The one word you need to retain for Fall/Winter 2013 is “rebel”. Punky, grungy, bike-y, hippie, gypsy… whichever rebel look you prefer most, lean in. Most particularly when it comes to shoes. Clamber down from your vertiginous heels and feel no shame. High heels are officially out!
The backlash to stilettos is so violent that fashion has done a 180° and right now is all about flat, chunky, masculine boots. Think short and fat, not high and skinny. Stable and reliable, not perched and vulnerable. Army boots, Chelsea boots, engineer boots, cowboy boots, biker boots….Whatever look you choose, your orthopaedist will approve.
I adore high heels and merit a gold medal in the Manolo Blahnik Olympics for sprinting around the capitals of Europe in heels without ever tripping (however I did once lose one on the track of the Paris Metro, but I digress).
But the high heel craze had really gotten out of control. Fashion brands and their evil twin, the media, just couldn’t seem to stop pushing the heel heights – and prices!
The feminist in me is mortified that I spent so much on “limousine shoes” – shoes that could only be worn when I had a car and driver at my disposal (read: taxi or gallant male companion who would walk to and from the parking garage alone).
Back to basics
I am a working mom with stuff to do and every second counts. A minute spent trying to yank my heels out of sidewalk gratings or cobblestones could be spent keeping a wee one from smearing chocolate all over my cashmere coat or from running into traffic. Short boots are not only practical in that sense, but they also reflect the current political and environmental climate. Fantasy is losing its appeal – reality and acceptance are the buzz words for 2013 and beyond. In general around the world, people are getting back to basics and simplifying their lives. What better way to dress for it than yanking on some sturdy little boots?
Fiorentini & Baker has really been at the forefront of this trend. The last several years they have developed a style that manages to be downtown-sexy yet sensible. Celebrities are insane about them and yet they still manage to not be too ridiculously overpriced.
This week I am perusing my options for lace-up military boots. Dr. Martens have made a stellar comeback, but at my age I prefer slightly softer and more sensual versions. Jump on the “heritage/vintage” rage and wear brown lace-up booties with tweed trousers, a woolly sweater and a lacy blouse for a Little House on the Prairie look.
The economical western boot
Being raised in San Francisco, I have never actually bought a pair of cowboy boots for fear of people mixing me up with a gun-toting rodeo fanatic who eats BBQ spare ribs for breakfast. To pull it off, shun the bright colours and diamante. Ironically, nothing could be more metropolitan cool than distressed leather western-style footwear. Ankle-high western boots are also very economical because they are the easiest to match mid-season with shorts or skirt, then when temperatures drop, add tights or switch over to jeans.
Don’t feel guilty about indulging in short boots that you adore. You will probably get more life out of short boots than you ever did with taller boots, and certainly more wear than ballerina flats which definitely don’t have longevity in comparison. And who can put a price on the rush of youthful rebellion that they give you?
By Kristina Svensson, September 2013