1. A signature style or accessory
2. A knack for sewing for your body type
3. A robust Instagram following
4. Swedish Hasbeens
I jest, of course, but seriously: Swedish Hasbeens are the hottest thing among sewists. I won't pull at the thread of why because who cares, but I do want to document my experience with the controversial brand.
I'm not sure what turned me on to the shoe, but late one night I was perusing Amazon.com and stumbled across the Fredrica sandal ($239 retail) for $76. The price seemed too low, but sure enough I paid $76 for them. I bought them in Nature, the color you see below.
While I waited for my lovelies to arrive, I did some serious research. Hasbeens have a love/hate reputation: some reviewers said these were the most comfortable shoes ever, while other bemoaned how they were death to the feet. This all made me incredibly nervous, but I figured that $76 wasn't too much to spend if they ended up not working at all.
They arrived on June 6 in the afternoon and I promptly put them on and strutted around the house. "Brilliant!" I thought, seeing as how they make your legs look nice and long and the color matches the skin.
I must say, all of the bemoaning never proved to be true for me, as within a few days, I was able to wear these all day with absolutely no discomfort on my feet. I have been searching for YEARS for a sandal that is cute + comfortable without looking like a geriatric and I finally found it.
I frequently experience discomfort with any shoe that hugs the bone at the base of my pinky toe on each foot. There's something about a shoe cramping that area that really hurts. Luckily, the toe section comes right to that place but stops before it covers it, making these extremely comfortable. These support my feet better than most shoes and I can wear them all day with minimal discomfort.
I am a size 9 US and I bought the size 39/9 and they fit perfectly.
Around day 3 I took some extra virgin olive oil on a cotton ball and rubbed it into the heel and soles. The next day the leather had darkened slightly and was a bit softer. At this point they're a nice caramel color.
Are these ugly shoes? I don't think so and don't care. They are unique and comfy! Since the sole is wooden you will get a few scuff marks and nicks in the wood.
Tips for Loving Your Hasbeens
1. Take a look at the Swedish Hasbeens website. Determine your style and size and then go searching on Amazon. Find the ones you want and put them in your Wish List. Keep them there for a few days and watch the fluctuation of the price. The price will change. I promise. When the price reaches your fancy, scoop them up!
2. Upon arrival, wear them at home for a few hours at a time. You can wear them with socks or stretch them with a shoe stretcher. You can also wet some socks and then wear them. Or spray them with water and wear them out.
I didn't wear mine with socks but I did wear them around the house. When I finally wore them in public I made sure that I had flats with me just in case. I didn't need them, luckily, but it's good to have a back-up.
3. Treat the Nature color with EVOO. This will darken and soften the leather. I treated mine both inside and out.
4. Do not wear them in the rain or mud. The website is not kidding - water will damage both the leather (staining) and the wooden sole.
Overall, I have found the Fredrica to be an extremely comfortable and versatile summer shoe. The color goes with everything in the wardrobe. My arch fits perfectly with the wooden sole, and frankly they are one of the most comfortable shoes I own.
Since I love them so, my mom bought me these:
This is the t-strap sky high in Nature, which I found for $186, marked down from $249. Seriously, the price will drop. These are a bit harder to break in due to the large piece of leather, but I'm slowly working on it and they are slowly forming their way around my foot. They look a bit weird at first but they really slim the foot and elongate the leg.
I also have my eyes on these pretties:
Above: Suzanne Sky High in Black
These gilded babies arrive a week or so ago, but Band Camp has kept me from giving them a proper wearing. The leather is tight but I put on socks for about an hour, then took my hair dryer and covered them with the hot hair for a bit. I think I saw this trick on Instagram and it worked wonders!
If you want to see the many styles in action, you can search for #swedishhasbeens on Instagram and see the full range of styles.
*There is another clog brand, Lotta from Stockholm, that has glowing reviews. Owners tell of little to no break-in time and much softer leather than SH. I've never tried them, but you can purchase them from Amazon as well and they ship from Sweden. Lotta also gets rave reviews for their amazing customer service, although there are a lot of reported issues with sizing, so check the website!
What's the craziest thing you've ever done for a shoe you loved?