Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Review: Jean-Michel Cazabat Viena Bootie.

[Warning: Pic-heavy post.]    


      I have been absolutely OBSESSED with these booties since they first appeared on Shopbop about a month or so ago. They seemed to be the perfect little bootie for fall: A wedge that is not too high so that I can wear them commuting to and from work, but still had enough of a heel to give a little height and some sex appeal. The pointed toe gives it an edgy downtown feel and could see myself wearing them for both work and on my off days. I already envisioned them with dozens of outfits--skirts, denim, trousers, you name it. 

     The original price is $245, which I found a bit hard to swallow given that I need to keep a close eye on my spending. But I managed to snag this bootie for $134 after an 20% Amazon discount for subscribing to their handbag and shoe emails, plus a $63 rewards card.  I really couldn't contain myself when my concierge handed me my package. I tore the box open in anticipation of being blown away. When I slipped on the boot and looked in the mirror, I thought, mmmmm....I'm not sure. 

     I hate it when that happens.

      The suede is beautiful, and bootie is sharp-looking. The problem was the height of the shaft which just seemed to cut my leg line in an unflattering way...although, I suppose that is true of almost all booties.

      Here are some IRL photos of the bootie itself:

Yes, they also come with the cute heart inserts:

      The breakdown:

Quality: The suede looks to be pretty durable. If anything, it needed a little brushing to get the specks of dust and lint that was clinging to it. The sole is made of leather and the upper has patent trim. The seams look well put together and I don't see any glue residue. 

Comfort: The wedge is 3" high on a size 6, which is a very comfortable height, at least for me. I can walk forever in 3" heels. There isn't an amazing amount of padding, but they aren't hard either. The amount of padding under the footbed is comparable to all my other boots, except my Uggs, of course. I usually insert some winter insoles anyway, so it isn't much of a concern.

Sizing: I wear a size 6 in shoes and sandals, but I almost always go up a half size for boots and booties so I can insert a winter insole and thick socks to keep my feet warm during the cooler weather. With both my socks and the insoles  in, I found them a bit snug initially, but the quickly formed to my feet. I would say that these boots are TTS to a bit large, although on the narrow side. I did also try the 6.5 and there was too much heel slippage for me, so i had stay with the 6.

LookSuch a pretty bootie. But when I started wearing them with outfits, I could not get past the shortened look of the leg. I'm not sure why I'm so concerned with it, it's not like I dont already own several pairs of booties that do exactly the same thing.  Here is a  comparison of the bootie with the J.Crew Emmaleigh dress I last reviewed with a photo with me wearing it with pumps:

   See the difference?

    Here is a photo with me wearing it with denim. I couldn't get the jeans to tuck in the bootie in a flattering way, likely due to my super thin ankles. After several attempts at tucking, folding, bunching, and pulling, I realized that there was probably no way I can tuck pants or jeans into these things (no, leggings are not an option). At the moment, it appears that the only way to get these booties to look right with pants is to wear them a bit cropped like so:

   I could have done a better job than above, but you get the idea.  EDIT: After trying on six different pairs of trousers and jeans, I discovered that being able to tuck in the pant leg or letting it sit over the booties is wholly dependent on the pair of bottoms that I wear. That makes me feel better.

   And here, with tights in my attempt to elongate the leg:

Verdict: Unsure, but leaning towards keeping them.  After basically trying on half my wardrobe with them, keep. I just love them. They are a bit more difficult to style than I had originally anticipated. I really thought they could go with just about anything without much effort, but in reality it appears they require a bit of work, but that's OK. I also wish the booties didn't shorten the look of my legs, but I think that is something that can't really be avoided unless you find a bootie with a dip in the front. If you want to try these boots and see how they work for you, check them out here. They also come in a pretty Walnut color.

 What do you think about the booties? Does a shortened leg line influence your buying choices or am I just dwelling on a non-issue?

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Cee said...

The leg shortening only happens when you go bare-legged. And since these booties are really for fall/winter, I can see you getting a lot more wears out of them with pants and tights. So yes, keep! (Your modeling photos convinced me that these booties aren't elf-ish like I initially thought from Saks' stock photo).

Cher said...

That is a very good point about the bare legs. The booties are more for fall/winter, so it won't be too often that i'll be going bare-legged anyway. Thanks for confirming that I made a good decision, Cee! LOL.

Michelle said...

Cee made a good point there. Plus, your face and body language say it clearly look like you love these shoes! :)

Chandra Farris said...

I think they look fantastic, except in the pic with the jeans. But I only do booties with super skinny jeans I can tuck into them/end right at the top of the bootie. Super cute shoe on you!

SS_littleflowers said...

Love those booties. So beautiful. I agree with Cee. I have black booties, which shorten my legs so I wear them with tights all the time. I cannot tuck my jeans in them so well... bunching all the time and makes me sad.

laura said...

those booties are super cute. i love the way you styled them. definitely keepers!

Anonymous said...

If you want to wear them with skirts, too, how about trying a shorter skirt to lengthen the leg line? I keep finding cute boot/bootie styles in suede, but it's too bad they can only be worn when it's not wet outside. Have you seen any cute non-suede styles lately? Thanks!

Girlie Blogger said...

Looks like those boots go with anything. You got them for such a good price too.

Cher said...

You know what? I don't even really own shorter shorts anymore! LOL. I just don't wear skirts on my off-days. I have been looking for a mini lately, but it's just not on the top of my priority list at the moment. That is a good idea though.

Suede is difficult to wear particularly if you live in a very winter-y climate. I don't really have that problem in DC, since it's fairly dry here in the winter, but in Toronto, I would definitely shy away from suede. Are you looking for a wedge or a something with a thicker heel? Something that can be dressed up? I can't really think of something that immediately pops to mind. So many chelsea and beetle boots lately, but those are generally reserved for casual days. Also there are so many booties that are super high. I assume that you want something more practical? But if I had to start looking somewhere, I would start with Nine West, they always have something that peaks my interest. I'll re-post if I come across something!

PrismCouture said...

i love the boots, they have a very isabel marant feel to them! They may not be the most leg lengthening design but they are definitely very cool :)

you should check out my store for some summer steals, all our summer products are an extra 20% off <3
xoxo prismcouture
p.s. i'm a new follower, love ur blog!

janet said...

Oh they are pretty amazing!!!!! Love wedge booties and I am in need of one. Thanks for sharing :)
Great blog
Follow each other???ZARA gift card giveaway for $400 on

Michele said...

I don't know, but I love those booties with the jeans and tee! Looks just like those models with a 'casual chic' look that you think you'll never be able to copy...

lisacng said...

I guess it depends on your height. For me at 5'1", I try NOT to shorten my leg line tho I prolly do it without even knowing it. I don't tailor clothes. Boo, I know! Nevertheless, I am in the market for booties too. I think they're just fun and it's not like anyone cares how tall I look! Have fun if you love them!

Hanlie said...

I'm with you on the not shortening the leg line issue. Personally I don't like them with skirts as it does cut one's leg in an odd place, makes it look a little odd and shortens the leg. I prefer them with pants or leggings. They very nice though.

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