Josefinas {Ballet Flats}

josefinas

Back in September 2013, my sister introduced me to Josefinas. Since then, these cute handmade ballet flats have been on my wish-list and an endless source of inspiration for my Polyvore style sets.

I wasn’t planning to get a pair until my other ballet flats were on their way out but fast-forward a little bit over a year and a pretty black and blush shoebox arrived – a birthday present from my husband.

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I wanted to wear them for a while before making any comments. Now that I’ve done so, here’s what I’ve found.

  1. The leather is extremely soft and comfortable – I thought it would be harder and take some time to adapt to my feet but no, the expression fits like a glove comes to mind.
  2. They are surprisingly warm. Part of collection nº7, Goa is a shoe designed for cooler days, with reinforced inner leather. I could really tell the difference, these last few weeks, between the times when it was hotter and when it was cooler.
  3. They move well from casual weekend to work days (see gallery below for examples).
  4. I am generally a size 37.5 in Europe but they only make full sizes so these are a 38. I have found that to be no problem  but if I was to buy some from collection nº1, I’d probably buy size 37 as they only have one layer of leather.
  5. Beware of pointy metal edges (e.g., chair or table legs). I can’t keep still even when I’m sitting so I have learned that it is best not to push/brush/kick my Josefinas against legs of tables or chairs, especially metal ones. The softness of the leather does mean it is more delicate than other leather or synthetic materials.

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I walk a lot – to work, to the supermarket, everywhere I can, really. A good walking shoe is essential to my lifestyle. You will never catch me walking to work in running shoes, but all my shoes must have that good-for-walking quality. These haven’t disappointed. They are surprisingly sturdy.

I do have to look into ways to preserve them well, as I walk so much. I am thinking about paying a visit to my favourite cobbler one of these days to see what advice he has.

I do also wonder how they’ll perform on a rainy day and what extra care I can give them to keep them looking great for long. What do you do to preserve and extend the life of your leather shoes?


 


 

Spring Time

Happy weekend everyone!

I know many of you are now starting to enjoy Autumn – my favourite season. In Auckland, we’re just now getting to have warmer, Spring days. The sun has been out these last few days and I can’t help but be inspired. We’ve all had enough of cold, rainy days.

I almost bought these trousers in Lisbon but then thought I’d give it a bit more thought, just not to be too impulsive. Of course, when I then had the chance to go into another Zara, they didn’t have it anymore…Ah, the irony! At least I can still imagine how I’d wear this season’s bold prints…

Spring Time

Curbing My Enthusiasm – A Guide to Buying Fewer Things

Part of the challenge to be a mindful consumer is to buy fewer things. This is no small challenge as I’m sure you all know how difficult it is to resist impulses to buy, no matter what your budget is. 

Mild Autumn

For instance, I have been wanting a pair of Josefinas for a really long time. I finally decided which colour to pick and I can afford them so I’m now ready to click that purchase button. 

But I haven’t yet because, in my own attempts to manage impulses to buy, I have found helpful to ask myself a few questions first:

1. Am I buying with purpose?

– Do I need it?

– Do I need it now? 

To answer these questions, I consider whether the new item will be replacing something on its way out. If the answer is no, I don’t buy it. No, it’s not easy to make this decision but you have to be ruthless otherwise it defeats the purpose. 

If the answer is yes, I move on to the next set of questions.

2. Am I buying a versatile* item? 

– How will the item work with other items in my wardrobe?

– How many outfits can I create mixing this new item with what I already have?

Versatile items offer many restyling possibilities. If I am highly motivated to buy an item, asking these questions forces me to be mindful about my wardrobe and think creatively about my styling options.

Doing this before I even have the item saves me time and money. This is true even if the answers are yes – if we can mix and match the items in our wardrobes, we’ll be less likely to need to buy something new in the future.

*By versatile I mean adaptable to my own wardrobe, not just pieces that would fit everyone’s wardrobe.

3. Am I buying quality?

Of course, all that I mention above means very little if the item is of poor quality. No matter how much I needed it or how well it fit in my wardrobe, it won’t last. Soon enough, I’m forced to buy a new item.

Asking this question forces me to pay more attention to the composition of an item, learn more about the durability of different materials and how to look after them.

This is something I am still learning to do. It’s not easy for me to pay attention to quality when I’ve already ticked off the other two criteria. But mistakes have been made and I am starting to understand that this is an essential part of the process to become a more mindful consumer. 

What about price, you may ask?

Let’s assume first that we’re talking about an item within our own personal budgets. Price should not come into the conversation until those 3 sets of questions are answered. I have learned this the hard way.

I often make the mistake that I am sure many of you can relate. I see something I need, it fits perfectly with my style, it’s cheap – I buy it. Did I think of quality? Not until a couple of months later when it looks so worn out it’s as if I wore it every day for the past 10 years – true story.

More often than not, a cheaper price-tag does not represent the best economic option. We think we’re saving money but if we consider price-per-wear, we realise that a €12 shirt that only lasts 2 months ends up costing more than a £30 shirt that still looks great after 3 years. 

Stripes and Florals

Back to the beautiful Goa JosefinasI can apply all of the above to help me come to a decision.

Josefinas are versatile (check) and of extremely good quality (check). Now, do I need them? I do have a couple of pairs of shoes on their way out but they’re Spring/Summer – as are the Josefinas.

Winter is coming and I know that if I buy them now, I won’t get to wear them until September. So, Josefinas, I’m sorry to say, I don’t need you right now. 

It’s not easy to be a mindful consumer, particularly when it comes to saying no to yourself. Going through the process of asking those questions forces me to think before I buy and keep those impulses in check. 

How do you curb your consumer enthusiasm? 

Thanks for reading!
xo Rita

 

Shoes News: The New Josefinas

The good thing about signing up for newsletters is that you’re kept up-to-date with what your favourite brands are up to. Sometimes, you’re also given the opportunity to see and pre-order a collection before everyone else.

For example, this morning I had a lovely email from Josefinas sharing their new Spring/Summer 2014 collection – 2 days before it goes out to the rest of the World. 

Now, pre-orders don’t really work for me. In an attempt to stop being an impulsive buyer, I like to take my own sweet time before I move ahead with a purchase. But, hey, at least I get to see these beauties and share them with you today! 

Josefinas Pre Collection SS 2014

On the flip side, I though I had my favourite Josefinas sorted. These news have thrown me off balance. Now, how can I possibly decide which pair to buy?! They’re all gorgeous!! Which one would you pick?? 

Thanks for reading!