I can't really remember exactly how long a particular pair of knee-high black boots have been in my closet, but there are definitely photos of me wearing them in college. I bought them at a Marshall's in Connecticut, and although I did not recognize the brand (long since worn away) I knew that "Made in Italy" was a good sign when it came to leather. They had a great fit, a sturdy heel, and were comfortable—exactly what I needed to carry me across my cobble-stoned college campus. They were also about $100.
A few years ago, the seam on the calf ripped open. I brought them to my amazing shoe guy and he stitched them up. Soon after that, the heels started to wear down— another trip to my shoe guy and they were wearable again.
Of course, I always kept my eye out for new boots, but nothing ever worked. I went into Cole Haan one day and found what I thought were the perfect pair. When I tried them on, the top of the boot came up too high against the back of my knee, causing my carefully honed city strut to become something resembling the Tin Woodsman's rusty gait.
When it started to get cold this year, I pulled the boots out of my closet, broke out the shoe shine, and tried to ignore the fact that they were almost decomposing. I wore them once before breaking down and hitting the DSW— where I was met with pinched toes, synthetic leather, and cankles. Still, I knew my old boots would never survive the New York City winter, (and I would never survive the New York City winter without knee-high boots!) so I kept searching.
Persuaded by Zappos unreal return policy, I ordered 2 pairs of boots from them. The first pair didn't work out (Tin Woodsman walk), but the second pair, dramatically discounted Celine boots from last season, were perfect. Stylish, well-made, and with a fit that looks tailored to my feet, they were exactly what I had in mind. They are not nearly as comfortable as my old boots, but I have to keep reminding myself that it took over 8 years to break those in...
(all photos © Littlehouse of Style)