Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thrifted Favorites, Part One: The Tale of the Amazing Camel Leather Riding Boots

I've mentioned before that some of the pieces in my wardrobe are thrifted. What I did not mention is that thrifting may or may not be my biggest hobby. There is something so rewarding about digging through racks and racks of weird 90s cropped sweaters and brightly colored capris and finding a gem that adds a little extra oomph to your closet. Some of my favorite items are thrifted, and I want to share my all-stars with you to give you an idea of why thrifting can be a killer way to spend an hour or two. Or four, if you're me.

The Tale of the Amazing Camel Leather Riding Boots
I found these at a Salvation Army in Wichita, where there was nothing good on the racks. I turned to leave, then I spotted their enormous shoe display. Usually thrift stores don't have a plentiful supply of shoes that can fit my obnoxiously large feet (I wear size 10, which for someone who thrifts is annoying because all the shoes seem to be size 7). I rarely check out the shoes for this reason, as well as its slightly gross to think of someone else's foot sweat touching your feet.

But then I saw these. Two thoughts came to mind- they're not my size, and they're not real leather. I pulled them out of the rubble of nasty kitten heels with peeling soles and tried them on, my eyes only slightly popping when I found that not only could I zip them over my heel, but they were essentially brand new and therefore not grossly sweaty. These beauties were in pristine condition, and even though the material was questionable, I gladly paid all $14 dollars and took them home to wear as I pranced through fall leaves and sipped tea wearing gloves. 

Since buying these boots, which was quite early in my career as a thrifter, I feel like my style was really kicked up a notch. I have always considered shoes one of the most important parts of an outfit; they say so much about the person's idea of style and comfort. If you put two people in the same outfit in front of me, one in well-cared for suede loafers and the other in Champion sneakers (athletic brand from Target), I can tell a lot about how they perceive themselves and want to be perceived by others. I loved these boots immediately because they made it seem like I had put thought into a more expensive purchase rather than the Target flats and sneakers I had been running around in. They also made me feel way more polished and grown up. Thus started my love for good shoes.

An extra bonus is that, after much research, testing, and speculation between E and I ((Full disclosure: I just googled the brand)), the boots turned out to be real leather. I thought they must be real because the Thrift Gods were smiling on me that day. Regardless, for the last 3 years I've worn these boot so much that last winter I had to get the heel replaced because I had worn through the rubber and could hear the click of the nails every time I stepped.

I don't know how fashionable riding boots are these days, everyone seems to be exclusively wearing ankle boots, but I'll always love them because darn it, they keep my legs warm. I love styling them with black skinny jeans and an oversized sweater, or with button up layered with a sweater so I look like I'm about to go play polo with the lads at the club. They're a fall staple for me because that camel color sings bright leaves and jackets, despite the fact that now they're significantly more scuffed up that I would like. However, I'll probably wear them I find another pair of perfect brand new riding boots from Salvation Army. So I'll wear them forever.

Head to toe thrifted: similar scarf and dress

Forever 21 shirt (similar), Gap jeans

Target sweater (similar on sale!), Mango button up (similar), Gap jeans
Apartment 9 necklace (similar)

Can't thrift your own? Here are some similar options:
Lauren Ralph Lauren at DSW
Zigi Soho at DSW
Loeffler Randall Marit amazing perfect boots that are ungodly expensive!


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