The perfect pair: Functional, fashionable fall/winter footwear

Feet, say hello to Hunter. www.thefashionspeech.com

The story of how I came to purchase “adult” footwear for fall and winter in Wisconsin, and why I gave up on other brands. My quest for the perfect pair of fall/winter boots is over… 

When it comes to fall and winter footwear in Wisconsin, and on college campuses especially, UGG Australia boots have been one of the most popular brands of the 21st century. I had long-loved the cozy, comfy UGG style. (Not to mention how those fuzzy things kept your feet super warm all day long during cold, dark winter days.) I wore knock-offs through high school, since $200-ish boots didn’t exactly fit into the budget of a girl working at the city pool in the summer.

When I went to college, I decided an upgrade was in order, and (thanks to a pricey Christmas present from mom and dad) received a pair of Emu Australia boots my freshman year. Now, allow me to explain that at this stage in the evolution of my personal style, I viewed Emu boots as a more fashionable version of UGGs. (Never mind that UGGs and Emus are basically the same.) I wanted something a bit different, yet still following the trend. It’s also very important to note that Emu boots were marketed as waterproof, which is an important purchasing consideration to make if you live in Wisconsin.

With my newfound glory comfily on my feet, I felt great. Seriously though, my Emu boots were amazing! I loved those darn boots, and they made it through three Wisconsin winters, which is an accomplishment in itself if you know anything about footwear in the Midwest. I was so happy with these boots that I thought I would forever be an Emu-wearing twenty-something. Thankfully, the fashion gods had other plans…

Soon enough, Wisconsin weather had its way with my boots. And even though I used waterproof sealant – yep, the stuff meant for bathroom caulking – around the pair’s edges from my parents’ house (sorry, dad!), the Emus fell apart to the point that they were no longer wearable.

Now, the fashionista in me always knew that Emus and UGGs, although comfy like yoga pants, were not the most chic choice for fall/winter footwear. But I couldn’t help myself! My inner-child wanted snowbank-jumping, fuzzy, cozy footwear that I could practically fall asleep in. I did my best not to wear them when I was actually “dressed up,” trying to look sophisticated. But on frigid fall days, trips to the gym or long walks in December, I wanted cozy. And those boots were it for me.

Then, a fashion-epiphany of sorts occurred.

I’d long had my eye on a pair of Hunter Original Tall Rain Boots. They were a neutral color that would match well, they would be warm with some welly socks, and best of all: they were waterproof. Somewhere, between the death of my Emus and creating a fall shopping list for this year, I decided I would do it.

And I did… I finally said hello to grownup functional fashion perfection.

For the first time in years, with my new Hunter boots, I am going without any sort of UGG/Emu-looking boot. And, for a good investment, I am excited to welcome the rain, snow, sleet, slush and whatever else Mother Nature brings to Central Wisconsin.

My only confession from this fall’s shopping spree: I also bought a new pair of Minnetonka booties – sure to fix a craving for fuzzy footwear come January. Old habits die hard, right?

Here’s to adulting in style this season,

K.

s h o p    t h e     l o o k

Hunter Boot Tour Traveler Rubber Rain Boot, Black • Hunter • $150
Hunter Boot Tour Traveler Rubber Rain Boot, Black • Hunter • $150
Hunter Original Tall Cable Knit Cuff Welly Socks (Women) • Hunter • $50
Hunter Original Tall Cable Knit Cuff Welly Socks (Women) • Hunter • $50
Minnetonka Women's Chrissy Bootie,Cinnamon,8 M US • Minnetonka • $45.95
Minnetonka Women’s Chrissy Bootie,Cinnamon,8 M US • Minnetonka • $45.95

DIY of the month: repurposed ladders

This ladder towel rack fits perfectly in our apartment's bathroom. www.thefashionspeech.com
This ladder towel rack fits perfectly in our apartment’s bathroom.
www.thefashionspeech.com

See this beauty above? I had been pursuing ladders for weeks, (what an interesting life I have) when I finally stumbled upon this gorgeous pine wood ladder. At a garage sale, the ladder was already stained this dark tone and ready to go. It must have been fate because this is exactly what I was picturing, as I planned to purchase a ladder for the bathroom to store extra towels.

Before I repurposed this beautiful ladder. www.thefashionspeech.com
Before I repurposed the ladder in our bathroom.
www.thefashionspeech.com

For $50 USD this ladder was mine, and I really didn’t have to do too much to it! I figured it was a fair price, considering the time and money I would have had to spend staining it this color. Easiest DIY, ever.

But, if you’re looking to create your own ladder towel rack at home – or to repurpose one as a shelf (keep reading!) I’ve got some tips to share… Continue reading

Take it easy

Source: snapwiresnaps.tumblr.com via Pexels.com CC0
Source: snapwiresnaps.tumblr.com via Pexels.com CC0

Keeping with this month’s theme of “easy” fashion and healthy habits, I thought, who doesn’t like easy hair?

August is for relaxing, and what’s better than an easy, simple, hair style – especially during a hurried work week or after sleeping in on the weekend? Meet: easy waves, the simple summer style perfect for all occasions of the month. Whether you’re headed to the beach, a wedding, a night out, or a day at work – this style fits the bill for just about any activity you can name. Continue reading

Stand up for your health

JayMantri via Pixabay.com Public Domain
JayMantri via Pixabay.com Public Domain

Now is the time to literally stand up for your health… (like, right now.)

“Good posture doesn’t cost anything.” —Iris Apfel

Last month, Vogue published an article titled “Learning Curve” written by Jancee Dunn. The article included research from a study in the journal Surgical Technology International that found individuals use their smartphones an average of three hours per day. During these three hours, necks are strained as the head is bent forward at about 15 degrees. Researchers in the study found that this bending of the neck more than doubles the weight of one’s head “from twelve to 27 pounds.” All together, this can increase “the progress of arthritis” to even being the cause of “degenerative changes in the spine.”

A Mashable article published this past June, declared in its title, “People who work in offices should stand for 2 hours a day.” Research from British experts indicated that individuals who sit for prolonged periods of time “have more than twice the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.” Furthermore, an increase in cancer and premature death were also cited for those who sit hours on end, compared with individuals who sit for the least amount of time throughout the day. Read the full study from the article here.

There is much more research that argues standing up, moving around and stretching throughout the day versus staying seated is extremely beneficial for our bodies now and into the future. Thankfully, for those of us who are frequent sitters, experts say that bad posture and the progression of its negative health effects can be slowed and even reversed. Continue reading

In White

jill111 via Pixabay.com Public Domain
jill111 via Pixabay.com Public Domain

My favorite month of the year is August. Don’t ask me why exactly, I’ve just always loved this time of year – right between the end of summer and beginning of fall. Ahh.

The perfect color for this easy, breezy, peaceful time of year? White. And just because it’s also prime wedding season doesn’t mean you can’t wear some white, too. (About to be wed or not!) Oh, and Labor Day is a solid four weeks away… if you follow the no-white-after-Labor-Day “rule.” So there’s plenty of time to get on trend. ;-)

White looks good on every skin tone, with every hair color, and flatters every body type. So why not spend August in white? I’ve rounded up a few fashion faves for this month in my Top Ten list below… Continue reading

DIY of the month: reed diffuser

JamesDeMers via Pixabay.com Public Domain
JamesDeMers via Pixabay.com Public Domain

I’m all for repurposing items that are thifted, break, or simply no longer serve their original purpose. Keep reading to see how I turned marble soap dispensers into beautiful reed diffusers that make unique bath decor features.

While Black Friday shopping for the first time last November, I splurged on several marble bath decor pieces. A couple of those items – a pair of soap dispensers – didn’t have as long of a lifespan as I’d hoped. I knew the marble would hold up just fine overtime, but the dispenser tops started to rust after about a month or so and no longer worked smoothly. After throwing out the tops of the soap dispensers, I knew I wanted to keep the marble bottoms. Finally, a creative idea stuck.

I love reed diffusers and thought one would look great as a bathroom decor piece. All I needed for this project was a bit of white paint, diffuser fragrance oil and reeds. Simple. Here’s the full breakdown of what I did to turn rusted soap dispensers into unique reed diffusers… Continue reading

Family, transitions, adventures… and other things I’m thankful for

Unsplash via Pixabay.com Public Domain
Unsplash via Pixabay.com Public Domain

So much has happened in my life since I graduated from college. I can hardly believe I’ve been out of school for more than six months—yikes! Time really does go by fast…

This month, especially, has been full of transitions. Although I give thanks each day, I’m feeling extra thankful this month as I reflect upon all the changes and events that have occurred.  Continue reading

Brow Game

Kaz via Pixabay.com Public Domain
Kaz via Pixabay.com Public Domain

With Cara Delevingne gracing the cover of this month’s Vogue, it’s more clear than ever: eyebrows are it. 

Brows frame the face, and a well groomed pair are a summer beauty essential for a no-makeup, carefree look.

I tend not to put too much time into my own brows during the weekdays when it comes to filling them in and applying a setting gel. But for nights out or a special event, I add a few minutes to my beauty routine to perfect my arches.

Although my brows are not as bold as the lovely Cara’s, I thought I’d share my tools of the trade for grooming and adding definition that can enhance any look – day or night. Continue reading