Life + Health + Vanity + Wearables

Saturday night/Sunday morning to-do.

And just like that, it’s Saturday evening! I have so much to do in the next 15 or so hours. All of a sudden I’m in a bit of a panic, and I figure I’d better make a to-do list…

Clean apartment
Freelance work
• Order backup drive & pen drive
• Brew iced coffee
Manicure and pedicure
Make sure clothes for tomorrow are in order

Buy (??) belt (??) and/or bag (??) to wear with dress (??) (I’m a little unsure, haha) NO TIME!
Apply bandages to feet
Break in new sandals as much as possible
Head out to Brooklyn for Gordy and Lisha’s wedding party!

So yeah, the new sandals! I shared this photo of them on Twitter and had a lot of questions about how I like them, and the answer is a whole lot. They’re Swedish Hasbeens (high braided wedge heels, specifically), which I got at a huge discount from ASOS (it was the last pair in this style, but there are others still on sale). The leather is quite hard, so until I fully break them in I do need to wear a few Band-Aids to stave off blisters, but aside from that the sandals are really comfortable to walk in and don’t seem to hurt my back at all. Hurray for wedge heels and platform soles! I love the natural-colored leather, too. Really nice for summer, and because there’s not much contrast with my (pasty-white) skin, my legs look a little longer and less stumpy.

A warning about Hasbeens: They tend to run a little on the narrow side, so if you have a wider foot, you may want to go up a size. If you have the opportunity to try them on first, do!

When I buy shoes, my goal is really to get something that’s very well-made and that won’t need to be replaced for many years. The somewhat “disposable” nature of shoes made from synthetic materials is what’s kept me from cutting out leather footwear (despite having a fully vegan diet, I actually don’t identify myself as a vegan—but that’s another subject for another post!!), so whatever I do buy has to be repairable and durable. I’m really hard on my shoes since I walk so much, and cheap shoes have a way of winding up in the trash after one season on my feet—I’m trying to avoid that. Last year I finally bought a pair of really good quality ballet flats. An investment up front, yes, but I’d much rather have one pair of shoes for a decade (or more) than to toss a pair of cheap ones in the trash every year.

But enough about shoes! I’ve got stuff to do and wedding parties to attend. Happy weekend!

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  • Reply Holyoke Home June 18, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    A Holyoke resident and friend MAKES custom shoes. And-maybe you anticipated I would say this?-they are amazing. She has an etsy shop. Search ‘Zerkaloostrah’ on google or etsy to find her work.

  • Reply Lori E. June 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    You are so right about cheap shoes. I bought a pair of “disposable” sandals (flip flops really) and they fell apart after about a month. Unfortunately, the falling apart happened in front of the grocery store right after my husband dropped me off. It was SO much fun hobbling around in front of a line of cars. Good times, good times…
    Your toes are seriously cute, as are your shoes, and I really think maybe you should get a belt AND a bag. 😉 And, I am sure I speak on behalf of your loyal following, please post pics of your final outfit! 🙂 And maybe the wedding (if the bride and groom are ok with it of course!)

  • Reply Niina June 19, 2011 at 1:54 am

    I’ve heard some people softening there leather shoes with a hammer. Sounds easy -just wrap the shoe in a cloth/towel and start hammering, carefully though- but yet I haven’t been brave enough to try it myself…

    • Anna @ D16 June 19, 2011 at 9:11 am

      I’d be scared to do that with a wooden-heeled shoe!!

  • Reply bridget June 19, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Anna–how do the Frye ballet flats run? Since I’m finally able to spend a little more I’m really trying to invest and not buy the cheap crap! I love that the shoe has a bit of a heal and isn’t completely flat like a slipper. May have to try them. Thanks!

    • Anna @ D16 June 19, 2011 at 9:09 am

      If anything, they run slightly large. My true size is somewhere between a 9.5/10, and I bought a 10. It’s a bit loose at the start of the day, though, and I really should have gone with a 9.5. In other words, if you’re between sizes…go down. 🙂

  • Reply rachel June 19, 2011 at 8:51 am

    as for the prophylactic band-aids, have you tried slick stick? i think band-aid might have bought them out, so it might be re-branded… but anyway! it’s a small deodorant- like stick that you can put on your feet where the new shoes might rub . it works like a charm whenever you have to break in shoes. and it’s tiny, so you can just keep it in your bag.
    tangent- my dad, who was a third-generation shoe salesman says shoes should feel like your own the minute you try them on… true, but what he doesn’t understand is that sometimes shoes are too cute to pass on because of comfort!

    • Anna @ D16 June 19, 2011 at 9:04 am

      I’ve seen that stick, but I’ve never actually tried it. I couple of wears with a wide band-aid usually does the trick for me, so I’m fine with that! I’ll keep the stick in mind for routine foot comfort, though—glad to know it works!

      I disagree with your dad, though. Everyone’s feet are shaped differently, and our own feet change shape both with age and depending on the type of shoes we’re accustomed to wearing. Even the most comfortable, well-made shoe can rub against an ankle or toe until a callous forms and the leather gives way a bit. Some of of my most comfortable and perfectly conformed-to-fit shoes are ones that required a couple of days to break in…and they just keep getting better with age.

      I’m all about comfort when it comes to shoes, but I’m also a realist! 😀

  • Reply Katie June 19, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Hi Anna, Great shoes! I love the natural color and style. I too have a question about the Frye ballet flat. Do they have a distressed look? On the Zappos website it says they do, but on the Frye site, they look more polished and elegant. And, how are they comfort-wise? Thank you and have so much fun at the wedding!

    • Anna @ D16 June 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Hmm, I wouldn’t say they’re “distressed”, no! I’m not sure what Zappos means by that. I’ve never seen the colored ones, so maybe that’s a reference to the finish on the others? They’re definitely casual, though—if you’ve seen any Frye shoes in person, you know that the leather is soft and definitely not “dressy”. It looks like Zappos doesn’t have the black ones in stock, but if you look at the photos of the dark brown ones, I’d say that’s an accurate representation of how they look.

      Like most ballet flats they have no arch support, but I find them extremely comfortable. My feet love Fryes, and I can walk on concrete all day in them with no discomfort.

    • Katie June 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks, Anna. This helps a ton. I do own several pairs of Frye boots. I too love them. Did you see the Swedish Hasbeens ballet flat? I like those a lot, but my feet are likely too wide for them.

  • Reply Marcie June 19, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Those bring back memories! I had a pair of sandals almost exactly like that back in the early 70’s. Wooden wedge, light colored natural leather. I’m sure they were something cheap I picked up at a discount big chain store because I had no money to speak of back then. Loved those shoes though they killed my feet. But damn, they looked good so no matter!

  • Reply Robin June 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I really like the color and the woven-leather look of those shoes! I am new to the quality-shoes-cost-money world, but I am also really tough on shoes and need ones that will hold up. I have made it my mission this year to replace the cheap, worn-out shoes in my collection with good quality, well-made ones. 🙂

  • Reply Jorusha June 20, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Hi anna,

    As you mentioned brewing coffee, did you know about cold brewed coffee? I didn’t until now.
    I just read about it here :

    Love your blog!
    Bye from France.

    • Anna @ D16 June 20, 2011 at 11:12 am

      Yes, that’s what I do…but in a much easier way! I’ll post about it sometime. 🙂

  • Reply Dorie June 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Another great stand-up-to-city-life-sandal is the Saltwater Sandal. They’re my go-to summer shoe. I’ve had 2 pairs (one red, one black) for a number of years and they literally look brand new STILL despite TONS of wear in NYC. Even great through rain, on the beach, etc.

    Highly recommend them for a long-haul, reasonably-priced pair of shoes if you like them. You can find them in some stores around the NYC area or online.
    (they’re cuter on than the photos make it seem)

  • Reply L June 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Seriously cute toes/shoes! Hope you had mucho fun at the wedding.

    And I totally applaud you attitude toward “sustainable shoes”. I’m the same way – also with clothes. Can’t stand to pay even minimal $$$ for something that will fall apart after three wear-n-wash cycles. If I like it enough to wear it, it better last a LONG time! (Am still enjoying some clothes that are 30 years old; and a couple of 15+ year old shoes). Hooray you for passing on the wisdom!

    • Anna @ D16 June 23, 2011 at 9:11 am

      I really need to be that way with clothes, too!! I just worry so much about my size changing in either direction. :

  • Reply Ryan June 20, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    All of a sudden it seems like everyone* has these shoes, and now I want a pair too! They’re definitely an investment purchase, but I can see that they would last years.

    *obviously not everyone, but i’ve seen them mentioned by at least three separate bloggers in the last week.

  • Reply Martina June 21, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Hope the wedding party went really well. I love your shoes and have had those Swedish Hasbeens on my wishlist for some time…I love the colour they are now but what always makes me pause before buying is that they don’t stay that colour but age to a darker brown…I would love to see yours when they have “aged” a bit and changed colour..I’m not sure that the colour on the website is an accurate representation of how they will look so maybe you will share in time! Meanwhile, maybe I’ll purchase another colour 🙂

  • Reply alis June 21, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I bought a gorgeous pair of Frye flat sandals last year. However, they butcher my feet whenever I wear them, which beats the purpose of wearing flats when I need to walk long distances. I have tried band-aids but they come off within seconds! Also, it’s so annoying that blisters on the feet turn into brown spots that don’t heal until the summer is over. Sorry for the random rant!

    • Anna @ D16 June 21, 2011 at 10:34 am

      Alis, maybe that blister stick others have mentioned would help? I’ve never tried it, but it seems to get good reviews! My mother also suggests wearing shoes around the house with DAMP SOCKS (I know, sounds awful…) to break in the leather. Maybe it’s worth a try!

    • alis June 22, 2011 at 6:45 pm

      I read those comments suggesting the magic blister stick with envy as I don’t think it’s available in my country. But damp socks? I have got to try it even if it’s only for the entertainment value of it! Thanks! 🙂

  • Reply moparbrownstoner June 21, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I love it when you post to-do lists. Vicarious thrill. You get so much stuff done.

  • Reply Nina June 21, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I love my Swedish Hasbeens, own the same model as you. Have been wearing them for over a year now and they have aged very well. Before I wore them the first time I put some olive oil on the leather and the wood for protection, which was a tip from their website ( I still get an occasional blister though but I have finicky feet. Also own a pair from their collection with H&M, which feels surprisingly well made.

    • Anna @ D16 June 23, 2011 at 9:13 am

      I never knew they did a collection with H&M! Sad I missed that…

  • Reply Jenifer June 29, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Hey — I have those exact same shoes! In the same color! I have about 4 pairs of swedish hasbeens and I’m completely addicted … I buy them off in the “warehouse deals” section … 🙂

  • Reply k July 4, 2011 at 1:17 am

    I have those same shoes in black – got ’em for 50 bucks on sale (online) early last summer. Wish I had known about sizing up! I love them, but I’ve had to oil & stretch them out with a shoe stretcher to accommodate my normal sized feet. Wish I had the natural colored ones, too…

  • Reply Sophia March 23, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Hey, I know it’s been a while since you posted this, but I just got my first pair of hasbeens (high peep toe) and I adore them. They are comfortable and look good! Anyway, I was wondering–the black sticker on the heel insole–do you peel it off or leave it on? I tried peeling and saw the nail hole underneath, so now I’m not sure. I tried emailing the company but they haven’t gotten back yet, so I thought, why not try over here! Thank you!

    • Anna @ D16 March 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      I don’t think I’ve ever peeled off the label from inside a pair of shoes!

  • Reply Sophia March 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Oh, ok! I guess it does seem silly, my question. It just seemed more like a sticker than a label. Anyway, thanks!

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