Friday, October 15, 2010

Are You Ready, Boots?

It’s fall, y’all! No longer do I feel like a tepid dumpling (boiled, not fried) stirred in the sticky, sweaty pot that is summer in NYC—nope, the Big Apple’s crisp and pie-eyed now, and instead of the sloppy slip-slap of flip-flops, you hear the wham-bam of boots, boots, everywhere.

I was perusing Shopbop the other day, which offers many opportunities to partake of the latest trend in bootwear—thigh-high, dark, sueded-leather. Maybe I just have to see them on, but in the product shots, all boots, no legs, they look almost inelegant, something you’d wear to go clamming. Or use as a discreet but flexible container in which to throw your pocket change. Or plant a topiary.

Nevertheless I do like this trend, but for gentlemen rather than ladies:

I’ve slobbered over Dave before, and with good reason. Who’s the first male coworker that pops into your mind? Now imagine that person wearing crotch-high boots. Unless you’re exceptionally lucky, you gotta admit it’s a tough look to pull off. Thanks, Dave.

Thigh-high boots are a natural fashion fit for cats as well:

Yuppers, it’s Puss In Boots, or Le Chat Botte if you’re a French bulldog.

I can’t believe I never read Charles Perrault’s fairy tale of a devoted cat who commits all sorts of crimes just so his master (not likely they called them “pet parents” then) can bag a babe and rise to power. The best part—and here’s the lesson, as far as I’m concerned—is that he didn’t just stumble across these boots or borrow someone else’s (d’oh, they wouldn’t fit), but he asked for and received them. Magic is there for the making and taking, and that’s something I don’t ever want to forget.

One of my most magical boot stories took place during my senior year at Connecticut College. Our artist friend Katie asked a bunch of people to help her with her final project. She envisioned a variety of different performance pieces, including some meditating and chanting on stage and people in those body sacks body-rolling to whale songs. I’m making it sound hokey, but it totally wasn’t—it was screw-you fun and radical for the time and place. We ended the night dancing on stage to “We Are Family,” which sounds so lame and tame now, but trust me—for college students in the 80s, it was so reverse chic it wasn’t funny.

Anyway, me, Sheila and Danielle choreographed a piece to “These Boots Were Made for Walkin.’” (Again, very ahead of our time—this was before whatever movie made it popular again and whatever band covered it.) We wore super giant brazeers over tacky house dresses and combat boots. Our friend Sanja gamely stood on a ladder in his underwear, representing the man we were walking all over. There was shimmying and hair dryers, and our bras were stuffed with big-a** grapefruits from the dining hall. At one point we were supposed to remove them and throw them at the audience, and God love me, I was so excited to do it I threw mine on the count of 7 instead of waiting for 1.

Sorry, guys, I totally ruined our citrus surprise—my timing’s way better now, I promise. But in spite of my premature evacuation, there was definitely magic there. And Katie, I don’t know if you can hear my typing in heaven, but shit, girl, you were so ahead of your time.

Music for changin’ when you shouldn’t be samin’

The choreography and hosiery rock hard here:

How have I never heard this before?


  1. Thanks for your paean to boots. Just thinking this a.m. about boot envy. Soon I will be asking chix on the subway platform where they got their [kinky or otherwise] boots.

  2. The Brits really love their novelty songs. I NEVER knew that the Avengers recorded such a ridiculous tune. It sounds like the theme from one of those English sitcoms that airs on PBS. "Keeping Up Appearances" or "Are You Being Served?" This is hilarious, Pune. How did you ever uncover this gem? My hats and boots are off to you!

  3. Are you into the Avengers, Stephanie? I guess I thought it was just a Benny Hill in better shape and more expensive suits.