Sunday, 23 September 2012

Of Boots and Friends

Holy smokes, I am always rushing to catch up to the crowd at the lovely and generous Patti's Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday - go see, so many amazing participants! Also, I am thrilled to be featured wearing the gorgeous creations of the talented and kind-hearted Megan Mae Daily in her Sew Sunday post. May I just say that this corner of the internet is inhabited by the greatest people, and I am privileged to be among you. 


scarf: Charming Charlie, worn here and here
vintage stylized fish skeleton necklace: a gift from my mother
grey flower:
a gift from my mother, worn here and here
corduroy blazer: Costa Blanca
belt:
thrifted
skirt: Amanda, outlet mall, $10
cowboy boots: Browns I.D., Holt Renfrew

I happened to see these boots in a fashion show on daytime TV of all places. They of course gave me the "Aw, DAMMIT" feeling and I basically died on the spot. Especially because it was a Canadian show featuring Canadian stores, and my dear friend would be accompanying me on a Birthday outing to Toronto where these boots lived right shortly.


pullover sweater: Esprit
(Blazer, sweater, and boots all from 2005; scarf, skirt, and belt new-to-me this spring.) 

More than anyone else, my friend understood these imperatives, being given to sporadic episodes of the "Aw, DAMMIT" herself, and though she was 6 months pregnant at the time, we chased a particular pair of pointy cowboy boots all over the city in the blazing heat. The closest we came that day was a full size too small (I thought really hard about them even so), and, across town, one pair in my size which someone had put on layaway. Though that other lady-of-extravagant-lower-appendages had missed the payment deadline and I wanted to give them all my money immediately, they would not sell the boots to me. I went away barefoot and despondent. 


They totally make this sound

For some reason, it was really hard to learn what inventory other stores had, phones went unanswered, calls were never returned, information was even less available on weekends, yet it emerged that there was only one woman who might be able to (possibly, maybe) help me at all, but she was on holiday for a year. 

It was the Dark Ages of Shopping. 




When The Oracle returned from vacation five years later, during which time I'm sure I spoke to every member of their retail staff in the entire province, she delivered the news: though Browns stores were all sold out, there was one pair in my size at the Holt Renfrew this side of the city. However, they would not hold them for me, nor would they take my credit card information over the phone, despite the fact that I wanted really, really badly to give it to them. Being already practically dead, I quit breathing then. 




Though this whole process had dragged on for about ten years, it took my friend no longer than ten seconds to plan and initiate execution of our mission, which lucky she did, because I couldn't even see anymore, what with all the being essentially lifeless and the subsequent oxygen-deprived delirium. The grey-and-silver box looked like it had gone through a wood chipper, but inside they were waiting, cool, pristine, and sentient. 


sparkle-ting-wooaaahh

That night, my friend bought a pair of these same boots for herself. Though she has since released hers back into the wild and I feel her absence from my life so keenly you wouldn't believe, I think of her with much heart whenever I wear so many of my favourite things, having acquired them when she was at my side.

45 comments:

  1. Oh my dear, you can give life to an ensemble, like no other...i am so grateful you blog!

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    1. Likewise, Tamera! You also do this beautifully with your living decor.

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  2. I held my breath through the whole story! The boots are amazing, and so was their journey. That shiny ding! feeling is what I want to fill my closet up with. Those pieces that make us gasp and shout TAKE MY MONEY DAMMIT! are all the sweeter when we finally acquire them.

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    1. How grand would a closet full of winking, sparkly, chiming things be? Fantastic!!!

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  3. Boots have that effect on me too. Yours are outstanding.

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  4. This saga would be a terrific mini series. Who would play you? Who would play the boots? Your sound effect is awesome! I can't believe I actually know someone who buys footwear from Holts - I go in there almost every day on my inspiration walks - to resist a purchase is not difficult considering I park my wallet at the door. They have the most incredible things. These boots are gosh darned pickle stabbers!!! Most excellent royal highnesses. Have you been to the The Room, pronounced Za Ruum, at the Bay? DON'T GO!

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    1. Melanie, you might be the only living person who could deliver a suitably moving portrayal of The Boots.

      I must tell you that this is my one and only Holt's purchase ever - not quite my, shall we say, milieu! And Za Ruum remains legend in my experience - if I went there I might never get out, most likely due to terribly embarrassing behaviour and inability to pay reparations. :) Your warning is sound, sound advice!

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  5. What a tale, to get those fabulous winkle-picker boots! I don't go go Holts (too high-falutin' for me), but I go to the Secret Area at our downtown Bay (it's where they hide the UK brands).

    I love all your tones of greys. I need to study your outfits for my next neutral month.

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    1. Me too, Sheila! I've only ever been in a small handful of times and except for this once, for entertainment purposes only. Melanie has forewarned me about The Secret Area - you are made of stern stuff to make it back out of there at all - AND another neutral month??? I am wicked impressed!

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  6. I knew Melanie would call those boots pickle stabbers! I would call them winkle pickers, that's us divided by a common language!
    You tell a very good tale, Amber, and this one had a happy ending, eventually! And you wear a very good outfit, you are in your monochrome phase and it looks fabulous! Love the shape of the nipped-in jacket with the full skirt. Ding indeed! xxxx

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    1. Curtise, they picked my winkle good at first glimpse! Thanks!

      This jacket is about the perfect shape - cropped, fitted waist, really nice shape to the collar, plus stretch - fortunately, its signs of wear don't detract from it for me.

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  7. I know the exact feeling of chasing down a pair of shoes/boots. We should compare stories sometime. They were well worth the effort because they're absolutely gorgeous as well as the outfit.


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    1. Thanks, Sheila - glad I'm not alone in my fits of imperative desire!

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  8. Like Megan, I was withholding my breath til I came to the happy end of your story. What a story-teller you are! And a fabulous wardrobe-put-together-er, and a very cool lady. Thanks for linking up to Visible Monday.

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    1. Patti, you are so kind! I love Visible Mondays with all my might - thank you!

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  9. You are the most amazing storyteller! I hung on every twist and turn in your quest for those amazing boots.

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    1. Thank you so much, Susan! It was a highly dramatic episode of shopping!

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  10. I swear, there is nothing better than pointy toed cowboy boots in my world. So when I saw that pic on Patti's site, I was all "ohhhh, Amber." They look in such good condition, it doesn't seem like you've even worn them! I haven't been able to look past them yet to see the rest of your ensemble...some day, perhaps.

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    1. Thank you Pao - they have held up well. Since I've had some strong consistency of taste / style over the years, I've amassed quite a deep wardrobe, and varying rotation helps keep things fresh. :)

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  11. Pickle stickers? We call them cockroach killers here in Kansas! Probably more than you wanted to know! I love cowboy boots and I love the ones I bought last year. I have got to rescue them from their box in my closet. What a wonderful story you told and I am so thankful that you got them after all the effort you put into finding them. I was so excited about your boots that I almost missed the rest of your fabulous outfit! Love everything about it, but especially the boots.

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    1. Oh, Debbie, absolutely crack those babies out of their box-languishing and show us! I bet they look great on you, would be perfect punctuation to so many of your looks.

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  12. Oh my if you're not careful you might take someone's eye out with these hahaha. They're pretty cool indeed! It's funny how we had a similar pursuit for cowboy boots, albeit in slightly different styles!

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    1. Thanks, Sara - there's something about cowboy boots!

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  13. Friends and footwear are essentials and shouldn't be relinquished too easily. I wish I hadn't been quite so cavalier in my youth. Your accompanying outfit is wonderful and your poses are regal!! You inspire me to sit up straighter. I can't wait to pull out some of my boots as well. xxoo

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    1. True about the treasure of friends in particular, Jean! xo

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  14. Outstanding story! I was sitting on the edge of my chair throughout, with admiration for your amazing boots and your love of the hunt and your dear friend. Loving the mix of greys and the stunningly beautiful flower on your jacket, which I see was a gift from your Mother. And then you included sound effects!

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    1. Thank you, Judith! I am so glad you enjoyed this post full of especially vivid memory.

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    1. Thank you, Ally! It has really nice seaming / construction, especially for the price.

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  16. I would so wear every single thing in that outfit. But for some reason the skirt and scarf are especially calling out to me. Beautiful!

    Cindy at Notes in the Key of Life
    I'm giving away a gorgeous Soft Surroundings top!

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    1. Thanks, Cindy - I so appreciate your visiting and commenting!

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  17. I love a story with a happy ending, especially when it ends with The Sweet Dreamz Shooze.

    I am also quite boggled by your amazing attention span, because I am distracted by Other Shooze so frequently, or sparkly things, or even just plain ice cream sandwiches.

    I always get really excited about your beautiful pictures, but today particularly so, because a couple of weekends ago I thrifted a longish fullish plaid skirt, not the same as yours, but along the idea of yours, so am looking forward to styling it with my, um, black Rack Room boots.

    But wait, wait, don't put me out your reader yet, I had an Aw Dammit moment today that I can't post about cause my hubby sometimes reads the blog :o I showed Megan Mae a pair of gray Frye boots I thought would be my only splurge for fall a couple of months ago but then the brakes went on the car and that was that - but while I was WORKING on the Internet this morning, a Big Brother Amazon ad popped up indicating they were marked $199 off. And that was that...

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    1. This comment sounds like my inner monologue/ life!! Can't wait to see the boots.

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    2. Jean, it's tough being us :P Those boots arrived today, and I was so ashamed of myself for buying them when more needed things need to be bought, I had to take a picture of them on my feet with my phone and email them to Megan to ask if they were worth sneaking home. They are still at the office, while I wallow in guiltiness...:o

      P.S. Megan says yes keep them they are killer and I will never in a million years get a pair of Frye boots for this price.

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    3. Aw, Lynne! "Sorry" about your AW DAMMIT (especially while virtuously working away!) and I so hope you keep them! KEEP THEM. FRYE! Extended periods of very tight budgeting are so hard, and the isolated big splurge can go a long way to warding off feelings of deprivation / total martyrdom. I'm grateful that these moments don't happen to me often enough to unbalance the grand scheme of things.

      I was excited to find this skirt because it reminded me of the wonderful trumpet skirts Sheila of Ephemera wears. My wardrobe is variously sourced - along with this (one and only) Holt Renfrew purchase and Fluevogs mostly acquired on sale or clearance are plenty of $10 or less thrifted / discount store bits (see skirt above), and Payless / WalM*rt shoes - I would never judge!

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  18. Those boots, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    1. Thanks, Sacramento! My thoughts EXACTLY. :)

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  19. I've never seen cowboy boots like yours before, but you look absolute fantastic in them (and the rest of the outfit)! I love your silhouette with the wide skirt and the narrow waist - and then those boots below it all!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! I really enjoy wearing this combination.

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  20. You are a damn fine story-teller; I was on the edge of my seat, fingers crossed that the elusive boots would be found! I am a huge fan of mixing black with shades of grey (not the book!!!) and I love the shapes in this outfit. I would love to go shopping in your closet.

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    1. Thank you Shelley - I think your closet would be a mighty fun place to rummage through too. (NOT THE BOOK. Lol!)

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  21. I loved the tale of your boots and how they finally found their way to you, you were clearly mea t for eachother. :) Your dark ages comment had me cracking up, I soooo feel your pain at that time. :)

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    1. Thanks, Izzy! I know you understand about desire and those faraway special, sparkly items! xo

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  22. Fantastic Amber! I LOVE these kicks and this outfit!

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Thank you for your comments!
- Amber