It started with a sweet pair of chestnut-colored cowboy boots I found online. I ordered them for myself as a not-so-subtle boost for my spirits after a rough spring about four years ago. We had been on a string of uneven luck, and then I was in a car accident that shattered my right forearm (yes, I’m right-handed) and left me with a terrible fear of driving that took me months to overcome. So I took a jump and bought some cowgirl boots to stride forward into my future.
Then I started teaching at my current school and got a generous gift card during the holidays, which allowed me to purchase a lovely pair of brown leather knee-high boots with olive-green laces up the back during a post-holiday sale. I wore them with a long olive green skirt, got lots of compliments, and started feeling pretty sassy every time I wore them. One more year, and one more generous family later, and I bought a pair of black leather boots kind of like these in another post-holiday sale. Teaching at my current school requires a very different wardrobe, and making that upgrade has definitely been an undertaking. I didn’t always feel like I was getting it right, but in these boots, I felt adult and attractive and appropriate every time.
During the most recent post-holiday sale, I was reading a blog I like and came across a link to a sweet pair of wine-colored suede boots the blogger had ordered herself. I kept going back to that link, and building outfits in my head, and convincing myself that they were such a deal. So finally, I bought them! I wore them last Friday, and they are comfortable and stylish exactly what I had hoped they would be. Slowly but surely, all my favorite cold-weather outfits are featuring pencil skirts, tights and knee-high boots. I love the way they look, the feel of the leather under my fingers, the way they cradle my calves on a chilly day, the polish they add to an ordinary Tuesday.
Maybe it’s because I wore uniforms to elementary school, or maybe it’s because I never had the eye or the money to be fashionable in my younger years. Maybe it’s the increased confidence and comfort with my body that I’m feeling, or the feeling of moving beyond cuteness into definitely adult territory. I’m thinking about hand-stitched red or black cowboy boots, slouchy gray suede heels, smooth caramel stilettos.
Either way, this is one affair I don’t see ending any time soon.