First of all, allow me to introduce myself. Hello! My name is Anna, and I’m just your average person — not really a self-declared fashion expert or anything. I simply appreciate clothing that fits, and I believe that that’s not too much to ask. Or at least, it shouldn’t be.
Fall is the season of the boot, and recently I made it my mission to go in search for the “right boot” for me. Little did I know just how challenging — and slightly demoralizing — this would be.
My search began online. I turned to Google and its fountain of infinite wisdom and — literally — typed in “finding the right boot.” My search yielded countless articles specifically targeted at women with advice for finding the right boot for their body type.
The advice itself varied widely from article to article, but many focused on finding the right boot for women with “wide calves” or “short legs.” My thoughts were: But, what exactly constitutes wide? or short? And what if my body is a cross between an apple and a pear? Wait. What if I’m a “pearapple” with a bit of “rectangle”? Does that mean my body is abnormal? Am I an anomaly?
I quickly grew to resent the way the articles were written to “fix” or compensate for certain body types (i.e. short legs, wide calves). Not only was it insulting, it was also unhelpful. I simply wanted to find boots that fit me — regardless of whether I was classified as short or wide or pear or apple. Whatever those classifications even meant.
Discouraged by hunting around for sizing tips online, I decided to take matters into my own hands and venture out to department stores in an attempt to demystify this process for myself. I visited Nordstrom and Macy’s, and I chose to try on a total of six different knee-high length boots with relatively short heels. I am typically a US size 6.5 and when there are no half sizes available I am usually a 6.
This is what I found:
Vince Camuto ‘Kolton’ Boot ($149) — There were no half sizes available so I tried on US sizes 6 and 7. I loved the burnt caramel color and worn leather look of these boots. I also liked the “V” shape at the top, creating less of a stark horizontal cut-off. But the fit was all kinds of wrong. They were too wide at the top, giving my legs the impression of a “bowed” look and they were baggy around my ankle. You can see from the picture that the leather bunches a bit there. The “shoe” part of the boot was also rather narrow. I usually round down to a 6 when there are no half-sizes, but there was absolutely no way my foot was going into the size 6. All in all, this boot was a no for me.
La Canadienne ‘Janna’ Boot ($450) — This boot was sleek. It was black suede and water resistant. And beautiful. The fit was perfect and true to my 6.5 size. They were snug, but not too tight along the calf and the square toe allowed for enough room for my toes to be happy! Sold.
Sam Edelman ‘Penny’ Boot ($149) — I so wanted to find a caramel colored knee-high riding boot (I know, it’s specific…) that worked for me, but – alas – this pair was even more of a disaster on me than the Vince Camutos. I think there were about 3 inches of space between my leg and the outer edge of the boot. And, again, the “shoe” of the boot was rather narrow. Plus, there may have been some audible grunting involved just to get them off… Pass.
Coach ‘Carolina’ Riding Boots ($298) — This was one of my favorite pairs of boots. Not only was it a beautiful deep brown, the fit was flawless. They were just the right length – a little bit of space on the top, but not too much. I could definitely see myself wearing these with a pair of skinny jeans or leggings. And the “shoe” part of the boot was comfortable (and not too narrow!). Yes, please!
Michael Kors Bryce Boots ($295) — I really wanted this pair to work. I mean, look at the two tones! They would go with everything. But no. See that big gap at the top? And the leather on the “shoe” part was rather stiff and uncomfortable (though I suppose they would break in over time). Not for me.
Lauren Ralph Lauren Mariah Riding Boots ($159) — This pair simply didn’t fit well. They weren’t too wide at the top, but the rest of the calf was baggy on me and the “shoe” of the boot was too narrow and tight.
Consensus: All of the boots I tried on were US size 6.5M with the exception of the Vince Camutos which were size 7. They were all “regular” width which apparently means nothing since there was such wide sizing variability. It got me thinking: If there is no real consensus for sizing across brands, how are we supposed to find things that fit without spending hours scouring stores? If only there was a place where we could find consolidated information for clothes that fit our own unique bodies!
What’s your go-to fall boot? We want to hear your tips!
(Top Image via Flickr, Sierra K. Coppage)
(Photographs via Laura Driedger)