Poppy Barley Review
I've been waiting several months (since September 2021) to write this review because I wanted to ensure that I had time to use (and enjoy) these Poppy Barley items and be able to give a 100% honest and real review.
I'll preface this by saying - this is not sponsored and Poppy Barley doesn't know I exist, or that I'm writing this review. All opinions are my own and based on my experience with these items. Also - all the links in this post are just regular links (not affiliate or anything - but at the bottom of this post I'll include a blurb that mentions my referral link that gives you $ off and me some store credit - anyone can get this referral link if they have a customer profile). Let me give you a run-down of what items I'll be reviewing and how I got them to be completely transparent:
Two point five ankle boot in water resistant black leather: Purchased secondhand with my own money from Hunter & Hare (Spring 2021)
Two point five ankle boot in pebbled leather (all black): I actually won this in an Instagram giveaway from Poppy Barley, so this item was gifted - but not because I blog or anything... just because they were doing a giveaway for their followers! (September 2021)
Cabin Shoe: Purchased from Poppy Barley with my own money (October 2021)
Universal Pouch: Purchased from Poppy Barley with my own money (October 2021)
Now that that's out of the way - let me introduce Poppy Barley as a brand. Poppy Barley is Canadian-owned and was established in the prairies. It manufactures all of it's products ethically and sustainably in Mexico and is a certified B-corporation. On each product page it has a link to the particular factory where the item is made. It sells mostly leather goods, but has some vegan options!
What do they sell?
The product line includes women and men's footwear, leather accessories (like bags) and some homeware items.
What is the price point?
The price point is actually fairly steep in the world of "regular" (fast-fashion) footwear and leather goods, but comparable to well-known shoe brands (ex: Birkenstock, Blundstone, etc.) - it is quite comparable and I would actually say it might be more value for money because of the sustainability and traceability of their manufacturing processes. In the world of ethical and sustainable footwear and leather goods, the prices are on-par with other brands. I would definitely say in my current stage of life, these items are expensive for me, so this would be something that I would have to save up for and be very intentional about. Like you saw in my intro, I bought one of my pieces secondhand and won a different pair in a giveaway - so I didn't invest the retail value into those pieces.
Let's take a look at each item:
I actually am going to combine these two pieces since they are the same model with slight variations. The Two point five ankle boot is one of Poppy Barley's signature items. It has a v-shape top, a zipper for easy on-easy off and a stacked heel. The heel height is 2.5 inches and it retails for $348 CAD.
The all-black pair are the one's that I won in a giveaway. I got them in a size 7.5, medium (regular width) and they fit *perfectly*. The website says these shoes are true to size and I would agree but I do have a more narrow foot and I like the regular width for me (especially when wearing socks) - I would not go down to the narrow option in this boot. I really like the pebbled leather and all-black look since they are so sleek and pair well with both pants and skirts or dresses with tights. The heel height is perfect for walking in and it has a cushiony sole on the inside.
The pair with the wooden sole and stacked heel is actually in their water resistant smooth leather. These ones I purchased secondhand online and so I got them for more than half off the original retail price. That being said, I didn't have a choice in sizing - so these are a size 8. Sometimes in boots I size up to wear thicker socks, but I would say that these are a little too roomy for me personally. I also suspect they might be the "wide" width because I feel like I have a lot more room on either side of my foot as well. Since they were secondhand, there is plenty more wear on these boots and you can see some water damage on the heel. Purely based on sizing, I think I may sell these ones because I know I'll opt for the other pair that fits me better!
The next pair of shoes are actually a pair of slippers - the Cabin Shoe - that you've probably seen plenty of times in my OOTW posts! I have been wearing these slippers every day since October 2021 and love them so much! I got them in a 7.5 (no choice in width) in the colour Sand suede. They are $158 CAD and I purchased them with my own money. For me, they're worth it because they check off every requirement I have for my slippers.
One of my slipper pet-peeves is when soft and fluffy slippers go bad and the "fur" gets disgusting after one season. I love that these slippers don't have a fluffy lining and I can just layer on thicker socks in the winter and go sockless in the summer. I also love slip-on style slippers and prefer to have my toes covered (just in case my cat attacks my feet). You can see in the photos above that I have some room around my foot, which allows me to comfortably wear socks. It has a slight "lip" at the back of the shoe and has a sturdy sole, so if I needed to step outside to get the mail, I don't need to switch shoes. Sorry I don't have photos of the shoes when they were new - but this is what they look like after 4 months of constant wear.
Finally, we are moving on to the one home-ware item I have, which is this Universal Pouch in Sand Pebble. This style is currently out of stock, but I've linked it anyway. It retails for $78 and features a leather outside, gold hardware, inside pockets a clam-shell opening and gusseted sides. I purchased this pouch with my own money in October 2021.
First, let's talk the good: I love the opening - it can zip all the way open and is really easy to access the contents of the pouch. I use it for makeup and everything is organized nicely in the inside pockets. I also really enjoy that the bottom is flat so this pouch can stand on its own. I also really love the colour and gold hardware and I always find that pebbled leather ages really well (doesn't show marks or scratches as bad).
Now let's talk about the two shortfalls: I've found that the zipper pull ring has already tarnished, so that makes me wonder how long the zipper will look gold, or if it will tarnish really fast. The zipper itself is nice and good quality. The other thing is, the gusseted sides (that little triangular flap of fabric that keeps small items inside) makes it difficult to zip the pouch all the way closed. Because it's gusseted, nothing will fall out but in order to zip it shut I have to really try to push the fabric inside in order to get the zipper to go. It's not a huge deal, but for the price it is annoying that there is a little design flaw there!
Overall, I'm really pleased with all my Poppy Barley items - the quality and materials are on-par with the price, as is the sustainability and ethics part of it. Every single item is made to last and I think if you take care of the items (condition, clean, etc.) periodically, they will last for years! The only "cons" I have was for the pouch and they are pretty minor complaints, but like I said, with the price point being higher (for me) - I do want everything to be perfect. Additionally, the pricing might be hard to swallow, especially if you're accustomed to the lower prices of fast-fashion retailers. I would say, if you're shopping at Poppy Barley, I would suggest being very intentional, look for timeless pieces that you'll put in the effort to maintain and take your time to save up and consider the item you're looking at. If I had the choice, I would also opt to go in-store to try on and consider the styles of different items (but unfortunately - there are no stores in my province). These really are the type of shoe or item that you will own for a lifetime and the prices reflect that.
If you do want a discount - click on my referral link here - it will give you 10% off your purchase of $100 or more and it will give me a $25 store credit to use at Poppy Barley. Bear in mind this referral link is something anybody with a customer profile on their website can have - it's not because I blog or anything! If you do make a purchase - definitely share your discount code love with your friends and family if you recommend their pieces too.
So... do I recommend? In short, absolutely! The quality is there, the ethics are there and I think a lot of the styles are beautiful and timeless. I would just say - don't treat Poppy Barley as a fast-fashion or trendy purchase - they have wonderfully made and considered pieces which deserve to get worn every single day.