One of my most read blog posts of all time has been my Swedish Hasbeens review, which was less than stellar. I’ve been wearing my Agnetas for a little over a year and I’ve just bought another pair of Hasbeens in a different style so I thought it was time for a Swedish Hasbeens review follow-up post.
I stand by my original (mostly negative) Swedish Hasbeens review. I still think Hasbeens are grossly overpriced, I still wouldn’t order directly from the Swedish Hasbeens website at full price, and they’re still uncomfortable as hell.
So why did I order another pair of these awful shoes?
Every fashionable girl has her achilles heel ;-)
Mostly, they’re just so retro fabulous that I can’t resist them! And no other shoes, not even my Louboutins or my handmade Santoni boots make my legs look as long and lean as my Swedish Hasbeens :)
My Swedish Hasbeens Agnetas were torture for the first few months, but I eventually managed to break them in by wearing them at home with thick socks and massaging the leather with Vaseline. I’ve also found a pair of insoles that fit just the balls of my feet, which give enough cushioning to make the wooden soles bearable on medium distance walks.
Living in the city, I walk everywhere, so comfort and practicality are important, but I still like to look stylish. One thing I love about my Swedish Hasbeens is that the heels are wide enough to safely navigate cobblestones… a must in Europe!
Swedish Hasbeens are still in my opinion 100% not worth €200, which is the average going price on their website for a pair of high heels. They are however worth €100 – €125, and with some persistence, it’s possible to find them in that price range or even less on sites like Amazon, ASOS, and YOOX, or if you’re willing to brave Swedish Hasbeens abysmal return policy and terrible customer service, on their own website during their end of season sales which discount some styles up to 70%!
Swedish Hasbeens sizing is also tricky because it varies widely by style, and being a European brand, they don’t make half sizes, and if you’re a solid 37.5 like me, that can be an issue. Therefore, given Swedish Hasbeens’ customer service, which in my experience truly sucks, it’s best to order from a place that has great customer service and a good returns policy.
My Second Pair of Swedish Hasbeens
I generally buy neutral colors first because they’re the most versatile. My first Louis Vuitton bag was black. My first (and last) pair of Christian Louboutins was black. My first pair of Swedish Hasbeens was black. In building a lasting wardrobe, I think it’s best to start with the basics and branch out from there.
So, my second pair of Swedish Hasbeens is natural leather. The style is called Snake Sandal and like all Swedish Hasbeens, they have footbed made of sustainably sourced wood (lime tree), and rubber soles. The Snake Sandal is considered a “Super High” style, the heels are only 8.5 cm (3.3 inches) to the Agnetas’ “Sky High” 9.5 cm (3.7 inches), and they’re equally difficult to walk in because of the rigid wooden soles. I think the Snake Sandal has a slightly more 70s vibe than the Agneta, and I love them for that reason.
The leather is stiff, just like it was on my Agnetas when they first arrived, but now I know how to break in Swedish Hasbeens like a boss… thick socks and lots of Vaseline!!! Swedish Hasbeens also recommend rubbing olive oil onto their natural leather styles.
I took their advice and the olive oil darkened up the natural leather nicely and brought out its lovely grain. The natural leather also darkens with sun exposure, so on sunny days, I set my Hasbeens out on the balcony to tan.
A definite downside of Swedish Hasbeens is that the wooden soles chip. The first time I wore my Agnetas out, I came back with a chunk missing from the heel. Since I’d only walked to the grocery store and back, I’m not sure how it happened, but it did.
Customer service recommends gluing the chip back into place, but what are the chances of actually finding the chipped bit so you can glue it back on? I’ve thought about sanding it down, but I’m afraid I’ll just make a bigger mess. I think of it as patina.
Will there be a third Swedish Hasbeens review?
Most likely. Despite all of my complaining, my Hasbeens are the shoes I wear most often. After I cover my neutral bases, my next choice is usually red, and I’d love a pair of red Swedish Hasbeens Fredricas.
I find Swedish Hasbeens to be incredibly versatile because they look great in the summer with bare legs, and also look fabulous in the autumn and winter with tights.
So, while Swedish Hasbeens have some definite downsides, my advice is that if you can’t resist their awesome retro fabulousness, go ahead and scratch the itch. However, never pay full price, don’t order directly from Hasbeens’ website unless it’s at a deep discount and you’re 100% sure of your size, and don’t expect to be able to wear them right out of the box.
Tell me about your Swedish Hasbeens!
Do you have a pair (or a collection) of Swedish Hasbeens? What’s your experience? What do you think of my Swedish Hasbeens review? I’d love to hear from my shoe sisters :-)
If you’re in the US, Amazon has a decent selection of Swedish Hasbeens. This will save you on crazy shipping fees from Sweden, and sometimes you can find certain styles or colors deeply discounted.