26 September, 2014

Friday Favourites - Poppy Barley Flats

Of all the things that could happen with pregnancy the one I feared the most was my feet growing. Shallow and vain, I know. Before I actually became a mother and realized how shallow and vain that was I obsessed over this.

My first pregnancy was a gong show and high risk by the last trimester. My feet were indeed giant puffballs thanks to high blood pressure. But with an unseasonably warm spring and bed rest, I was good in bare feet and flip flips. And when it was all over, my feet went back to their standard size 10. I had better pregnancies the next times around, but no luck with my feet. They did not return to their normal size.

You see, before this shoe shopping was such a treat. It was my reward, my shopping salvation. I knew that no matter how difficult it was to find flattering pants or a shirt with long enough arms, I knew that at the end of the day I could walk into any shoe store, grab a size 10, and leave happy. Shoes were my emotional pick me up. (And yes, I had/have a lot.)

Since babies my shoe collection has been seriously edited. Of my pre-pregnancy shoes I've really only kept my open toed options, and only really purchased a few pairs of boots and a couple of pairs of sandals. Granted, I don't need the wardrobe I used to have when I worked corporately. But I've more or less given up on shoe shopping. No one generally carries shoes larger than a 10, and now they almost never fit. So it isn't worth trying things on or hoping that they'll have another option.

Then my SIL told me about Poppy Barley. Shoes made one at a time, for the customer. You pick the style, the leather, and can even submit custom measurements. Boots too. I waited a few years before taking the plunge - custom isn't cheap! Now? Now I think I will buy every nice shoe I need from Poppy Barley.

I attended a measurement pop-up here in Calgary. You can take your own measurements too, their site has clear directions on that. In doing this I learned that one foot is a full half size larger and the widths are radically different. So I paid an extra $50 for a custom sizing option. Totally worth it. My shoes fit perfectly right out of the box. And if you order boots, you measure around your calf as well, so all of us can finally have tall boots that actually fit a normal woman's calf.

Poppy Barley is based out of Edmonton. I love that I am supporting a Canadian business with my purchase. (Although, their shoes are made in Mexico.) Started by two inspiring young women, they've built their inventory of styles for a wide selection of flats and boots. Their work is gorgeous. On top of this, they are committed to supporting creative entrepreneurs with events, advice, and support.

I will be wearing these limited edition Sunrise Confetti Modern Mary Janes until the snow is sticking to the ground because oh, they are perfect. And saving my pennies for another pair of Poppy Barley shoes. I may never go to the mall again.


mjb said...

Beautiful shoes! My 3rd pregnancy seems to have put me at a 9.5W, although I'm staying in flip-flops as long as I can to avoid the truth.

Beth said...

Such a great post and at a perfect time for me. I am in the middle of recovering from a bad ankle fracture (actually three fractures) requiring plates and screws to put the ankle back together. Winter is nearly here and I was afraid of shoe shopping. This way I can get custom shoes that fit. Thanks for the info.

Sewing In CT said...

Those are lovely flats. Splurge. You're worth it.

Katie @SwimBikeQuilt said...

Mine grew from a 10 to 11 with pregnancy too. Boo! I'll check out the site.

Patti said...

Love your shoes! Worth the investment especially if they are comfortable right out of the box!

daveandlo said...

Talbot's carries a 10.5 which usually fits my big feet. But, I'll check out Poppy Barley and let my daughter know, too. Her feet are at least an 11, more realistically a 12.

Poppy Barley said...

Thank you, Cheryl, for this honest, lovely, flattering post and for helping to spread the word about Poppy Barley! It means the world to us - and we're thrilled that we can help solve your shoe shopping woes. Your flats look gorgeous. Thank you - a million times over. Hope to see you at our popup in Calgary this October! We'll be posting details on our Events page soon.
Caroline, Community Manager

Anonymous said...

I despise shoe shopping, but shoes are a necessity so what's a 9 wide like myself to do? I can't wear Merrells all the time, as much as I'd like to. Thanks for the recommendation - I'll check them out!

Sarah said...

I get this post! My feet were 8.5 before kids and grew a half size with every pregnancy , so now a 10 sometimes 11. And what is it with boots not fitting normal calves? I'm a big boned, heavy girl but with not overly fat calves, yet boots are a struggle. I will look up Poppy Barley, but I think it may be a little too expensive when I convert it to Australian dollars. If only we had the same kind of manufacturer.