a black one from Fred Meyer but seeing as I get about the same amount of wear out of both, I don't feel too bad about that.

I am so happy that I found these boots this summer, I've been trying to resist the lure of the snuggly shearling and only wear them when the temps start to really drop but man, I can't tell you how much I love these boots. I really like the look of clog boots, the wood soles also have great traction on the ice, I haven't slipped at all in these and again, the comfort. I'm pretty sure that way in the future, when these finally give up the ghost that I will buy another pair just because I enjoy wearing these so much. (But that should be way, way in the future....)

These guys sort of surprised us in the field the other night, there's actually three of them but I need to work on taking pictures in low light apparently.  There's also been a super cute fox hanging around - it looks like the coyotes have finally moved on and we're starting to see a lot more wildlife again.  There's rabbit tracks every and while we haven't seen any ptarmigans around, the ravens have been making up for them. (Namely getting into everything.)



Sunday, December 27, 2015

It's Looking A Lot Like Christmas (oops)










Free People Hat (gift) and Dress (ebay)
Scarf (consignment)
Helmut Lang Coat (ebay)
Leather belt (thrifted)
Coach Bag (thrifted - gift)
Rag and Bone "Margot" Boots (ebay)

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!  I'm sort of behind the ball here, it's been a pretty busy week and I just didn't get as many posts scheduled as I wanted to.  It's alright, we had a great Christmas spent with family and the weather cooperated by not dropping to -40, it was a lovely -25 and today it's super warm.  If that's not a cause for celebration, I don't know what it.

These boots have gotten quite a bit of wear - right now these, my two pairs of engineers boots and my UGG shearling clog boots are my most worn lately. I'd looked at these boots for a long time but never really thought about buying them because I don't wear my Harrow boots as much as I'd thought I would and I didn't want to buy an expensive pair of boots I wouldn't wear. But I sold a bunch of stuff that didn't really work for me and when I saw these boots, brand new, going for the price of an Old Navy pair of boots, I kinda couldn't resist. And I am so happy, I love them! I bought them a size larger than my Harrow boots so I can wear thicker socks and they are just so sleek, they really fit a hole within my closet. (I do have a pair of Carlos boots from Famous that I bought a few years ago that are a good copy of the Harrow boots but I love the thick leather on these boots and the comfort is quite a bit better - the heel on the Carlos boots hits at an odd spot on my foot and I end up with a sore spot in the middle of my foot at the end of the day. I didn't realize until I wore these that my foot hurt however, I tried to wear the Carlos boots after wearing these all week and it was like, nope!)

I am supper happy with how nice these photos came out, the light was so perfect and the temps had just started dropping so everything was frosted over and all wintery looking. Well, I guess it's been wintery looking since September - winter does not start at the end of December up here!  Evan was sweet and took these the day we all went to see Star Wars, I suppose I could have really gotten my cosplay on but yeah, behind the ball again.  (Does it count if I had two lightsabers stuck in my purse?)  My sister gave us movie tickets for Christmas and we enjoyed it so much, we're sort of thinking about seeing it again!  Hah, the last movie we saw several times in theater was 300.....apparently it was a big deal for military guys and Evan was really pumped up about that movie.  It's been like what, almost 10 years since that came out and I still can't stand to watch it, there's only so many spray-on-muscles you can deal with and I think I hit my limit the third time.

 

 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Day After







Forever21 Jacket (thrifted)
Silk Scarf (thrifted)
Kate Spade Saturday Top (consignment)
Black skirt (thrifted - no tags)
Rag and Bone "Margot" Boots (ebay)
Salvatore F Bag (consignment)

If you've read this blog for a while you might remember this skirt, I wore it a bit a few years ago but haven't pulled it out for a little while. I did grab it yesterday and was surprised by how excited I felt about it, it was almost like a brand new item. I felt like there was so many ways I could wear it , this way with a striped shirt and leather jacket is a little bit of a cop out but it's such a versatile skirt that can be styled quite a few different ways. It's also a little thicker material so now that we are heading into the coldest months of the year I'll start pulling it out more often.
Anyways, I'm back at work today and it's going to be a crazy day, there's a ton of work to be done!  Everyone have a great holiday weekend.