January 10, 2013

Tall Boots - Where have you been all my life???

Generally speaking, I'm an early adopter when it comes to a lot of things.  New Apple technology, check. Wearing neon with neutrals, check.   Innovative toys for kids, check.  However, despite my long lived ties to fashion there is one look (I won't say trend because it's not going anywhere) that I have been a complete laggard on.  For whatever reason tall boots have always been my fashion Kryptonite.

Mommy Testers #cbias Country Outfitter  tall boots cowboy boots lucchese chelsea boots

Maybe because they are almost always meant to be paired with skinny jeans and I was more of a bootcut flare girl?  Possibly because the choices in a department store always feel overwhelming to me. Definitely because I'm frustrated by the shoe sales people who often seem to be looking over their shoulder for their next easy sale rather than helping you find what you really need.

Regardless, I did finally convince myself that I wouldn't look completely awful in skinny jeans after finding a pair that fit well in a very surprising place...Old Navy!  Normally I just buy Kayla's stuff there but on a whim I tried on a pair on and didn't hate what I saw.  With winter in full swing here  it was clear that the flip-flops and ballet flats that I usually pair with them weren't going to cut it anymore.

Mommy Testers #cbias Country Outfitter cowboy boots lucchese chelsea boots

One of my friends had some family photos taken by a local San Diego photographer and in checking out her site I saw this family shot where the mom was wearing some adorable oversized Western boots...not quite cowboy boots, but very cowboy inspired.  A week later those boots were still on my mind and I knew I had found my motivation to find a pair to call my own.

Since I turn to the internet for the answer to practically everything from how to slow cook a turkey (it works!) to shopping for health insurance (boring!) to my favorites of buying clothes for myself and toys for Kayla it seems like an obvious solution to look for a site that would help me wade through the bazillion boot choices out there in a digestible way.

Mommy Testers #cbias Country Outfitter cowboy boots Frye Melissa boots

So I did something I've never done before as an East Coast city chick living in SoCal and typed "cowboy boots" into Google.  The first thing that popped up was a company I wasn't familiar with called Country Outfitter.  I clicked through and for one quick minute I felt very out of my element seeing brands that must be a big deal, but I hadn't heard of.  But as soon as I headed to the women's section I saw this.

Mommy Testers #cbias Country Outfitter easy to navigate website

Did they read my mind?  Yes, of course I'm looking for something that ships in 24 hours!  I'm an impatient woman who wants her cute boots by the weekend.  And how did I not know about this site?  It looks like a bunch of my Facebook friends are already fans.

I like that in addition to not torturing myself by seeing things I like and getting a dreaded "out of stock" message I was able to quickly eliminate styles I knew wouldn't be of interest to me like square toed boots and shorter boots with heights below 10".  The Country Outfitter site also wasn't overly cluttered with sorting filters like some of the sites I'm used to, which can feel just as overwhelming as having none.

Mommy Testers #cbias Country Outfitter cowboy boots lucchese chelsea boots

After some surprisingly relaxed browsing I narrowed my favorite picks down to two pairs - one from Frye that was more of a riding boot style with nice pebbled leather.  The other was from a brand I saw for the first time, Lucchese and had a cute braided detail and a pointed toe for a more cowgirl feel.

I comparison shopped a bit with some of the big go-to online shoe retailers and found that while the Frye boot prices were pretty much the same wherever you shopped, the Lucchese boots ended up being about $70 cheaper on Country Outfitter with free shipping!  Sold. I ordered both so I could try them on and pick my favorite in person.

Mommy Testers #cbias Country Outfitter cowboy boots Frye Melissa boots

The box showed up and home all alone I made the executive decision to indulge myself in ripping it open right away and doing something I genuinely miss from my pre-baby life - playing dress up.  And not the kind that involves me dressed up in a dragon costume meant for a 5 year old.

I had so much fun that since I don't post many pictures of myself I took some to share with you.  There's one I'd wear on the weekends around town with the family, one I'd probably save for date night and one that screams spring...oh how I can't wait for spring!  This was my first time taking pictures of my camera shy self so bear with me!

Mommy Testers #cbias Country Outfitter cowboy boots lucchese chelsea boots

From years in apparel and accessories manufacturing I can say that both pairs of boots were impeccably crafted from amazing leather, looked and felt great and were easy to move in.  The last of which is very important when chasing an energetic child all the time.   However one grabbed my heart instantly and I think you can tell which pair had me feeling comfortable and stylish enough to goof around and even share it with my Facebook friends.

Mommy Testers #cbias Country Outfitter cowboy boots lucchese chelsea boots

Yep, in the end I went with the more cowgirl feeling Lucchese boots.  Maybe there is a country side to this city girl after all!  And with my first Western wardrobe infusion I'm thinking there will be plenty more down the road.

In fact I'm actually headed to Bentonville, Arkansas this spring. Rather than sightseeing, I hope I get a chance to head on over to Fayetteville where Country Outfitter is based and check out their insanely high-tech warehouse.  Orange robots do all the running around to get your boots shipped out to you extra fast.  Now how cool is that?? As a girl who knows pick and pack logistics all too well I can't get over this!

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ #CBias #SocialFabric Everything you see is my personal and incredibly picky opinion.
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