NAS 2014: what got away! (warning - LONG!!!)

This is my NAS #5, matching my 5th year on YLF. For those who hasn't been a witness of my prior NAS adventures a little pre-history. I live in Canada and shopping NAS is not easy. Shipping is expensive, taxes and duties are mind blogging and returns are cumbersome and expensive. Luckily I live 1 hour away from the US border and only 2 hours from the closest Nordstrom so I just drive there for a day of ""all out" NAS extravaganza.
After a couple of years I developed a NAS strategy for myself: I order everything I am considering  to the store, then coming over when it is delivered, try everything on, keep what I want and return the rest. This works for me even if creating quite a stir at the store :-)
Anyway this year I was very restrained with my NAS shopping. I have ordered just 9 pairs of footwear ( for comparison there were 24 pairs in year #2!) and 3 items of clothing. NAS is mainly footwear for me as I have a hard to find size. 
Pic #7 is where you can see what my fitting room looked like with the loot. Sorry I forgot to get a regular picture of the boxes but they were already in the room and unpacked for me. 
So this is what got away:
##1-2  Attilio Giusti Leombrini booties
They are one of the top Angie's picks for a reason. The leather is incredibly soft and they look amazingly on. Alas - they were too narrow for me in the forefoot so it was a no-go. If you have regular or narrower width foot and looking for dressy booties give those a try - they are gorgeous!

## 3-4 Aquatalia Obsession tall boots

They made me cry! Again - the leather is amazing and they are perfect in any sense! After reviews I was sure that they would be too narrow in the calf for my 15.5" calves - but they were a perfect fit, both in height and circumference...but once again - too narrow in the forefoot! Before seeing them I was not sure I want to pay $360 for them but after seeing them and trying them on there was no doubt in my mind that I would - if only they fit :-(

##5-6 Aquatalia Sweetie mid-calf boots
Surprisingly these were wide enough for my feet and a serious consideration. 
I was not sure if they look too stumpefying with tucked in skinnies or skirts but my main objective for those boots would be to wear them with slouchy trousers which would fit over the top I think. The fact that they are waterproof, warm and slip-resistant was a huge bonus - it is not easy to find dressier boots with those criteria. However in the end I decided to pass - mainly because my left foot was not 100% comfortable in them: it felt like the top of the boot was pressing on my big toe and I was afraid it would be quite uncomfortable on long walks. For this kind of price my boots have to be perfect, right? 

##8-9 Sam Eldeman (left) vs. Stuart Weizman (right)
I was resolved to get an expensive but amazing pair of boots on this sale if this would be my single purchase. As both Aquatalia and AGL boots were out it left SW "Strapduo" booties. What was suspicious for me in the first place that they were not on Angie's top pick list.
There also was Sam Eldeman "Pacific" to consider. 1/3 of the price of SW booties but amazingly soft and nice leather for this price. Actually the leather felt nicer to the touch than on SW booties. Fit was good on both and both were comfortable so it was left to looks.
Here I am wearing both of them for comparison. They looked quite similar actually with the same heel height and straps. SW are about 2" higher in the shaft and I thought it makes them unflattering, especially with skirts. Too bad I forgot to take pictures with the skirt! The main problem was the width of the shaft though which was not close to the ankle because there was no zipper in those boots. You have to undo those 2 straps before getting them on and then fasten them again. This not only makes a wide opening but also is quite cumbersome to put them on or take them off. So - you guessed it - they stayed behind. I decided that for this price they have to be perfect and they were not.

I also was not 100% sure about SE booties but they came home with me. I am going to play with them both for comfort and style and see if I like them enough. I was looking for a pair of black low heel booties last year in vain. My old black Clarks are too high in the heel for comfort and feel too clunky for my style. I like that SE booties have a nice almond toe and look quite refined - more so that SW booties - aside from the wider opening and a  strap.
I also ordered UGG Chelsea booties - really the style I want - but they were backordered and won't ship until September 25. I decided to keep SE booties for now until I get UGGs. If UGGs work for me I will return SE; if not -then if I see that comfort and style wise SE works for me they would stay. 

I also tried some other tall boots - Vince Camuto Finella in brown and grey and Naturalizer in brown. All of them were too tall in the shaft and too wide on top - none fitted as perfectly as Obsession! They seemed comfy in the foot though so if you have longish and wider calves they may work for you. The grey color of Finella is beautiful, if they fit I would get those.

So this is what got away from me today (except SE booties which are under consideration).
The post on the clothing is to follow!

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This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

27 Comments

  • Karie replied 4 years ago

    I like that you're being very fussy about fit. And you're right, at that price the fit should be perfect. The SE boots are very nice, and I really like the Ugg boots that are on backorder. I'm looking forward to seeing your post on clothing!

  • shevia replied 4 years ago

    Forget it Sveta, I am too taken with your outfit to say anything about the boots at all. Love what you are wearing and am sure you are making wise decisions re: boots.

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Those Obsessions look wonderful on you. I'm sorry that they were uncomfortable. You are wise to be picky about comfort, especially at these prices.

  • Firecracker replied 4 years ago

    It's really too bad the Obsessions didn't work out for you. And very interesting to hear about the SW Strapduo--I can see why they didn't make Angie's pick list, with all the fuss of getting in and out of them! I hope one of the booties does work well for you--the Sam Edelman or Uggs.

  • Joyce B replied 4 years ago

    Sveta, thank you for posting this detailed analysis on the boots. You make me feel soooo much better, I ordered so many shoes from NAS, I have returned 12 pairs so far, at a rate of 6 pairs per weekend.
    I think those tall boots look fab on you.
    I also love the plaid Kuts on you. I have the same ones in one of my NAS boxes and they are keepers too.
    I'll be waiting for your next post.
    I will also post on what I kept but first I need to finish paring it down.

  • rae replied 4 years ago

    I am crying for you! Bawling. The ones that fit your leg LOOK so gorgeous. So sad about your forefoot - is there no stretching that area?? :( :(

  • Gigi replied 4 years ago

    Oh Sveta, I sure hope you had better luck with the clothes! That is a lot of driving to be disappointed. But your notes do help the rest of us decide on what to try, so thank you!

  • Alana in Canada replied 4 years ago

    I am so sorry the Obsessions got away!

  • Sveta replied 4 years ago

    Karie - yes, PPP all the way for me!
    Shevia - hehe, actually these are plaid Kuts I am trying out, not my outfit (although I was really surprised how well my patterned blue shirt looked with them).
    Joy, please wear yours for me if I cannot!
    Firecracker - yeah, Strapduo were fussy - but I also found them not as nice as Aquatalia and AGL boots: for this price I would expect on par quality and I don't think it was. 
    Joyce, If only I could order shoes online without stupid taxes, duties and shipping cost and with free returns I am afraid my number would be in 100s with fussy feet like mine! :-)
    Rae, I tried stretching before but it never worked for me when it was narrow as these ones right from the start. Where stretching works for me is when shoes are fine from the start but begin to rub a bit after prolonged wearing: then there is a chance the stretching can work. :-(

  • Tanya replied 4 years ago

    Oh wow, what an adventure Sveta!  Those Obsession boots really look mazing, too bad they are too narrow.  I really hope SE booties work.

    Looking forward part 2 and really curious if you got those plaid skinnies :)

  • MsMaven replied 4 years ago

    You look amazing!  I'm sad these boots don't work because they look so good on you, but I understand.  I'm at the point where any tiny rubbing or tightness can lead to misery and how on earth did my narrow feet get to be so wide at the ball of the foot?  

    Looking forward to the next episode in your adventure.

  • AJ replied 4 years ago

    Standing ovation for you sticking to PPP!! Your hard earned money and hard working feet deserve shoes with the perfect fit!

  • ElleH replied 4 years ago

    I feel your foot pain. I tried on many boots & booties. Bought & returned 3 Pairs, including the AquataIia Obsessions, which were too narrow even in the wide. They were soft & might have stretched but I couldn't risk it at that price. So hard to find comfortable stylish footwear these days. I guess age is making it more difficult. My feet used to tolerate a lot. I used to walk everywhere in converse chucks & now they are sitting shoes, & even then not for too long. Now I know why many older people wear ugly comfort shoes. They have no choice.

  • Inge replied 4 years ago

    Oh how difficult it must have been to leave those Obsession boots behind-((
    But once again, you live up to your reputation of a very discerning shopper, Sveta, even while surrounded by all that NAS temptation;-)
    If a shoe isn't completely comfortable, or the fit is slightly off, then they won't become wardrobe workhorses, and that's what we're after, right.

    I like your plan to wait for the UGGS and then compare them with the SE booties.

    Also: I sincerely hope those plaid jeans came home with you, because they look fantastic!
    And I can't wait to read the clothing report too. I am holding thumbs for the tuxedo gilet ;-)

    P.S. Thank you for treating us once again to pictures and a full report of your NAS adventures, Sveta. I look forward to them each year!

  • Mona replied 4 years ago

    The jeans look hot on you, Sveta. I hope you got them. 
    You exhibit great PPP in your shopping for footwear. I hope that the SE booties work for you. Thank you for detailed commentary on other boots too.

  • viva replied 4 years ago

    Thanks for the detailed breakdown, Sveta. Love all the shots of you in the dressing room too. You look amazing!!!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Okay, Elle's little snippet -- that those Obsession boots are available in wide width-- makes me think it is worth a call to Nordstrom's customer service about that. They look SOOOOO amazing on you and would have been the perfect boot!

    I am just signing on here for the first time in 24 hour and am both glad and sad to see this post. Glad because you got there and I get to see you in action; sad because so many of those boots were no-gos and I wasn't with you!

    I think you made a wise decision with the SE's and you can compare to the Uggs when those arrive. Excellent plan. 

    I love the Mia's on you!! Is the rise okay for you? 

  • marianna replied 4 years ago

    I look forward to these posts each year! Glad you found one good pair… I really like the SE booties on you and hope they work out in the end. And you look FANTASTIC… I can really see the hard work paying off. ;)

    Anxiously waiting for post #2!

  • Janet replied 4 years ago

    I'm almost too distracted by how fab those plaid jeans look on you.

    So, are the Obsessions available in wide? Elle mentions that, and maybe that would be the solution. Those do look fantastic on you!

    I'm sorry boot shopping was not more fruitful and that it's so challenging for you. I take it for granted that it's relatively easy to find footwear that fits my nonfussy feet -- I can only imagine how frustrating this must be.

    Looking forward to the clothing post! Still swooning over those jeans enough that I had to surf over to the Nordies website to check them out. They're sold out in my size, so I'm safe. :-)

  • kkards replied 4 years ago

    oh, so sorry about the boots that got away! but, if they don't fit, they don't fit.
    i'm loving the way the Kut's look, I ordered the same pair, and there in the maybe pile. after seeing them on you, i want to try them on again. 

  • Eliza replied 4 years ago

    Sorry for your boot dilemmas, but totally understand needing to leave the uncomfortable ones behind. Those Aquatalias are beautiful on your legs and ankles. Bookmarking this post for future boot shopping reference.

    The Kuts are perfection on you. Love those pants! Hope they stay with you.

    Best with sorting out other options. Boots are so hard.

  • Gracie replied 4 years ago

    I really have enjoyed all your NAS posts... Thank your for sharing your experiences with fit and feel of the boots. Sorry the Obsessions didn't work. Wondering if the wide width might just be a wider calf... The SEs are handsome looking. I can't believe how long it will take for the UGGs to be shipped! Looking forward to your next post, I hope you kept the plaid skinnies, you look amazing in them!

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    Yay, Sveta. Queen NAS.

    DO find out about the Obsessions and whether they come in a wide width - it is news to me too - and good news. I am sobbing with you here for the moment though. They look killer incredible on you. 

    I echo EVERYTHING that Suz said. I love that you came home with two pairs of boots. By all means compare them to the Uggs. xo

  • Sveta replied 4 years ago

    Thank you for your comments and commiserating with me on my Obsession!

    Elle, Suz and Angie - this is a "joy" of being non-standard size in shoes! Aquatalia (and SW for that matter) come in W sizes between 6 and 10 only. Below 6 and over 10 is only M width is available :-(
    Report on the clothing purchases (meager as they are this year) is coming, I will keep you in the dark until then :-)
    Angie, I did not have a hope that Obsession can fit my calves but when they did I got quite a shock - and then another shock to find out they are too narrow. W width may have worked but no luck here :-( And I came home with only one pair of boots - Sam Eldeman Pacific - which are under consideration now...I still hope UGGs can work out!
    Janet, the plaid KUTs may come back in your size (enabling!).

  • karymk replied 4 years ago

    Sveta I think your shopping tactic for NAS is brills.  And I am glad that you are so picky about fit.  Those pants look great on you.  You look fab this summer!

  • DonnaF replied 4 years ago

    Ah!  I didn't know those SEs came in Wide.  Thanks to you, I just ordered them but sadly missed out on Double Points.  I'm waffling on my Wide Born booties.  I hate fussy feet that are growing fussier by the minute.  :(

  • Lisa replied 4 years ago

    The Obsession boots are gorgeous, too bad the fit was off.  Too many times in the past I settled for 90% but not 100% footwear and it has never worked in my favor.  You are wise to be very picky.  I need to remember this for myself.  I like both 8 and 9 boots best with the plaid trousers, and I hope one of them work out.  I also really like the boot in 5.  The wider shaft would look good with a baggy or boyfriend jean tucked into it.

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