Betsy and Sal Get the Boot(s)
A potentially unhealthy dependence on Zappos is the focus of this week's column as the authors try to find the perfect boots for the 2012 season.
This being an important election year and all, it’s vital to stay on top of political trends, current events, and global issues.
That’s why this column is about boots.
Pick up any newspaper, flip through all the channels, or just look around. Boots, boots, boots. They’re topical.
So what if Barack and Mitt didn’t get the memo. According to Vogue.com, boots are “The Fall Essential. No matter where you winter – the best armor for the season is not an all-weather jacket, but the fully functional and supremely stylish boot.” Turns out, we winter here, and there is no debate as far as we’re concerned: if we don’t find the right ankle boots, we’re gonna die. Where do we begin?
Strategy. Every great endeavor starts with a plan, and ours is no exception. We start by amassing research, compiling data and comparing notes. Translation? We look at what everyone else is wearing. For years we’ve known that airports and PTA meetings serve, literally, as the stomping grounds for the well heeled. When we see something we like, we’ve been known to proffer a compliment and follow up with that all-important inquiry: who makes it and was it a recent purchase?
If the answer is they’ve worn ‘em for years, our hearts sink. We can’t get those. But if the answer is they’re fresh from the box and the latest thing out, our fingers get itchy for a keypad and an Internet connection.
Every woman reading understands where we’re heading. It’s virtual, but it’s vital. And the shipping is free. God bless Zappos.
How do you take a good thing and make it better? Become a VIP member. At Zappos, that means that somehow or other, over the course of many years and many seasons and many shoes, we’ve kept enough to be considered Very Important Purchasers. And that means not only is the shipping free, it’s fast. Overnight! Hurry up!
Just ask D., our friendly neighborhood UPS Man/shoe salesman. D., whose cell phone number we have on speed dial, knows of our quest for the perfect boots. He has schlepped untold numbers of Zappos boxes to and from our doorsteps. And those boot-laden boxes are not small. Thank you, fearless man in brown. (Note to ourselves – buy UPS stock.)
But finding that perfect ankle boot for the 2012 season is a problem not always solved by ordering a steamer trunk sized box of options on line. Finding the perfect pair is like owning the right black pumps. You look in your closet and there might be multiple pairs lined up in a row, taunting you. No matter how much you loved them last season, last wedding, last reunion, they’re no longer right. The heel thickness. The heel height. The sheen of the leather. The shape of the toe. The lack of a platform. The abundance of platform. All of these factors combine to ensure that whatever we already have isn’t right and whatever we see on someone else we’ve got to have.
Cinderella had it easy. One pair of shoes, custom made, one event, and home delivered. Why was she whining?
Of course, she only needed a pump. If she had lost an ankle boot, the story might have taken a turn for the worse. A gal can get ornery when boots are at play.
Which brings us back to this election year, keeping current, and the economy. Scratch that. It brings us back to the connection between the economy and fashion. Remember the old adage: as goes the hemline, so goes the economy? In other words, if the hems go up, so do the stocks.
We were wondering how that relates to boots. If boots are getting shorter, does that bode ill for the economy? Is a short boot like a long skirt? Or is a short boot like a short hem, which is a symbol of a healthy economy? Or is a high boot and a low boot and a short hem and a long hem and…
… OMG. Why can’t we just find the right boots? Now, what length skirt should we wear while watching the debates? And will we have the right boots by then?