3 Things I Bought Last Week

Madewell Carina women's chelsea boots in English Saddle. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

A fall staple…

During the cooler seasons, ankle boots are my go-to footwear. As I’ve been transitioning my wardrobe away from black, I’ve been looking to replace my favorite black Chelsea boots with a similar style in brown. I had very specific criteria in mind:

  • smooth leather, not suede
  • heel height between 1-2″
  • not too rugged, not too refined
  • an almond-shaped toe, not too round or pointed
  • a warm, rich brown, not too dark

I didn’t find what I was looking for last year, but I spotted these recently and have them on order. I should receive them this week and will report back.

BTW, when I was a kid in the mid-60’s we referred to this style as “Beatle Boots,” and everyone had a pair in black. How about you?

More women’s chelsea boots

It’s The Balm…

Style blogger Susan B. recommends Colleen Rothschild Radiant Cleansing Balm. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

One of the few skincare “rules” I’ve followed religiously since my twenties is to cleanse my face thoroughly before going to bed. I started off with bar soap, and them moved on to creamy cleansers. But I was mostly indifferent about cleansers, until I was gifted some of this cleansing balm a couple of years ago.

Seriously, I was hooked after the first use! It smells wonderful, removes makeup gently but thoroughly, and doesn’t make my skin feel tight or dry. I ran out a few weeks ago and decided to use up some other cleanser in my stash, but nope. Just not the same, so I reordered and was so happy to receive it a couple of days later.

In addition to the cleansing balm, I also use and love the Extreme Recovery Cream at night. It feels very soothing, especially after I’ve applied my Retin-A. On the nights I skip the Retin-A, the Mandelic Acid Serum is a lovely, gentle exfoliator.

Dogs On The Go…

Travel harness and car restraint for dogs. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

We weren’t sure how Gigi would be in the car, so I asked some of my dog-owning friends for updated recommendations for canine car restraints. This setup (harness / restraint) came up from a couple of folks, so we tried it out last week.

It’s SO much easier than the complicated and awkward harnesses we used for our other dogs that attached to the seatbelt. This one just secures around the headrest. Once we get where we’re going, we just unclip the restraint and attach the leash to the harness.

And Gigi is an absolute angel in the car! She mostly sits quietly in the back seat, occasionally looking out the window.

(Just a note: this is for short, local trips only. For longer trips that involve highway driving, we’ll probably secure her in her crate for safety.)

Can you believe we’re at the end of August already? 😱

Classic Chelsea boots for women. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

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29 Comments

  1. Sara
    August 31, 2020 / 4:10 am

    Hi Susan. You certainly hit a hot button when you asked about suggestions for sleep. Now we are intrigued. You will have to let us know what you try and what works for you. Sweet dreams.

  2. Deb
    August 31, 2020 / 4:36 am

    Haha. You just reminded me of a pair I had in white. They were called go-go boots. I was sent home from school for wearing them. I remember sneaking out of the house with them and changing at the corner. Good times.

  3. LINDA Lane
    August 31, 2020 / 4:42 am

    LOL…I still refer to my boots as “Beatle Boots”…
    how about white Go Go boots!…..

    • Lisa
      August 31, 2020 / 4:40 pm

      My mom wouldn’t buy me Beatle boots but my grandparents came to visit from Florida and they bought me a pair. So there, Mom! I can still picture them 55 years later.

  4. Susan Bowdler
    August 31, 2020 / 5:07 am

    These boots seem so popular and very much a staple in wardrobes. I have never understood though, how to wear them. With trousers (on me) they either meet the boots and look weird (a glimpse of ankle or sock or a gap) and you can’t tuck trousers or jeans in as the boots are too short. Help!

    • Trace
      August 31, 2020 / 5:15 am

      I agree. ‘Would love to have your advice on this.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      August 31, 2020 / 7:01 am

      I’ve just come to embrace the gap. In cooler months, you can always go à la Parisienne, and wear some patterned or colorful hosiery to coordinate with your outfit.

  5. Liz
    August 31, 2020 / 5:33 am

    I love Chelsea boots and have 2 pairs in black — one casual, one dressy. I agree with other reviewers, though, on the awkward gap. I generally just wear black tights that match the boots, which works well for me. I’d love to see what you do!

  6. Gettrude
    August 31, 2020 / 6:15 am

    I can’t live without my several pairs of Beatle boots. I grew up in the 60s. My dad called them chucka boots from his era. Since I wiped black out of my wardrobe, I have been painting them with Angelus leather paint. I have painted a few pair dark brown to match my hair color, but am now branching out I will play with terra cotta, olive (which I will have to mix ), and bronze. Can you tell that I am an autumn? . I wear a lot of slim jeans from Talbots, ponte knit pants, and easy dresses; they look good with everything in my style. At my age I can’t wear too high a heel anymore. My favorite brands are Naot and The Flex, but I certainly have others.

    • Donna
      August 31, 2020 / 7:19 am

      It’s so interesting that you’re painting your boots! I’d love to see pictures of them and hear more details. Are you painting designs or solid colors? Neat way to get a custom color.

      • Gertrude
        August 31, 2020 / 7:32 am

        Right now just repainting. Later in the day I will photograph what I have done so far. I am also experimenting on a patent leather clutch and sided boots. New life!

    • Marguerite Krenek
      August 31, 2020 / 7:59 am

      Ahh, the ankle, Chelsea, beatle boot. This style of boot is my most favorite type of footwear ever. I have to restrain myself or I would have way too many pairs. Paul Green and Aquatalia are my favorites. Those amber boots you are waiting for look gorgeous. What brand are they? BTW, I did not purchase one thing from the NAS this year. ‍♀️ All the best Susan!

    • August 31, 2020 / 4:49 pm

      The blondo boots are my faves too. Here in CT I need them to be waterproof for at least half of the year!

  7. Lyn
    August 31, 2020 / 7:29 am

    I don’t understand the enduring popularity and loyal following of boots. I don’t really like the “heavy foot” look, but you love yours so much that I have tried very hard to find a pair I could stand to wear. However, I dislike the feel of something hitting my ankle. I did find a comfortable below-ankle bootie. That is as close as I can come. Boots are for slogging through winter snow.

  8. Cindylou
    August 31, 2020 / 8:05 am

    Love the booties for fall and winter. I too live in Southern California so I don’t have to deal with snow, although I have a pair of boots to wear in the snow for when we go to the mountains. I never wore them when I was working but now that I’m retired I wear them almost daily with jeans and slim pointe pants when it’s cold. I have several pairs in black and others in burgundy, red, pewter, taupe and brown. I find Munro and Naturalizer to be very comfortable. Never had Beatle boots in the sixties, I wore a uniform to Catholic school and didn’t have much chance to wear them.

  9. Lynne
    August 31, 2020 / 9:10 am

    Always loved Beatle Boots, I too attended Catholic High school in the 60’s and these were forbidden. Now I have a couple of them and live with the gap – either bare leg or some interesting socks. I wear whatever fits and is black. I am a Winter and black and charcoal are very good colors on me.

    Sus I am thrilled you have a new dog. I have a new Matipoo, Pierre. He loves the car and has a lot of energy so I usually have him in a harness and short leash that clips into the seat belt for short trips. Best of luck with Gigi.

  10. Wren Mead
    August 31, 2020 / 12:23 pm

    Two seasons ago, I bought a pair of suede Vince Camuto boots in a rich, light brown. I alway spray a protectant on suede before wearing and these have held up amazingly well with lots of wear. On the exterior that is. The lining has started peeling and coming off on my feet when I wear them which is really disappointing. I ordered a pair of VC again during the Nordy sale but don’t care for them. I also got a pair of Marc Fischer on sale and am on the fence. There are also suede and a lighter brown than I would ideally like, come up higher on my leg than ideal.
    I love the caramel color of the Madewell that you show and am interested to hear if they fit TTS and how you like.
    Thanks for being the guinea pig!

  11. Lianne MacGregor
    August 31, 2020 / 3:24 pm

    I’m interested in giving the Colleen Rothschild products a try – do you have a code I can apply?
    Lianne

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      August 31, 2020 / 5:22 pm

      Hi Lianne, if you’re referring to a discount code, I don’t have one currently, sorry!

  12. Francesca B.
    August 31, 2020 / 4:04 pm

    Gorgeous boots! My all time favorite boots are my RM Williams that I bought in Australia in a sale when the exchange rate was good for me and they are are truly gorgeous; and Hugh Jackman is their spokesperson which is also nice!! I always get asked about them 🙂

  13. MP
    August 31, 2020 / 5:54 pm

    I love booties! I have 5 or 6 black (leather and suede) pairs in constant rotation. I don’t like the elastic inserts shown in your post. I prefer zippers.

  14. September 1, 2020 / 4:36 am

    I live in the UK , have thick ankles covered with broken veins and large feet for my height . Which presumably US women never suffer from ! I never wear shoes/boots without hosiery unless they are open-toed sandals which I can wash inside and I also never wear trousers so short (or tight) that the top of the ankle boot shows . I know I ‘should’ but have given up on looking stupid for the sake of fashion . And I would .
    I didn’t wear white boots in the ’60s – I’ve always loved polished dark leather more and very much appreciate Susan’s having introduced me to ankle boots which I now have in 4 colours . I have promised myself that this winter I will try them with a skirt !

    • Bette
      September 1, 2020 / 7:37 am

      Rukshana, I’m American and I identify, LOL. I broke my ankle years ago and it is larger than the other and tends to swell. Ankle boots are the perfect solution — nothing binding, nothing pressing into the tender areas, no compression, lots of cover, and even some style. Yay!

  15. September 1, 2020 / 5:21 am

    Yup, it’s an addiction! I have 6 pairs and I recently picked up my first pair of custom booties. I live in So. America and it is very affordable to have shoes, clothing, and handbags made to order. I’ve done the shoes, the handbag and I’m moving into clothes next!
    Love this post, you covered three favs – shoes – skincare – and pups!
    thanks, Susan

  16. Janet D.
    September 1, 2020 / 3:06 pm

    I love low boot & more or less live in them all winter. A few weeks ago I ordered a pair on-line that I’d fallen in love with, a smartly raked 2″ heel, steel grey suede with a long fringe. They looked absolutely gorgeous & were NOT inexpensive! I got them last week & they’re horrible: cheap leather, poorly made, terrible fit. And as I said, they were NOT cheap. I’m sending them back for a refund but am fuming mad at myself for falling for a good sales’ pitch & some gorgeous & obviously Photoshopped pictures from a company I’ve never heard of. So this post is timely in more ways than you’ll ever know! As for the “gap”, I just live with it & wear pretty patterned light-weight socks. When I wear leggings I tuck them into the boot & find they stay put pretty well.

  17. Pat
    September 12, 2020 / 10:20 am

    Susan do you favor the booties shown today over the Paul Green ones earlier in the week? Just wondering if the styles are different for your needs, since they basically seem to be the same color. Thanks! Pat

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2020 / 10:26 am

      Hi Pat, actually I tried these first and then the Paul Green. I went with the PG as they were more comfortable for me.

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