My Christmas Shoes Review: The Timberland "Earthkeepers" Yele Haiti Chukka

After the dust settled, but before the re-gifting began over at Sartorially Inclined, I did in fact make a pick for the pair of shoes I chose for myself. I went with the Timberland Earthkeepers Yele Haiti Chukkas. A mouthful certainly, but a fine looking boot nonetheless.

Nothing against any of the contenders- I truly liked them all. But the Yele's were the best combination of form and function for my current need. First, some specs about the Yele's:
  • Green Rubber Outsole-The outsole in this product is made with 50% green rubber material which contains at least 85% post-consumer tire crumb by weight
  • Premium nubuck and organic cotton canvas upper
  • 100% recycled PET and 100% organic striped cotton linings
  • Antiqued rustproof hardware
  • Taslan® laces for strength and durability
A classic chukka styling with some updated touches, the first thing that jumps out at you is this shoe is primarily canvas and not leather. The grain of the organic cotton canvas is so tight it's almost tough to tell it's cotton at a glance. I think this works really well in conjunction with the leather piping around seams, helping to really emphasize the chukka look. I also think it gives them a more refined rugged look.

What also really worked for me style-wise was the contrasting stitching , the cork pad and recycled "green" rubber outsole in black. I really liked the contrast stitching and outsole on the Fry Rodney Chukka up for consideration and this was the most comparable in my mind- the important difference being I needed an outsole with treads for the rough RI winter weather. The Rodney's just didn't have the traction I need right now.

As far as Chukka styke goes, the toe of these boots is somewhat of a hybrid. Sure, it's a rounded toe, but the leather accents sort of give the lines a little break and, while not moccasin-like, certainly add some depth to the shoe.

The interior cotton striped lining is a nice touch and the shoes are extremely comfortable and light weight. They are not the warmest shoes, but in none of my choices was that a factor.

In the end, it boiled down to a few things:
  • These were the 2nd most comfortable pair I tried and lightweight too.
  • The tread- in the end, I needed a treaded sole- the Frye pairs and Johnston & Murphy Runnels just couldn't match this.
  • The style is great- such a great combination of materials playing off each other well. The canvas, the leather, the contrast stitch- all nice details.
  • You can dress them up to a degree and they are easily an after work and weekend pair too.
  • The recycled and earth conscious aspects of the shoes are indeed kind of cool.
Almost lost in my pick is another "small victory". For every pair of this model sold, Timberland will make a donation of $2 to Wyclef Jean's Yélé Haiti Foundation to support the Ecole Verte reforestation education program.

I won't never say never on the other pairs I compared, but this was the pair for me for Christmas.


The First Re-Gift of the Season

After my little Christmas Shoe Challenge ended, I had a bit of remorse. Not "buyer's remorse" because I love the Timberland Yele Haiti Chukkas I picked, but because I think I did a disservice to a good idea.

Something that looked good on paper ended up being completely not what I wanted it to be- let's face it, it turned basically into a big pile of reindeer crap. I didn't just let the challenge speak for itself for all to enjoy. But alas, I'm not sad for my result, just sad I didn't give people something more simple. Something better.

So with my frustration fresh on the brain, I broke bread with LAS over at Sartorially Inc. for his winning the pair of Polo Ralph Lauren Ranger Boots from my little challenge. And just like that, we came up with a gift that keeps on giving...

Line Change & Sartorially Inc. present the first "Re-Gift Giveaway". 

 Check out Sartorially Inc. for the latest twist to this already twisted little challenge and you could win the now infamous pair of boots.

We Have Ourselves a Winner x 2: I Chose the Timberland Yele Haiti Chukkas and @SartoriallyInc Wins Some Shoes This Holiday Season!

Without much fanfare I held a little pseudo-contest to help me pick some simple boots to get as a gift for Christmas from a relative. I promised to give everyone that commented or tweeted their suggestions a shot at winning the pair I picked. Well, the way things played out, no one picked my choice- the Timberland Earthkeepers Yele Haiti Chukka.

But I still needed a winner. So I chose a commenter at random and have decided to offer him a pair of boots amongst his suggestions. Lawrence from Sartorially Inclined is Line Change's winner. He chose a pair of Polo Ralph Lauren Ranger Boots.

Congratulations to L.A.S.!

Later I'll be posting about my choice and the "losers" (note: they all rocked it pretty hard).


Help @Jingoist from Line Change Choose a Shoe for Christmas and YOU Could Win a Pair Too!

I have a dilemma and I am certainly not above asking for anyone's help. What's more, I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is. See the challenge below and use the comments section to provide me advice/opinions. You can also retweet the title and that will score you an entry too! Just comment below and reTweet the following:

Help @Jingoist from Line Change Choose a Shoe for Christmas and YOU Could Win a Pair Too! www.linechange.blogspot.com.

In the spirit of Christmas a close family member of mine gave me a modest budget to pick my own gift to receive from him/her on Christmas (no need to worry about the details of why, just go with me here). I'm sure this has happened to everyone at some point, myself included. But I feel a little bit out of practice as it has been a while for me receiving such an overture. Sure, I've gotten gift cards to go spend aimlessly or even bought items for myself during the year, but the actual onus of "go buy yourself something and I'll wrap it" is almost Chinese finger cuff-like torture!

Now many of you might agree there's a lot of pressure, choices and room for error when picking a gift for yourself that someone else is gifting to you. Seriously, besides the keep-you-up-all-night excitement of thinking of all the possibilities, along comes anxiety and sheer panic of a gift you have to open on Christmas from someone else, knowing full well you chose it and need to still feel that "wow factor" in front of them. (Personally, I get more excited knowing it's something I want just waiting for me, but still, it's complicated, agreed?)

You don't want it to seem too impersonal- like that person would never give Gift X to you; Or whether it's an impulse buy that would just be useless soon enough. No, it sounds weird and to me almost counter intuitive given it is so very subjective, but I try to put thought into my own gift. Crazy I know. But take it from me, I love giving gifts. I love picking gifts and spending inordinate amounts of time thinking of just the right thing for someone else. Something unexpected. Something that marks a trivial piece of that person that I find endearing or has an impact on me. Something I know would be good regardless of what others thought except the receiver.  But to do that for me? Not only for me, but for someone else for me? That's like solving a Rubik's Cube.

So, with all these self-imposed strings attached, I took to finding what I wanted for my gift. In the end I chose to look for a new pair of boots. I recently moved, and in said move my box containing my pairs of boots was lost. Alas, I have been dealing without heavy duty kicks since September, continually delaying a new purchase for a multitude of reasons- decent weather, schedule, etc.- but not the least of which is I am not one to complain about wearing just my dress and casual shoes/sneakers. Note, I only lost boots, not all my footwear- I'm fortunate I have the means to vary my closet just enough and this is not lost on me during this merry and selfless time of year.

Here's the thing. This Fall/Winter I have been oohing and aahing a bazillion different varieties of footwear. For some reason I never seem to be able to pull the trigger outside of the Fall and Winter months on new shoes. Maybe it's because footwear in chillier weather, like clothing, becomes so much more varied and dynamic in the months you can layer and mix up looks. But I digress. This was also a convenient set of circumstances (read: great excuse) as I needed a pair given my loss in the move (how often can you say that?) and the weather has turned foul enough to warrant it (hello 15 inches of snow).

So, with my modest gift I decided to make it fun. You see, the gift had to come from Macy's. This is partly what made my last posts, here- about the savings you could get at Macy's via Bing and here- about GQ Shops breaking down Macy's items intriguing to me and to take a crack at this exercise on myself. On top of the "Macy's Rule" I also found virtually nothing at the local Macy's. So, I ventured online and took a big gamble. I ordered things I hadn't even tried on in the hope that at least 1 would fit and be ready for unwrapping on Christmas (there's no way I could get anything exchanged and sent again in time).

I decided, too, that if needed I could "augment" the value of the boots should the price be just slightly above the gift value I was given. A minor amendment really- I did not want to take away from the fine gesture I was granted. Hence, I chose only to make up a small difference should the balance exceed the gift. In my search, this was the case in 2 of the 5 pairs to which I narrowed my choices. The other 3 were below my gift allowance. You can see by my choices, I had a certain aesthetic in mind, but you can also see, there was a lot of variety in the options I chose. Miraculously, they all fit! The problem now is, I can't decide which to keep. I like them all.


Take a look at the pics below and help sway my choice for my "Christmas Shoes". You could win the pair I choose! I won't say if I am leaning toward 1 versus another, but rest assured I have my favorites. But that is not to say I have decided, so comment away about your favorite and reTweet the following:

Help @Jingoist from Line Change Choose a Shoe for Christmas and YOU Could Win a Pair Too!  www.linechange.blogspot.com

Before Christmas, I will pick one of the pairs of shoes for my family member to gift to me, based on my thoughts in combination with your input. In the end, I will randomly select a winner from the commenters and reTweeters to take home a pair of the same shoe I choose in the size of their choosing. (Be sure to add your choice and shoe size to your comments/tweets.) Each person will get 1 and only 1 entry. The winner, chosen at random, will be from commenters and reTweeters that end up choosing the SAME shoe as me in their comments and tweets.  The contest will run through Christmas Eve at 11:59PM and I'll choose a winner on Christmas Day. Never hurts to have another gift under the tree right?!

Several reasons I will pick a winner from those who pick the same shoe as me:

  • You get what you want just like me- Happy Holidays!
  • I don't want everyone picking the most expensive of the shoes just because they're the most expensive- there's no telling which I will choose, so it's genuine input/feedback I get from you.
  • Similarly, no one can say I just picked someone with the cheapest shoe choice to save myself some dough on the prize should I not choose the cheapest for myself.
  • I'm a market researcher at heart and data and sampling randomness is good for me.

*Caveat* *Caveat* *Cavet* *Fine Print* *Fine Print* Fine Print*.  Don't blow the legalities out of proportion please- I'm trying to be nice at Christmas and have some fun with of our little corner of the online universe. I don't need Scrooges with all sorts of contest rules mumbo jumbo raining on every good intentioned soul's parade that participates. It's a small contest with a whole lot of holiday cheer as its intention. Deal.

I will post a more detailed look at each shoe later and why I chose what I chose and throw some insights from comments in as well for good measure to show you I'm paying attention to everyone.

Here are the contenders:

Timberland Brown Baluster Chukka:

Frye Dark Brown Rodney Chukka:

Timberland Original Earthkeepers Brown Chukka:

Frye Brown Oliver Chukka:

Johnston&Murphy Camel Suede Runnell Chukka:
*Wild Card (Note: these haven't arrived, hence, I have yet to try on.)

So, get spreading some cheer with your comments and tweets and let me know which you like and why. Good luck, thanks and have a Happy Holiday!


Line Change Breaks Down GQ Shops: The Best of the Department Stores: Macy's

In a previous post, I detailed how to score a deal using Bing.com/cashback at Macy's to combine 2 deals in one and score a solid 35-40% off brands you love, plus free shipping on purchases over $99. In this post I wanted to take time to show you skeptics some examples that Macy's can yield some quality product. And at these prices, you'd be crazy not to pick up something that could fit into your wardrobe. 

I will work off GQ's picks from their GQ Shops: The Best of the Department Stores coverage of Macy's. Hopefully, whether you agree or disagree with the GQ staff's picks, you can see how brand name buys don't have to be premium priced buys. If an item wasn't available online, I chose a similar item available now at Macys.com. And remember, all of these get the best savings by combining the cash back with the Macy's site deal (if applicable) and spending $99 or more to get free shipping. Observe:

Polo Ralph Lauren reindeer sweater: $185 (not available)

Alternate: Polo Ralph Lauren Sweater, Shawl Collar Cardigan: Orig: $265.00 Was: $184.99 Now: $137.99 + free shipping + 20% cash back = $110.39 (total savings = 58%).

Tommy Hilfiger striped scarf: $48 (not available)

Alternate:  Polo Ralph Lauren Scarf, Striped Cotton: Orig: $50 + free shipping + 20% cash back = $40

American Rag plaid shirt: $29.98 (not available)

Alternate:  Sovereign Code Western Shirt: Orig: $58.00 Now: $29.99 + free shipping + 20% coupon + 20% cash back= $19.19 (67% savings)


Timberland Earthkeeper boots: Orig: $160 Now: 139.99 + 15% off + free shipping + 20% cash back = $95.19 (60% savings)


Country Gentleman tweed cap: $30 (not available) 

Alternative: Timberland Hat, Herringbone Military Cap: Orig: $55.00 Now: $46.75 + 20% off + free shipping + 20% cash back = $29.90 (46% savings)

Club Room argyle V-neck sweater: Was: $60 Now: $29.99 + 20% off + free shipping + 20% cash back = $23.99 (60% savings)

Nautica pocket squares: $34 (not available in colors)

Alternative: Nautica Handkerchief Set, 5 Piece Cotton , White: Orig: $34.00 Was: $25.50 Now: $22.95  + free shipping + 20% cash back = $18.36 (46% savings)

North Face puffer jacket: $199 (not available) 

Alternative: Kenneth Cole Reaction Jacket, Quilted Wool Timber Coat: Reg. $295.00 Was $204.99 Now: $147.50 + free shipping + 20% cashback = $118.00 (60% savings)


Basically, while you cannot get all the exact GQ swag "item for item" online, you can make some pretty healthy substitutes. All told, I put all my substitute choices (8 in all) in my shopping cart and at checkout it would cost me a grand total of:

Merchandise Total: $605.16
Free Shipping: -$24.95
15-20% off clothing: -$21.35
15% of shoes: -$21.00
Total:      $562.81

Bing cash back: $112.56

GRAND TOTAL: $450.25

If you consider my "starting price" the latest online price of each item, (i.e., count just sale prices the items started at), then the promo codes, free shipping and Bing cash back saved me 26%. If you took the "Original Prices" of everything ($977), then added all the sales, promo's and cash back, then I "really" saved 54% off retail. 

Bottom Line: That's a lot of quality stuff for under $500.


Get 20% Off By Using Bing

Here are some simple steps to getting 20% off some of your favorite brands today at Macy's. I know I know, it's Macy's, but hell, even the gang at GQ.com could find something from the department store to put under their tree. In fact, I will take a look at what many of those items- and some of my own choosing- would cost post-Bing cashback in an upcoming post.

Not to mention, right now Macy's is pushing a promo online to get 15-20% off plus free shipping using promo code: THEBEST- that's up to a total of 40% off (+ free shipping)- and tons of items are already marked down before that. Please tell me you can find something, ANYTHING to warrant these savings. I know I did.

Frye Rodney Chukkas in dark brown- $178 - 15% (shoe dept) + 20% Bing cash back + free shipping = $121.04. Pretty good ROI there.

So here's what to do to get the savings:
  1. Go to Bing.com/cashback
  2. Search using "Macy's Men's Clothing"
  3. To the right you will see a list of sponsored links (like in Google). One of them will say "Men's Clothing at Macy's, get 20% off..." or something similar, followed by a, "get cash back" link.
  4. Click on it.
  5. It will take you to Bing's account login screen to confirm your link to Macy's. You need an old MS Hotmail account or current Live account to log in. If you don't have one, sign up here, it's free. 
  6. Once you sign in, the login page will redirect you to Macy's site and has now cookied your session using bing.com with cash back. 
  7. Shop like you normally would, adding items to your shopping cart and then proceed to checkout when you are done.
  8. Do not forget to apply the THEBEST code for 15% off (shoes/accessories) or 20% off (clothing). (This is a separate promo from Macy's and unrelated to Bing.)  Make sure you follow SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) as it pertains top online checkout (i.e., check your billing/shipping, payment method, delivery options, etc.)
  9. Once you've gone through the shopping process and confirmed your order, you'll get the usual confirmations and email. Additionally, within 48 hours you should get an email from Bing.com about your rewarded cash back amount. (Said Bing email will go to your Hotmail/Live account.)
  10. This cash back can be deposited in your Paypal account if you have one. Nice!
If you haven't used Bing or are not aware of it, check here for details. Basically, it's Microsoft paying you to go through their search engine instead of Google or Yahoo or any competitors. I've used it to great effect and vouch for it's validity and usefulness.

I do not know how long Bing and Macy's will be running this discount- Bing.com/cashback amounts change frequently, so don't hold me to the percentages involved. But always first go to Bing.com/cashback when buying online to have a shot at a better deal. It doesn't always give you the best price versus some of the more competitive online sites, but even some of the better deal sites have partnered with Bing for cash back deals. See here for Bing's list of partners.

Best of luck finding that little something for less just in time for Christmas.


Closet Staple: life/after/denim Legacy Classic Twill BD

You can argue there is nothing more utilitarian to put in your closet than a button down cotton shirt. Whether using it as a layering option or just as is, now more than ever, the varieties are endless.  Whether you are an Oxford or Broadcloth man, a Pinpoint or Poplin aficionado or even a proponent of the weekend flannel or summer linen varieties, there is something for everyone.  Personally I like a variety in my closet for any occasion.  I can't help finding another reason to buy yet another of this wardrobe staple. Sure, you can get wrapped up in dozens of versions of the safe white or powder blue variety, but more and more we are seeing bolder choices paired in "high/low" styles like a gingham shirt with a suit or a flannel with wool tie and blazer.

A great combination of form, function (and price) in my opinion is life/after/denim's Legacy Twill Button Down in either Black or Brown Plaid. Available at Urban Outfitters (black, on sale now) or IanShop in Seattle, WA (brown) the soft twill cotton, washed out dye and large plaid pattern has a nice laid back vibe. The look is paired with some tailored touches such as the shorter cut of the shirt and its curved and gusseted hem, not to mention a chest pocket with the plaid pattern matched to the shirt's body. (Note: it may be considered a "Regular" fit BD, but life/after/denim's line leans toward a slimmer, more modern silhouette .)

Worn with denim or a pair of chinos (as the label I am sure would prefer), this shirt would wear well "dressed up" with a cotton or wool tie or left un-tucked for a weekend jaunt. And life/after/denim does well by the wallet too- this BD retails for $85- far more palatable than some shirts of similar quality for twice the price.


Friday Finds

I hope you are enjoying the Friday Finds posts. I come across some pictures of stuff during the week and happen to save them for this occasion. Unfortunately, that seems to be the extent of my postings lately- apologies. But there should be some good things to come in the near future as time and topics open themselves up to me. Thanks for looking!





Friday Finds


(Credit: CBS.com)


 (credit: Ford.com)

(Credit: Patriots.com/RealPatriots)


Friday Finds

Credit: Adidas SLVR


Credit: Schott

 Credit: Dan Gordon (via Year in Pictures)

Credit: Cuisinart

Credit: Leffot