Cushe Kicks: Chillin’ in the Shakra Sneaker

by Jacquelyn Barnes
( April 21st, 2015 )

Cushe Kicks chillin Cushe Kicks curb  Cushe Kicks footbed Cushe Kicks Shakra Cushe Kicks shoelacesCushe Kicks in grass

Kicking Back or Workin’ It with Cushe Kicks


When I first read about Cushe’s new Kicks Collection, I was amused to read that the Getaway and the Shakra were shoes designed for kicking back. So many shoes are making high performance claims, and Cushe comes along to say that their shoes are perfect for doing absolutely nothing in. This led me to think about all the insane outdoor activities my mother does, competing in ironman triathalons, bike races, etc. These shoes, I thought, are the shoes you put on afterward. Imagine sliding into slippers after a grueling backpacking trip or a day skiing. That is the level of satisfaction I experience putting on these Cushe kicks, even when I’ve done nothing to earn it. The day I got them, I almost wore them to sleep because I didn’t want to remove them.

I wore my kicks to work at Indaba Coffee every day for quite a while. I am picky about the shoes I wear to work because they have to be easy to clean (due to inevitable milk drips and coffee grounds) and comfortable enough to stand in for 4-10 hours. These are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn at work. They were a fast favorite for me. They started to smell with such heavy wear, but I gave the mesh a gentle scrub with detergent and washed the footbed and they smell like roses again.

Materials, Fit, and Feel


One special aspect of these Cushe kicks is the use of memory foam technology on a moulded EVA footbed. The Cushe Mellow memory foam and EVA footbed makes me feel like I’m walking on a cloud (or a marshmallow?) even in the seventh hour of standing. I have other shoes with memory foam footbeds, but none quite so pillowy. Also, you can removed the footbed, which I found made cleaning more convenient.

The front of the sneaker is made of breathable mesh with a moisture-wicking textile lining that has a nice stretch to it. The lining goes all the way around the ankle, so slipping them on feels a bit like putting on a pair of lightweight (four-ounce) aqua socks. Once you’ve got them on they gently hug your feet like a comfy, cool, supportive pair of socks. The upper is suede. To me, suede denotes luxury and style, something I don’t expect on a shoe that’s all about comfort and fun. It’s just the right kind of unexpected. I think they nailed it.

Finally, for the fashionably fickle, these shoes come with two sets of laces in different colors. The first day I had them, I put both the navy and the mauve ones in at the same time, which created a fun look. You know how I love versatility!

Buy the Cushe Shakra here! Or just check out how they look with the navy laces, since that’s how they’re pictured on Amazon.

Go in style,

Jacquelyn

 

Photo Credit

Brittan Hart

 

I received this item for review purposes, but all opinions expressed are my own.

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Old Faithful Coat – Mountain Khakis

by Jacquelyn Barnes
( April 16th, 2015 )

Old Faithful coat benchOld Faithful coat closeup Old Faithful coat bridge  Old Faithful coat glanceOld Faithful coat pockets  Old Faithful coat walking Old Faithful coat zipper Old Faithful coat bench closeup  Old Faithful coat on bench Old Faithful Coat

Although spring is in the air and I want nothing more than to leave the house in a sundress and sandals, there is still a nip in the air. That’s why I’ve been getting so much use out of this Mountain Khakis Old Faithful coat in eggplant.

I would compare the warmth of this coat to a polar fleece. Consider it a stylish alternative. The fabric is a heavy knit with a fuzzy texture on the inside, so it feels a lot like a fleece, too. The wind will cut through it, though, much like a sweater, but that’s what I would expect from a knit coat. It’s been on many an evening walk with no chills.

I got a lot of compliments on this coat, particularly it’s length, just long enough to cover your bottom. It’s an attractive silhouette.

Pockets are an important feature in a coat, I think, and these pockets are designed particularly well for housing both your hands and your stuff. To the extent that I often find I don’t need a purse. The snap flap is not fake, you can keep a phone or wallet inside, still there is another secret pocket on the side, so you can slide your hand in that way, one layer to the outside of the vertical pocket. While the angle wasn’t ideal for my hands, it was much better than having to unbutton the top and shove my hands down into them when trying to keep my fingers toasty. I didn’t use the breast pockets for much, but visually they balance out the bottom ones.

I don’t know about you, but I often need to roll up my sleeves for a thing or two, which often requires taking off my coat. I’m glad that I can unbutton these cuffs and roll up my sleeves when it’s time to get my hands dirty. No need to compromise my warmth.

It’s nice to find a coat I would wear around campsite or out to dinner—even around the house for lounging. The Old Faithful coat strikes an impressive balance. But it’s just what I would expect from Mountain Khakis.
Buy the Mountain Khakis Old Faithful Coat here!

 

I received this item for review purposes, but all opinions expressed are my own.

 

Photo Credit

In case you’re wondering why my photos suddenly got so much better, I asked young local photographer Brittan Hart to help me showcase some of the products I’ll be reviewing.

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Spice Up Your Travel Wardrobe – Try Mixing Patterns

by Jacquelyn Barnes
( April 6th, 2015 )

Looking to do something a little bolder with your travel wardrobe? Let’s try mixing patterns. Here are some principles to help you out.

Pair patterns with similar colors

Mixing Patterns flower dress

Having this flowered dress and Peruvian scarf was a happy coincidence. They happen to share all of the same colors. If I had patterned shoes with the same colors, or a sweater, then we could really go nuts with patterns!

Use solid colors to ground the outfit

Mixing Patterns anniversary outfit

I love this combination because the red dress is a perfect complement to the green in the coat, and both of those colors exist in the scarf. The huge block of color in the dress helps keep the outfit from becoming too complicated. Still the scarf and coat are related enough in color and different enough in pattern that it isn’t overwhelming even when I button up the coat.

Use different sizes of pattern

Mixing Patterns stripes on stripes

The smaller pattern will often read as a neutral in relationship to a larger pattern, so if you have similar patterns in different sizes, go for it.

Use stripes and polka dots as neutrals (leopard and floral prints can also work)

Mixing Patterns floral and stripe

A quick image search for mixing patterns in clothing will yield many nature print/leopard combinations and many floral/stripe combinations. It’s hardly a risk anymore, so if you’re new to pattern mixing, those pairings are a safe start.

Observe

If you want to sharpen your natural sense of what works, make a mental note when you notice a combination you find pleasing. Take a moment to ask yourself why you like it. When you see something that doesn’t work, take a moment to figure out why it doesn’t work. Soon you’ll be writing your own fashion tips.

Let someone else do the mixing

There are plenty of garments out there that contain more than one pattern. For example, this scarf I have is full of patterns. Pre-mixed.

Multi-patterned scarf

If you love it, it probably works

The key to mixing patterns successfully is confidence. If you wear it the right way (confidently) you can pull off just about anything. These rules are to help, but they aren’t limiting. Some of my favorite combinations were discovered just because the outfit felt right in that moment in spite of what some might call a color or pattern clash.

Have fun mixing it up!

 

Go in style,

Jacquelyn

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