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13 November 2012

bootie call

this post is dedicated to the love/hate relationship i have with boots.

having grown up in one of the driest places on earth, short of living in an actual desert, i never needed for boots as a kid. through my teens i basically wore thongs (aussie for 'flip-flops' for those of you perverts internationals reading) everywhere , and then when i started working in retail i was all about the cute-but-practical flats. not until i lived in new zealand, and in the depths of winter, did i first realise the need for boots. it should also be noted, that it wasn't until this point that i realised how hard shoe shopping is when you have a bigger than average calves. (*special shout out to my mother dearest here, whose legs these really are. although, she's quite trim now in her old age fifties, these are her legs. and she should take responsibility for them*)

thankfully at that time, those baggy, floppy, scrunchy, pirate-looking, suedette boots were on trend, so i safely invested in some light grey ones that my friends at the time nicknamed the 'baby seals'. once they had worn through, i was lucky enough to pick up a second pair on sale...although they were a size too big and i had to wear double socks for a whole winter. which was actually a blessing, considering how cold i got that winter. as great as these were, they were not practical for the wet. it was then that the difiiculties really presented themselves.  

none of the sleek, trendy, knee-high boots fit. i could get them to my shin, and no further. even going up a size was a futile exercise, and so i was forced to stick with the scrunchy style of my baby seals, but in a patent faux-leather. i had a black pair, with a tiny dainty heel that would sliiiiide in the wet, so i had to be careful where i walked. they were really comfy too, but in hindsight, they were tremendously hideous. i also bought those boots in white in the sales. truly, they were a crime against fashion. yet i wore them everywhere.

before i left nz, bound for melbourne i came across this pair of tan ankle boots at 'the warehouse' that would change my life. they were about $8 on sale (sensing a theme?), and there was only one pair left in my size. they had about an inch heel on them, a really comfy sole (important in retail), and a leather-look tie at the back (it was cool at the time, i promise). they were soft plastic polyurethane, a lovely colour and had slight fold over the foot that made them look vintage. they were beautiful. at this point, i'd never considered ankle boots, because i always thought they had accentuated my calves, and i was very much about hiding, hiding, hiding my legs in these baggy boots. so, what on earth would i wear ankle boots with? it's not like i didn't have an array of pretty dresses in my wardrobe, but it had just never really seemed 'me' to get my legs out *insert wolf whistle*.

well, i put an end to that idea that very day, stocked up on black tights and never looked back. the slight heel lengthened my leg and didn't make me look as short and stumpy as i felt, and even made me walk a bit more like a lady, haha. those ankle boots were my absolute go-to shoe for almost 3 years until the gaping hole in the toe of one and the complete loss of a heel on the other became even too much for the shoe repair man to fix. it was a sad day. i held a burial for them, and that's not even a lie. i have never found a pair quite like them. before leaving melbourne for london (geez. showoff.) i caved and bought a (i kid you not) miley cyrus inspired pair of biker boots. they came with a chain, a chunky heel and a square, mannish toe. i loathed them. but i needed them. it was going to be cold in England.

they were ugly, granted, but they served me well. i only very recently threw them away when common sense told me to. while in the uk, i have (until recenly) only invested in two whole pairs of boots. that's not to say i haven't tried a shit ton on, but that's all i've been able to wear. something about the make of shoes over here is bizarre. suddenly, i'm a completely different size shoe, everything fits wrong differently, and im generally uncomfortable. i think it's because i buy cheap shoes. there seems to be a huge divide between cheap and comfortable. like, you can have one but not the other. that's about all i miss of shopping in australia, is buying comfy shoes, for bargain prices. i digress. i managed to find a pair of  tan 'wide fit' (i assume this is the shoe part, not the calf part? although, they did fit reasonable well on the calf, but i get the impression these mid-calf boots were supposed to be baggy although on me they were fitted) boots last christmas in preparation for the snow, and a pair of old faithful black suedette slouch boots - ironically for a pirate party, but i continued wearing long after the party purely as they were comfy and warm (and fit). once the snow passed, the use of these were no longer required.

until now. this year it has been cold. and, with the warning of winter coming early this year, and the impending holiday to budapest on the horizon, it was time to start the arduous hunt for boots. i basically know what to avoid, which makes the actual looking part fairly easy. it's when i find a pair that i truly love, one of two things happens. they will either not fit, or they will be out-of-the-question expensive. you all know by now i like a bargain, and it's no different when it comes to shoes. i wear shoes for a season usually then they're gone. after having worked in retail, i never, ever, ever buy anything full price. it's unreasonable in my opinion, knowing it will go on sale in 2 weeks. it always will.

i began my hunt early with the usuals; primark, new look, h&m... nope. moved on to dorothy p, river island and office. nothing. all, nothing. pairs that i liked, none that i loved. weeks passed, and then it was my birthday; and what did my my lovely work friends gift me for my birthday? none other than the always wonderful gift cards. when you have these magical cards, suddenly the worry of cost goes out the window. it's not real money anymore. with this and my 20% off voucher in hand, i marched to new look and lo-and-behold i found the best pair of ankle boots since those precious gems from 'the warehouse' *may they rest in peace*. they were pretty, they had a small heel, they were sturdy, they had studs/spikes on them, and they weren't manly. best of all, they fit, and didn't make my legs look like logs. we had a winner! with my discount voucher and my giftcard, these boots were free and the best investment for winter. joy!

on the weekend just gone, i was hunting for a second, flatter pair. maybe a black pair. i walked into new look and you know what? they come in black now. and not a shiny patent black, a matte, worn in kind of  black that makes them look aged. *oooh aaaah* that same day i remembered checking my email, and seeing they had 25% off shoes for online purchases only. do you wanna know what i did when i got home? i bought those boots too. i got 25% off, plus i still had money on a gift card which i was able to use online. that second pair of boots only cost me 50% of what they sell for instore. and i am over the moon.
i hope these two pairs last me until the day i die, because i can't do this ever again. do you have an item you love/hate shopping for? can you believe i just wrote 1400 words on boots? tell me about it.