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October 27, 2021

UGG Classic Clear Mini Boots Review

While UGG is a go-to brand for cozy winter footwear, they may not be top of mind when it comes to rain boots. With the debut of the UGG Classic Clear mini boot, that has changed. It's the ideal blend of warmth and waterproof materials, all wrapped in a logo-centric upper. If you're a fan of the UGG Classic Mini boots or the Ultra mini boots, you'll probably adore this style for rain or snow. They keep your feet very warm. Keep reading for an UGG Classic Clear mini boot review with tips on sizing and quality.

I have a pair in the natural colorway, and the neutral cream/black/white colors pair with just about everything.

UGG Classic clear mini bots natural

Appearance and Performance

The shape of the uppers and the Treadlite outsole echo the UGG Classic Mini boots, so you can expect warmth and comfort. They come in a variety of colors, form basic black to vibrant pinks and neon yellows. I'm eyeing this really cute panther print ($160) and this on-trend marble print right now. 


I wore my pair out without socks on a rainy day, and the boots kept my feet very warm and dry. Unlike the Classic Mini boots which are water resistant, these are waterproof. The insoles are removable, so you can add your own insoles, wear thick socks, and customize your fit. They are cold weather rated to -20˚C, making them suitable for snow in addition to rain.

UGG Classic clear mini boots

Materials

The uppers are molded TPU, which has a shiny finish and will keep your feet dry. The only downside is that if scratched, they show flaws when you look up close. Considering the stiff material, they are easy to walk in and equally as comfortable as my Classic mini boots. Don't be afraid to stomp in puddles with these boots. The Treadlite outsole is durable, has great traction, and is lightweight enough for long days on your feet. While the lining is wool (not sheepskin like the Classic Mini boots), it's just as soft and plush on bare feet. 

Fit and Sizing

Instead of sizing down like many people, I took my true shoe size because unlike the UGG Classic boots which have suede uppers, these boots do not stretch. Mine fit well both barefoot and with athletic socks. The uppers are rigid, so I recommend buying your true size. In terms of width, they run similar to UGG Classic boots

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October 15, 2021

Women's Teva Midform Boots Review

As an avid wearer of Teva sandals, I was intrigued by the new Women's Teva Midform boots when I saw them in store. Teva is known for their sustainable materials, and I can always count on them for ultra comfortable, sporty footwear. While I'm partial to their Hurricane XLT2 hiking sandals and flatform sandals, I've been searching for some transitional ankle boots to pair with dresses and cropped denim for fall and winter. The new Teva Midform boots were love at first sight. They come in white swan, black, and sand dune. They blend the rugged look of a hiking boot with a no-nonsense combat boot, combined with the reliable comfort of a Teva sandal or sneaker. 

I took home a pair in white swan, pictured below.

Keep reading for a review of the Teva Midform boots including tips on materials, fit, and sizing.

Women's Teva Midform boots white swan


Appearance and Performance

The Midform boots feature D-ring details, a pull tab, sustainably sourced leather, recycled welt/outsole materials, and a versatile look that works for hiking, for days on your feet, or for "fashion with a capital F" looks. I wore mine out for a day in the rural wine country and got two compliments from strangers. (It's rare that people stop me in my tracks to compliment my shoes.) What I love most is the 1.5" platform that adds height without compromising on comfort. At $140, they are a bit of an investment, but like my other Teva shoes, they're well worth it. 


Materials

When I saw the boots in store, I couldn't decide on a colorway. The sand dune is a nice deep tan neutral which would match just about anything. Since I don't have any ivory boots, I went with the white swan. The leather uppers feel very smooth and durable. The insole has remarkable cushioning and a memory foam topsole. Although I was concerned about keeping them looking new, the uppers are easy to clean with a damp cloth, and any dirt comes off easily. Did I mention that these boots are water repellent? They're also lightweight, so your feet won't feel fatigued after wearing them. They'd be just as suitable to hit the trails as to wear to work or for running around town.


Fit and Sizing

I bought my normal size, but the Teva Midofrm boot footbed runs slightly narrow. If you have wide feet, or you plan to wear them with thick socks, then I'd go up a half to a whole size. I wore mine all day with ankle socks and I'm happy to report that I did not get blisters. The Midform boots are comfortable right out of the box; no breaking in required. There is little to no stretch, so if you're unsure about sizing, go up in size. The laces allow you to customize the fit to some extent, and the pull tab allows for easy on and off. 

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September 22, 2021

How to Shop the Target Fall 2021 Designer Collection Featuring Rachel Comey, Sandy Liang, Victor Glemaud, and Nili Lotan

Target isn't letting the pandemic get in the way of another designer collaboration. Five months after the launch of their Spring 2021 Designer Dress Collection, they're launching a Fall 2021 collection featuring four designers:  Rachel Comey, Sandy Liang, Victor Glemaud, and Nili Lotan. The new collection features fall looks in of-the-moment marble prints, classic wardrobe pieces, and budget-friendly price points under $80. Set aside your 2020 fleece and say hello to fun dresses, chic trousers, playful accessories, and cozy outerwear.

 

The launch day is coming soon! Set your calendar alerts for September 25. 

Keep reading for a peek at the spring 2021 Designer Dress Collection lookbook, and get expert tips on how, when, and where to shop the collection.

Shopping notes: All sizes (XXS - 4X or 0- 30) and styles will be available on Target.com for a limited time. Selections will vary by store. Items must be returned within 14 days of purchase for a refund. RedCard™ holders receive an 30 extra days for returns. Unfortunately, international shipping is not available.

Due to the pandemic, I encourage you to shop the collection online. Crowded stores are not appealing, however, if you plan to shop in stores, please practice physical distancing, good hygiene, polite behavior, and wear a mask (or two) for the safety of everyone.

Quick to do list:

1. Bookmark this page now to review the lookbook and prepare to shop.

2. Log in to Target.com.

3. Save your payment and shipping info.

4. "Heart" your favorites to make shopping easier.

Preview the lookbook below.


Get ready to shop. Keep reading for tips.

Target store


The In-Store Strategy

1. Know where to go.  Plan your shopping well in advance. Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth, and be ready to stand in a physically distanced line. 

2. Phone it in. Be extra prepared by calling your local store the week before the launch to confirm exactly where in the store it'll be located. It's helpful to know if it will all be merchandised together, or throughout the store. 

3. Be an early bird. You know what they say about the early bird, so be prepared. Stores open at 8am on launch days. I've found in the past that if I arrive by 7:30 am or earlier, then I'm able to get what I want due to decreased demand in my geographic region. For shoppers who live in large cities, I recommend going at least 1-2 hours before the store opens if you're really motivated to be the first to shop. For shoppers in more suburban or rural areas, the competition and crowds are reduced, but the selection of goods may be as well. In my experience, stock varies widely from store to store. 

4. Bring a buddy. A family member, friend, or significant other might be able to help you get the pieces you want and help you make purchasing decisions. Or even better, have a dedicated friend tackle one store while you visit another. "Divide and conquer" should be your strategy! Arrange to meet in line (while practicing physical distancing) or go to the store together so you're not cutting in line. 

5. Check for go-backs and barter. If your favorite pieces disappear from the racks in a flash, be courteous, be patient, and don't be afraid to chat with employees and other shoppers (from a distance) to politely trade to get what you want! Please respect the rules that they have in store. 

6. Persistence pays off. Target does not restock these collections, but you can still score your favorites. If you don't find what you want after the launch, check back for returns in the coming days, as many shoppers make returns. Don't forget to check the customer service desk and clearance racks for returns in October. After four or so weeks, the collection might be discounted to 30% (and eventually to 50% or 70%) off, so frequent visits to Target after the launch could really pay off. Call your local stores to ask what they have in stock or use social media to buy/trade/sell with others.

7. Consider main line instead. With high resale prices after the launch, you can likely buy main line Rachel Comey, Sandy Liang, Victor Glemaud, and Nili Lotan for less than the marked up resale prices. Consider shopping the real deal if you aren't able to get your wish list items. 

Target fall 2021 designer collection lookbook


The Online Strategy

1. Learn the lookbook. Study the lookbook carefully to select your favorites, get outfit inspiration, research the sizing, choose colorways, see online exclusives, set a budget, and check the prices. 

2. Play favorites. Make a list or collage of your favorites to help you stick to your budget and prioritize your potential purchases.

3. Know when and how to shop. Be extra prepared by using more than one web browser, mobile device, etc. Refresh your browser often and have patience. I use Chrome for optimal performance. Expect some glitches and be persistent. Remember that patience is key. 

The collection goes live at midnight Pacific Time. Set an alarm if necessary, as some items will sell out within minutes.

4. Save your checkout info. As the time to shop online approaches, log onto target.com and have your checkout and payment details saved ahead of time. I've found that Chrome works best on my desktop computer. Clear your cart of any items in order to streamline the checkout process. This reduces the chances of having your cart emptied of any out-of-stock items before you can click the "complete order" button.

5. Click quickly. Shop your top pick(s) first and submit your order right after placing in your cart. Do not shop and fill up your cart. Why? Once an item is in your cart, it's not reserved for you. In order to avoid an item being removed from your cart because it's sold out, you need to click quickly and complete your order! That's why I create a prioritized wish list and try to buy my top picks first.

6. Multi-task. While shopping online, be extra prepared by using more than one web browser, mobile device, etc. Sometimes items become available first on the mobile site, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes some shoppers can see certain items while others cannot. Refresh your browser often and have patience. Items tend to pop up and then disappear during the initial launch. Expect some glitches but don't give up. Remember, persistence and patience are key, and you may have to sacrifice some sleep if you're really motivated to snag your favorites. 

7. Save your info and get a RedCard. If you don't have one already, then consider getting a RedCard. Why? Target RedCard users enjoy free shipping, an extra 30 days to return certain merchandise, and a 5% discount on purchases. 

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if purchases are made by clicking links.

Preview the Fall 2021 Target Designer Collection looks and get ready to shop:



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May 12, 2021

Teva Hurricane Verge Sandals Review

Sandal season has arrived, and with that, new shoes to get excited about. This season footwear favorite Teva came out with a new sandal called the Hurricane Verge. It's similar to the popular Teva Hurricane XLT2, but with different strap configurations and new colorways. As a Teva sandal enthusiast, I had to try it out to compare it to the classic Hurricane XLT2. Keep reading for my Teva Hurricane Verge review with tips on fit and sizing. 

Pictured below is the Hurricane Verge in a very stylish dorinda leopard print. As a fashion devotee, I can appreciate the merging of fashion with function. These sandals would look just as great with a black poplin mini dress for a day on the town as they would with cargo shorts and a muscle tee for a trek through the botanical gardens or a hike in the hills. 

Teva Hurricane verge dorinda leopard


Appearance and Performance

The Hurricane Verge uses the same outsole as the Hurricane XLT2, so you can count on it being cushioned, durable, and ideal for hikes, water activities, and other active pursuits. Like the XLT2, it has quick-dry webbing, a nylon shank, an EVA footbed, and adjustable straps. It's also vegan and recyclable through the new TevaForever recycling program. The new cross-strap design on the Verge give it a chunkier, more utilitarian look. The rubber outsole is suitable for rugged outdoor activities, and the breathable mesh will keep your feet comfortable on the hottest of days. The Hurricane Verge comes in black, silver cloud, a cool new dorinda leopard print, and the popular new aragon colorway (a warm muted pink with tan undertones as seen below). 

Teva Hurricane Verge aragon


Materials and Fit

The plastic buckle on the cross strap makes it easy to take the shoes off, but also can look clunky if adjusted to hit on the center top part of the foot. There are three adjustable straps: across the top of the foot, velcro across the toes, and velcro at the heel. Unlike the XLT2, there's no adjustability across the top of the ankle, so the back of the foot may slide more so than in the XLT2. There are three areas of cushioning on the lining of the straps so that the toe and heel areas won't chafe or cause blisters. Are these comfortable? Yes, but not as much as the XLT2 in my experience.

Sizing

I've tried on several pairs of the Verge, and they seem to run ever-so-slightly smaller than the XLT2. That said, I can still take my regular size, whereas I prefer to size down in the XLT2. In comparing the Verge and the XLT2 side by side, they look very close in size. I recommend taking your true shoe size unless your toes are long or your feet are wide width (then I'd even go up one size in the Verge). 

Teva Hurricane XLT2 vs Teva Hurricane Verge

If Teva can perfect the fit of the heel strap to prevent sliding, this sandal will be a top pick. It does run $10 more than the Hurricane XLT2, so that's something to consider when buying. I'm looking forward to seeing new colors, and hopefully, more fashion-focused dorinda leopard prints in these Hurricane Verge and XLT2 styles.

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April 22, 2021

Deckers x Lab KO-Z GLDTR 3 Sandals Review

Like many people, I've been spending more time in my slippers during the pandemic. Comfort is a top priority, and as much as I miss my studded ankle boots, wedge sandals, and more dressy shoes, they've been stowed away while I rotate comfortable footwear into my WFH and home workout looks. Now that temperatures are rising and spring is in full swing, I'm ready for all the sandals. I'm currently wearing the Deckers x Lab KO-Z GLDTR 3 sandals. They're unlike anything else in my closet, which is saying a lot, given the countless pairs of shoes that I own. The KO-Z GLDTR 3 sandals combine several layers of memory foam with a cozy wool lining into one very well cushioned sporty sandal. I've never seen a casual sandal this fancy.

Deckers Lab KO-Z GLDTR 3 sandals for women in pink and red


Appearance and Performance

This style comes in five colorways, including solid black for the minimalist. The pastel pink and red one which Deckers x Lab sent me features a bold contrasting panel with a graphic print and zig zag stitching. The back of the sandal has a unique "squaretail" shape which extends beyond the footbed and provides stability. These are anything but boring. Deckers x Lab is known for their functional design details and quality craftsmanship. Every time I wear Deckers x Lab footwear, I catch people staring.

The rocker midfoot construction that both Deckers x Lab and Hoka One One (a Deckers brand) are known for helps to propel your foot into the next step, and it makes these sandals hard to take off. Although these are sandals, they feel like a pair of high end sneakers merged with the plush lining of my favorite UGG slippers (like the UGG Fluffita). To my delight, like the UGG Fluffita slides, these make me slightly taller, since the sole of the KO-Z GLDTR 3 is 1.5" thick and the footbed is .5" thick. 

Deckers Lab KO_Z GLDTR 3 sandals


Materials and Fit

The KO-Z GLDTR 3 sandals run true to size for me. They have excellent arch support and hug the foot just right. The don't come in half sizes so if between sizes, I recommend going down a size. 

The straps are lined with wool, giving them a soft and slipper-like feel. The top sole is made of perforated leather, which makes them comfortable and breathable on hot days. The uppers are nubuck leather, which feels luxurious and is ideal for spring, summer, or fall. There's a small panel in the arch of the footbed made of looped wool and recycled polyester, which feels soft on the foot. The toe post is thick and cushioned, which makes them wearable for someone like me who is used to wearing slides. Unlike flip flops, these sandals wear more like sneakers because they stay securely on the heel, making them feel fun and effortless to walk in. 

Deckers x Lab KO-Z GLDTR 3 sandals

This post was created with shoes courtesy of Deckers x Lab. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if purchases are made by clicking links.

Watch this space for more footwear reviews.  

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