Pembroke in 7.5E UK arrived today. Definitely a better fit than the 8E. A hair snug through the midfoot, but not uncomfortably so.
Guess I'll be informing Lauren and I can change my MTO sizing. Glad I checked!
Nope. I emailed Lauren and basically said "I would like to order from you rather than from the US stores due to the favorable exchange rate" and she said "sure, that is not a problem." She never once suggested or implied I should go through the NYC store.
I know it is and does, but they shouldn't set the bar so low. As an aside, I have two pairs of Oak Street Bootmakers beefroll loafers (brown CXL and natural CXL) and both have been worn dozens of time but don't develop any ugly "fat wrinkles." But I agree that, in general, CXL boots are not bought to baby or to keep looking pretty.