Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Should I Be Wearing These?

I am 57 years old and neither a cowboy nor a cowgirl. I don't ride horses and I have no western heritage. But these cowboy boots are some of my favorite things, boots which have participated in many stories and adventures in my life and as I think about it, represent an awful lot to me. Just last week in Washington DC, I was wearing these boots for my day of sightseeing, when a group of young 18 YO African-American Air Force couples stopped their smooching in a park long enough to pronounce my boots "fierce", tell me that I was "lookin' mean" in my boots and skinny jeans, complimented me on my style, based on these boots (and probably my hair, which was impossible in the wind!). If you've known me within the past 15 - yes 15! - years, chances are you know these boots. So what's the big deal?

The first big deal is that I started wearing them when I worked for the pretty straight-laced big-name retailer, Eddie Bauer, where everyone wore khakis and polo shirts, even the women. It was always a little hard being the curly-haired Jewish woman in this Northwest outdoorsy company, and I tried for many years to blend in, keeping my hair short and my shoes flat. And then, one day I stopped trying. I let my hair grow long and crazy, and bought my first ever pair of cowboy boots - these very ones. And wore them to work, with the knowledge that I was the same Lisa in these boots as I had been in normal corporate dress, that I was just as talented and able wearing clothes which expressed ME as always, maybe even more so with the stress of trying to fit in removed from my daily trials.

Today these boots have become my go-tos: I've worn them on first dates since I've become newly single ("this is me; take me or leave me") , I wore them to meet the new CEO of the last big corporation for which I worked ("this is me; take me or leave me", which ended up becoming leave me!), and I wore them just a few weeks ago with a sexy dress to a party where I knew no one but my very charismatic date (who knew everyone there!) and wanted to present myself as me: casual (it was a young tech crowd), sexy, confident, and individual.

Do boots make the woman? Of course not. But it is pretty amazing how many people stop me wherever I go and notice these boots enough to say , "Great boots!". Clearly they speak to more than just me, must resonate for many women. Am I too old to be dressing like this? I don't think so. While I sometimes look at teenage girls in cowboy boots and really short skirts, and hope like hell that I don't look like I am trying to imitate them, I really don't give much of a damn. And I know for sure that if/when "50/50" exists, the clothes will always look good with cowboy boots, among other footwear.

By the way, these boots are incredibly comfortable, which is another critical element of 50/50: equal parts style and comfort. While I don't recommend these boots for for hiking in Santa Fe, they did work for that this past Christmas - and I liked how I looked!


  1. Great post! I believe you have stumbled upon the secret to a happy life. Eight simple words in this blog make life easier, far more enjoyable and well, just better - "this is me - take me or leave me". When you are confident enough to be you - magic happens. I plan to share this with all my friends because that simple phrase is something we should all aspire to.

  2. I couldn't possibly imagine my foot without a boot surrounding it!! Wonder where I get this from...