I Probably Hate What You’re Wearing: Brown Knee-High Boots

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A trend commentary series

Fashion boots are cool. They make you feel powerful and important when you’re click-clacking from meeting to meeting. Who doesn’t love to feel intimidating and feared by men?

But there’s one kind of boot I don’t dig: brown knee-high boots. They fall into the category of trends I’m over and wish would die already. Now, I’m not talking about ankle booties—they’re an entirely different category of boots and I have absolutely nothing against wearing a pair of cute lil’ booties. It’s the tall brown ones I have beef with.

I’ll admit, I was a die-hard brown boot kinda girl for about two years during my unfortunate earth-tones-only phase (more on that in the future). But since I gave them up, I’ve noticed a few things.

Namely, most girls who wear said boots pair them with black leggings. And while I’m all about leggings, brown and black typically do not pair well together. I once saw a woman wearing brown boots, black leggings, and a navy blazer together. It was a trainwreck. It was the trifecta of colors no one should ever pair together. It was the prime example of a Pinterest-inspired outfit gone wrong.

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The perpetrator.

Knee-high brown boots go hand in hand with Starbucks red cups, puffy vests, pearl statement necklaces, and boot cuffs (don’t even get me started) or socks that peek out “cutely” from your boots—all of which add up to what I’d describe as the Pinterest poster child.

Brown knee-high boots tell me your name is Brittany or Amber. You enjoy “adventures” and Instagramming latte art with inspirational captions. Brown knee-high boots tell me that you most likely blow up your spouse’s social media feed with public displays of unnecessary affection, wear Hunter rain boots when you’re not wearing your brown boots, and include yourself as a teammate when talking about your favorite football team (“We lost, but we sure put up a good fight.”). How do I know this? Your boots screamed it at me.

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A Google image search for “brown boots outfits” yields unsightly results.

I don’t know. It’s all very basic-white-American-girl to me. Do you really want to wear an iteration of the exact outfit thousands of other women have worn every fall and winter for the past four years? Hasn’t four years been enough? Aren’t you tired of pumpkin spice lattes yet?

What’s the solution to this? I’m glad you asked. Put your ghastly brown knee-highs where they belong: in the back of your closet, next to your Uggs, and out of my sight. Opt for a pair of tall black boots instead.

Black, unlike brown, is an attractive color. It goes with everything. It can look professional, but it can also look badass. It gives off a more polished and in-charge vibe, and if the boots have a heel, even better. You go kick some ass, and don’t be afraid to look great while doing it!

What about the pumpkin spice latte? Unfortunately, I don’t think much can be done about that. But we can at least wear our black boots in solidarity and look fabulous as hell.

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Teenage angst has paid off well—now we’re grunge and old

On factory-fresh grunge and 2016

The ’90s are back, if you weren’t aware, and while I appreciate some things from the ’90s (Seinfeld, denim overalls, Twin Peaks, big hair), I can’t help but feel that 2016 holds no place for grunge. I just don’t think there’s anything to be grunge-angry about anymore, you know? And while grunge apparel certainly had its day, that day ended when Tumblr and MySpace became the popular mediums for expressing how much one’s parents just don’t ~understand~ them—and that was a long time ago.

The grunge of yesteryear was a movement of self-invention and community. It was a rebellion against the glossed-out pop music and hair metal popular at the time. It said, “Hey, I get it. And I get you. We might be different, but that’s okay.” It welcomed imperfections and embraced the parts of life that weren’t so perfect. I can’t say I see this kind of mentality in today’s grunge reemergence—especially when grunge bands are few and far between these days and in a world where we meticulously cultivate our social media presence to only show our best.

I think the thing that gets me about this reemergence of grunge is that it’s not really even true grunge; it’s a sweatshop-produced image that’s supposed to make us feel nostalgic and edgy. Factory-fresh grunge is pre-ripped tights and “faded” flannel hot off the Target and PacSun racks, and it says a little something about commitment.

That is, committing to looking like you don’t welcome any responsibilities but will happily spend $50+ on a vintage-inspired denim jacket while sipping a Starbucks grande frappuccino (extra caramel, no whip).

Factory-fresh grunge is the equivalent of a gentrified Mexican restaurant that serves margaritas in wide-mouth Ball mason jars and is careful to not let any rogue Kerr jars slip in by accident. Nothing about it feels authentic. It makes you pause and think, “Hmmm. Something’s a little…off.”

Grunge wasn’t about an image, but this reemergence only focuses on the image and making sure it’s picture-perfect—there is no rawness present, and any blip of it lurking under the horizon is smoothed out with the swipe of an Instagram filter.

We live in an age where fashion trends aren’t as influenced by social movements as they once were, so ultimately you can and should wear whatever you want. But I’ll be throwing shifty eyes your way if you’re in your mid 20s and I see you sporting jelly shoes and a choker necklace.