Tuesday, November 17, 2009

over the knee boots: the verdict

PIRATE: It's been forever since we last discussed the over-the-knee boot thing, we should probably give an update on that, n'est ce pas?

I seem to recall that the majority of opinion from our audience was that the over-knee/thigh high boot thing couldn't be done without looking like a Paid Professional. The other part of the opinion: this look should not be done by people who are height-challenged, or mass-challenged.

I was, at last writing, still debating which pair I would purchase – and was leaning toward a nice pair from Victoria's secret. When I finally dusted off the credit card, Vicky's said I wouldn't have them in my sweaty palms until mid-November, that Bitch. I had to keep shopping and obsessing and shopping, and . . .

After much debate, I finally settled on these from Nine West:

By the way - if you're looking for video assistance on how to get them on, I recommend you never do a search on youtoob, unless you want to watch what the Feet People like to watch. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Yes, you see fake leather and you see a very tall platform. I reasoned that this boot would be an appropriate compromise - it had everything I liked about the Alexander McQueen boot I would never be able to afford, and the Victoria's Secret boot I thought looked awesome, without looking too cheap or hookery, at a guilt-free price point.

Yes, that is a brave look to go for. I figured if I'm gonna do it, I will do it the way I want to – so I held my breath and pressed "purchase."

MOI: First of all, I have to say, never in my life have I given over so much time and attention to the purchase of a boot. Pirate and I researched until our eyes glazed over, flinging Web sites and reviews at each other from the butt crack of dawn to the launch of midnight for nearly two weeks.

In the end, for me, it came down to: do I buy something vampy along the lines of the Victoria's Secret boots above or something more in line with my BoHo sensibilities, a la the Dolce Vita Nathan Boot? After much what-to-do-ing, I decided to go for the Nathan. Something about that beautiful dove grey color and soft suede was calling to me from the depths of 1977 and when 1977 calls, Moi picks up. Even better, Endless.com was offering $25 off AND free, next day shipping. Plus, no-questions-asked-no-cost returns. Let me take just a moment to say this: God Bless Endless.com and everyone associated with this kick-ass run business.

PIRATE: First impressions out of the box: it's a big damned box and Nine West took their sweet time sending it to me: almost three weeks to put them in my paws. Do you hear me Nine West? That's cruelty!

My assessment on removal from the box: they do look fake, but not overtly so. Yes, they look exactly like they do in the pictures, and they are tall. Then I tried them on. It was like pulling on a pleather stocking. To my relief, they end just over my knee and not in my crotch as I feared they might. They are fairly comfortable on, the platform is a nice size (meaning these are very stable to walk in). The entire shaft is stretchy (whew!), the ankle zip means they're easy to pull over anything.

Also, the spouse really liked them. This does not bode well for me. I mean, on the one hand, it's good that he likes them, but I really was hoping to wear them outside the house.

MOI: Sure enough, they arrived next day air, nicely wrapped and protected against any and all possible mishandling by Red Bull fueled postal workers cruising for a cigarette break.

The first thing I noticed was the quality of the suede. Very nice for the price. I would have preferred a platform on the foot bed for support, but since the heel is only 3", I wasn't going to make that a sticking point.

Second thing: mah gawd, these are comfy. They fit true to size and will easily accommodate a tight or thin wool sock, which is fine. I'm not going to be wearing my hiking socks. Once pulled on, they came up to just about 3" just over my knee. Perfect.

As for getting them off, well, now I know why they are often referred to as hooker boots. It takes two, baby, to remove these puppies from la feet. Either that, or arms the length of the Pacific Coastal Highway.

PIRATE: Of course, the real test of these boots is pairing them with an outfit that looks professional without looking "professional", and then (ulp) leaving the house. If anyone will have an issue with the height/girth issue, it's me: I'm short, my legs are short, and they're, er, muscular.

First outfit: skinny jeans, navy tissue turtleneck, double breasted short sleeve ecru jacket, big girl boots in a professional setting:
There's a lot of boot there, it has to be said.

The verdict from my co-workers: silence. Not a word. Not a snarky comment, not a noise, not a peep. Deafening silence. I honestly didn't know what to make of it.

Out in public I get nothing. No feedback. Admittedly, I was tepid about where I went.

I posted the above photo on my Facebook page. The verdict from my Facebook friends: a resounding number of positive comments, both male and female, and some catcalls. Make of that what you will.

My personal take: this outfit is comfortable, the boots are fun, but all I can see are my giant thighs bulging from the tops of the boots, and it's not a look I like. I'm hoping they'll stretch more over time.

Outfit two: Frilly white blouse, black drape cardigan, charcoal leggings, big girl boots.

Note the lazy-ass spouse/photographer in the reflection; he's not feeling well the poor dear.

This outfit is much better. I look taller, thinner; more leg, less thigh. The boots have stretched a touch, and the leggings don't seem to take up as much space. Also, it's a little less contrast between boot and legging, which I prefer.

Verdict at work: still no word. I think they got used to me playing dress-up every day and have grown numb to my fashion experiments.

Personal verdict: I feel less self-conscious with this; I feel tall, and not like a "professional". Also, I got a compliment from a complete stranger when I went to lunch with Moi: "that's a nice pair of boots."

Moi says: You looked super duper hot in this outfit and now I am coveting those boots and the leggings. Poor Santa, he is getting awfully exhausted with all my requests.

MOI's OUTFITS: Please excuse the el crappo photos. I just now figured out how to turn off my flash, but not how to change the shutter speed. This was as still as I could hold the camera.

Anyhoo, I find that these boots pair best with tights and a short dress/skirt. They slouch down just slightly when I wear them with my skinny jeans, because my legs, while shapely, are, um, athletic. Add thick denim to my already 16" diameter calves, and the result is a bit of a slouch. But I have a pair of thin black denim jeans that they work perfectly with.

Paired with BCBG dusky rose tunic dress and black tights.

Paired with black CAbi skinny jeans, layered J Crew tees, and DKNY pinstriped boyfriend blazer.

Le Verdict: I feel comfortable in both outfits and in no danger whatsoever for getting hauled away for soliciting favors from cute high school boys. For that, I bring out the Louboutins.

Pirate's notes… I noticed that the boots did not hijack your look – they emphasized you in all the right places. The boot color is faaabulous in person. Too bad we don't have the same foot size...covet...covet...covet...

OVERALL VERDICT: The over the knee boot thing can be done even if you have big legs and you're short, just take care with what you tuck into them. The trick is to not under-dress on top – if you look like a hooker from the waist up, the boots will emphasize this; if you dress like a professional, the boots can add a nice long line to legs.


LaDivaCucina said...

Ok, first of all, neither of you have big legs. WFT are you talking about? I might have to cyber slap da boda youse!!

Second of all, both styles look fabu on you. Not crazy about the white top with the jeans, too much of a contrast, the second look is much classier. Lurve it. Would love to see you in a skirt/dress with them on.

Third, Moi. You are precious. I love your whole blousy rouche-y look. Diva's ta-tas are too big for that and I look preggers/HUGE in that style so I'm tres jealous. And...I could/would NEVER buy suede OR that soft dove gray colour as I know, I just KNOW that I'd spill something on them or get mud splashed on them or get that black driving stain on them. Kudos to you for getting them, I am too practical.

Did you ever get that sequined dress?

moi said...

La Diva, you are so sweet! But let me tell you, how in the heck fire I ended up with J-Lo's hips and bottom and yet NO ta-tas to balance it all out means someone upstairs must have decided to make Moi the Poster Child of the Universe for the Pear-Shaped Bod. Oh, and the dress, the sequined dress! That is a mad, sad, frustrating tale of loss and woe. I was outbid on the first one. The second one that showed up on the eBay was snapped up before I could even bid. I believe the seller reverted to a Buy It Now at the behest of some desperate gal more desperate than I. The THIRD auction, which ended this morning and for which I put in a totally reasonable bid of $251, was snatched from my clutches yet again. For $539, which is nearly $100 over brand new retail price for that particular Antik Batik style! WTF? Le sigh. Now, I must explore other options . . . Which makes me grumpy.

Boxer said...

OK, you two are rocking gals, but I just don't see the allure of those over the knee boots. How do you both FEEL when wearing these? Are they comfy? Is it hard to sit down? How do you get them ON in the first place and does taking them off involve a second person? I agree with LaDiva and NO ONE should listen to Moi saying she's doesn't have the perfect FIT MODEL body for clothes. Now me? Yes, I'm more "Lord of the Rings" shape so these boots would look just hideous on me.

Now how do you all feel about clogs? bwahahahhaha

K9 said...

pirate the second look is worlds better than one. it looks great on you. moi, both your outfits look good even with the extreme value change of black to gray.

i cannot buy any clothes or shoes right now. but i saw some recently i liked. not over the knee. kind of mad maxian (of course)distressed brown leather. lots of straps and buckles and flat: ready for action

thanks for this review. i have concluded that i am not a candidate for over the knee boots for many reasons. but, BUT, i enjoy seeing them on ya'll.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

Diva: my gams measure a measly 29 inseam - 19 circumference above the knee, going up to 23 at the top. for their length, they are like hams. I'm OK with this, my legs take me places ;-)

boxer: these boots add a certain 'oomph' to my day. it feels a bit empowering to wear them. they're fine to sit down in, I do have to pull them up occasionally but not annoyingly so.

Because mine are fake, I can abuse them - I fold the shaft over to take them off, store them thusly. Putting them back on means pulling the shaft up from halfway, rather than negotiating a full yard of pleather.

K9 - I can't wait to try mine with a skirt, but it takes thoughtful wardrobe selection.

Aunty Belle said...

Ho boy! I admires ladies who boot. I mean, the courage to wear this wonderful look done escaped me totally--even when ole Aunty Belle was of an age to do such.

Pirate, I loved loved that black an white ensemble. It's a keeper.

An' Moi's dove grey wif' blue is sublime--

an I reckon y'all seen who Irina of Project Runway put them over the knee boots on half her models?

A.Fanny said...

I'm with Boxer - to cross your legs in a chair do you have to pick up the one leg with both hands and and heave it over the other? Especially with the suede! Or do I just have weak hip flexors? Do let us know!

moi said...

Aunty: I did notice that. I also thought her collection, while oh-so-somber, was the most well executed and conceptualized. Did you see that grey coat? Die.

A.Fanny: Howdy, Miss A – good to see you! Hmmmm . . . you know, I don't remember crossing them, but just tucking them under the seat in front of me. I'll have to check and get back to you. Because heaving, that would be a tad, well, awkward I think. Are you considering a pair?