Review: J.Crew Wide-Calf Harper Leather Boots

Nordstrom sweater (similar), Gap skirt, SPANX tights, Nordstrom belt (similar), J.Crew Harper boots (ordered up to a 9.5)

Traveling so much for work means that my wardrobe has very little consistency. I spend the work week in different cities around the country and my weekends in Charlotte, and as such have a closet that looks more like a mismatch of items than anything cohesive or weather appropriate. But if there was one item that transitions well from the chilly (albeit dry) weather of North Carolina to the freezing Winters of the Northeast and beyond, it is the riding boot. Boasting calves with a nearly 17″ circumference  finding a pair of boots that fit my feet, narrow ankles and wide calves has proven nearly impossible, until now.

J.Crew is one of the few retailers that sells wide-calf boots. I have tried a number of other pairs over the years and never found them very comfortable or of particularly great quality. During their last 25% off sale I decided to try again with these gorgeous side-zip Harpers, and couldn’t be happier with the purchase.

First and foremost, the leather is of amazing quality. I can see them lasting for years and being incredibly supple and molded to my foot shape over time. The sole is 100% leather and the gold zipper detailing and snap closure above are also of top quality.

The boots have a 17.5″ calf circumference leaving just about a 3/4 of an inch of extra room for me at the top. This doesn’t bother me at all as I have never liked the look of boots that were so tight they appeared painted on. The leather of these is stiff enough that they stay up on my calf regardless of the extra space. The toes are a beautiful almond shape and very comfortable for all day wear. If leather isn’t your thing, the boots also come in a gorgeous suede that also looks so supple and comfortable. One final note, I did size up from my normal 9 at J.Crew to a 9.5. I wanted a bit of extra room for thicker socks, but upon receipt have found that these boots do run slightly small. While i can tell that the size 10′s would be much too big, the 9.5 leaves just a smidgen of extra room for thick socks.

In other, completely random news: I purchased my first clip-less curling iron and loooove the result. I have naturally very frizzy, curly, and unruly hair and on days when I don’t want to blow dry or straighten it into place, this iron makes my natural waves bouncy and frizz-free. I highly recommend the iron I purchased and particularly love the quickness with which I achieved this look.

Have you found any wide-calf boots that you’re loving?

An Everyday Outfit, with Sparkle

J.Crew Factory sequins sweater, J.Crew shirt, Levi’s jeans, Necklace via Gilt (similar)

I wouldn’t consider myself a super glamorous girl, or one that is particularly drawn to all things sequins. So when I purchased this top from J.Crew a while back, it was an its-on-sale-why-not kind of purchase. I have only worn it a handful of times but on those days when I want to feel particularly sparkly and stand out in a crowd, it does the trick.

As is my nature, I toned it down with basic jeans and a “grungier” button down and basic, sleek hair.

Wearing Mini Skirts as a Pearshaped Woman + My Tips and Tricks

Nordstrom sweater, J.Crew chambray shirt, H&M skirt (similar), SPANX tights, Steve Madden boots

The body part that I am (by far) most self conscious about are my legs. As a swimmer in high school and regular Insanity workout participant, I do everything I can to tone my lower half. But even with rigorous exercise, my body was made as it was and I happen to have thick legs that don’t lend themselves well to mini skirts. However, as a firm believer that with confidence, and a few basic additions I can make any clothing item work, I show how I wear mini skirts as a pearshaped, thick-legged woman.

Most women have discovered tights, but few women have realized the glorious power that are SPANX tights. The brand is generally known for its shape wear  but they also boast a fairly extensive line of control-top tights that come equipped with “leg shaping technology,” effectively slimming the upper portion of thighs and hips. These have become my secret weapon for Winter months when I want to get the most wear out of my shorter dresses, but still want to feel tight, pulled together, and slim.

The particular tight that I chose was very opaque, which makes me feel more comfortable bearing more leg. Coupled with chunky layers up top to balance the thinness of the bottom, I was completely at ease in this outfit and can now sport a trend I thought was always out of my reach: the micro mini.

A Magical Thanksgiving in the Big Apple

Macy’s coat (similar in beautiful colors), Target scarf (similar) and shirt, Banana Republic jeans, Tory Burch sunglasses

This Thanksgiving my boyfriend and I decided to get away. We both live across the country from our families and because of work schedules and flight costs, weren’t able to make it home for the weekend. Instead of staying home alone in our cozy apartment in Charlotte, we made a spontaneous decision to fly to New York to celebrate with the crowds. We had an absolutely amazing time walking the entire city, eating at some amazing restaurants, watching the parade and shopping black Friday in SoHo.

My brother and his fiancé were so gracious to let us stay at their stunning Chelsea apartment for the weekend. One of the best features of the building is a rooftop 360 degree view of Manhattan that could take your breath away.

One of my favorite things to do every time I visit New York is stroll through Central Park. On this particular day the sun was shining, the leaves were beautiful Fall colors and people were out playing through the trees. It was magical to walk hand in hand with my love and enjoy that Thanksgiving day together.

And of course, an obligatory stop by the Thanksgiving day parade complete with Pokemon and Kungfoo Panda characters to enjoy.

Our last stop was the Brooklyn Flea Market. I have been wanting to visit this must-see attraction for years and never found the time to venture into that part of the city early enough to enjoy it. At this time of year the market is held indoors at what used to be a stunning bank. The columns inside and the low yellow glow of the lights and candles made it so warm and comfortable to walk and browse. I ended up picking up a beautiful gold necklace that I can’t wait to debut in a post soon.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours couldn’t have been more perfect.

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