The L.A. Native’s Guide to What NOT to wear: skinny jeans and ankle boots

Last season saw the triumphant comeback of the skinny jean and its trusty sidekick–the round toed ankle bootie. Yet another fashion disaster.

I’m just bitter because I’m a victim myself.

Two decades after Aqua Net, rubber neon bracelets and belted t-shirts, these delightful pieces began multiplying like gremlins, escaping the trashy vintage stores on Melrose and off the bodies of those still sporting mullets on Hollywood Boulevard. Suddenly, Barneys, Saks, Neimans–you name it, they all had ’em–skinny jeans and ankle booties.

And even more annoying, you now had to pay the same high price for half the shoe and let’s face it–half the jean.

Let’s forget for a moment that these things were horrid the first time around, that they look good on probably one percent of the population and so pose bleak potential for actually making a profit, and focus instead on the way they infiltrated the system.

Blame the celebrities! Gwyneth Paltrow loves her Balenciaga booties, Lindsay, Kate Moss and Sienna Miller wear theirs with leggings. How is the general population supposed to avoid falling into this marketing trap when its favorite fashion pin-ups are the first ones flinging themselves down the rabbit hole?

When ankle boots and the tapered jean first appeared in W Magazine as “the new trend”, I thought the editors were off their rockers.

In L.A. the only people who dressed like that were the sad souls still wearing their Motley Crue t-shirts and stalking the Sunset Strip.

It’s funny how you tend to forget that once Barneys starts advertising Chloe’s new ankle bootie in the window facing Rodeo Drive. I didn’t even realize I’d succumbed to the campaign.

All I knew was that I had to have the same pair of Chloe ankle booties–in black–that I’d seen Gwyneth wearing (with skinny jeans) on a street in London. Who cared if they made my legs look like tree stumps, or if the skinny jeans I’d squeezed myself into gave me “cankles”? It’s funny what an intelligent girl will do for fashion.

But soon I found the oh-so-trendy bootie really only worked with ONE look–the skinny jean.

And I also, just as quickly discovered that, to model this dynamic duo, I had to stay SKINNY–which is, of course, was why Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Gwyneth were the celebrities wearing them.

After the holidays, trying to stretch those skinny jeans over my calves was a project I just didn’t want to undertake. And, since I always wore my booties with the jeans, before long, both were collecting dust in the back of my closet.

And so, as we now head into a new season advertising the opposite extreme–wide leg trousers–I give you my cautionary tale.

While I’m not sure if eliminating the female figure entirely with a shapeless denim pant is the answer to the skinny jean, we at least now have another option to pair with our ankle booties. Because, after all, when you pay $500 bucks for a pair of shoes, you want to wear those suckers down! At least I do.

Besides, in my new wide legged jeans, no one can actually see my cankles! They just see the fabulous shoe. And that’s cause for celebration right there.


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