Hot or not: Everyone is getting on this hiking booties trend!

I thought I heard wrong the first time I heard about these. I thought people were going crazy. High heeled hiking boots!? When you think about it, it's really absurd, especially for those who actually like to hike. It's clear these kinds of shoes are absolutely the LAST thing you need for a trek up the mountains carrying many pounds of equipment. It's like this ridiculous, completely impractical product of the modern age, wholesale vanity at its purest.

That all said, the style is really growing on me! I can't believe it, but I can't help myself either. There's something about the blatant ruggedness, the impracticality, the sheer audacity that I love. Not to mention the cool details and don't-mess-with-me vibe they give off. So of course I spent a few hours scouring the interwebs for some of the finest examples of these walking oxymorons (which are still within reach). Pictured above are Topshop's 'Arella' booties lined in shearling.

I was so disappointed to find out that the Dollhouse 'Rogeri' style, which are my favorites, have long sold out on sites like I found some other black hiking boot styles that are pretty cool, but none of them have quite the chunky weight of the 'Rogeri.' And lastly are some examples of hiking booties in other colors. The ones from Tambukiki (below) are only about $32!

Dilemmas: Can't decide if saving $ on these knockoffs is worth the knowledge that they are (such blatant) knockoffs. (Or, why Ann Demeulemeester's triple lace-up boots are still immortal in my eyes).

In the first few moments of seeing these triple-lace-up boots from Chocolat Blu on last night, I was super excited. Of course I was going to get them, I thought, because they were a much cheaper version of the awesome, awe-inspiring boots by Ann Demeulemeester from her Fall 2008 line:

I first saw the Ann D's on, and was utterly swept away by their vicious beauty. I loved them so much I seriously considered forking over the $800 when they went on sale on a couple months ago. But of course I missed the chance--they sold out faster than you can say "demeulemeester" and that was that.

It never occurred to me that other brands would have the audacity to copy Ann D's immortal creations.  What nerve!  But copy they did, even L.A.M.B. (whose proprietor has been known to sue Forever 21 for copying its own designs, what a joke!), and though most of the copies were quite impressive, none of them quite reaches the ethereal splendor of the original boots, and here are a few missing elements:

  • Angled tops with extended tongue: One thing that makes the original Demeulemeester boots stand out is the way the tops of the boots slope gently upwards towards the front, with that extra-long front panel that shoots aggressively up past the laces. Many of the copies merely truncate the boot shaft right where the laces end.  The Chocolat Blu ones do a decent job of imitating this boot shaft but are missing a few other elements as noted below.
  • Off-set heel: At least in the high-heeled version featured on, one thing that really sets the Ann D's apart is the heel that isn't quite flush with the rest of the shoe.  Awkwardly placed and yet very unique.
  • That perfectly distressed quality of the leather: All the copycats use leather that is just too new-looking, which instantly does away with the 18th-century, steampunk, Tim-Burton-esque charm of the originals.  The originals look like they've been worn for 100 years. The Chocolat Blu ones, by contrast, use patent leather.  For shame!
  • Extra long laces: In all the pictures I've seen of the Ann D's, there is a generosity of laces that allows you to wrap them a few times around the boot shaft, and still have enough left over for some floppy ties at the sides.  Most of the fakes have just enough lace to tie a lame little bow at the top.
  • Length of the rows of laces: By this, I mean the laces start much closer to the toe box on the original Ann D's as compared to the copycats.  The Chocolat Blu ones start practically at the ankle, leaving a whole lot of blank space on the actual shoe part of the boot.
  • That bit of extra stitching towards the toe: It's a relatively tiny detail, but it makes a difference.  That little extra stitching before the laces start on the originals makes them somehow look more authentic.

So yeah, all the reasons above keeps the original Ann D's sacred, no matter who tries to copy them, but that said, I did end up ordering the Chocolat Blu boots because the Ann D's are sold out everywhere, and anyway they were as close as I was going to get to the originals at a mere $120.

Dilemmas: Stuff I'd like to get from the General Economy

Been a long time since we did a "Dilemmas" post.  In this case it's not really a matter of choosing which one to get, but whether to get something at all - or get all of them :)

  • Oak NYC houndstooth scarf, $7
  • Frye Paige dark brown boots, $200
  • Rag & Bone top, $45
  • Free People sequined vest, $23
  • Random Japanese lace skirt, $30
  • Kookai striped sweater, $27
  • Anthro skirt, $45
  • Tulle pencil skirt, $20

Personal spring trend, "Shooties" or "shoe boots": Somewhere between an oxford and an ankle boot...

...lies a world of flat-ish, comfortable, and decidedly solid shoes that defy categorization. Some might call them flat ankle boots, though it's not quite accurate, because "ankle boot" should refer to something that actually covers your ankle. Maybe the Frye people got it right when they called it a "shootie" because that captures the neither-here-nor-there nature of such footwear. Or, as Garry quipped, sh'booties.

These shoes have been creeping into my consciousness through several other style blogs (jakandjil and thesartorialist), as well as girls selling vintage oxford/ankle boots on the laws of general economy.  And, of course, my recent acquisition of a pair of Cydwoq Vintage oxfords. Now, I have a full-blown shoe crush on my hands that needs consummation.  Some fine examples of the shoe boot/shootie phenomenon:
The only criteria that seems to tie this class of shoe-boots together are:
  • COMFORT.  You could walk in these shoes all day and still be happy as a clam.
  • Made out of high quality, structured leather
  • Low heel, less than 2 inches if possible
  • Super low  or non-existent shaft (exposed ankles preferable) with a no-fuss slip-on design
  • Cool details like buckles, ties, buttons and hand-tooling a plus
  • Decidedly mannish or androgynous in style.
These shooties tend to fall into one of two style categories - either the Western ankle boot or the embellished oxford.  Also, they seem to abound on vintage sites like Etsy (and sell for quite cheap, less than $50).  Which makes them both accessible and unique, as the unisex nature of these shoes means it takes a girl with some balls to pull them off!  

On that note, I am definitely l ooking forward to finding my perfect pair of oxford/western shoe boot/booties.  Here's the best of the rest:
P.S. If you have questions on where to find any of the boots shown above, please leave a comment or e-mail!

I'm really going to buy a pair of rain boots this time, I swear.

It's supposed to rain all this week, a fact that is finally going to drive me to buy a pair of rain boots, something I've wanted to do for the past two years probably.  Some of you may remember a couple of rain boots posts from before.  Well, a few of them still tickle my fancy, but I found some more to choose from.  

And, great news, the watercolor Jeffrey Campbell boots finally went on sale and are now merely $50 instead of $60... I know, not much of a sale, but still.

Someone plz stop me from buying up the whole Coclico site.

I've been tracking this site for a while.  I was a bit confused at first about what, exactly, the Coclico folks did.  I have some to the conclusion that they not only design and make their own beautiful shoes, but they also are purveyors of a handful of other fine shoes.

I think the shoes speak for themselves: poetic structure, sumptuous materials, lovely little details.  And they look rather comfortable.  Only drawback?  They are NOT cheap.  But never fear, many styles are on sale now at  I've got my eye on the esska mary-janes with the teal straps and the esska black boot.

My burning love affair with Cydwoq shoes, part 2.

I was waiting for permission from the Cydwoq folks to post these pictures of some of my favorite designs from their Vintage line...The Modern line is pretty great as it were, but there's something about the Vintage line that captures my imagination.

I love the details, the slightly offbeat yet organic shapes, and the undeniable integrity of these shoes.  Time to save up so I can add to my collection of one =)
Check out the full line of Cydwoqs here.

Hot or Not? Dolce Vita Wilde Boot

Unless you have been living under a proverbial fashion nock, you've no doubt been smacked in the face repeatedly by this fall fashion trend: the thigh-high boot. To be honest, like most normal (read: non-fashionista) people, I'm a bit dubious about it and I'm pretty sure it's going to be rather short lived, and thus hardly worth the investment.

That said, these Dolce Vita Wilde boots caught my eye because of the cinnamon-bronze, supple leather and sleek profile.  And the comfortably doable 3" heels. That was from the front.  Then I looked at the backs and did a double-take at the weird cut-outs behind the knees.  I felt instantly conflicted. On the one hand, the spirit of these boots perfectly captures my half-assed attitude towards thigh-high boots, like they can't decide what they want to be.  On the other hand, they really are a little strange.

So I submit to you, dear readers--what do you think of them? Photos shamelessly stolen off of