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These Boots Are Made for Walkin'

Will one-hit wonders never cease? Probably not, but boots will always endure.

When Nancy Sinatra became popular with her 1966 hit song, These Boots Are Made For Walkin', I wondered, who told her she could sing? Then it dawned on me. Her father, of course! Looking through the old blue eyes of love, no doubt. But, here’s something for which I give Nancy Sinatra all the credit in the world. She single-handedly made boots the fashion statement of the decade. It’s true.

When go-go boots hit the style scene, girls of all ages across the globe went wild for them, especially in London, New York and California. As a matter of fact, they even became prolific in my little college town of Winona, MN for heaven sakes. We all bought them and we all wore them every chance we got.

Who knew?

The extraordinary thing about the '60s boot fad was that it turned out to have tremendous staying power. So much so that as a result, boots are now considered classic. Today, they are everywhere and in everyone’s wardrobe.

And if you need a new pair of boots this season, your timing is perfect! There are flat-heel, mid-heel and high-heel boots; buckled, laced, zippered or slip-ons; knee high, ankle high and over the knee styles, and they come in every color imaginable. This is a time chock full of variety, fun and price points that are all over the map.

The of the moment boot is the over-the-knee style. I for one love this look because if you prefer to wear your skirts a bit longer, as in just below, at, or above the knee, this boot will nicely rest inside the contour of your skirt, thus giving you a slimmer, longer leg-line look. (I especially like the slimmer part.) This over-the-knee boot style also works well with leggings or skinny jeans, preventing the annoying and unattractive problem of your jeans bunching at the knee. And if your boots fit really well, they will stay put and feel comfortable.

Nice benefits all the way around, don’t you think?

That said, however, they may not be of the moment for very long.

Knee-high boots, on the other hand, are fashion-proof (the rim of the boot hits just below the knee). Always in style and always good-looking, they work well with everything, including trouser-style jeans and suit pants.

Ordinarily, I wear ankle-high boots with suits and trousers, but on bad winter days—and rumor has it that we should expect some of those here in the Midwest—I need water/snow-proof boots. My Aquatalia knee-high boots are simply fantastic. They are somewhat pricey compared with other popular brands, but let me just say they are worth every single penny. Both Nordstrom’s and Von Maur carry the Aquatalia brand and if you check online, I’m sure you will find that many other stores carry it as well.

They are actually designed and made in Italy, so they are beautifully flattering and extremely well constructed. They even have a waterproof suede boot style this year!

Got to love those Italians. Right, Ms. Sinatra?

BBB November 16, 2011 at 10:59 AM
My own theory about Boots as Women’s fashion is that Boots are likely to be worn during Progressive periods. Women choose to wear Boots as a symbol of Power. They are, after all, the footwear of choice for dominatrixes and superheroines. In the early part of the twentieth century, Boots went out of fashion more or less as soon as Prohibition started. The style didn’t come back into popularity until the very Progressive sixties. As a life-long Boot fetishist, I have also studied the history of the ThighBoot ( as well as the Over Knee Boot ) as Women’s fashion. The first examples were found in the early sixties at the Paris fashion shows. These were derided as ‘sewer boots’ by some, but obviously made a huge impression on others. These included the wardrobe designer Michael Whittaker of the TV series ‘The Avengers’, in which Honor Blackman, as Cathy Gale, appeared in truly knee-high Black Leather Boots. As well as a full black leather outfit to match. For the year 1963, this was pretty shocking television. In February of 1964, Blackman and Patrick Macnee ( John Steed ) would release the hit single ‘Kinky Boots’. KB mentioned every possible style of women’s boot, including Thigh-highs. ( continued )
BBB November 16, 2011 at 11:07 AM
( continued ) In the U.S., the Thigh-high style really took off in 1965, some say as a result of the success of the then blockbuster film ‘Dr. Zhivago’. From the second half of the sixties and especially throughout the seventies, ThighBoots ( even Thigh-high Frye Boots ) were a must-have in a Woman’s footwear collection. Many of the era’s actresses, including Faye Dunaway, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Fonda, Dianna Rigg, Sally Fields and Rachel Welsh would often appear on film in tall or over the knee boots. Thigh-highs were to stay fashionable until the year 1980. Right at the time when Progressivism was in freefall and Reagan and Conservatism began to Rule. Anyone stating that thigh-highs were still part of the fashion scene in the ’80’s is distinctly incorrect. In 1980, the de rigueur style was ankle-low and flat-heeled. In anything, the popularity of Punk meant that combat boots were also the new sensation. Along with, of course ( yawn ), leg warmers.
BBB November 16, 2011 at 11:11 AM
( continued ) Today, the longevity of the ThighBoots/OTK style is likely a result of images of celebrity ladies clad in this type of footware, and also the explosion of adult images on the web which feature boots,and particularly the number in which the female subjects are clad in over-the-knee footwear. In addition, the oughts have been a decade in which conservatism has been in ever increasing retreat, especially with the election of Obama.
Howard Hoffman November 16, 2011 at 05:12 PM
Fashion choices based on political mood swings, the studied opinion of a "life-long Boot fetishist." Thanks for contributing, but I think some may disagree with the assertion that "conservatism has been in ever increasing retreat."
BBB November 16, 2011 at 06:45 PM
You are correct about me saying "conservatism has been in ever increasing retreat." I should have said something like : certainly on many social fronts - if not economic ones - conservatism would appear to be in ever increasing retreat.

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