Clothes paint a person with personality, but what stories lie within each piece?
These boots were made for walking. Literally. They have taken me through the cobblestone streets of Paris twice over, on treacherous moped rides in Italy, and from class to class in pouring rain. They’re wrinkled, worn, and slouching in stature, and I couldn’t love them more. Little did I know, when I ordered them off a random Canadian website in high school, they would become my most badass boots for years to come. As badass as boots without zippers or studs can be... Back then, I wore them with black tights and a gray mini dress to proudly combat the we-wear-uggs-and-look-smug attitude among the Abercrombie-clad girls at my school. Whenever anyone asked where I got them, I proudly proclaimed, “they’re vintage!” Sans sheepskin AND anonymous? Clearly, I thought I was cutting-edge.
I brought them with me on my trip to Europe junior year, hoping they would camouflage me as a local (they didn’t). I packed maybe one other pair of shoes, as the boots went with everything, and even if they didn’t… well, I wore them anyway. When I moved to Los Angeles for college, I stuffed them in my suitcase without thinking twice, although judging from the fact that I also took my entire closet with me, I wasn't concerned with practicality. I lived for the cold(er) months, when I could happily retrieve them from the back of my closet and walk to my lit class feeling all bookish and cool. One time in the cafeteria, my friend commented that I looked really “East Coast” that day, in my boots, jeans, and green military jacket. Apparently she actually thought I was from the East Coast, despite having known me for a year, but that’s beside the point (I’m from Seattle). Needless to say, I have always been drawn to New York and Europe, so maybe that’s how this affinity for scuffed boots came about.
After taking them to a cobbler to veil the wear and tear, I gladly stuffed them in my suitcase once again for my study abroad in Paris. You would think by then I had invested in a new pair of boots, like some really slick black ones, but I never did. I figured I would find some cool Euro ones in a hidden hole-in-the-wall shop, but I also never did (at least not any that bore a price tag I could get on board with). So, I wore my boots everywhere. Seriously, everywhere. I wore them while climbing the Eiffel Tower, getting lost in the Louvre, and gallivanting from metro to bar to crepe stand to bar and back again. And guess what? I never got a blister. There was a horrible ingrown toenail incident, but the cause is unrelated. Granted, I didn’t look nearly as chic as the French women draped in A.P.C. and Maje, but hey, those boots got me from point A to point D, and they do have a little European swag, no? I often paired them with black tights, a black skirt, and a leather jacket. C’etait chic (or so I thought).
As I write this now, my boots are in the back of my closet again, waiting for the next chilly day, which in Los Angeles, will be in about six months or so. This isn't so terrible, because if they could talk, they'd probably say, "we're beat."