Sunday, September 25, 2011

Boots! Boots! Boots!

A girlfriend of mine is finding herself in a state with a cold fall/winter for the first time in her life so she emailed me with a blog topic idea: how to shop for boots. She said she's never owned a pair of boots other than Uggs, so she needs to know- what's in style but not super trendy, what color to get for her first pair, and slouchy or not? So I'm going to live vicariously through her, ridiculously jealous of the cold winter she's about to enjoy[suffer?], and answer these questions with what I would do if it were me shopping for my first pair of boots ever!

What's in style but not super trendy?
Think classic- I would recommend going with a flat boot that is equestrian-inspired. (this will make her happy because she's a horse rider- but even if she weren't, my recommendation would remain the same.) Go with a round toe, simple, clean details, and a classic length. Meaning, a few inches below the knee is perfect. Knee boots and cropped/ankle boots are currently in style but they won't always be.

What color to get?
If you're buying two pairs of boots you can, of course, buy black and brown. BUT if you're looking to only purchase one pair to start, I'd suggest a light brown pair. A dark brown pair will make it hard to wear them with black- not saying it's impossible to wear black and dark brown. Just saying it takes a little bit of skill to make others sure you didn't do it by accident. And the same with black when you want to wear it with browns. But if you buy a light brown pair, it works easily with either blacks or browns and every color in between.

Slouchy or not?
I'd say no, not if you only have one pair. And also because my girlfriend isn't an overly-tall gal. When choosing and outfit, the goal is always to lengthen the silhouette, and slouchy boots don't do that. However, if you're averagely-tall or tall, and already have several pairs of basic boots already but find yourself craving something new, slouchy is a great way to do that. Otherwise I'd say there are better choices for you.

Example of the boots I'd buy that fit these criteria (going NO darker brown than this):

1)Make sure you own a pair of skinny jeans for your boots. Bootcut jeans just don't look nice tucked into a pair of boots. (though you can wear them under jeans with wider legs) Leggings are great, too. You can wear skirts with boots (and nice, thick tights to stay warm!) but make sure they're either longer than the top of the boot or that they give you a few inches between where the skirt stops and the top of the boot. You don't want a 1" gap because it will make your legs looks shorter than they are.
2)I'm always a believer that you spend good money on timeless items, making sure they're of great fit and quality. That way you only have to buy them once, which saves you money in the long run. Boots are one of the biggest examples of this mindset. You can spend as little as $40/pair at Payless or as much as $1,000+ at Nordstrom. For most people, I would recommend preparing to spend $100-200 on a good pair of real leather boots in a classic style. Yes, to most that's a lot of money for a pair of shoes. But remember, a boot has a lot more leather/material to it than regular shoes do. And if they're real leather, age will make them even better. Otherwise you start to see fraying, soles fall off, etc. Trust me. And boots can be worn fall through spring. So you've got most of the year that you can enjoy them. You might as well spend the money on a great pair of boots that make you smile every time you put them on and are more faithful to you than a Labrador Retriever.

An outfit I'd wear this fall/winter season:

**playing with colors and making unexpected combinations is very "in" right now more than ever. So don't go too safe- start playing! If yellow/green/blue is too crazy for you, just take one step beyond where you're currently comfortable. If you're at home wearing either black or brown plus one color, try adding another color to the mix but grounding and making it "safer" with a black necklace- like black pants with a green top and a yellow or blue scarf.) If you're already comfortable there, try swapping out the black or brown pants for a dark shade of another color- instead of black pants with a green shirt and blue scarf, try the green shirt and a dark royal blue pair of pants.

**And for ideas of what colors to mix together, I look to two places 1)the color wheel. Google "color wheel" and you can easily combine colors that are side-by-side (ex. my love of blue and green together) or directly across the wheel from each other. (ex. green and purple!) 2)nature. God is a pretty great artist. So if a fish can be blue and green, so can you. And if coral can be bright orangey-red in a sea of deep blue, those colors will look great together on you, too!


  1. I am sure I will re-read this at least a couple more times in the next few months but THANK YOU! Now I feel like I am on a track...

    Question: Do you know anything about Aldo boots? I found a pair of boots that fits the criteria but I was hesitant to purchase because it is a lot of money to spend and I am not sure of the quality.

  2. You're welcome :) About Aldo- DO IT! I have two or three pairs of shoes (one that are boots) and I always find Aldo shoes to last me a while, hold up well, and be incredibly comfortable! So in my book, Aldo is a good choice. They aren't the cheapest but I just told you why I love them so I always look there first when buying a pair of shoes. When you buy your boots, shoot me a picture! I can't wait to see what you buy :) Miss you.


    I'm so self- conscious with no heel...

  4. Great post! I am definitely in search of a pair of flat light brown riding boots! I have a classic black pair that I spent good money on (made by Born), this will be the 3rd or 4th winter now and they're doing pretty great. I think it's time for another classic pair and the riding boot is calling my name ;-)

  5. Thanks to this blog post...these lovely boots just arrived in today's mail! (along with two other pairs of boots but these were the jewels of my purchase!)

    Thought I'd share...also I was able to get these and then buy another pair for half off, which isn't a bad deal on $75 boots! Something worth checking out!

  6. JODI YOU MADE MY DAY!!!!! I love your boots- they're beautiful and perfect and I only wish I could wear them! Thanks for sharing your deal- I will pass that on to several people who have mentioned needing to order boots!

    Sarah, I love that we have the same mentality/values when shopping. When you find your brown boots, I would love to see a pic!

    Jamie, if a heel makes you confident, get one with a heel! It will still look great and they'll be even better for you because you will feel confident when you wear them. :)