Monday, February 3, 2014

Faking a fair weather flat

It's been snowing. *sigh* Again.

Sandal weather isn't even a distant glimmer on the horizon, and flats are like masterful little precipitation collectors; so sometime around mid December I started asking myself, "what I do for my feet when I'm ankle-(or knee)-deep in winter but still want to look good"? 

When I started really thinking about it the answer was right in front of me the whole time, and yet has proven to be so hard to find!

I'm fond of my bones and skin (and my shoes come to think of it) so all of my high heels are right out. I need a foul weather shoe with a low heel for stability and smooth enough treading on the bottom that snow and ice doesn't pack up into the treads as that ends up being cold, dangerous, and messy.

I have a pair of Born half calf boots in a tobacco pebbled leather which are exactly what I outline above. They are comfortable and serviceable but they are so very decidedly comfortable and serviceable. That's them up there, if you hadn't already guessed. I got them for camping and outdoors stuff and they're really honestly FABULOUS for that, and that is the only way in which they could ever be described as fabulous. I don't actually like them in the least, but that's what I've been wearing any time the weather has been bad since that's pretty much all I've got that won't lead to a broken neck.

Actually not 100% true. I do have a pair of Cherry Red Patent Doc Marten's which do surprisingly well in snow as long as I'm wearing heavy socks, but I'm just not into them at the moment.
What? I'm a goth AND they were on sale AND I had a bit of a red shoe *thing* going on at the time. So shiny!

Knee high riding boots are a long established Northeast winter essential, but I don't tend to wear my boots fully visible in crappy weather. I only have one pair of skinny jeans and none of my boots are wide enough to wear over them except the Born boots, and that is NOT a good look (yes, I've checked).

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What I've been looking for is something that looks as good with full length or slightly cuffed pants as they would over skinnies. Equestrian boots are gorgeous when you can SEE them, but I spent the majority of my twenties in knee high combat boots and frankly, I'm just plain tired of dropping hundreds of dollars on low heeled boots that don't have any interest below the ankle. 
I want winter appropriate kicks that make a statement no matter what I'm wearing them with!

During good (but not quite sandal) weather when I want to wear flat shoes that look nice I reach for...

*drumroll* my flats

I know that seems obvious but flats really tend to be a different kind of creature with different points of interest than sandals or pumps or boots, and I got to wondering what it was that set them apart. 
Desperately in need of a shoeshine day! I don't think it's hard to figure out which is my go-to pair.
Left to right: Miz Mooz - Ditto, Candies, Born - Keynes, Croft & Barrow, Croft & Barrow
Flats come in all manner of colours and rich materials and they they are very likely to have some manner of interest on the toe, whether that be a contrasting material, a bow, a horse bit, some intricate structural detailing, or openwork. They look equally great with jeans, shorts, skirts, you name it, because they are usually interesting to look at, even if you can only see the toe.
I started looking at boots with an eye to this aesthetic and found that people just don't tend to put that sort of detailing on the toe of a low heeled boot. Well, except in Western boots, there are some AMAZING western boots out there, but that's not really my style.

So far the only boots I've found which start to fulfill the perimeters I've been looking for are wingtip designs. The Megan ankle boot by Miz Mooz, which I got for Christmas in the whiskey colour shown below is a great example of this style with some bonus spat-like buttony/lacey ankle action. Admittedly I'm not the hugest wingtip fan and I feel the really sexy parts are those further up near the ankle, but at least it has SOMETHING going on!

I'm still a bit afraid to wear them out into the deeper snow but I have gotten them wet and the colour seems to have bounced back just fine. If anything they're getting a lovely dark patina around the bottom edge. I do want to weather protect them, but clear wax drastically changed the colour of another pair of Miz Mooz boots I own (Janessa in grey - a discontinued style) so I'm iffy about messing with these too much.

 My next goal is to find a second pair of "knee high statement flats" but this time I'm looking for a looser, taller, non-wingtip boot with a lower heel, preferably in black or charcoal as I've somehow ended up with more pairs of brown boots than black!

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