I am writing in with a little style quandary that was inspired by your recent Style Rules for Moms part 1 – “if your bag is big and dark and leather, rethink the bag”.
It got my wheels turning, and made me realize I may be breaking a similar carnal sin – Wearing too wintery of a boot once the ice cream trucks are in full swing and the Hydrangea's start a-blooming. While I always pack away the non-negotiably winter boot (black, over-the-knee, etc) I have one pair I just can’t seem to let go of for a whole season. I invested in a pair of Fryes a few years ago, (specifically, the Carmen Harness Tall, in Brown), and ever since, I think I may be guilty of wearing these bad boys a little TOO often. I seldom put them away, even in the summer, and have been known to pair them with little sundresses (even though I suspect the “boots + sundress” look might be slightly too Lilith fair 1994 for me to pull off at nearly 35 years of age..)
Anywho, I LIVE for these boots. I wear them with EVERYTHING. In the attached pics, you will see them worn last April (when I was 8 months pregnant):
You will see the Frye Boots on the BEACH, in the sand, in MAY. Gasp! I KNOW.
See? I think I have a boot problem.
I have had my eye on ANOTHER version of the SAME boots, the Carmen Harness short, in a sand or buff color, in the hopes that maybe that would be a little more acceptable in the warmer months to come?
Is this terribly misguided? Am I boot blinded? Save me. Can I wear this kind of boot with a summery dress? I love the way the slouchy distressed boot adds balance to my 5’10, size ten footed, size 12-14 bod. And while I love the look of the shoes you posted last week, I fear the look might not work on my frame. I tried the Madewells Whistlestop sandal you featured, they don’t work for me. Not enough heel maybe, and I felt like they made my legs look stubby. I need a little more of a heel, or else I feel like I walk like Shrek.
Sarah. I have been giggling over your email for the last few days. I LOVE it. I LOVE your style quandary and your phrase "boot blinded". I promise you will see that little gem again on this blog. (But Shrek? OMG – maybe if Shrek was a tall, gorgeous Mama with fab boots and a cute baby. Theeennnn maaaaybe I could see the resemblance.)
But let's chat about your potential boot blindness: You love your boots, you are comfortable in your boots (even in the warm summer weather, at the beach, etc), the boots are obviously fab….but can/should you wear them all summer?
Here's the deal: Sarah, these boots, for now, seem to be your thing. And if you are totally comfortable and happy…then heck yeah! Rock 'em all summer. This is the kind of style diversity I love – it keeps us from all looking like clones.
To make your boots more summery, you are definitely on the right track. Personally, I think the boots + sundress look is a classic. I don't know if it's the Colorado/cowgirl influence or Lilith Fair (yup – you and I are the same age)…but I like it. A lot.
A few days after I received your email, a Sundance catalog came in the mail (IknowIknow). But GUESS WHAT THEY HAD? Yup: Boots. With sundresses. And shorts. Yee haw.
(photo credit: Sundancecatalog.com)
Anyone else surprised by how much they like these looks? Cute, right? And that maxi is too die for.
But Sarah, here's the thing: Your existing boots, although a darker color than the ones pictured, aren't that far off. I think the most important point here is the height. In the summer, a shorter boot looks much better. Observe:
(THE LESSON, Mamas: A lighter boot will almost always be more versatile. So choose carefully.)
Sarah, you could buy the same boot in the lighter color. You could. And I've done the buy-two-in-different-colors-because-the-perfection-is-not-to-be-matched game before. So I get it. HOWEVER. Each and every time I've bought another, uh, <insert fav item that is being worn daily> the minute the new (similar) item arrives…I'm over both of them. Totally. Over. Both.
It's like the magic has worn off. So proceed with caution.
If you are willing to branch out, just a teeny bit, I'm thinking that a boot reminiscent of Isabel Marant or Rachel Comey booties would work:
I don't know how closely you follow trends, but the two above booties are hot. And have caused a whole rash of knock-offs. Steve Madden makes a pretty good one. So does DV. But I'm kinda partial to these:
Marta Crossover Boots, $168
Still boots. With a heel. But the shape, while pleasantly chunky, is a bit more modern, and the zippers are pretty rad. These would pair easily with shorts/sundresses/etc.
OR…if you want to get REALLY WILD AND CRAZY…remember M's shabootie discussion? I'm really loving these:
Chunky Heel Shootie Sandals – OMG! That's the name! Really! $160
The heel might be too high to be practical, but wow. Sundance. Who knew?
Sarah, if I were you, here's what I'd do:
- Try your existing boots with some sundresses and shorts – they just might work.
- Try on a few alternate boot styles (in a lighter color) and a few seriously cool shabooties. See how you feel pairing the new styles with your existing go-to outfits. They might just change the look altogether (in a good way), giving you more wardrobe diversity.
Once you've played around a bit, then make your decision. But really, there's no wrong answer. You have some fab boots, and you are looking at other fab boots. Trust your gut.
(And WOW. Can anyone use 'wardrobe diversity' and 'boot blindness' in the same sentence?)
ps. Wondering why this isn't Part 3 of our Summer Style Rules series? Yeah…it's not ready. In the last article, I'm attempting to clear up crop-pant confusion and Mamas: It is NOT easy. It is starting to feel like rocket science (which makes me laugh – forget missile warning systems – cropped pants are TRICKY. There's so many! With subtle differences! How to break it all down?? Ooooh…my head….) So I'm going to go home and raid my mother's closet – the woman could outfit a baseball team with all of her cropped pants.