Friday, February 2, 2007

Be True to Your Boots

A reader writes:

I just bought a pair of boots that a few people seem to have taken issue with. I adore them. I just wanted to know your thoughts on the subject...

(The boots in question.)

My thoughts on the subject are: Robin, those are some bitchin' boots. I love 'em. I myself have a pair of black square-toed Justin harness boots that have been with me for some years and that I just love. They make me feel all tough and take-charge.

Judging from Robin's website, she probably has plenty of cool stuff to wear with these boots. I myself would like to see them with a really slick, fitted suit -- cigarette pants (or maybe cropped flares) and a close-fitting shrunken jacket. Something like this:

(Balenciaga S/S 2007 -- M. Ghesquiere's usual razor-sharp pants.)

Or, if you were feeling really adventurous, this:

(Alexander McQueen Fall 2007 -- this whole collection blew me away. But then, almost everything he does blows me away.)

The color & pattern of the suit are less important than the shape in this instance.

I'm also really in love right now with a knee-length skirt worn with mid-calf boots, especially if the skirt has a little volume to it:

(Who can resist Anna Sui? Certainly not me. S/S 2007)

(Nathan Jenden Fall 2006. I think I'd want the hem a couple of inches shorter with the boots, but the shape is great. Also, an excellent example of my hypothesis that the sleeve is a key fashion element right now. We're having a major Sleeve Moment.)

As for people "taking issue" with your boots... Of course, when I read that I rolled my eyes so hard that I may have sprained an ocular muscle (if there is such a thing). I am more than a little familiar with this phenomenon, and after long years of raised eyebrows and disapproving glances at my more adventurous fashion choices, I've worked out a thorough position on other people's "issues" with my clothes and it is this:

So what?

We can fall back on the High School Rationale (They're just jealous!) or the Superior Attitude (Philistines. They just don't understand.) to deal with other people's disapproval. But after a lot of probing over a lot of time, I've come to realize it's often just a matter of people being uncomfortable with something new & different. Simple as that. Now, as someone for whom novelty is one of the cardinal virtues, being threatened by it is a little mysterious to me, but a lot of folks are.

Most of us, whether we admit to being Slaves to Fashion or not, actually do have a good deal invested in our personal styles. That doesn't mean we all spend hours trolling the stores and style sites, but on at least a subconscious level I think most people realize that the clothes we wear out of the house are our uniform and our armor and reflect who we are. Even people who claim never to give a single thought to what clothes they throw on every day can look at a style radically different from what they usually sport and say, "Oh, that's so not me." It's not "you"? Why isn't it "you"? Why couldn't it be "you"? Maybe, just maybe, that thing that "isn't you" bugs you so much because deep down you want it to be you and you're not convinced it could. But this is not true! Every single one of us can be anything we want, which is the really wonderful, fun, transformative thing about clothes and fashion. If you wake up feeling like a Fairy Princess, you can put on a skirt with a tulle underlayer. If you wake up feeling like a Hollywood Goddess, you can put on a bias-cut charmeuse dress. If you wake up feeling like an astronaut... well, okay, I got nothin' there, but you understand what I'm saying.

Of course, there is another, simpler answer: They just don't like the boots. That's okay, too. You like 'em, they're your feet, you wear what makes you happy. Life, my friends, is hard enough. Some days are a battle just to get through, and I don't know a single person who at some point or another in any given week doesn't feel like they want to crawl in a hole somewhere.

You should at least get a kick out of your own boots.


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