Honest Poppy Barley Review: Is It Really Attainable Luxury?

Looking for genuine Poppy Barley reviews? We’ve got you covered! Learn all about the Poppy Barley brand, quality, and our favorite pieces in this honest Poppy Barley review.

*this post contains affiliate links*

Disclaimer: The items in this review were gifted by Poppy Barley and no monetary compensation was provided. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

a pair of black fisherman sandals on a folded ivory tank top and leopard skirt with a denim jacket and leather handbag

(pictured: Poppy Barley Fisherman Sandal & Tres Chic Bag)

An Honest Poppy Barley Review

Hi all! It’s the editor-in-chief of Style Your Occasion, Christal, here to bring you a thorough Poppy Barley review. I’ve been familiar with the Canadian-based, female-owned brand for several years now and am excited to spill the tea!

First off, a little bit about the brand. Poppy Barley was launched in 2012 by two sisters, Kendall and Justine, from Alberta, Canada. The sisters had a goal to design stylish shoes and accessories with a luxury feel at an approachable price (filling the “luxury gap”). They also wanted to ensure a strong focus was put on sustainability and ethical manufacturing. 

Fast-forward over a decade, Poppy Barley has grown to three brick-and-mortar locations, an online store that ships across North America and Australia, and many pop-up shops. 

In their own words, “Poppy Barley is driven by the relentless pursuit to re-think luxury for people and the planet”, and I’m putting that luxury to the test! Read on to learn about the pros and cons of the brand, and get a breakdown of the pieces I’ve personally put to the pavement. 

outfit flatlay with ivory crochet knit tank top, leopard print slip skirt, Poppy Barley black fisherman sandals, and an ivory leather shoulder bag

(pictured: Poppy Barley Fisherman Sandal & Tres Chic Bag)

Poppy Barley Pros:

  • Versatile and timeless pieces
  • Quality & comfort
  • Sustainability & ethical practices
  • Free returns

Poppy Barley Cons:

  • Catered to narrow feet
  • Worldwide shipping unavailable 

image of a wishbone chair with a trench coat slung over, a leather bag on the arm, and folded clothing with a tan passport holder on top

(pictured: Poppy Barley Modern-Day Mary Jane & Passport Holder)

Pro #1: Versatile and Timeless Pieces

When it comes to many luxury brands, the styles tend to be quite trendy. While it’s fun to wear funky, of-the-moment pieces, there is something to be said about timeless staples that can be worn through the years, even as trends come and go. 

Poppy Barley obviously understands the value of versatility, so they’ve created a large line of shoes and accessories that quite frankly, will never go out of style. If you lean to wardrobe minimalism or love the idea of a capsule wardrobe, Poppy Barley is a brand you want on your radar. 

From the classic leather loafers to the sleek ballet flats, to the elevated sandals, and wear-everywhere boots, these timeless pieces can be worn again and again, from season to season. 

a pair of black Poppy Barley Mary Jane shoes sitting on a chair on top of a folded ivory sweater and pair of blue jeans

(pictured: Poppy Barley Modern-Day Mary Jane)

Pro #2: Quality & Comfort

It’s storytime. When I first slipped on the Poppy Barley Modern-day Mary Jane, I felt like I had put on a pair of my Gucci loafers. I immediately went to tell my husband that the leather on the Poppy Barley shoes was just as soft as my designer loafers.

He didn’t believe me at first, so we did a (very scientific) behind-the-back feel test. The results? The Poppy Barley leather was just as soft as the Gucci leather. 

This is notable because it demonstrates Poppy Barley’s aim to price fairly and forgo traditional markups (2x vs 4x). As a result, their shoes and accessories have a designer feel, but come at a price that is attainable for more people! The brand is also very transparent about pricing, which is pretty much unheard of in the fashion industry – see what I mean here

And when it comes to comfort, aside from the On-The-Go ballet flats (which I felt needed a little wearing in), all of the Poppy Barley shoes I own have not needed any “break-in” time. They are incredibly comfortable from day one.

Pro #3: Sustainability & Ethical Practices

This brings us to the next pro in my Poppy Barley review; sustainability and ethical product production. Poppy Barley is about as far from “fast fashion” as it gets, and I’m very thankful for that. 

The brand is a “certified B Corporation”, meaning they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Additionally, the PB sisters personally vet the factories that produce their pieces and ensure the workers are treated fairly. And if that wasn’t enough, they go further to provide scholarship funds for the factory workers’ families (*jaw drop*)

When it comes to materials, Poppy Barley is committed to environmental responsibility (read more about that here). In other words, they care about people and the planet – a lot. 

a pair of ivory heeled Poppy Barley sandals on top of a floral dress

(pictured: Poppy Barley Harley Heeled Sandal)

One thing I always look at when ordering from a brand is the returns policy. This is huge to me because I order online far more than I do in person, and I find sizing can vary for me from brand to brand. 

Needless to say, a big Poppy Barley pro for me is the fact that they offer free returns on regular-priced items (as well as free shipping on orders over $200 in North America). If you prefer to try things on in the comfort of your own home, you’ll love this perk too! 

The Cons

While there aren’t many cons on this list, there are a couple. These don’t have to do with the quality of Poppy Barley pieces, but a couple of things to note that may apply to some people. 

Con #1: Catered To Narrow Feet

While this con may not apply to many people, as a woman with wider feet (thanks to my pregnancies), I do find it a bit challenging to get the sizing right when it comes to *some* of Poppy Barley’s footwear styles. 

In general, Poppy Barley shoes do run narrow. That being said, the brand does offer a small “wide widths collection” with specific styles tailored to wide feet. 

My rule of thumb when ordering from Poppy Barley is to size up 1/2 a size if the shoe is not offered in a wide width

Con #2: No Worldwide Shipping

Lastly, if you reside outside of Canada, the US, or Australia, Poppy Barley is a brand you may not be able to try… for now. While I would love to see Poppy Barley offer worldwide shipping, as a smaller brand, the logistics may be a challenge, and that is understandable. 

If you are from Europe or another part of the world, you can always look into forward shipping options to get yourself some PB shoes or accessories. 

A Closer Look

Now that I’ve covered the pros and cons in this Poppy Barley review, I want to highlight a small selection of pieces I’ve put to the test. Here’s what I love (and don’t love) about each item, and how I’m styling them! 

Modern-Day Mary Jane Review

Because of my newfound love for classic ballet flats, I knew I had to try the Modern-Day Mary Jane. The Mary Jane style is getting a ton of attention in the fashion world in 2023 and I can see why. This feminine shoe is timeless yet youthful, and can be worn in so many ways. 

The Poppy Barley Modern-Day Mary Jane is unbelievably comfortable, classic, versatile, and buttery soft. The memory foam insole makes me feel like I’m wearing Grandma’s Dr. Scholls, but the modern look of the shoe clearly says I am not.  

I’ve been styling these with my favorite jeans and midi skirts, and plan to take them from summer right into the fall season as the perfect transitional shoe. I really have nothing negative to say about these flats! 

Harley Heeled Sandal Review

Next up is the Harley Heeled Sandal from Poppy Barley. I’ll admit it’s been a long time since I’ve worn a pair of heels, and the second I slipped these on, I knew my heel-wearing days were back. 

Why? Because they look like heels but feel like flats (thanks to the memory foam insole)! While I do find these a touch narrow, the leather stretches with wear, and the heel is a perfect walkable height. 

These heels can easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. And the only thing I don’t like about them is that they don’t come in black

Fisherman Sandal Review

I included a pair of black fisherman sandals in my Summer Capsule Wardrobe for good reason. They are on-trend yet timeless, versatile, and make a statement. 

The Poppy Barley Fisherman Sandal is no exception. They come in three hues – white, black, and violet (for those who love a bold pop of color!), and are perfect for everyday wear in the summer months. 

Once again, the comfort is unmatched with the cushioned insole, and the leather is buttery soft. Paired with jeans, shorts, a dress, or a skirt, these sandals add a little something extra to a perfect summer fit. 

Tres Chic Bag Review

I was drawn to the Tres Chic bag because it has an upscale feel that makes me think of the “quiet luxury” trend everyone is raving about. The oatmeal color is the perfect creamy neutral, and the bag style is classic yet suitable for everyday wear. 

This is actually my first Poppy Barley bag and I’m really impressed with the pebbled leather and overall craftsmanship. My only complaint is that the zipper isn’t perfectly smooth. But I’m sure it will eventually zip smoothly as the bag shape softens with wear. 

I’ve been wearing the Tres Chic bag with so many outfits! And despite its appearance, it is surprisingly big. For example, it easily held multiple bags of gummy candies, a water bottle, an iphone, keys, and cards when I took my daughter and nieces to the new Little Mermaid movie (this is a judgment-free zone right?)

Family Passport Holder Review

a beige leather passport holder from Poppy Barley with two Canadian passports on top of a folded striped sweater and Levis jeans

The final item in my Poppy Barley review is a piece I never knew I needed – the Family Passport Holder! I love the idea of having our passports all in one place, along with cards, cash, and any other important documents when we travel. 

Not only is the passport holder super sleek and stylish, it’s also very well made with high-quality leather and a mesh pocket. I can see this little accessory taking many fantastic trips in the future! 

The passport holder also comes in three sizes, with space for 2 passports (Flying Solo Passport Holder), or 4 and 6 passports (Family), so you can choose the size that suits you best. And you can also add a personalized monogram in gold foil for $10! 

Final Words

Overall, I highly recommend investing in at least a couple of Poppy Barley pieces in 2023. They are beautiful, timeless, and very well-made. I would be surprised if any other Poppy Barley reviews said otherwise! 

I am also happy to be supporting a local brand that has sustainability, responsibility, and attainability at its core. So, the question in the title of this review: Poppy Barley – is it really attainable luxury? That’s a resounding yes!  

Be sure to browse the Poppy Barley website and visit them on Instagram @poppybarley so you can follow along and find your perfect Poppy Barley piece! 

 

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About

Hi! I'm Christal - Editor-in-chief, published author, and minimalist fashion enthusiast! Welcome to Style Your Occasion, your styling inspiration go-to for every occasion, event, party, and trip! Click below to meet the rest of the Style Your Occasion team.

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