My own obligatory back-to-school photo on the doorstep
I am not crazy about my legs. They are fine. They could be worse. They get me where I need to go, but they are just slightly too short – in my opinion – for the rest of me. But because I will never be the long-legged girl of my dreams, I am grateful for the boot that I have sold for years. All winter, I can wear shorter skirts with these, and the proportion just works, even with my shorter legs. I am nearing the age where 'short' for me isn't 'short' for most... but again, the boot helps, and a pair of tights will dissolve any doubts about age-appropriateness. So if you are young and firm in the leg, enjoy it! And know that you can wear them even when you're not. (Once, when I was young and, I thought, still quite firm, my oldest daughter, who was 6 at the time, asked me "why is your skin not wrapped as tightly around you as hers?" It was a good thing I loved her dearly enough to be more struck by her articulate phrasing than by my own 'loose' skin. Can you imagine????)
Anyway, these boots are perfect. They will never go out of style or look dated. Based on a riding boot, but sleeker and trimmer through the toe box. They are stretch suede so they won't squash more athletic legs, and they travel well because they fold up nicely in your suitcase and, surprisingly, don't weigh much. The flat-ish heel makes them wonderful to walk in if you are exploring a new city... there is a rubberized thing on the bottom to help with a wet sidewalk. They look great over jeans (thanks again to the stretch suede)... with a trim skirt and sweater you will have that 1960s go-go boot thing going on... and it is very 1970s YSL with a longer skirt or dress. But honestly, costumey references aside, they are neutral enough that you won't grow tired of them — I own all the colors and wear them several days a week. The black and brown are the originals, but last year we did a small seasonal run of Bordeaux suede which I adore.
But the real reason I am pulling these out right now, even as we are still sweating in the 85% humidity in Atlanta, is that it is September. Official fall as of Saturday. And in my head this will always mean "back to school," specifically the early September shopping trip that I waited all summer for, where my mother would march the four of us into JC Penney, where we were allowed to get exactly five new "outfits" and one pair of shoes. My father worked for this company his entire career, and our 15% discount meant it was the ONLY place we could buy anything. On top of being thrifty to a fault — 15% is NOTHING! I wanted to go to Marshall Fields like my friends! — my mother was NOT a shopper. The trip itself took about two hours, but after we'd gotten home, I would spend ten times that amount over the next several days deciding which "outfit" would be the one for the actual first day. As I got older, the decision-making got more fraught – adolescence moves everything into high gear and more is at stake.
And it continues into adulthood. When I first started this business and spent so much time on the floor in my shop, I noticed women coming in around this time of year and asking when we'd be getting our shipment of fall boots. (It took me a full year or two to get on top of this and actually have them delivered earlier!) Because a new pair of boots — and a new purse — were what they "allowed" themselves to buy for the new season, with no guilt or sense of excess. It was their own little back-to-school ritual, timed perfectly for when they had already photographed their own children smiling on the doorstep with their backpacks (or at least seen everyone else's on Instagram.) Or they may remember, as I did, their own memories and emotional triggers of that back-to-school shopping trip.
... Or maybe they just want a new pair of boots! Which you actually, truthfully, could start wearing right now. Half the world wears boots year-round, even in the hottest months. Gauchos... construction workers... rock stars... the policeman who parks his motorcycle on the side of my street and lives to give tickets to anyone who goes even 5 above the 25 mph limit. (It is SO hard to maintain such a slow speed!) So start wearing your boots whenever you feel like it. Just pair them with something a little lighter on top, otherwise people will start to perspire in sympathy. There is nothing worse than hearing "aren't you HOT?" – and it is so irritating to defend yourself! But if you can give yourself permission, get them now and hold on to them until the temperature drops, or put them on right now with a t-shirt. Chic, timeless, and easy. You need them, I promise.
Back to school 1971 with the neighbor kids in Brookfield, WI… my brother's shirt is also very YSL!
One of my favorite shots from this fall's campaign