Saturday, March 19, 2016

Penelope Chilvers, Cubano Chelsea boot in Emerald velvet, 36

With a filter, but you can see truer colours below. Penelope Chilvers Cubano boot.

These boots have been in the sale section at JCrew for a while. I know that PC is huge in England, favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and Alexa Chung, alike. I searched for the higher heeled version of this boot a bit, but it is sold out in my size in the US. (Last Call and had some in sizes 39 and 40).

It arrived in its original box, containing only one sheet of tissue and no padding or dust bags. Can't tell if they were removed, but I'd guess they weren't. The shoes are made in Spain. This is code for: minimum costs to manufacturers, sizes run a little large, soles are leather but not finished very nicely. Stuart Weitzman, for instance, makes all their shoes in Spain, which is why their boots are never as fitted in my true size as they should be. Put another way, size 36 in Spain is a size 6.5 US, whereas size 36EU or Italian is a true size 6US, in my experience.  

Fit: these fit TTS. Even though they are advised to run a half size big on the PC site, consistent with the whole Spanish sizing thing, the size 36 fits me well.

Pros: beautifully made upper and the only finish issue with the sole is that the edges aren't smoothed out and the sole isn't entirely buffed somehow. The velvet is beyond reproach, as is the leather piping.
I like that the Chelsea style opening is snug, but it doesn't bend the shoes horribly when I put them on. 

Cons: a bit hard to take off. Once on, the boots don't look huge, though the shape is a touch ballooned out at the heel. That's basically the shape of them and was my main question mark before I put them on myself. 

The boot has a distinctive style. The shape is such that you feel like you should be standing at a slight tilt forward. I consciously had to right myself...

They give the sense of expensive eccentric footwear, the mark of fashion savvy mature people. I like them, though they are emerald green. I don't know if I can do justice do them though.

Notice how close to my leg the narrow shoe opening is. Love that. I have skinny ankles and legs. You might get a completely flush fit, if you're normal sized....

Best illustration of the unique shape of the boot.

Do you see the little ballooning at the heels?

See the back of the boot, almost forcing a tilt forward?

Cool stitching on the back leather pull strip and the obligatory visible name tag.

Leather piping, elastic goring, plush velvet upper.

Leather sole, questionable edges.

Beautiful orange leather interior lining. Inside is stamped the same logo as on the sole. The sides of the shoe feel a tiny bit padded too.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Wow, those are gorgeous! (& this coming from someone who doesn't often favor a green color) Also helpful info about the Spain VS Italy sizing, as well as the other manufacturing differences. I particularly like the back leather pull strip detail.

    Somewhat related but a few weeks ago, I ventured into Zara's for the first time --- I'm so ruined by J Crew's vanity sizing that I grabbed the wrong sizes -- they didn't fit by about a mile! Everything was too small, their Small was a true Small, etc. Grrr.