Monday, August 27, 2012

Tis the Season

Boot season is upon us.  As a pavement pounding Brooklynite with a strong aversion to the cold and hurt feet, it should come as no surprise that I LIVE in a boot from late September to March.  Don't get me wrong, I love a nasty pump as much as the next gal, but with age came wisdom, and I no longer see any reason for the toe suffering madness of heels during the workweek unless an extra extra special outfit demands.   If I could sum up my personal style in two words, they would be "pretty casual".  Kind of like this:

source: lucky mag
So naturally I was THRILLED that the fashion gods have seen fit to bring back all manner of super cute flat(ish) boots and tights (three cheers for warm AND comfy toesies!).  The problem is that most of the boots I covet are made for super tall people with skinny calves.  Years of running and crunches to whittle my middle have done nothing to shrink my calves to a desirable (according to the boot gods) 13 inch circumference, and so every year around this time I spend hours pouring over the fall boot options with the hopes that somewhere out there is a black - nearly flat, not so chunky, not SO tall, not SO skinny, flat, not so edgy that I can't wear them to work, but not so stuffy that I can't wear them to dinner - boot out out there with my name on it. Oh.  And said mythical boot can't cost a fortune either, especially since post-wedding poverty is upon us.  Needless to say, every year I wind up digging out, dusting off and reheeling my old faithfuls from years past.  It cannot go on.  My poor rusty dusties have nothing left to give and so the search continues. 

Thankfully fall's boot inventory is highly encouraging - even the low/mid bootie is making a comeback with cute chelsea booties like these or these - but my preferred budget of $400 or less (preferably less) combined with my aforementioned requirements narrows the field quite a bit.  Sadly these shining examples of boot perfection that I have coveted for YEARS remain firmly out of my reach:

Loeffler Randall Matilde
The versatility of this boot is incredible.  Dressed up or down in black or brown (yes, I rhyme too!), these boots are hot, hot, hot!

Images via Loeffler Randall
But alas, my budget (and HH) doth protest so I'm moving on.  Thankfully, online shopping really has made boot shopping much less painful.  For starters there are WAY more options, but now retailers have finally become hip to my struggle and have started including the circumference and shaft height (mind out of the gutters ladies!) in their descriptions.  That information when combined with the helpful comments of ladies in similar straights have saved me SO much time -let alone the indignity of stuffing myself unsuccessfully into a too tall or too skinny boot in public (something I much prefer to do in comfort of my own home).

Recently I've started opening up to my friends and fellow shoppers about my boot buying blues and not surprisingly, I'm not alone.  So for those of you out there who, like me, fall somewhere outside of the boot mold, I thought I'd share my top three online sources for boots:

1.  Piperlime - In general it's one of my favorite sites for online shoe shopping. Same stuff as the department stores, but more of it and with better descriptions and comments.  It's got the spectrum of price ranges and the selections are well edited thanks to the contributions of savvy guest editors like my girl, Rachel Zoe.  Think zappos or endless but without having to click through tons and tons of uglies to get to the good stuff.  Check it out.

2. Shopbop - Usually my first stop for online window shopping.  Great on trend selections not always available in stores.  Cause come one, there's nothing worse than finally finding the shoe of your dreams and then seeing it on the foot of every second lady on the street!  Although they always have a few budget friendly pics, I usually use this site for inspiration and then look for a budget friendly version elsewhere.

3. JCrew - For some reason JCrew tends to make riding boots with a more generous shaft (-it is impossible to write that word without sounding dirty -sorry!).  I think they were also among the first mainstream retailers to offer extended calf options for their popular styles.  On that note - although I appreciate the fact that gals like me are no longer relegated to elastic boots - the proportions on extended calf boots don't work for me.  I'm not a big person.  I just don't have super tiny legs.  The extended calf boots either make me look deformed - like I'm walking around with a soccer ball strapped to my calf - or like I'm wearing the boot version of slouch socks.  Not so cute.  Proportionwise though, I think a taller gal would have much better luck with the extended calf boot.  At least I hope so.

After scouring the web, here's what I've come down to:
or these

I'm hoping one of these bad boys will do it for me.  I like the look of the Orna the best, but I'm not sure about mid-calf boots so I'm gonna try the taller and very similar Ola to compare.  Ordinarily I'm anti zipper, but since gold and I love gold, I'm going to give it a try.  And although neither of these are officially in the budget (story of my life), with a little help from HH in the form of a 20% off friends and family coupon to Piperlime and bridal shower gift card to Bloomies - I will be the proud owner of these boot beauties in 2-3 business days.  Crossing my fingers (and toes) that they fit.  Stay tuned.

What about you? Any favorite boot trends or sources? 

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