Friday, March 30, 2012

it's a svenderful life

by frédérik

This week wraps up an accidental series of posts on clogs with a peek into my very modest clog collection from my only slightly less modest shoe wardrobe. Long-time readers of The Fashionoclast will recognize two of them, which I’ve previously written about. Featured: a new acquisition hinted at  in this post’s title. To do something a little different, I made a video. Granted, it’s grainy. Also, YouTube felt compelled to throw in some ads because the default music and sounds iMovie comes loaded with aren’t entirely free of copyright restrictions. But all that nonsense aside, the moving pictures will hopefully prove more interesting to you than the usual static shots. Please enjoy, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

And now for something completely not so different: a closer look...


I did own a pair of wooden clogs in university, although I don’t remember the brand. The fit must have been wrong, because they were extremely difficult to wear for long periods of time – the chafing from the toe box required the use of mole skin, and even then I couldn’t get the things to wear properly. Naturally, I gave them away to charity when it became clear there was no future for them in my wardrobe.

This pair of Sanita clogs marked my return to the fold of clog wearers, although purists would balk at the lack of wood. It’s a fair point; these are clog-like shoes, really. Nevertheless, the Sanitas proved to be reliable go-to footwear on those days that were slightly too chilly for sandals but not cold enough to push me into wearing shoes or boots. Eminently comfortable, unfussy, and with a safe but classic look that goes with anything, this pair recently led me to realize that clogs are to me what ballet flats are for women (and some men); footwear with a distinctive style that is absolutely easy to wear.


Generously given to me for review purposes by Troentorp’s Sebastian Macliver, I absolutely love the style and craftsmanship of these wooden Audubon clogs. The upper’s detailing sets this clog apart from the pack, while the overall heft of the base creates that impression of substance so loved by clog fans. After over a year of ownership, the only limitation I’ve found is that I can’t wear these barefoot for long periods of time. Based on my experience with my most recent acquisition, I think it’s a size issue; I should have perhaps asked for a 40 instead of a 41, even though my Sanitas are 41 and that tends to be my usual European size. Still, there’s an easy way for me to avoid chafing, and that’s to wear socks with the Audubons. While wearing socks isn’t my favourite thing to do, I don’t mind it so much if it means I can wear the Audubons for a reasonable amount of time. There is also, of course, a functional rule of thumb for when I typically wear these, and that also tends to depend on the weather.

Sven / Clogmaster

I’ve known about Clogmaster and Sven for a long time, but was put off by the seeming hassle of having to wait for Clogmaster to come to town, setting an appointment, then waiting some more. But when Lindsey Cochran, a clog expert and a darn fine blogger, posted an interview with Clogmaster’s Cecilia Tidlund over at Every Clog Has Its Day, both my wife and I were persuaded. When Clogmaster next came to LA, we made an appointment and the experience turned out to be fun, like going to a speakeasy during Prohibition. After knocking on a red door in a building that once served as a school, we were greeted with a makeshift clog salon filled with different styles of shoes, material samples, binders filled with design ideas, and the master herself, Cecilia Tidlund, judging the fit of clogs for first-time Clogmaster customers (she can even judge shoe size solely by looking at a person’s feet). Impressive.

So we went through the process, with Cecilia gauging our fit followed by the hard part; deciding what clogs to get. I’ll leave my wife’s choice for a dedicated future post, though I will mention that the options led her to getting both a pair of clogs and a pair of clog sandals. For my part, I knew I wanted to get a pair of clogs with biker straps; something with more kick than the usual design. The question was whether to stick with all-black or boldly go for a splash of colour. Colour won out, as you can see, and like the Audubons I just love both the style and quality of craftsmanship. The benefit that comes from having custom-fitted clogs makes all the difference, and if you have an opportunity to catch up with Clogmaster – do it. The price, well above a hundred but still below $200 (I can't remember the exact price at the moment) is well worth it, as it is for any pair of shoes that is durable, handmade, custom-fitted, and promises to be a good friend to your feet for a long time to come.)

In terms of fit and wear, my new clogs are great – but the warning that they should be worn for an hour or two per day in the first week is a warning that should be taken seriously. While I didn’t have problems with my right foot, my left felt a bit of a squeeze and a potential chafing spot. The good news is that the leather did stretched as planned, the chafing spot didn’t materialize (although I had Lindsey’s sage advice to draw on in the event it did), and as of today I’d say they’re about 90% broken in. The weather’s gotten a tad too warm for clogs and the sweat that tends to come with them in higher temperatures, which is all the excuse I need to wear sandals. But the verdict is in: these Svens are wonderful. They're svenderful! And I just might wish for cooler weather more often...

So there you have it. Next week, we move on to…something else.

Don’t forget this week’s Frivolous Friday Challenge: color blocking. Becky and I would love, love, LOVE to feature your ensemble alongside ours, so please don’t be shy. Challenge details are here.

Also, I've added a little "I like it!" reaction checkbox for you to check when you don't feel compelled to leave a comment. Consider it a tip jar that doesn't involve money.

Note: All images are mine! Yeah! Take that, usual disclaimer!


Jenny said...

LOVED the video! It was a nice change-up. Also, impeccable modelling! ;)

Frederik Sisa said...

Ha! Thanks, Jenny! :)

Mica said...

Nice video, good to see things in action :) I really like the red - good choice to go with a bit of colour :)

stylish with a budget said...

i like the Sven / Clogmaster design. it's brave and bold.
just curious...when you wear your clogs, do you wear sock? i know from your video you didn't but when you actually wear them for all day long, do you?
i have two pairs of ankle boots that the heels were exposed...but i like wearing i picked two pairs of socks and i cut them so at the toes area i had socks to absorb the sweats...:P

Frederik Sisa said...

@Mica: Thanks! The red fits into my colour guidelines I set for myself; black, grey, white accent, and sanguinary colours. :)

@June: Thank you! I normally don't wear socks with my clogs, even all day, unless it's particularly chilly. I do seem to sweat with the Svens, though, so we'll have to see...although the temperature was pretty hot on that day. I normally wear sandals and keep clogs for the cooler temperatures when sweating isn't really an issue. I can see why you'd want to wear socks, though. Sock Dreams has half-socks expressly for situations when the shoe leaves the heel exposed:

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