A Week in Boots

Yes, boot season is over but (see prior blog post from earlier today) I never got around to blogging about my week in black boots this past March. It was quite an achievement given how long and hard I had looked for even a single pair of black boots that wouldn’t cause leg ischemia and rip at the seems around my calf. So I figured I would share as it might be useful for next boot season at the very least.

Monday: My favorite dress paired with my Louboutins


Tuesday: My new Eliza J sweater dress (first time ever a sweater dress did not make me look ever so slighter pregnant) and my Aquitalia square heeled boots. I have found that almost all boots from this brand fit my calves and the waterproof leather gives me a ton of leeway to wear them that I do not have with the Monday boots (which I carried to and from work in their red bag to protect them from the ravages of winter on my local streets and parking lots).

tuesday boots

Wednesday: A skirt, blouse, and blazer combination curated from Nordstrom Rack with an Adea top and my Aquitalia riding boots acquired from Hautelook. I liked them so much I bought the brown ones as well. The calves are fine but the feet are narrow and so, for the first time ever, I own a pair of shoe trees to try to rectify the problem.

wednesday boots

Thursday: It was St. Patrick’s Day and I wore my favorite green dress (also from Eliza J) with my Anyi Lu dress boots. The dancer footbed is indeed a dream and the 2.5in heel totally manageable on a busy work day.

thursday boots

Friday: We had a work retreat and I felt the need to go totally casual. I am obsessed with this Max Studio (also from Nordstrom Rack) dress that is easily the most comfortable thing I own. I could live in it. I paired it with my Stuart Weitzman riding boots which after a few years of wear sag a bit too much at the ankles but worked with casual.

friday boots

Finally, the week ended for me (well not really since I was on call the following Saturday starting at 6am) with a casual work function so I broke out of both the black and the tall boot and instead went for these Vince Camuto aubergine suede booties paired with William Rast jeans and a woven gold top (a Nordstrom brand that escapes me at the moment) that I acquired for my 20th high school reunion a while back and still love to wear 3 year later since for me investing in a gold article of clothing is like basic black for everyone else.


One Outfit, Multiple 2014 Holiday Looks


This gallery contains 9 photos.

Recently you read about how I might have dropped a bit of change on my first St John Collection outfit. Being the good child of immigrants, I am both appropriately guilty at this lavish treat for myself and determined to … Continue reading

Embrace the red soles

I debuted the Louboutins the other day. I bought them while on a trip to Northern California in August (Thank you Nordstrom San Jose!). Although I have been known to wear them around the house just lounging whilst admiring the look and feel of the one piece leather construction since then (and also giving the calves a bit of  a stretch), I have been eagerly awaiting the right opportunity to don them in public.

While contemplating when and where this would occur, I spent a lot of time debating whether or not to do something to protect the sole.

Evidently, there is a micron thin red sole that expert cobblers can shellac onto the classic red sole of a Louboutin to “protect” it. As is common with most controversies these days, the internet is replete with commentaries for and against this practice. I reviewed many of them. My shoe consultants at Nordstrom strongly recommended I do this before the debut. After all, I “wouldn’t want to ruin the soles of these high-end boots” that come at a steep price to begin with.

But you know, at the end of the day they are a pair of shoes, meant to be worn where shoes are needed, e.g. outdoors. Now, I wouldn’t knowingly wear them in a blizzard or walk through a muddy field with them on but I bought them to wear them, to experience the comfort and joy of a well-made designer shoe crafted from leather as soft as a baby’s bum attached to a eye-catching red sole. Sure Christian Louboutin advises keeping them dry and away from rough surfaces but outdoors is occasionally wet and studded with hardtop, concrete, or cobblestones. So I could opt to protect the soles of my boots from these dangers or I could go bare.

In the end, I chose to go bare. I didn’t want to hide the most unique, and to me most precious, feature of my boots. It would have felt like covering a maple table with mahogany inlay with a table cloth. It would have felt like keeping the plastic wrap on the remote control for a TV purchased years ago. It would have felt like have a curio cabinet filled with dolls that a child is never allowed to play with. Most importantly, it would have felt no different than sticking that red sole from the cobbler onto any old black boots.  After all, I didn’t buy just any pair of boots, I bought these boots to wear them, to feel good in them, and to show them off. The red soles make me feel good and allow me to boast without words so why not just wear them in their natural, unadulterated beauty.


I trust that the boots are well made. So, after years of wear on my precious red soles I will someday take them to a cobbler to resurface the heels. That’s when the impostor, umm protector, soles will come in handy. I hear they are a pretty close match. But until then, I am embracing the red soles with every step even if it means some moisture here or a scratch there.

The Elusive Knee High Black Boot

It’s official. Boot season is upon us. What better way to keep the tootsies warm and rock skirts and dresses all winter long. I took a post-call walk Monday morning in my new knee high black leather boots.

After having worked 126 clinical hours in 8 days, I still felt a little guilty taking time to walk my 6 year old son to school yesterday after returning home to freshen up before heading back into work. (More on working-mom guilt in a later blog.) It was a chilly morning; but, I decided to walk him to school so that I could curl my fingers–now dry and raw from alcohol cleansing patient after patient, day after day–around his still so soft and smooth little hands while also having my first conversation with him in over a week. It was also the perfect time to sneak in a few extra steps (10,000 steps/day remained elusive despite being exhausted from being on-service) and to break in the boots.

As I thought to myself “Wow these boots really are comfortable and look soooooooo good!” my son asked, in that way as if he were asking why the sky is blue, “Mommy, why are your calves so fat?” Way to keep it real little guy. Thanks!

The battle between my calves and the elusive knee high black boots has been epic. I know it isn’t nearly as existential as I have made it out to be in my head. Clearly something about my gait has left me with dainty ankles and well-developed (not fat son, not fat!) calves. As a result most knee high boots will simply not zip or otherwise allow themselves to be pulled up to my calves. Those that do typically create what can best be described as a muffin-calf or equally unflattering cankles.

I have spent over a decade trying to find a pair of boots that both flatter the ankle and fully envelop the calves (by whatever mechanism necessary). I tried entry level brands and high end brands. I tried comfort oriented styles and fashion styles. I tried ankle zips and full zips (along the inside, the outside, and up the back) and stretchy panels (full panels, partial panels, and dual panels). I tried leather and suede and (gasp: sorry PETA friends, I just love a good smooth-as-a-baby’s-bottom calfskin) even tried synthetic. The boots won and I lost, relegated to bare calves or wearing long pants all boot season long.

My poor husband, followed by our children, sat through countless hours of me and my calves battling boots in shoe stores or department stores. I would order multiple pairs at a time from on-line retailers only to be disappointed and take advantage of their consumer friendly return policies (thanks, Tony Hsieh). I would take boots to the local cobbler begging him to stretch a boot shaft just a little bit more or stitch a cankle into an ankle. It got to the point where I would look for shoes on every trip I took just in case a far away retailer had an elusive boot that was somehow not available locally. 

Jimmy Choo Dyotts circa fall 2011. May they rest in peace.

Jimmy Choo Dyotts circa fall 2011. May they rest in peace.

I thought I had finally succeeded two years ago with Jimmy Choo’s Dyott. But, it turned out that the Dyott’s left zipper was no match for my left calf (which, of course, is slightly more well-developed than my right).

And so, my hunt continued late into last year’s boot season (found a pair of Stuart Weitzman’s Accumulate that worked with minimal cankling–my go to weekend casual boots), over the summer (when I snagged the very last pair of Christian Louboutin Bourge in the US while vacationing in the Bay area–my party boots), and as recently as last week when my little guy sat with me (again) as I tackled nearly every professionally appropriate tall black boot to be found at Nordstrom (their shoe return policy is the best in the business and my calves demand such a policy) lamenting my calf woes only to end up with a pair of stylish and practical boots for work (Anyi Lu Viktoria) that it turns out are the ideal boots for walking my son to school and chatting about my fatness of my calves or the blueness of the sky.

Mother-son bonding couldn’t be any better.

Christian Louboutin Bourge

Christian Louboutin Bourge

Anyi Lu Viktoria

Anyi Lu Viktoria

Stuart Weitzman Accumulate

Stuart Weitzman Accumulate