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My Boots & I

Aside from my husband, children and best friend, there’s another great love in my life. This special joy of mine is known for its endurance, rugged beauty, and willingness to constantly adapt. You couldn’t find a better companion. I just love my boots.

This revelation hit me like a ton of bricks (or crate of shoes!) as I was taking my own closet clean out advice last week, I was attempting to apply two of my quick closet makeover tips to my mega shoe stash: 1) Put those things you love most front and center; and 2) Ditch the duplicates. Beginning with a bedroom full of footwear, I dove into separating what I had worn regularly within the last month from what almost never saw the light of day. A few of the shoes in the last category made it back into the closet because of their “special occasion” status. Overall, however, the end result of my effort was two bags of impractical “conversation-piece” shoes off to the side for consignment, and a collection of “keepers” consisting almost exclusively of boots.

Oh how I love boots! Short boots, tall boots, over-the-knee boots, stiletto booties, open-toed boots, sneaker boots (hello Ash! ), cowboy boots, suede boots, combat boots, rustic leather boots, snakeskin boots, furry winter boots, rain boots. There is truly a pair of boots for every season, outfit and occasion. Almost every outfit, in my opinion, looks better when you add in a pair of boots. Anyone who has traveled with me knows that my suitcase usually consists of several versatile mix-and-match pieces of clothing and a colorful assortment of boots. I’ve decided to accept the fact that I can part with clothes, but must always maintain space for my special love.

During styling sessions, I often get a raised eyebrow when I suggest pairing boots with the outfit in question. The result, after I insist that the client set aside preconceived notions and just give it a try, is almost invariably shocked joy. Boots all summer? Booties with a dressy dress? Stiletto ankle boots with joggers? Heck yes!

If you’re just beginning to build your boot collection, here are the styles that I consider your foundation:

  • Tall leather boots: Wear these with skinny jeans, leggings, or a shift dress.

  • Flat ankle boots: Perfect with rolled-up boyfriend jeans, cuffed joggers, capri-length leggings, or a short skirt.

  • Sneaker booties: Adorable with joggers, skinny jeans, or yoga pants.

  • Open-toed heeled ankle boots: Pair with a swingy skirt or dress, rolled up jeans, or, my personal favorite, sweatpants.

  • All-weather boots: Keep an ankle-height pair of rain boots for summer and tall fur-rimmed waterproof Sorels for winter, and pair with everything you own as needed!

I challenge you to pause and rethink the next time you reach into your closet for a pair of pumps to complement your work suit or date night ensemble. Dare to be a little edgy, a little less predictable. I guarantee you’ll ditch those pumps for good once you’ve walked a few miles and gotten a few smiles in those snakeskin boots!

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