Review : Le Chameau Iris II Rubber Boots Part I

I had mentioned in the past that I (speaking only for myself) find rain boots with thick socks to be the most practical winter trekking footwear. I like the coziness and weight, or lack thereof, of uggs but they offer little in the way of protection against damp winters. If you are someone who finds herself walking into potholes filled with water with some frequency, you should try my approach.

The downside to rainboots is that they are heavy and the shaft length can be tricky for women on the shorter and taller ends of the height spectrum. It may take some trial and error to find the right rain boot but your perfect pair is definitely out there.

I am a big fan of Hunter rain boots and own two pairs of the original tall. However, I am always on the lookout for other options. Back in February I ordered the Le Chameau Iris II Boots (buy here and here) after reading reviews that praised their comfort, design and workmanship. I was an instant fan.

In person the boots did not disappoint. They are designed with a slight curve, which mimics the shape of your calves, in the shaft for easy removal (in contrast to the Hunter original tall’s which are tougher to take off). The shoes are handmade from natural rubber, which offers a lot more resiliency and elasticity compared to synthetic rubber.

The shoes are stamped in their European sizes and many websites recommend using the EU36/US5.5, EU37/US6, EU38/US7, etc. guide to translate the European size into an American one.

I ordered the  EU38 as my normal size is US7. The shoes fit me perfectly with thick socks so I think the recommended conversion method is reliable.

The calf circumference may pose a problem for women with extra slim or extra wide calves – my calves, at the widest part, fluctuate between 13 and 13.5 inches. I think these boots will comfortably fit someone with calves that are about my size. The calf circumference measures 15 inches on the outside but you should always leave room for socks, pants, or both.

The boots are 16.5 inches tall (including the 1.3-in heel). I have a post scheduled for next week that will compare the Hunter Original Tall Boots and the Le Chameau Iris II in case you are in the market for new rain boots.

Colorful rain boots shine a little light on days that could use a little pick-me-up. I think one’s choice of rain-gear is telling of her idiosyncrasy. Do you own colorful rain boots, neutral rain boots or both?

Burberry trench (also here and here), Ann Taylor necklace, Old Navy sweater (similar), H&M skirt, Longchamp bag, and Le Chameau boots

Wear It Five Ways: Leopard Print Dress

My plunge into the world of leopard prints has resulted in a gradual infusion of leopard into both my casual and work outfits. I’ve had a new appreciation for spotted prints since my introduction to them a little over two years ago. They add just the right amount of fun to one’s outfits when the rest is a simple mixture of solid colors.

I’ve gotten a little more adventurous since I first got started and recently started experimenting with mixing leopard prints with other prints. For the most part, though, I still think the leopard print looks most compatible with solid black or camel.

H&M dress + belt (similar), ASOS skirt (similar here + here), J. Crew bag, and Corso Como shoes
H&M dress, J. Crew coat, See by Chloe bag, and Corso Como shoes

That said, a lot of rich colors – think brick red, forest green, and royal blue – go well with the leopard print. It’s certainly a print that has something to offer everyone. 

From left to right: (1) Forever 21 jacket and Zara shoes; (2) J. Crew jacket + skirt, Corso Como shoes, and Ann Taylor necklace; (3) H&M blazer + belt, J. Crew top, and Corso Como shoes; (4) J. Crew skirt, H&M belt and Corso Como shoes; (5) Ann Taylor cardigan + boots, and Forever 21 necklace

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Weekly Sale Update: LOFT, Banana Republic, the Gap, J. Crew, Old Navy, & Neiman Marcus

Full-price styles are all on sale today at LOFT. Use SAVEMORE at checkout for the tiered discount.

I haven’t shopped at LOFT in a while because there just hasn’t been a style that really appealed to me. I did have fun browsing their new arrivals.

Peplum Doubleface Sheath Dress | Peplum Dress in LOFT Scuba | Tweed Zip Pocket Shift Dress | Sleeveless Flare Dress

And for those of you who missed out on the collarless yellow (and red) H&M blazers, LOFT has two jackets that look really similar (and are probably better quality). Buy here in yellow and here for red.

Holiday sales have started at Banana Republic, the Gap, and Old Navy. Use GETSTARTED at checkout for 30% off your purchase (or 35% for cardholders). And Athleta products can be had for 20% off when you use GETSTARTED at checkout. Both offers end at midnight tonight.

All online clearance items at Neiman Marcus are an extra 40% off today. The more desirable stock sell out quickly but new items are added throughout the day so if you have some time to kill it’s a good deal to pay close attention to.

There was another markdown on the J. Crew website this morning. You can use MUSTHAVE for an extra 30% off. The dreaded final sale is finally over so the decision to place an order was an easy one to make.

For myself, I ordered the

Sterling Skirt in Double-serge Wool, the No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Double-serge Wool, the No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Corkscrew Tweed, and re-ordered the Lady Jacket in Double-serge wool (now $70 with the discount; I also requested a price adjustment for my mom’s jacket). For my mom, I picked up the Valentina Patent Pumps in Jade and the Collection Georgette Top.

I am also considering the

Schoolboy Blazer in Wool Flannel – the grape/eggplant color is so striking.

Here are some sale items that I feel are worth a second look.

Mod-Coat | Icon Trench in Wool-Cashmere | Double-cloth Slim Trench | Double-cloth Greatcoat | Metro Coat

The Sterling Skirt in Double-serge Wool came highly recommended by my friend Helen and I am eager to try it for myself.

Two of my favorite pieces from the late fall collection are the Corkscrew Tweed Jackets and Pencil Skirts. They are a little bulky when worn together but on their own make quite the statement.

Top: Lady Jacket in Corkscrew Tweed | Bottom: No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Corkscrew Tweed

And the Edie Grand in Rose that I had salivated at weeks ago is already marked down. I am staying away from handbags for the next little while but wanted to share the sale in case any of you are interested.

Left: Edie Attache Tote | Top Right: Little Edie Purse | Bottom Right: Edie Grand

Happy Shopping!

Do or Don’t: Designer Collaborations

I read an interesting article the other day that decried the popularization of designer collaborations with high-street retailers and claimed that “fashion” has become philistine and too accessible.

I am personally a fan of designer collaborations and look forward to the abundance of cheap(er) and eclectic collections slated to hit shelves in the coming months (in particular the Forever 21 x Hello Kitty and Target/Neiman Marcus collaborations). 

Disregarding the debate we could be having about fast fashion and the waste it leaves in its path, what are your thoughts on mass-market retailer and premier designer partnerships?

Stella McCartney for Target top (similar), Ann Taylor skirt, LOFT necklace, J. Crew coat, Stuart Weitzman pumps, and Chanel bag

DIY : Wallet on Chain

While I am an over-packer and rarely leave my house without duplicates of everything (and a first aid kit) in my carryall, I find myself on occasion longing for a more compact handbag for when I need both hands and mobility. I have a few nicer wallets on chain but they are more of a special occasions type of bag for me so I was ecstatic to have stumbled upon several useful tutorials (among them one by SewPetiteGal) for how to convert a long bifold wallet into a wallet on chain.

Since I am not the best DIYer, I simplified the process and restricted material to the essentials. The end result still works so I have no doubt that those of you also interested can replicate this process.

For materials I bought a pack of lobster claw closures and a 36-inch long chain – after coupons I spent about $4 on both items (Michael’s has 40% off one item coupons that can be accessed online; bring a friend to use the coupon twice). In some tutorials the author used tools to open up and connect the chain but since I have a knack for being destructive to neighboring furniture when armed with pliers I opted for using the lobster claw closure to connect the two ends of the chain.

Since my wallet had a central zippered compartment, I simply attached the chain to the zipper with another lobster claw closure. For those of you who want more security you can sew or tape a flap over the chain in the fold to secure the chain in place.

If you want your wallet to double as both an over-the-shoulder and crossbody bag, you can look into getting a longer chain (~60 inches) for your project.

And that’s it! I feel a little ridiculous calling this a tutorial because it is so simple and intuitive.

Will you be trying this?

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