Thursday, November 01, 2007

SMELLS LIKE...



You know how sentimental I am about my clothes. Can't bear to part with them most of the time. It's a miracle that two pairs of shoes - worn until totally destroyed to the point of being unwearable - and almost unrecognizable as footwear (one pair Marni, one pair Dries Van Noten) have at last been taken out of the wardrobe and unceremoniously chucked in the bin.

But there is method in my shoe hoarding madness sometimes. Biker boots: Proper motorcycle boots bought in a biker shop in ooh, around 1990. They were the perfect companion to dyed long black hair, holey oversize grey jumpers, a sullen expression and a nice little line in door slamming and whining, "No one understaaands meeee." I had a grungy stoner phase and thankfully it didn't last that long. It turned out that wearing kick arse heels and going to clubs was a lot more fun. But the boots, the boots...So well made, such good quality I couldn't bear to throw them away, infused though they were with that "difficult age". Each time the style came round again I'd put them on, then no, no can't do it. The echo of teenage angst was too strong, the memories of where they'd been - if I remember rightly mostly hanging around under slides in the local park having Thunderbird spilled on them. I tried to wear them last winter and could not shake the taint of teen spirit.

Now I am being told by every magazine I look at to wear biker boots. I go out and everyone is wearing biker boots. I take mine down from their dusty top shelf home and look at them. I sniff them. I consider selling them on ebay and buying another pair sans connotations. But I have yet to see another pair as perfect as these and with inflation another pair would cost me around twice as much. So I put them on, I wear them out. I do not feel the urge to kick anything, loiter outside McDonalds all day or buy a ten pack of B&H; though I did buy a My Bloody Valentine CD recently.

The key, I'm thinking, is to pair the boots with clothes that could not possibly be construed as in any way stoner-ish. So opaque black (not woolly) tights, a short dress, an APC cardi and a smile do the trick. Nubbly knits could be problematic if they have anything approaching a "smoking" hole in the cuff to put your thumb through. Unfortunately plaid (yet another renaissance of something I really like) may also have to be avoided in conjunction with the boots. (I'm looking at you, Judd Nelson.)

The look is somewhere between Parisienne slouch and my favourite phrase du jour coined by Fashionista: The '90s Fashion Editor Look - so funny, so true! And the boots are super comfortable since my own feet wore them in for me. But don't talk to me about Doc Martens. Neither Daisy Lowe in the ads or Agyness wearing them will convince me. I am not going there again. Ever.

9 comments:

lottie said...

I wandered around the Dr Martens shop this week and whilst struck with a certain nostalgia (mine were black, 14 holes), knew that I could never, ever wear them again. But if I'd had boots like yours, I'd dig them out tout de suite!

Anonymous said...

Oh I had a phase too (hang my head in shame)...so I cannotn eve be in the same room with doc martens. But I have Italian light pink biker boots that I bought last year...and I just wear them like normal boots with whatever. Love your posts..always fun.
delphine

Bombay Beauty said...

You are ashamed because of your rebellious biker phase. I am ashamed by my lack of it. But I could really use a tough pair of boots. I'm slightly obsessive about avoiding scuffs and keeping footwear well maintained. The idea of something that is meant to look rough and tough is an excellent one. BB

clare said...

Oh, I can't believe biker boots are fashionable again!

I relate so much to your love affair with these boots. From the age 13 to 25 I wore them, I discarded them, I wore them again, each time trying to move on, each time being irresistably drawn back into their wonderfully satisfying strong, tough and yet very sexy, chic.

I wore them to my first ever indie gig, drank my first can of Special Brew in them (ur!) and had my first disastrous affair in them. And I shoved my first pair away in the wardrobe when Acid House came along and I became a raver. But they came back.

They marked some of the most important moments of my teens. I thought I'd finally put them away forever. But, as I see from your post, those biker boots, there's no getting away from them..

The Clothes Horse said...

I'm far too attached to much of my clothes. I keep wearing my gold ballet flats and they have three holes in them!!!
Biker boots would hold up better. Love a little rebel in a dress and boots.

Lola is Beauty said...

Clare: we have clearly lived parallel lives...I may have spilled Special Brew on you many years ago!

e said...

i know exactly what you mean about trying to wear things from the past! the outfit that you described sounds perfect with your boots. i don't even know where my doc martens are, but i'm sure i could figure out a way to wear them without looking like someone who just discovered the late 80's-early 90's.

cc said...

fantastic... "It turned out that wearing kick arse heels and going to clubs was a lot more fun." so true.
but your post actually left me wanting to relive my own rebel days hanging out in parking lots and smoking marlboro reds...if only for a day!

Julia said...

Ha! Great post! Know how you feel...