If there were a fire in my apartment and I could only save one item from my closet, I would choose my knee-high, flat, tan J.Crew boots. I love those things like the dickens, and wear them constantly (at least 4 times a week, usually more), so I feel a bit guilty for even looking at other boots. But lately I've been hearing more and more about Frye, the venerable bootmakers (they outfitted both Union and Confederate soldiers, then, later, Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders!), and I've been dreaming of a pair of my own. I believe it started with fellow fashion blogger Chloe, who regularly posts photos of her outfit of the day, which often includes her Frye Fiona Tall boots, $276.15. I want these boots desperately-- the style is casual enough for weekend afternoons, trendy enough for Friday nights, and restrained enough for Monday mornings. I also appreciate how the buckles around the calf are functional as well as stylish, so you could loosen them a bit when tucking in your jeans or tightening them with bare legs. I really wish the boots I have now had this feature, since they tend to slouch down around my ankles because they're too lose around the calf.
I'm a fan of buckles on shoes in general, probably because you can't take horesback riding lessons for ten years and not gain a love for shiny silver sliding through supple leather. (Another reason I love Frye: you can see a distinct Western and riding influence but they're not all 'Jessica Simpson in Dukes of Hazzard' over the top.) The buckles on the Paige boot, $376, are more ornamental than practical, which is fitting for the chic slate grey leather.
The Ana Tall boots in cognac, $311, are straight-up gorgeous. Patchwork can be too hippy-dippy with the wrong fabric, but this luxurious leather looks fabulous recut together. It would be a crime to wear these under jeans, you can't argue against that. I have this ungoing debate with a few friends as to wearing it's wrong to tuck your jeans into boots, and I'm constantly shocked that they think you should hide your knee-high boots under denim. Sure, it's a trend, but it's a trend that's flattering and chic (unlike, say, leggings as pants or jumpsuits in general). Tucking your jeans into boots gives you an instantly pulled-together look, while not tucking results in bulky leather getting smothered under your pant legs. If you need more proof, go browse more of Chloe's outfits of the day-- she tucks all the time and always looks fantastic.
Here's another boot that practically demands to be shown off. The Heidi Buckle boot, $299, has heavy hardwear, a bold color, and a substantial heel and platform. In other words, this one isn't for wallflowers. It's lady-of-the-night crossed with cowgirl!
I'm usually not into ankle or mid-calf boots, because they hit my legs at an awkward spot and make me look stumpy. But I would make an exception for these Ava Button boots, $219.99, and maybe try to make them work with an oversized sweaterdress and thick black tights. I love the olive color, of course, and how the ankle cuff sort of reminds me of a cool wallet. The stitching on the fabric edges looks fantastic, too.
Oh, if only they weren't so expensive. Does anyone own a pair of Frye boots? Are they worth it?
EDITED TO ADD: An anonymous commentator pointed out the Vicki Braid Boots, $249.99, which are so gorgeous that I had to include them, too. I love how these basically look like riding tack; the color is even called "saddle." The braid details are really unique and a bit girly, while the brass ring at the ankle is way tough. In the words of the original commentator, "I want these desperately."