Another pair of wings

It just finished raining

I do not know if it is safe to say that summer has officially ended. For several days, we’ve been getting a lot of rain and wind, that Marcos Highway and that main road in SSS Village got their first flood of the year. With the effects of climate change, I think at least the dry and rainy season had all moved at least a month earlier. It is boots season again (not that I follow it) and I managed to score another one online. =)

Half a size bigger than what I usually wear but I will manage - Red Wing 2913 boots

The toebox looked quite scuffed but I like it anyway - Red Wing 2913 bootsI still love my Doc Martens but I’ve been lately using the pair of Red Wing 8875s because the white crepe soles are very sneaker-y and looks very casual. We still have a dress code in the office but that pair is not technically a sneaker so it is still not a restricted footwear. However, as I do not feel confident wearing chestnut boots with black pants, I have been wanting another pair of Red Wing in black. And along came these 2913s.

I’m not that familiar with Red Wing and whenever I see one for sale online, I have second thoughts. Back in March, I got an interesting comment on my blog from a person accusing me that I have a fake 875. Well, thank God for the internet because an extensive search led me to answers, and I did the exact thing for this black pair of boots.

Red Wing 2913 boots from the Red Wing Singapore website

Red Wing 2913 boots from the Red Wing Singapore website

One thing I’ve learned was that certain styles are not available on other locations, such as 8875s being a Japan exclusive. Then 2913s are not available in the US, but they appear in Red Wing Singapore’s website. I also loved the small history about this style, as it was based on boots worn by electric line workers. According to their website, one out of three linemen was killed by accident while working due to faulty shoes. The design first appeared in the 1940’s on their catalogue and the 2913 adapted it. I expect to try on climbing lamp posts in the coming days, granted this pair has the power to prevent me from falling. Just kidding.

DIY alteration project on a rainy Saturday

Two weeks ago, Faye sent a Reddit link to me about a guy who became quite adept in altering his old and/or thrifted clothes. I’ve been wanting to try this project out, given that I have recently bought a sewing machine for my mother, but the busy graduation week last week prevented me from doing so. But as it rained so hard this Saturday afternoon and as I had no plans to go out, I had all the time I needed to experiment on some of my clothes that needed some revamping. The first two things I thought of working on was this retro-looking longsleeves and a pair of navy blue pants.

A 'before' shot of the MEXX longsleeves shirt

Before the drastic chop and alteration

The longsleeves was in a stretchable fabric, and I was quite worried over what kind of stitch to use. It  would only be the second time to sit in front of my mother’s sewing machine and I only used the basic, running stitch over a minor alteration on that previous occasion. Should I use the zigzag stitch or just stick to the running one? I have also tried using the tailor’s chalk to mark where I needed to cut and stitch the new seams together, but the fabric did not seem to have the slightest orange stain on it. I resorted to using a black ballpen and good thing that the marks were placed inside because I had mistakenly drawn a lot of stray ones.

The first cut was difficult. The length of the shirt was about five inches longer than what I would normally want it to be, so I had to cut it. From the tutorial, he went straight away sewing the marks, without putting on pins. However, I wasn’t that comfortable in doing the same thing, so I had to put on a lot of pins before sewing. I started with the armpit to the sleeves, then back to the armpit all the way to the newly-unfinished hem. I had a hard time sewing the sleeves, though, because I can barely fit the hole beneath the machine’s feet. I eventually got there somehow, and after several runs with the acting-up bobbin, I was able to hem the sleeves.
Holding the fabric with pins before sewingAs for the pants, I only got to wear the pair once on a Valentine’s night since buying it, but it stayed inside the closet since then. The fit was just weird, and even if it has been already altered by my beloved tailor, I still did not like how it sits on my behind. Frankly, I had no idea what to do with it while altering, but I just ran a half-inch adjustment from the crotch up to the hem. The sewing machine is not a heavy-duty/industrial type, so I was careful not to push it too hard and break a needle. Most of the time, I just manually move the wheel just to lock the stitches.I even altered this pair of L.O.G.G. pants for a better fitEt voilà! I think I have made a fairly good job with the alteration of this longsleeves to a short sleeves,  and changing a straight cut pants to a slim fit one. It was not as tasking nor difficult than I had expected. What was first a guinea pig garment for experimentation, actually turned out to be something I will definitely wear in the coming days. As for the pants, I am very sure that they will look nice with every pair of boots that I have. I might try altering two longsleeves tomorrow, that is if Mama will not use the sewing machine, as she was so inspired by my DIY work and will most probably alter a few garments of her own.

Altered MEXX Shortsleeves polo and altered L.O.G.G. by H&M navy blue pants

Ebay headache: Overseas buyer claiming “Item Not Received”

The summer heat is no joke and I’m most happy with the cotton shirts I have in my closet. I could have acquired more before and I’m left circulating the same shirt and polo shirt over and over again. That’s why I was extremely happy when I got this white shirt from Mon’s grandma and Laylay on my birthday last week. I still have to use the clothing allowance we have in the office and when I get extra money, I’ll spend all of them on cotton T-shirts and polo shirts — one in every color. =D

Oxygen shirt, brick pants, Yves Saint Laurent white patent sneakers and Prada nylon and saffiano messenger

Anyway, at the back of my mind, I had a feeling that something seriously bad will happen with one of the items I have sent overseas earlier this month via Registered Mail of PhilPost. One buyer (of a bag) has filed an “Item Not Received” case against me on Ebay 12 days after I have sent her item in April 3. That was not even two weeks since I have sent it and she was pretty much informed of the transit time, as indicated in the auction, as well as my (one-way) correspondences with her uopn sending the item. It mentions that shipping might take “more or less two weeks”, so I was baffled on how quick she was to jump the gun in opening a dispute.

An Ebay 'Item Not Received' case

The tracking in PhilPost’s website was faulty and delayed, and I was excpecting that tracking information will get updated once the item reaches U.S. soil and it may take some time. I have also informed the buyer about this and I’m quite exasperated of her impatience. =/ I know the item will eventually arrive in her homestate and I did not know what will happen to my bag and money once she gets her refund. And of course, Ebay ruled in her favor and it was no surprise that the funds were taken out of my PayPal account. The reason: I allegedly did not provide a valid tracking information and there was no movement in tracking. I was gobsmacked.

There you are, the tracking number from PhilPost finally working  in USPS' website

I have half-heartedly accepted the outcome as selling internationally on Ebay.com is always a great risk. I also not made adequate research on every possible scenario that might happen, nor asked around about insuring the item in case it gets lost. Very expensive lesson, especially I had to take the shipping fee out of my own pocket because my funds are normally held for 21 days because of inadequate selling history. I have lamented this issue over a forum and was then happy to receive words of encouragement from some of the members. At their urging/curiosity, I followed up in the tracking and was happy to see that there was already movement in the tracking. It took me some time to process what was happening and thought of the best way to respond to this development. I contacted Ebay, explained the situation and hoped they would reverse the decision and give my funds back. Ugh.

Interesting comment from a reader

Summer is officially here and I should probably start buying lots of plain cotton shirts because of the heat. I love my workshift as I get to do things before going to the office but summer is always a tricky thing to deal with. Lately, I just bring another collared top with me in the office to change my usually drenched with sweat shirt because that was the minimum requirement of the dress code.

Camouflage shirt, skinny khaki pants, Red Wing 8875 boots, Mulberry wexford briefcase messenger and Prada trick in saffiano - Mulberry Bag Philippines

Anyway, I attached the trick keychain on the wexford messenger and they looked lovely together under the afternoon sunlight.

Prada trick saffiano and Mulberry wexford messenger briefcase

What I love most in having a constant access to my email is the ability to read curious events happening on my blog even on the go. So yesterday, when I’ve heard the familiar “You’ve got mail!” AOL-tone, I was surprised to see this message in my Inbox, for a comment left on the entry “Wednesday footwear finds“:

An interesting comment sent by a reader

Of course, I was taken aback. It never occurred to me that I had a fake pair of Red Wing shoes. The anonymous reader did not leave any e-mail address nor URL for me to get in touch with him/her, so there was no way for me to reach out to him/her. All I had was the IP address from a user located in G/F Centrum II Building in Makati, just near my workplace. (hmmm…) Anyway, I looked into this possibility and I would have appreciated more this piece of information, had the user elaborated on the reasons why. Personally, it is extremely easy to call out and pronounce something as inauthentic, especially under the cloak of anonymity in the internet. Maybe the comment was not left out of malice and the reader was really concerned; and in his haste, he had forgotten to indicate any contact information. But I can’t help but think of other reasons as well. =D

He had a point, though. When I first posted about the shoes in November, I just cross-examined it with the website of Red Wing and zeroed in immediately on the 875s. I did not bother scrutinizing the tag beneath the tongue of the boots and realized that these were 8875s and NOT 875s. But what’s the difference anyway? I did not know about nuances in design until last night (and I will not bother claiming that I know everything but at least I backed it up with my own research), and thanks to the reader, I got a better understanding of the Red Wing 8875s.

Red Wing Classic Work Moc Round Tote Style No. 8875 boots - Heritage Work

Screencap from redwingshoe.co.jp (Japanese site) with the 8875 boots

Red Wing 875 versus Red Wing 8875 - notice the difference in the color of the eyelets

Red Wing 875 versus Red Wing 8875 – notice the difference in the color of the eyelets

A careful Google search brought me to forums discussing the 8875 Red Wing boots and I found out here that:

Different model use different eyelets. 875, 1907 & 877 are different where u can find engrave of ‘red wing’ on each dark color eyelet which silver eyelet dont. 8131, 8875, 8165, 8134, 8167, 9111, 8173 and 8179 are made with silver eyelet.”

I also found out that the 8875 is a model exclusively produced in Japan and is more reddish than the yellowish 875. I also cannot find 8875 in Red Wing’s website but when I was redirected to their Japanese site www.redwingshoe.co.jp, I found the boots after a simple search. I also had a little difficulty searching for the 8875, but after knowing the Japanese connection, I had more relevant results when using google.co.jp.

Anyway, I’m still open to hear again from this curious reader. And hopefully, the next time he calls me out on something, he would leave some contact information so I can easily get back to him for a better exchange of words.