Posts Categorized: shoes

This Week I Love …

Freebird by Steven.

So Steve Madden, right? I remember the 90s and how having a pair of his shoes was a BIG DEAL back then. (At least to teenagers such as myself.) And then the brand shifted out of favor for a while, and now it’s just a mainstream, accessible, solid brand. (My most worn pair of shoes is by Steve Madden.)

But Freebird by Steven – a newish offshoot of the parent brand – is a different story. For one thing, it’s WAY more expensive, so always poke around Amazon and eBay before pulling the trigger. But for another, the designs are edgy and tough, made from gorgeously distressed leathers, and adorned with subtle details and creative hardware. I am so very smitten with this brand.

Here are a few pairs you can nab right now:

STEVEMADDEN-FREEBIRD_BOLO_COGNAC_SIDE

Bolo, $275

I used some magical combination of coupons and got these from Amazon for around half off a month or so ago. (They’re cheaper there now, too, and 6pm has a few pairs at half off.) They are even more gorgeous in person, though that 3″ wood block heel isn’t exactly the comfiest. Still can’t wait to pair them with dresses or tees and jeans for summer. Also love the similar Hustle style.

freebird dakota boot

Dakota, $166.21 – $231.90

Love the detailing on this boot, from the wrapped strap to the x-stitched front panel to the back zipper. These also come in black or tan, but this dusty gray will be fantastic for spring and summer wear.

freebird sandals

Wing, $195

Some of the sandal styles are a little too clunky for my taste, but this strappy heel is stunning. More on the casual end of the spectrum so perhaps not ideal for dressy nights out, but perfect for edgy warm-weather looks. More sizes and black version at Bloomingdale’s.

STEVEMADDEN-FREEBIRD_BOULDER_TAN_SIDE

Boulder, $285

I’ve sworn off mid-calf engineer boots, but the combination of medium height and chunky heel on this boot intrigues me. This rich tan is another versatile spring/summer shade for boots, but the Boulder also comes in stone, a dark red-brown, and weathered black.

freebird by steven coal

Coal, $350

So much money, but SO AMAZING. This pair is quite tall at 17″, but would be equally amazing with Boho and rocker chic looks. Fold over the top of the boot shaft to mix it up. This burnished cognac is breathtaking, but these also come in black.

freebird phoenix

Phoenix Low, $275

I know the crusty, weathered, post-apocalyptic look isn’t for everyone, but it gets me every time. And that distressed finish has just a hint of metallic sparkle to it. SWOON. The tan and gray suede versions of this low boot have smoother finishes.

Other sources to check include Nordstrom Rack, 6pm.com, Nordstrom, Shopbop, Shoes.com, Onlineshoes, and Zappos some of which carry exclusive or past-season styles.

Anyone else tracking Freebird by Steven? Thoughts on the styles?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

Related Posts

Reader Request: Shoe Alterations

getting shoes altered

Hayley popped this question into the suggestion box:

I’d be interested in knowing if you’ve ever had any pair of shoes altered in any way, and if you have any tips. I’m considering getting a pair of leather boots taken in a bit at the top around the calf area.

Why yes, I have! Here in the Twin Cities we have two leather shops both owned by various members of the George family – George’s Hockey Repair in St. Paul, and George’s Shoes & Repair in Arden Hills. The latter is now my go-to – and the shop that helped with my fringe bag – since they do great work and aren’t as mobbed as the St. Paul shop. But I’ve had one pair altered at each shop. This first pair was done at the St. Paul shop.

tall boots shortened

These olive green Coclico boots were just a couple of inches taller than I’d have liked. The photos aren’t the greatest, but you can see how much more real estate that zipper takes up on the right (post-alteration) than it does on the left. And speaking of that zipper, its length and placement made these boots ideal for shortening: Since it doesn’t run the length of the boot, the zipper itself didn’t need to be lopped off at all.

boot alteration

Here you can see that the boot is lined with a different color/texture of leather. The original finish was fancy, with rolled edges on both liner and outer. I was happy to have a slightly raw-er finish for the alteration since very few people get super close-up to my feet. I believe this alteration cost about $30. These boots have been languishing in the closet for ages now, but I’m not quite ready to part with them now that I’ve shifted to a more neutral, subdued palette. We shall see.

mmm work mocs

These are a pair of Maison Martin Margiela Work Mocs that I stalked on eBay for YEARS and finally nabbed for a fraction of retail. When I ordered them they were tan. I swear they were more of a yellow tan than this, but I never remember to do “before” photos, so who knows?

work moc brown

I got them, drooled on them, and then spent several hours trying to build an outfit around them. And that’s when I remembered that tan shoes really, really don’t work for me. (Unless they are sandals. And these are definitely not sandals.) So I took them out to Arden Hills and asked if they could be dyed black. This shoe style was actually made in black, but the pair I found in my size and price range was tan and I was so excited that I bid before really considering the color. And, as it turns out, dyeing them was fairly straightforward.

can you dye leather shoes

But imperfect. I wanted the interior black, too, but with that raw, unfinished leather the experts told me I’d just end up with black dye rubbing off on my socks. And I was warned that the dye process was messy and some might end up on the soles. It did. No big, in my opinion. This alteration cost $45.

And these shoes, too, haven’t gotten much love. That heel is chunky but feels incredibly high, and I’m still tinkering with the proportions of these booties. And honestly? I’m starting to find that although I can generally get clothes and accessories altered more or less to my personal specifications, many of the ones that need drastic changes end up going unworn. Aside from a few simple shortened hems, I’ve ended up donating an awful lot of things that I’ve bought and had altered. Which isn’t to say that YOU will be the same way. Just something I’ve noticed about myself and am still mulling.

Now. In terms of having a tall boot taken in at the calf? It is possible, especially if you have a relationship with a truly skilled leather worker, but it will be costly and potentially imperfect-looking. I’ve asked for this specific change on several pairs of boots and been told they’ll look quite odd afterwards. I’ve also had leather workers just refuse to even attempt it. Curious to know if any of you have had tall boots slimmed in the calf. I imagine it will be easier on styles with lots of built-in seaming.

I also know that, in some cases, heels can be slightly shortened by a shoe repairperson. You can’t turn towering stilettos into kitten heels, but you might be able to make a 2″ heel into a 1.75″ heel.

Most of the rest fall under “maintenance and repair,” in my mind. Heel tips, resoling, replacement of buckles or eyelets, getting shoes stretched to fit, reinforcing worn-out bits of leather. But I’m sure there are things I haven’t even dreamed were possible! Have any of you gotten shoes altered in significant ways? How did they look in the end? Was it costly? What would you recommend and warn against?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

Related Posts

This Week I Love …

timberland shoe care

Timberland’s shoe care products.

I was a longtime Kiwi fan until I picked these up at a local Timberland store along with a pair of boots. The salespeople always push products like these, it seems, but sometimes that’s a good thing. I didn’t really understand what nubuck was at the time, but when I bought my Stratham Heights boots I knew I wanted them to stay in good shape. And I was told Renewbuck would help. And it DID. I’ve applied it to to all of my nubuck and suede shoes since. The company recommends a test patch, and I will say that the treatment darkened a pair of gray suede boots somewhat, so be prepared for that. Also this treatment won’t waterproof your suedes, and can’t do much for you if you regularly slog through enormous, muddy puddles. But you’ll no longer fear getting caught in a rainstorm or walking across a dewy lawn. The treatment keeps light moisture from seeping in too deeply.

I also bought that goofy shoe-shaped suede brush. Such a simple tool, but fabulous for keeping nubuck and suede nap looking clean and vibrant.

The Balm Proofer I bought later, having fallen in love with the Renewbuck. I will admit that I only wear a few pairs of my leather shoes out in the snow, so it’s a little harder to tell if this stuff is miraculous or not. I’m inclined to believe it will work better than cheapie drugstore options based on the results from the Renewbuck, but if I notice anything specific – bad or good – I’ll report back. The company says it’ll help protect against salt and oil stains … but I’d recommend spot cleaning if you see either!

Anyone else tried Timberland’s shoe care products? Thoughts or experiences to share? Other protectants to recommend?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

Related Posts