Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Your Clothes May Be, Beau Brummelly

Pin It Do you remember when I wrote this post? About wanting to buy boots but feeling confused and frightened?  Erm, FOUR years ago?

If you haven't, go read it. 

(It's o.k., I'll wait.) 

(Context is important.)


I think I am finally ready to take the plunge and buy my first pair of actual boots.

(WHAT.  I need time to germinate on things, people. I am a germinator.)

(Wait. Can you germinate on things?)

(Maybe OVER things?)

(ABOUT things?)


Right now my Winter Footwear Collection a la 2011 consists of:
  • One pair of running type sneakers that I bought in a fit of extremely misguided couch to 5K enthusiasm
  • One pair of ankle boots (which are fine for wearing under jeans, but am I right when I guess that you probably shouldn't wear them with a skirt?) (Because some Sundays I waver, wondering if that would be acceptable.) (But I'm thinking - NOT ACCEPTABLE.) (Right?)
  • One pair of actual snow boots (which are fine for shoveling driveways and sledding down our side-yard AS PER ILLUSTRATION but I'm guessing NOT FINE for fashion?) (click to embiggen)
  • One pair of grandma shoes (complete with fuzzy socks, which - I'm sorry, but Stacey and Carlton can kiss my lint covered left toe - I will never part with them) (I spent the penny)
You're all jealous of my shoes, I CAN FEEL IT.

I was griping on Facebook about the fact that I am now wearing a size 6 (BRAGGY) and yet still cannot stuff my ginormous calves into half of the boots at Payless (NOT BRAGGY) and Carina let me know that I SHOULD NEVER BUY BOOTS AT PAYLESS or I would BE SORRY, SO SO SORRY because they would fall apart as soon as I wore them out in public for the first time, causing people to point and laugh.

She then emailed me a selection of wide-calf boots (that term makes me feel bad about myself) (can't we call them boots for the differently calved or something?) that I could buy online, but I'm nervous about buying anything online, because if I buy them, and they look stupid, then I have to actually SEND THEM BACK, which I will never do (this is why Netflix is still hunting for me), and then I will end up with YET ANOTHER pair of stupid looking shoes.  So I need to buy something live and in person. 

Since that is the case, where do I buy them? (Shoe stores still frighten me, and shoe salespeople - definitely still the most terrifying people on earth.)

Other things I do not know:
  • Are we wearing black and brown together these days, or does that ALSO cause people to point and laugh?  So like, if I have a black coat (I DO) can I wear my brown boots with it, or do I need to get black boots?  But then what do I do when I am wearing brown clothing? 
  • Buckles or no buckles?  Do we care about buckles?  Is that a thing? 
  • If I buy a pair of boots THIS year am I going to look totally dated four years from now when I get up the courage (and funds) to buy a second pair?
  • HOW TALL?  I mean, what is the optimum height for these-are-my-only-boots boots?  Mid-calf? Knee-high?  Thigh-high? What will I get the most wear out of? 
  • (I'm guessing not thigh high.  That would be sort of - well, not slutty, I'm a little old for slutty, but - sad and inappropriate for sure.)  
  • If I get just under knee high boots can I wear them constantly or is it like with sweaters, where if you wear them more than once a week people will start judging you?
  • How do I wear them?  See, I thought you tucked your jeans INTO your boots, but then - WHY DO WE HAVE BOOT CUT JEANS?
  • When is it appropriate not to wear socks with shoes?  Not boot-related just a general question. 
  • I'm so confused.

(I am asking about my electrified hairs, not my wrinkles, shut up.)  It's my gray hairs, dyed blonde (actually a strange shade of orange at the moment, SHUT UP AGAIN) and apparently intent upon making the jump over onto somebody else's head.  I can't tame them.  What do I do?  Is there - is there a magical potion I can use?  A serum?  I have some of that non-frizz serum and it does nothing except make me look like an oil slick. 

I also have - some type of putty that you are supposed to - I don't know - rub all over your hands and then run your hands through your hair and -  I - I don't know.  The instructions are so vague.  You're supposed to put a coin (WHAT COIN) sized amount in your hand, then rub it around a little (HOW MUCH), then "work it" into your hair (HOW), ensuring that you've placed almost undiscernable amounts of pasty type stuff in strategic places (WHAT PLACES).  As you can imagine, THIS IS NOT WORKING FOR ME.

ALSO NOT WORKING:  Spraying hair spray on my hands and trying to smooth them down.  This mostly angers them.

So I have a lot of questions, basically.


PS:  OH - if you are bored today, I updated my sidebar links to other people's posts. (I know, I shouldn't have.)


  1. I wear brown and black all the time. No one points and laughs. If they did I would punch them in the nose and continue to wear my brown and black.
    I'm against buckles, but thats just a personal preference. I, like you, only buy boots every few years.
    I think boots are the only shoes you can buy that never really get "dated".
    Knee-high. They are the sexiest but can still be worn under jeans.
    I wear my boots all the freaking time. No one has judged me yet!
    The only boots you tuck your pants into are Uggs. You do not want to buy Uggs. You would wear these with a skirt (I would stick to knee length or longer) or under pants.
    It is never appropriate to wear socks without shoes.

    Hope this helps!

  2. I have big calves and I love them. I have strong, muscular calves that would never fit in the paltry, starved-as-a-baby calf-space of a payless boot. Stand talla nd be proud and if anyone gives you grief over your calf, kick them hard in their skinny shins.

  3. OK, about the pokey hairs. Ignore them. It's a plot. They are going to live there no matter what you do.
    The boots........can't help here. There is no such thing as comfortable/functional/normal boots.
    They just don't happen. Wear your flip flops all winter. Saves time and money.

    I love your post. These are some of lifes most toughest questions.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Oh, Sue, I love you! You make me smile!!! I have zero help for you because my shoe dilemma is finding cute shoes in a size 11 so I hate shoe shopping too! BUT I have a question for the women of earth that your blog will reach: How do seemingly all other women make their shaven legs stay smooth all day...like more than 2 hours after shaving them? Seriously. Cuz I must be doing something wrong and at 39 years old I STILL have not figured this out!

  5. I'm looking for a pair of boots, too. I do not understand them.

  6. WAIT. I meant shoes without socks. SHOES WITHOUT SOCKS.

    Really, you are not supposed to tuck your jeans into your boots? Really?

    Also, what about moon boots? I ASK YOU. (I'm not clear on exactly what I'm asking here, but I thought I would throw it out there.)

    Michelle - my legs are bumpy approximately 7.5 seconds after I shave them, so - I join you in your quest for leg related information. Seriously, RIGHT when I shave them I can still see the follicles with hair sprouting in them. THIS IS NOT RIGHT.

  7. Oh, look, you're spared my leaving a novel-comment because it's time to take the kindergartener to school. I'LL BE BACK.

  8. Since you plan on only buying one pair of boots this season, go with black. Black can be worn with anything - even brown. Buckles or no buckles, it's a personal preference. If you get a simple boot without too many details, you can wear them until they fall apart. I'd go with knee high. They can be worn with skirts, jeans or pants. As far as wearing jeans tucked in or over the boot, it depends on the cut of the jeans. Boot cut - obviously, over the jeans. But since you are now a skinny size 6, you might want to buy a skinny jean that can be worn inside the boot. As long as you change up what you're wearing with your boots, it doesn't make any difference if you wear them every day. However, people may judge if you wear the same pants and sweater every day. OK to wear shoes without socks. But IMO, it isn't sensible in the winter time. However, I tend to be a practical old lady who doesn't want cold feet.

    Why don't you spend some time browsing online to get an idea what kind of boots you like and then, since you work at Gateway, head to the shoe store on the north end, right side (can't remember the name). There are sales people there, but they are generally unhelpful unless you are looking for a size.

    But don't delay too long, because right around Christmas, all the boots will disappear and you will only have flip flops and sandals to choose from. Which makes no sense to me because we still have the worse snowy, cold months ahead of us.

    I may sound like an expert on all this, but I credit your cousin, Kelly, with my boot savvy.

    Your hair issues - that's another comment.

  9. Oh, and moon boots...even I know that you should stay away from those unless you are actually planning on going to the moon.

  10. I'm not a super amount of help on the hair, but as for the boots, I think if the ankle boots are nice enough that you would wear them with dress pants, you can wear them with a skirt. You just need to wear some sort of leg covering (nylons, leggings). I wear grey ankle boots to church all the time.

    Bootcut jeans are supposed to go over the boots. I'm still opposed to buying "skinny leg jeans", but that's what you are tuck in. If I want to tuck, I just roll my pant legs tight and tuck it in!

    Oh, and my calves don't fit in most zip up boots either. It just means that you have nice defined legs. It's sexy, I promise.

    Wow, this comment is so long! There is a lotion that my friend uses that makes the hair thinner to make shaving last longer. I have no idea what brand. Sorry.

  11. I see people with jeans in boots all the time. But not regular jeans that get all bunchy at the top. Like skinny jeans or jeggings. (If you're into the jeggings thing, which I am not.)

    If you're looking for wide calf boots on the cheap, try Target. I hear they have a couple of pair that are great for wide calf people like us.

    I don't have them, because I'm in freaking Canada. With no Targets. :(

  12. Gained some boot knowledge in Europe. Here goes:

    Tuck only skinny jeans into boots. And yes, buy a pair or 7 pairs. Whatever. I recommend the H&M slim. It's skinny with a regular waist (not low) and a little stretch. I own lots of these all in different sizes. just in case.

    And if you don't want your boots to be outdated soon, buy a pair of 'riding' looking boots. British-ish. Think Ralph Lauren. Something like this: http://www.shoebuy.com/etienne-aigner-chastity/481212/1017649

    Go with a flat, you'll look classy and actually be able to wear them in the inevitable winter weather.

    Nordstroms is your best bet (with accompanying creepy sales clerks). or Dillards (less creepy, but still).

    Good luck!!!

  13. And hasn't your sister, Wendy, shared her secret about leg shaving? Use conditioner instead of soap or shaving cream. Also, ALWAYS use a good skin cream, on your legs after shaving. Smith's has a good cream (Kroger brand) that's just like Eucerin, but half the price.

  14. Just under the knee boots are the most universal. I'd get those. You can wear black and brown together, but since that takes a little courage I'd buy the color that matches more things in your wardrobe.

    Be brave sister. I'm pretty sure this is what the general authorities are talking about when they say we can do hard things.

  15. Okay, my response here is going to be complex. First, where do i get my own Grandma Cebe? I have no such person in my life, and I think I would benefit from having one. Second, I agree with Angie. If you need assurance as to your choices, put them on and then go to a mall you don't usually use and see if people stop, point, stare and laugh. If they don't - so, meh - you should be fine. Black and brown, my husband, who really has no style at all, used to hate them together -but he is changing, which is part of his charm.

    I used to love boots - up to the knee ones. But that was when I went places. Wearing them around the house is a little silly - or a little - um = what is it called when you enjoy wearing corsets? So the only boots I own are actually functional barn boots, which I would probably be arrested for wearing in any actual human living environment. There are some boots in one of my horse catalogues that I want to own, badly - but they are $278 dollars, and I'd want to wear them as a sort of Irish Horse Owner thing - for real, but have them magically never get dirty. They are SOOOOO cool. I'd have to save for five years in this economy and then the microwave I bought yesterday (third major appliance to go out this year) would go out, and I'd have to spend the money on that.

    I would NEVER buy boots with high or skinny heels. First of all, the concept just annoys me, and second, I thought boots were supposed to be made for walkin'.

    I wish you luck with this. You and your size 6. I am an eight with seemingly no hope for a 6 - unless I stop buying my jeans at Eddie Bauer (which I do religiously every five or so years) and find a store that carries brands that are more friendly to middle aged reality.

    And I think that's everything. You'll look great. Tuck or not tuck. Tucking shows off the boot, but looks a little poser, since most women who buy boots do not actually ride horses, which is what the boots are actually for. Unless they are for walking in deep snow, and then moon boots should be just fine. or eskimo ones.

    In other words, I am not the person to ask.

  16. Get flat boots not heals, Just below the knee, and probably without buckles cause then you can dress them up. Although, buckles are darling. And you really need a pair of skinny jeans to go with them.

    My absolute favorite pair of boots are actually grey, but brown and black are pretty equal. I wear the two colors together all the time. Brown coat, black shoes, who cares.

    I got my boots at Forever Young in the University Mall and they've lasted a long time and they are inexpensive. Don't know if they are for thin or thick calves but you might try it out. Nordstrom has great boots but you have to empty your wallet and then some.

    Trying to learn how to do my hair and what products to use is like learning a second language. To hard to want to try. Let me know what you find out ;)

  17. Grandma Cebe said what I would say. Skinny jeans in boots. (Though I think this is a hard look for even skinny girls to pull off because HELLO, THIGHS.) If you have more brown/warm toned stuff, I'd go with brown. If you have more black/grey/cool toned clothes, I'd go with black. Personal preference. I know people mix all the time, but I feel weird doing it. I personally prefer a bit of heel to the riding boots, but only because I'm freakishly short. I think fewer details = classic. Buckles, fur, laces = trendy. Just depends on what you prefer. I found some boots a few years ago at Target that I really like. They have a 2 inch heel and a small band of elastic at the top for stretch. And definitely go just-under-the-knee.

    I wear flats without socks all the time.

    About the hair: do you have a good conditioner? I use Garnier Sleek and Shine. Next thing: blow drying. Make sure you're blowing DOWN the cuticle. If you tip your head over and stick the dryer up there, you're breaking all the cuticles. Take a brush or comb and blow on a low speed with the cuticle. When it's dry, set your hair with the "cool" setting. (Trick I learned just a year or two ago.) Your hair will be hot, then cooled quickly, hence the setting.

    If you're still having the fly-aways, use a bit of that pomade on your finger tips. Pick a few pieces that are driving you crazy and pull them with your pomade fingers. Then lay them back down with your non-pomade hand. Maybe take a fine tooth comb to it. Or do the blow-dryer on low heat then cool.

    It's not an exact science. Also, remember that no one cares as much as you do. (I have to constantly remind myself of this. No one is paying as much attention to me as I think they are. Much to my dismay. Or delight?.....)

    Hope that helps. You're gorgeous and hilarious.

  18. Holy long comment, Batman. Also, with the smooth legs -- whenever my legs don't stay smooth, I know it's time to change my blade.

  19. I can't read right now, but I must say your title delights my soul.

  20. OK, I lied. I shouldn't have read right now, but when you sing the siren song of Sue, I cannot resist.

    Also http://www.oprah.com/style/The-Best-Boots-for-Big-Calves

  21. K - I'm not Sue's grandma, just her know-it-all aunt. Her grandma (my mother) would probably have plenty of advice for her, but maybe not concerning boots. I'm willing to adopt you, however.

  22. Okay, I'm back, and people have already said a lot of what I would say, which is great (but which does not, unfortunately, ensure that my comment will be short).

    I hear you on buying in person. My mom says it really is easy to send things back to Zappos (which has free returns) but I'm still afraid I'd forget until it was too late. Plus, since in person I usually try on twenty pairs of shoes to find one I like, I really don't like those odds for shipping things back. I feel the same about clothes-shopping online; I'd love to shop online if I didn't have such bad luck finding things that are flattering even when I can try them on in person.

    With boots, this makes things very hard because in my experience, NO stores carry wide-legged boots at their brick-and-mortar locations. (Also, I would love to see the links Carina sent you, because all the wide-legged boots I've found were for some reason designed to be uglier than skinny ones.)

    I have some Merrell boots that are warm and comfortable and good-looking, that I can *just barely* zip over skinny jeans. (By "skinny jeans," I obviously mean jeans with narrow-cut legs, since no jean that would fit me could actually be "skinny.") But I just did an image search and it looks like this year's line of Merrells are clunkier-looking than mine. (Mine are not really a dress boot, but are classic-looking.) Merrells are not cheap but will last; mine look good as new after being worn a lot.

    A good shoe store (Nordstroms) will have a boot calf stretcher they can use after you've committed to buy a boot. But it will only give you an extra half inch at best. (But that half inch made the difference for my Merrells.)

    Mid-calf boots can be an answer if you can find some that are pretty and comfortable. (Although knee-high is more versatile, as everyone's said.)

    I was just thinking yesterday that "What Not to Wear" is such a negative name for a show, and although officiousness and snark are dramatic and engaging for TV, in real life I'm tired of so that mean-spiritedness carrying over into how people think about fashion. Yes, many or even most people often get fashion wrong (as any trip to Walmart will confirm, and any trip the People of Walmart site will sear into your brain) but still, lately life is so short, and so much less pleasant when we humans are habitually hard on each other. So I'd rather have a show called something like "Gentle Suggestions For Things To Wear That Might Make a Marginal Improvement In Your Appearance."

    Likewise, I recommend spending some time at the Sartorialist's site, which will show you that people with money wear things that are stupid or ugly or make no sense just as often (or maybe more often) than poor people. This can be a liberating observation.

    All that said, I agree with all those above who said that knee-high leather boots in brown, black, or gray (whichever color appeals most to you) with a flat or low heel will serve you well and look great.

  23. I have a pair of flat, cognac, riding boots and I wear them most of the time in fall/winter. I wear them with my skinny jeans tucked in. Cognac is the perfect color imo, it goes with just about everything, both black and brown. And it is gorgeous!

    And I agree with Wonder Woman, the fewer details, the more classic and the longer use you will get out of them. Something simple similar to these: http://www1.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/frye-boots-paige-tall-riding?ID=582387&PartnerID=LINKSHARE&cm_mmc=LINKSHARE-_-n-_-n-_-n&LinkshareID=J84DHJLQkR4-KhSY3Ye83RLRZVNA.DeFQw

  24. Oh, come on Grams. Can I call you Grams? I think you should let me, on account of my being a grandparentless orphan. Yes? Yes? No?

    (I should stop now, she knows where I live and might smite me with an umbrella.)

    Jami - I love some of those boots but alas and alack, they are all way over my teeny tiny budget. Which means that probably you should buy them for me.

    WonderWoman, so are you saying that my 99 cent Suave conditioner is not going to cut it?

    K - the last line of your comment made me snort. As did Amy's.

    Kara, I would feel like a fraud even venturing into Forever Young. I'm also afraid of Forever 21. I avoid Forever 21 for this same reason. I'm afraid they will chase me from the store shouting epithets about poser thirty-nine year olds. (THIRTY NINE. IMAGINE IT.)
    I am drinking in all of this advice. Just DRINKING IT IN.

  25. (I came in under 4,096 characters that time! It's a Thanksgiving miracle!) (See if you can find an extra word "so" accidentally left in one of my sentences. (No, never mind.) Oh, and I also didn't mean "lately life," either.)

  26. My boot experience:
    I have boots from Payless that I have had for over a year and they have yet to fall apart at the seams and leave me in sock feet.
    I also have boots from online. They happen to be my favorite boots. (dsw.com)
    I have big calves and I have been able to find boots I love.
    You can wear boots over and under jeans. The nice thing about wearing them under? Nobody knows that they are boots unless you pull up your pant leg to show them. Refrain from this activity and you should be fine.
    Buckles are trendy, buckles are jingly. If you are constantly sneaking up on people I would suggest no buckles.
    I think that boots that go just under the knee are the best. They go with jeans, under jeans, with long and short skirts, with swimsuits (if you are into that kind of thing), and with any coat you have.
    I fear that is the extent of my knowledge.

  27. Copy, Paste. You are my shoe issue twin.

    Except I am not a size 6.

  28. I'm probably overstaying my welcome here...but if this grandma who found some skinny jeans, meant for grandma types, can wear them inside her black boots and have people tell me I look great...you, of the size 6, can certainly wear them. Of course, I have to say that those comments came from people who actually love me very much and are required to say those kinds of things(son, daughter, husband). If there are strangers laughing at me...well, I just don't care.

  29. Sue - you may not call me Grams. Even my own grandchildren can't call me that. And seeing as how my oldest is your age, it probably wouldn't be appropriate. He would be so confused.

  30. Oh--and I'm definitely a stewer/germinator when it comes to purchasing decisions: it took me 3 or 4 years to buy my first iPod. And we used a semi-broken toaster for about that long because I couldn't find a single toaster on Amazon with good reviews (we finally have a really good toaster, now.)

    My approach drives Dean and Isaac crazy (their approach is to buy instantly) but in my defense, stewing means fewer purchases overall, so it saves money. Also I'm often completely satisfied with my purchase after all that research and consideration.

  31. Anonymous10:40 AM

    Funny; I just bought a pair yesterday (Bare Traps, style:Eliston)and love them, but they are my first boot purchase in a while that is not a dress pair. I would recomment a knee-high styl that you can wear with skirts but also over or under a pair of jeans. You'll get the greatest versatility for your money that way. buckles could be nice for a little embellishment, if you want. Probably wouldn't recommend functional buckles, if that's what you're thinking.

    I think that thigh-high boots might have lured the creepy chili serial killer to you if that's what you were wearing at the time.

    p.s. the thing about the hair, you're on your own; I have no idea. Hilarious, though; only because I've been there.

  32. 1. Brown and black is okay. Just make sure the carpet matches the drapes, if you know what I'm saying.

    2. Not a big fan of huge buckles, but a small one might be okay.

    3. Buy basic prints and colors and you won't look dated. Get something with animal print and you'll regret it three months from now (actually maybe even three hours later).

    4. I'm going to say mid-calf, unless you're really tall.

    5. Yes, thigh-high would be weird.

    6. They can go either way with pants. Boots are the bisexuals of the shoe world.

    7. Unless they are flats, yes.

    8. I use Bumble & Bumble hair lotion (it's actually a very light spray). Doesn't get sticky or weigh your hair down, but it keeps it tame and nice. It's pricey, but it lasts forever.

  33. Boots... yes! I know you fear the online purchase... but you might seriously consider Zappos. Free shipping here and back. Free. They will also tell you what the height and width of said calf or "shaft" is, so you need a measuring tape. Two bucks at Joann's or any other fabric store. Because, ahem, good luck with finding decent wide calf boots locally. Move on it NOW, by the way, cuz WC boots sell out, and you will be left with NO OPTIONS but basic-granny-ugly in just a week or two. This year I got an adorable pair of Madden Girl boots from Zappos. They were about seventy bucks, I have also gotten adorable boots from Torrid, but they are a little EXTRA WC even for my wide calves. They have buckles.

    As far as the hair... try Moroccan Oil for light hair. Will fix your problem, but it AIN'T cheap. 35 a bottle if I remember.

  34. GAH! I have TOO MUCH TO SAY. here's is the best leg-shaving method, as discerned by me from 18 years of leg-shaving and my aesthetician credentials: Keep a little tupperware thing of sugar in your bathroom (because salt will burn in wounds you didn't even know you had. Imaginary ones, even.) and before you shave, mix a palmful with body wash, cheap conditioner, olive oil- just something moisturizing and that you already have- until it's wet enough to use as a scrub. Then, gently scrub your legs with it. Rinse. Now shave. Use Barbasol shaving cream- it's the best (and a buck!), although conditioner will do in a pinch. The only froofy girlie shaving cream I've ever found to actually be helpful is Skintimate cream shave, but it's twice as much as barbasol, so why bother? After you shower, put lotion on your damp (not wet- your skin won't absorb anything if it's still got water droplets on it) legs. Then be amazed. Also, I find men's razors to be superior to women's as they are intended for the face and thus tend to work with bends and curves well. Schick Hydro 5 is awesome and you can get it pretty cheap with coupons and a sale.

    Okay, now I will comment again on the fashion stuff. Because clearly I know everything.

  35. Brown and black go together. They're both neutrals. Besides, if you're too matchy it will look costumey. As for which one to buy for your boot, look at your closet and see what you think would look best with your clothes. I have brown boots and wear them with practically everything- gray skirt, gray dress, purple dress, gray and black printed dress ( what? I like gray.), jean skirt. (Actually, that IS everything.)

    General rule: If you like the buckles, go for it. If you don't, don't. You're the one who has to wear it, so get what YOU like.

    Most of us don't buy new boots every year, so you'll only look as dated as everyone else. (VINTAGE!)

    As for height, the best advice I've heard is this: somewhere between mid- calf and knee-high is ideal for most women as long as it doesn't hit you at the widest part of your calf. You want you boots to cover that.

    You can wear them over or under your jeans, just like Aunt Connie said.

    Wear them as much as you want.

    Never wear socks with sandals.

    Also, you can wear ankle boots with skirts, as long as the skirt is knee-length or shorter. It's allowed. Fashionable, even.

  36. And also, don't shave your legs when you have goosebumps. Trust me on that one.

  37. You are thin enough to wear skinny jeans and tuck them into boots but not young enough (sorry) to wear cheap boots. It's a problem for me too. Save up some money--don't buy $60 vinyl boots at Sears like I did last year. They squeak. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this.

    There's always the Frye boot giveaways from Pioneer Woman. Good luck.

  38. I could have written this, if I were as funny as you, so I feel like these comments are being written to me too. To summarize: brown/black, who cares; get buckles or don't; knee high; only tuck the skinny jeans (I would add, beware the camel toe); try Zappos if you're going to shop online because it won't cost you $10 to return them when they inevitably won't fit over your fat calves; buy a man's razor and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Got it.

    I'm going to Zappos now for boots. I'll probably actually buy them in 2105.

  39. I would like a pair of boots too, however, after reading all of the comments here, I've decided that I just don't have the attention span to find some.
    I think that instead of trying to find some boots that work for me, I just won't leave the house until summer when I can wear my cute sandals.

  40. Kacy is right, so is my sweet Reluctant Nomad.

    1. You need about knee height boots (meaning do not obsess if they aren't perfectly at your knee, an inch below is fine.) Do not get mid calf boots, you will not know how to wear them and they will cut you off.

    2. I'm going out on a limb here, but your ankle boots, unless they are a year or two old, are probably not meant to be worn with a skirt. This is for wearers of Advanced Fashion Ability (AFA.) YOU wear your ankle boots with pants.

    3. Skinny boots, or leggings, inside boots. Boot cut, or flare cuts (yes, they're back for AFA,) the pants go outside.

    4. Flat, or flat-er, boots not heels. If you shop online you want something with less than 2" "heel." Sometimes you can find a wedge boot that gives you a little lift but isn't actually a skinny heel.

    5. Black boots.

    I have hair answers!!

    Go to Sally Beauty Supply and get a small bottle of Paul Mitchell "Gloss Drops". It will cost you around $10 for a small bottle. DO NOT PANIC. Yes, it's pricey, but it works and it will last you a very long time (probably 2 years.) When your hair is dry for the day, pump 2 drops into your palm and rub your hands together. Take your fingers and lightly smooth your hair down. Tada!

    Aveda's Light Elements Smoothing Fluid will do the same thing and you can get a small bottle to try it out for I think around $5-10. Available at Aveda salons. I think you can get it at Sanctuary in the Gateway, so call them and ask if they have the small size. Apply the same way: 2 drops and lightly.

    And now I can go make fun of you on Twitter...

  41. Also, one buckle is fine, but I'd stay away from multiple buckles and decorative elements because they will look dated in 5 years.

  42. BUCKLES: depends on whether you want riding boots, western-style boots, pirate style, go-go style, etc etc etc. (I think I just heard your head explode.)

    HOW TALL: knee high

    ANKLE HIGH BOOTS: One can actually wear ankle-high boots with short skirts, but it only works with long, lean legs and with coordinating tights.

    FREQUENCY OF WEAR: You can wear the same knee high boots as much as you want as long as the weather calls for it. I would not recommend the Daisy Dukes/tank top/black bra combo with knee-high boots despite what the local biker chicks demonstrate.

    TUCKING: You CAN tuck your jeans into your boots IF they are fitted skinny jeans or j/leggings and if those types of pants flatter your figure.

    PAYLESS: I still disagree with the whole not buying boots at Payless, or other discount clothing store, since I still have several pairs (in different colors) that I bought at that store many years ago.

    HELL NO: UGG boots. There is a reason they were named UGG.

  43. Although your Christensen grandmother loved to sew, I don't think she really understood fashion or shopping, or she would have passed some of her savvy on to me at some point, which obviously didn't happen. She sewed nearly everything herself. If it was in the Simplicity pattern book, it was "fashion." Any fashion skills in our family were acquired later, obviously mostly by Al and Connie. (But be reassured, you are not yet a complete orphan. You have a mother...not a fashionista mother, but a mother.)

  44. However, I do own a pair of black, just-below-the-knee $140 Aldo boots that I love. If you get real leather, remember to use some protector on them so they survive the snow and slush. It also helps to look for something without a slick sole, so you don't break your fashionable neck. See, that's the kind of advice mothers are for.

  45. I'll get right on that.


  46. These comments are utterly awesome. I'm going out to get me some boots!

    You ruminate on boots, not germinate.

    If you get the cheap-o "pleather" kind, just make sure you buy a Sharpee of the same color. That way you can color in the cracks that develop after the first year or two.

    I have had the same Netflix disk for about 2 years, but for some reason I always manage to return shoes to Zappo's. I would check out Target first - they have a big selection of boots this year. I may even replace my colored in pleather ones.

  47. Oh, and I am also a member of the Grandma Cebe Fan Club.

  48. If you go to the Target web site, you can print out a coupon for $5.00 off women's fashion boots. Oops. It expires 11/23, so that not be much help unless you go right away.

  49. I cannot help you with your boot problem other than to say, DON'T BUY BOOTS WITH HIGH HEELS. Ever. You won't wear them and you'll twist your ankle if you do. It takes me forever to buy any kind of clothing or shoe-type item. I walk into a store and am immediately overwhelmed. So...much...to...see. Aah! I make my fifteen yo daughter go with me, otherwise I would just wander in a confused circle from one item to the next... You get the picture. Did I mention I have ADD? Yeah. My camoflaged gray hairs do that same sticky-up thing that yours are doing in the picture. At first, I just got mad and plucked them out, but as they are becoming as numerous as a plague of locusts, I can no longer do this, else I would be bald. I just let them do their thing. They're happier that way.

  50. This post has been enlightening because not one person has said "thrift store"...which is where I keep going in hopes of finding some amazingtotallyawesomecuterthannewvintageboots for cheap. It hasn't happened yet (I know you're all super surprised).

    Most of you would probably never put a used shoe on your foot but they do have sprays (think bowling ally) and when you've been on the poor end of broke as long as I have, you just learn to live with what you can get where you can get it. So I almost NEVER buy anything new for myself, except underwear (and what does it say about me that during a visit to my sister's bff's house this year, she mustered up the guts to offer me a bunch of her barely used panties because she'd lost so much weight they didn't fit her any more...and I accepted them because they were freshly laundered. Overshare.) So I routinely hit the thrift stores for everything except my husband's dress pants because NO ONE IN THE WORLD has the same size pants as him (30 waist, 33 inseam. What on earth is THAT I ask you?!) and he is impossible to fit second-hand. But we get all the shirts and play clothes and such at thrift stores. And we buy the bulk of our (NEW) shoes at Payless...even though that's apparently cardinal sin in some parts.

    NOw that you all know my trashy little secrets, I would also add that if you'd like to meet for lunch, I'll bring you some hair product (NEW!) (For REaLS) that might work. See, I'd rather save $ by thrifting so that I can have time with people I like than have all fancy clothes and no $ for lunches.

    Send me a note if you're game. Otherwise I'll know I've scared you off with my divulsions. That's a word...right?!

    I'm grateful for you, Magnificent Sue! Happy Thanksgiving ♥

  51. Anonymous3:11 AM

    - Brown and black=fine
    - Same pair of boots multiple times per week=fine (judgey people=asshats, IGNORE ANYHOW)
    - Boot height=knee high most useful
    - Buckles or not=personal preference totally
    - Where to buy=USA (well, that's what I do LOL), like Zappos or Nordstrom sale pages
    - Boot-cut jeans=not tucked into boots
    - Skinny jeans=tucked into boots
    - Ankle boots=fine to wear with skirts and dresses
    - Wide-calf boots=NOT ADVISED, they will be too big, I guarantee it. Better to squeeze into slightly tight leather ones that give a bit over time.
    - Shoes without socks=spring, summer, fall. Full stop.
    - Hair=my nightmare too, so no ideas to offer.

    You can do it!!
    swizzlydee xx

  52. I love you guys.

    Blue, I would love to meet. I emailed you. I actually do go to DI a lot. All of my jeans are from the DI. I have been waiting to "settle in" to a final size before I spend any actual money, but I've had to buy some stuff because nothing else fit. I bought most of it at DI (that's a local thrift store chain for you non-Utah folks). Now I'm sort of addicted to the DI. I've been able to find some really nice jeans (J Crew, etc.), skirts, and dresses there. Tops - not a much. My other new favorite places are Ross and TJ Maxx. I've only bought about four new things, but I bought them all there. Really nice sweaters for nine or ten bucks. I love it.

  53. I feel so thoroughly knowledgeable about boots now, you guys. I'm sure I will still be paralyzed with indecision when I get to the shoe store, but RIGHT NOW I feel like I could totally kill it, shopping wise. THANK YOU.

    (See, this is the kind of advice fashion magazines should give you.)

  54. Wait...Wendy, I have to use SHAVING CREAM?! I'm too lazy for that. I do use men's razors though (they're cheaper) and even with a new blade they don't stay smooth all day. Heck, they aren't even smooth anymore by the time I put lotion on my legs. WHICH IS WHY I LOVE BOOTS because then I don't have to shave if I don't want to and nobody even knows.

  55. I have no advice on boots or hair. I just wanted to say thank you for bringing to my attention that Veronica has started blogging again, because I DID NOT KNOW and I secretly love her SO MUCH it might make her nervous.

    Also, I'm so glad YOU are blogging again. Nervous?

  56. Oh, and Beau Brummell. Everyone should have a post with his name in the title!

  57. Michelle, are you exfoliating first? That is a CRUCIAL step for smoothness. Seriously worth the extra steps.

  58. Oh my goodness, I love you. I can't wait to go home and read the comments to this post because, well...frankly, I have no answers to any of the questions above. But I won't read right now because I just got the green light to go home early!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. Oh dear. I loooooove boots. I have black, brown, camel, wine, patterned, riding, heeled, ankle, low top snow boots, knee high snow boots. I DO NOT SPEND A LOT OF MONEY ON BOOTS. I bought most of them at Goodwill, like Blue mentioned. One pair was a Christmas gift about 6 or 7 years ago. (Good husband.) One pair was a huge splurge at $89 from Lands End, where my husband is employed. And we get an employee discount. And they have employee sample sales each season. That's how I got my nice winter boots. $5-$10 a pair. Brand new. But you don't have to pay the $100-$200 price tag to get something that lasts, if you're willing to keep your eyes open and willing to purchase used. Plus, if it's less of a financial commitment, you won't despair if you get something you end up not loving, so that takes pressure offf the purchasing as well.
    The end.

  60. Oh- and I may be able to buy boots like nobody's business, but my fear lies in buying bras. That is the true mystery for me. I usually wear bras my sister gives me when she's sick of them. Other than sports bras and nursing bras I think I have purchased about 3 bras in my adult life. Sooooooo overwhelming.

  61. Molly, you can go to a department store that has someone in the bra department trained to fit bras. You don't necessarily have to buy there, but at least you will have some guidance to know what is best for you.

  62. You know what you really need? PINK KNEE SOCKS WITH COWS ON THEM. You know I'm right. Let me send them to you.

  63. I am very much averse to brown and black together, but I wore it on Sunday (black dress, brown boots) and it was really cute. But generally, I stick with black and black/brown and brown. Buy one pair of awesome skinny jeans (lands end, for real) and wear them inside the boots. Then wear boot cut jeans on top of them and with skirts at church and you'll be the cutest ever.

  64. Exfoliating too!? Does that sand the hair off??? ;) Why do we have leg hair anyway, I want to know. It's not like it could keep us warm if we didn't shave!

  65. I'm with you in the boot department. Every faux winter in Arizona 95% of the women wear boots to church. I have to ask myself why because aren't they hot and uncomfortable and claustrophobic? Then I ask myself why I don't have any.

    I will be studying all the advice given here and possibly 2011-2012 will be the year I take the boot plunge.

  66. I've been ruminating about it, and I'm pretty sure that ruminate and germinate are different in that one takes a direct object and the other doesn't. (I can't remember which is which.) So you ruminate *about* something, but you germinate an idea. Directly. (And the way you germinate an idea is to plant it, water it, and give it sunshine. Literally!)

    Also, I'm pretty sure fuzzy socks will always be in style, but I think Beck's cow sock offer takes it to eleven. (Speaking of ruminating!)

  67. I have looked for three years for boots I like that don't kill me and fit my calf, ankle, and toes all at the same time. I found a simple, comfortable low-heel boot by Born this year at Nordstrom...half off! Can't find it in black on their site but here it is on Amazon:


  68. That Grandma lady is WISE. LISTEN. TO. HER. I am in Minnesota, and we are boot peeps. You have to be, or you die of hypothermia. Grandma has the rules right. I wear boots everyday if I am going outside at all. Again- hypothermia.
    Target has inexpensive skinny jeans that are super cute, and look great with boots.(I have never bought Target jeans, I was NOT buying it when a friend told me- but she was not lying.) A size six needs to be in skinny jeans. You will feel like a new woman. Post pics when you buy!P.S. I have been blog-stalking you for two-years, I am glad you are back. Your funny.

  69. Don't have time to read all the comments, but a few things:

    1) I like the word, "Embiggen."

    2) I'm a size 12/14, but I have REALLY wide (I prefer "muscular") calves. Like, too wide for "wide calf" boots found at plus-size stores. After looking around for two years, I finally found a pair on Amazon that fit like a dream and I wear them all the time. And what do you know, they are cheaper now than what I paid for them: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002HK2H2A/ref=oh_o03_s00_i00_details

    3) I think you can wear nice, knee-high or just-below-knee-high boots with pretty much everything.

    Good luck!

  70. I don't think that link I just left is showing up right. The boots are "Whitney," made by Ros Hommerson. I am impressed with the quality and will seek out Ros Hommerson boots again next time I need some.

  71. This comment has been removed by the author.

  72. so glad to see all the comments, because I also have shoe type problems. and pointy hairs. and calf-sized calves.
    and moon boots aren't fashion? damn that Napoleon Dynamite!

  73. YOU GUYS. Thank you so much! You have no idea how much these comments helped me, I am not even kidding.

    My sister alerted me to a sale at Kohls on Friday. The selection was totally picked over, but I could not resist, bit the bullet and bought a pair of $30 boots (marked down from $85).

    Black, check.

    Buckles, check.

    Not quite tall enough, check.

    They are a little taller than mid-calf, a little shorter than knee-high. I had some post-purchase doubts, but I think they will be o.k.? I lost my head and posted pictures of said boots on FB asking for feedback and everyone reassured me that they were fine.

    I would still like some knee-high boots though. Just because.

    I tried olive oil on my hairs yesterday and ended up looking like a grease slick all day. Today I'm trying dryer sheets, per another suggestion. I smell like a cotton mill.


  74. PS: I am going to try the Target skinny jeans. Next paycheck. Thanks Shantel.

    And everyone. Thanks to EVERYONE.

    Also, if you think I am not now going to continually use you all as my own personal online Stacey and Clinton, you are CRAZY.

  75. Andrea5:24 PM

    I just bought my first pair of boots last week. They were literally the only pair in the store that I could zip up over my calves (just barely!) AND they were the "extended calf" model. As I was tugging on the zipper, praying that I didn't get any of my tender calf-skin caught, I might have involuntarily shouted for the entire store to hear: "Oh come on! Fat chicks want to wear boots, too!" (I'm not going back to DSW anytime soon, I'll tell you that much.) But I gotta say, they look hot.

  76. Hi, just jumped over from Jennifer's blog at Playgroups. Glad I did.

    Boots, I wear below knee boots under my jeans, and I have big calves. The biggest issue with boots is COMFORT!!! (I also managed to get mine at an op shop I work at in really good condition and just worn in enough that they didn't annoy my arthritic foot).

    Your hair - maybe change your hair conditioner. I had the same problem and had to alternate between a protein conditioner and another one. Another trick is to moisturise your hands with hand lotion and then run your hands over your hair.

  77. Grandma Cebe - I am signing up. I want you to adopt me. Look at this pile of comments - do you think Sue is back? And the amazing thing is that she so brings out the writer in people. (shaking head) Blessed people never get how blessed they are.

  78. Oh, Wow! I just checked back on this comment thread to see how the boot discussion was going. I didn't know that I have a fan club and strangers that want me to adopt them. I'm willing to adopt, but you may not come live me, nor will I help support you financially. I've been there done that with my own kids who are now fully functioning adults that support themselves.

  79. Sue - Savvy, fashionista type people shop at DI. I was talking to a woman in my ward at party recently. We were comparing pie plates. I was so proud of my red ceramic $10 pie plate that I got at Smiths. She then proceeds to tell me that she got her very similar one at DI for $2 (one of 2 that she bought). When I picked it up to compare, I realized that it was a VERY expensive brand sold at Williams-Sonoma. She then told me that everything she was wearing she got at DI and she looked terrific. Also, Patrick's girlfriend shops DI all the time and always looks fashionable and chic.

  80. Connie, the dress I was wearing in my boot picture on FB? Totally got it at DI - for five bucks. I used to have a real aversion to DI - something about HAVING to buy my clothes at DI as a teenager scarred me for life I guess. But when I was losing weight it seemed so pointless to spend money on clothes that might not fit me a month later so I started scouring DI for things that would work and was surprised to find lots of cute things. We're talking J Crew, Ann Taylor, Guess. Good stuff. I'm a believer now. In fact, every pair of jeans I own now (all three of them) is from the DI and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. I'M A BELIEVER.

  81. I got too lazy probably twenty comments in to check if someone has said this, but pomade for the sticky uppies. It is in a round, flat container like a mini thing of body butter. Just use a thin swipe of it on your finger tips. The stuff lasts forever. My brother in law uses an ethnic kind of wax, very cheap, but I can't remember the brand name.

  82. I'll have to come back and read more comments. I'm getting so many great tips!!! Grandma Cebe is amazing! I'm with K on that one.
    I got my boot lessons spending 3 days in Boston last fall. Boots , skinny jeans, 3/4 length coats and scarves and you are complete.
    I came home from Boston and found everything I wanted on sale at JC Penney's. I bought 2 pair of jeggings - denim and black - I think 4 pair of boots - 2 of which I wear ALL the time. One tall black, one mid-thigh brown. I thought I'd be uncomfortable wearing mid-thigh boots but with jeggings they are great fun. I'm even venturing to wearing them with tights and knee-length skirts. I used to believe knees should never be seen between boots and skirts - who knew? My jeggings really need to be replaced this year, but I'm going to make them last one more season so I can spend some money on long sweaters this time around. I'm a size 12-ish and mostly not looking too ridiculous, I'm sure you can do anything in a size 6. I will confess that my wide-ness is in my middle and not in my legs. I think that's what I love about this fashion - I can feature my best feature - my legs. P.S. for the last 2 years, I've found darling 3/4 length coats at Costco.

  83. Oh. Yeah. I hope there's nothing wrong with brown and black, cuz it's my favorite.