Archive for September 6th, 2008

06
Sep
08

Peter Pan revisited

Never before have I loved ankle boots the way I do this year. Though my affection up to now has been single-mindedly for knee-high riding boots with a snug calf, the moment the first cool breeze of September swept into town I found myself salivating over every bootie on the shoe store shelves.

Okay, there was this time back in eighth grade when I had to have a pair of red pixie boots. They were made of buttery-soft leather and featured a snap pocket on each ankle just spacious enough for a quarter. I proudly wore them back to school that autumn, only to be relentlessly heckled. My unwelcome nickname? Peter Pan. The prized booties quickly moved from high rotation to the shoe purgatory in the back of my closet – and I’ve shied away from ankle boots ever since.

Fast-forward twenty-something years and, like a woman struck down by the animal magnetism of blood lust, I’m all-consumed with thoughts of booties. It’s the stiletto versions that catch my eye, with devil-may-care scrunched detailing and neat zippers up the backs. But I walk too much for precarious heels, I’m too urban for even the most citified of urban-cowgirl booties, and the omnipresent fringed, ankle-high moccasins say “Grateful Dead” to me but not “gratefully handing over my credit card.”

I figured it was a crush that would simply have to run its course, unrequited. And then the heavens parted and I came face to face with a pair of Merrell’s Lily boots. Now, Merrell has always been a brand (in my mind) of ultra-practical hiking-walking hybrids. The kind of footwear you pair with a fleece vest and backpack, not a flouncy mini-dress and Boho bag. The Lily boot, however, promises both free-spirited fashion and blister-free comfort. The wedge heel is more girly than girl scout, and the boots come in a shoulder-season-appropriate dove-gray suede.

So, can this ankle boot fashion victim finally come full circle after twenty years of wardrobe trauma? All signs point to a full recovery.

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06
Sep
08

Skinny legs and all: the newest FitFlop

There’s a part of me that wants to believe the FitFlop claim: that I can get a workout simply by wearing shoes. I do that every day – put on shoes — so no need to wrestle another gym time slot into my already over-wrought schedule. And, even better, by trotting around town in these beachy sandals, I’ll achieve slimmer thighs, toned calves, and a perky rear. All of a sudden flip-flops (which I’ve openly abhorred for years) seem downright fabulous.

Only I’m a skeptic at heart and the hard sell smacked too much of late-night infomercial. That, and the initial styles looked like a cross between après soccer wear and orthopedics. Not exactly what I have in mind for pairing with, well, anything. I have a hard time believing that something that looks so clunky is going to work toward making me less chunky. Multi-density midsole: Sure, tell it to my cellulite-dappled derrière.

But the FitFlop makers got savvy to those of us who don’t want to look like we were discharged from some hospital and decided to bring the wardrobe with us. Enter the “Aurelia,” a made-for-Xena-the-Warrior-Princess gladiator or glamorous proportions. Part sandal, part lace-up boot, the shoe was born of an unlikely collaboration between the U.K.-based FitFlop company and New York’s style-draw boutique Kirna Zabête.

The result is neither solely utilitarian fitness fad nor snooty glamazon. Instead, the Aurelia resides in some previously unknown land between those two camps. It’s made for kicking a** and taking… phone numbers. I like to think that, had Scarlette O’Hara owned a pair, Rhett would have given a damn. If the fairy godmother had blessed Cinderella with a pair, she wouldn’t have lost the silly glass slipper – nor would she have been waiting around for a Prince or a pumpkin on wheels. And Repunzel. With the leg-strengthening promised, she could’ve repelled right on out of that enchanted tower. It’s all about the right footwear at the right time (personally, I’ve worn enough of the wrong footwear to vouch for the validity of this statement) and if the Aurelia is right for anything, it’s got to be heroic acts.

I have yet to strap myself into a pair of these newest FitFlops. The limited edition style is currently available by reservation, through the company’s Website. They may or may not do all the things they promise (this is an election year and promises are flying fast and furious), but anything that brings me – skinnier legs or not – closer to Xena status, can’t be all wrong.




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