Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We Love Colors Review and Giveaway

The lovely folks over at We Love Colors sent me a couple of review samples, and I am seriously, SERIOUSLY impressed. I've perused their site several times, and while I was wowed by the selection - opaque tights in 51 colors is nothing to sneeze at - I wondered about quality.

See, I adore tights because they make it possible for me to wear skirts and dresses year-round, but I abhor tights because most pairs transform me into a segmented worm. The waistband digs into my midsection, dividing my torso into unsightly chunks that no sweater or blazer can disguise, and causing me no small amount of discomfort. I've bought quality and I've bought cheap, and found that fit is a total crap-shoot. But when I find a style that is even remotely comfy, I snap it up in as many colors as possible.

Sadly I cannot afford 51 pairs of tights. Not right now, anyway.

The nylon that comprises We Love Colors tights is thick, but has tons of give. The waistband does NOT dig and is extremely comfortable. I requested a M/L pair, and they are definitely designed for someone with legs a bit longer than mine ... but they don't bunch up so horribly as to be unwearable, and the excess leg length is far preferable to squeeeeezing myself into a smaller pair. I really, truly adore these tights.

I was sent a footless pair to try out, and while I've seen many ladies pull this style off beautifully, it's not quite me:


HOWEVER! I can assure you that these tights will get worn endlessly come fall. Another comfort issue I tend to have with tights is in the foot. They crush my toes, make my feet hot and sweaty, and cause my feet to slide around inside my shoes. But footless! Footless tights can be worn with boots and SOCKS, like so:


Nice absorbent, cushiony cotton socks. AND tights. Not quite sure how I failed to think of this before, but I'm glad that lightbulb finally went off.

Oh, and speaking of socks ...


My contact at We Love Colors was kind enough to send me a pair of socks, too! Again, I'm a sweaty-foot kinda gal, so these nylon jobbers won't get daily use. But occasional wear with an open shoe? For sure. I mean seriously, how cute are those?

So now that I've raved about these products, you probably want some for yourself, dontcha? Well, I can totally set you up. TWO lucky winners will get to chose from any of We Love Colors' tights, footless tights, socks or shoe laces! Just leave a comment on this post by midnight CST on Sunday, September 6, and I'll draw two random winners the following week.

Oooh, and be sure to follow We Love Colors on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tsubo Amset Review


Not to make you jealous, but the Tsubo Fairy ALSO sent me a pair of Amset pumps to review.

OK, to make you jealous.

Can you see that perforated metallic pink leather inside the shoe, there? Yeah, that means SQUISHY DELICIOUS COMFORT, my friends. These pumps are a new style for fall, and they might actually trump my beloved Acreas in comfort.


Such a great design, no? That heel is high enough to provide some fantastic leg-elongation, but not so high that you feel like you're going to topple. Thick enough to provide stability, but not so thick that it appears dowdy. The sole is sturdy but flexible, making these fantastically walkable. They're not 3+ hour jobbers like my Acreas and recently-acquired Nabus, but I could do at least an hour of straight walking in these beauts.

And that suede? The most gorgeous blood red you've ever seen.

Tsubo has been making athletic-y shoes for years, and I'm a longtime fan of those, too. But I am increasingly convinced that their dress shoes are some of the most versatile, stylish, and comfortable available today.


Have you given Tsubo dress shoes a whirl? Think these Amsets might tempt you to do so?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

NOVICA "Out on the Town" Handbag Review


The folks over at NOVICA asked me to try out a product from their budding handbag line, and I jumped at the chance. NOVICA is a subsidiary of National Geographic, peddling fair trade accessories, jewelry, handbags, artwork, and clothing produced by artisans from around the world. The site is a goldmine of gift ideas and funky adornments, but since they're hoping to stir up some interest in their extensive collection of handbags, they asked me to choose a review item from that section of the site.

Many of the bags were just gorgeous, but as a devotee of silver- or no-hardware, I found my options limited: Lots of brass and goldtone, but relatively little silver. There are also many, many adorable cloth bags, but I am a leather handbag girl to the end. Finally, the site offers countless gorgeous hand-tooled leather options, but I really do prefer a plain bag. Dang, I am hard to please!

But I finally landed on the Out on the Town handbag, pictured above, which fits all of my picky-girl criteria and is utterly darling to boot. It arrived within four days of order, and came beautifully wrapped:


And included a gift card with a short bio for the artisan:


This smallish tote style handbag is elegantly designed, and the craftsmanship did not disappoint. The handles are sturdily constructed and the exterior pocket has a subtle slope that adds to the overall appeal of the bag's design. The leather isn't particularly supple, but its stiffness works well with the overall shape: Anything softer wouldn't hold this particular form terribly well.



The satin-lined interior is surprisingly roomy for such a compact bag, and has an internal zip pocket (vital for a Rolaid-and-lip-balm hoarder such as myself). However, this is still an occasional bag for me. I need something twice this size for daily use! But I've been lacking a slightly dressy brown handbag, and this little cutie definitely fits the bill.

Obviously, I can't vouch for the entire product line, but I am definitely pleased with design, construction, and quality of the Out on the Town handbag sample I received. I'd definitely keep NOVICA in mind for gift-giving occasions, especially for the environmentally and economically conscious folks in my life.

Has anyone else explored or ordered from the site? Heard any other opinions of their products? Do tell, if so!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tsubo Nabu Review


OK. So y'all know I'm dedicated to my Tsubo Acreas. I've got those bad boys in 5 colors, and they show up CONSTANTLY in my outfit posts. And while these new-for-fall Tsubo Nabus aren't quite as versatile - with that awesomely funky lacing on the front - I fell in love with them on sight. I could tell that they were built on the same shoe body as my Acreas, with that fantastically walkable heel and quirky understated slingback, and envisioned them as ideal wear-with-pants shoes for cooler weather.

The good folks at Tsubo were kind enough to send some Nabus my way, and kittens? Now that they're in my possession, I am head over heels for these shoes. I seriously didn't think it was possible, but Tsubo has added more cushion-y goodness to the footbed to make these among my most comfortable pump-style shoes. These are 3+ hour walking shoes ... at least for someone who is most comfortable in a low- to mid-heel.


As is the case with my Acreas, the leather is treated to look a bit distressed and marks easily - but I've found that a quick touch-up with my oil sponge makes them look good as new. The color is a little gray-er than shown on the site, which I actually prefer, and the lacing is just irresistably appealing.


I don't think I can wait for fall. These Tsubo Nabus are going into rotation RIGHT NOW.



What do you guys think of these shoes? A little more "out there" than the Acreas but still super-wearable? Not really your speed? I am MAD for lacing these days, so I'm admittedly biased ...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Invisibelt Winner!


And the lucky recipient of the Invisibelt is ...

The lovely D'Rae! Drop me a line at sally@alreadypretty.com and I'll hook you up. Thanks to everyone who entered, and keep an eye out for more giveaways soon.