Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Boots are Back in Town

Earlier Drafts:
I wore these boots with a wrap dress and with a strapless top.
I sported these linen shorts during dinner with Katie and Liz.
I donned this chambray top with a skirt in need of alterations.
I paired this braided belt with a neon shirtdress.

chambray peasant top (H&M)
heart charm necklace (F21)
linen shorts (Lulu's)
braided belt (Lulu's)
boots (Steve Madden via Marshalls)

Is it boot season yet?  Reader Michelle wants to know!  Last Wednesday, during Wardrobe Workhorse Week, she wrote:

"One of my own workhorse preferences is currently singing its autumn siren call: boots! I know WWW is happening while SSG headquarters continues to endure the mid-Atlantic heat, but what take do you lovely ladies have on what might just be my fall favorite?"

We're with you, Michelle!  Despite the lingering summer heat, Katie, Liz, and I are anxious for the reintroduction of boots.  Like you, we consider boots some of our favorite wardrobe reliables, even if they are technically out of season.  Liz values her grey, slouchy numbers for their comfort and style.  Katie's looking forward to reviving these fabulous knee-highs, which she snagged on deep discount at the end of last fall.  And I'm itching to restore these cowboy kickers to my regular shoe rotation.

That's why I paired them with linen shorts for an outing at a local farmers market.  The weather was just breezy enough to merit the boots over these woven sandals, so I took advantage of it.  For an outdoor afternoon, the outfit seemed like the ideal transition between seasons: the long sleeves and the boots welcome autumn, while the shorts and the washed-out hues hang onto summer.

It appears a few notable dressers have the same idea.  Brooklyn Decker, for instance, wore a similar ensemble while strolling Manhattan streets, pairing worn-in waders with jean shorts for a bohemian vibe.  Katy of Kansas Couture recently sported boots with gauzy dresses here and here, too.  Since others are pairing leather leg-huggers with traditional summer-wear, it seems we're not alone in our bootsache.  (Lame? Maybe? "Bootsache"?)

Personally, I think boots are workhorses precisely because they can bridge dramatic changes in temperature.  Worn thoughtfully - and perhaps a tad ironically - they function as valuable cross-season footwear.  I've worn them with tank tops in August when my pedicures have suffered and, in the same month, when I've wanted to rough up my warm-weather frocks.  I've also worn them in the thick of fall with corduroys and sweaters.  So, in many ways, boots act like blazers in my closet: they make seasonal transitions smooth and stylish.

What's your take on boots? Is it time to break 'em out?

  • When do you reinstate boots to your closet?  On a specific calendar date?  According to certain temperatures?  Or do you wear them year-round?
  • Do you think boots are cross-season workhorses, or do you think they belong only in cooler weather?
  • Does a boot's height matter to you when deciding whether or not to wear it cross-season?  For example, would you say 'yes' to an ankle boot in the summer but 'no' to a knee-high version?  What other factors make a difference?


Plummy said...

I totally wear my boots year-round! Although I think that's due, in a large part, to my jobs. This past summer I worked retail in a *highly* air-conditioned mall, so I always wore tights and a cardigan, and my boots did not feel out of place. Now I'm working in a school, and the boots help me feel more professional and polished! If I wasn't working in such a professional, chilly job over the summer, then I would probably retire my boots between the beginning of June and the beginning of September. Once September hits, all bets are off and I am busting out my fall clothing! (I also live in an area where it is usually gray and rainy, even in the summer, so 'season' is more of a frame of mind, lol)

Diana said...

For me, when I break out my boots is definitely dependent on temperature, as I absolutely detest having hot feet and I walk around outside enough that the temperature matters. This makes me sad, because I actually really wanted to wear boots this summer, but Boston weather does NOT allow that (at least for me). I wore boots yesterday (cloudy and in the low 70s) and my feet were still a little uncomfortable but it was not unbearable, so I'm hoping to bust out the boots full-time soon! I've already worn my little booties, but I don't know if that counts as full-on boots... Boots are my favorite shoes, hands-down, since they can be both cute and comfortable with little trouble (can wear socks, can usually put in arch supports, no cutting into the back of your ankle) and look great with pretty much everything. For me, I would call boots three-season footwear.


I'm actually trying to ignore my bootache, b/c I live in such a temperate climate that I could easily wear them every day of the year if I wasn't careful. Since we don't really have seasons here, I'm going by the calendar and wearing my sandals/flats until the official onset of Fall on Sept 21. My boots will awaken from their summer hibernation next week!

Scholar Style Guide said...

Plummy and Monkeyface, it sounds like you both mark otherwise indistinct seasons with season-specific apparel. I remember doing the same thing when I lived in Louisiana. In the south's humid subtropical climate, jackets and boots are optional, so we let calendar months - rather than weather shifts - dictate our apparel. Can't wait to see you both break out the boots in the coming weeks!

Diana, I like boots for their ease, too! Nothing beats looking cute and feeling comfortable simultaneously. Now that I live in a more temperate area of the country, I make footwear decisions according to temperature like you do.

Thanks for your detailed responses, ladies! Keep us posted on your first-of-the-season boots ensembles!


Iris said...

It's not cold enough here for boots yet but, I am looking forward to breaking some out of the back of my closet when it gets a little cooler!

Scholar Style Guide said...

Me too, Iris! I'm tempted to buy booties just so I can fit in some premature bootwearing. Their height (or lack thereof) makes them seem more warm-weather appropriate to me. :)


Boz said...

Hey Anne-Marie!

I meant to say thanks for the shout-out and responding to my call-to-boots! Two pairs have made it into rotation already this semester, one of them just today. The others will soon follow, no doubt. I let the weather be my guide rather than a particular date on a calendar, but now that October is peeking its autumnal-hued head around the corner, I say boot season is ON.