Thursday, February 18, 2010

Traveling Boots

I was disappointed with how this outfit turned out, which is sad considering just how long it took to put it together (I assembled it in the morning, rather than beforehand -- mistake #1). I think the bright red should've been right next to my skin, or else I should've put a darker layer underneath, because it seems like the light button-down washed out my top half and made the red shirt look an unflattering shade of orange. I quite like the interesting layering and shape of this shirt, but it is a bit difficult to wear -- I thought it looked good styled simply as I did in this post, though, so maybe when it's warmer I'll try it again unlayered.

Today I'd like to tell you the story of these boots, because Sal asked me about them awhile back and I don't feel I gave her much of an answer. I bought these boots back in 2006 in Prague, at an immense shoe store called Bata. As far as I know, Bata shoes are available all over Europe, but I've never seen them over here. The store on Wenceslas Square has 7 floors of shoes (or, as Jess dubbed it, 7 floors of YES!); behold the simple and elegant store directory in the photo on the left.

Oh, the sights these boots have seen, and the stories they could tell. They have walked me countless miles across Europe and Iceland; they've seen a Mozart concert at the Festung Hohensalzburg and a performance of Carmen at the Wiener Staatsoper, they've danced to indie bands at Iceland Airwaves, they've trekked the cobblestones of Riga and Budapest and Krakow and Copenhagen; they've climbed the steps of the castle tower at Český Krumlov and strolled the canals of Bruges, they carried me through my ridiculous wanderings after a morning spent at an Amsterdam coffeeshop, and they were on my feet when I got a speeding ticket on my way to Stalin World.

And yes, they've also trudged me to work and back more times than I can count, but their presence during some of my most memorable travel experiences is what stands out in my mind. Perhaps, having been purchased abroad, they were always destined to be a pair of traveling boots.

Sure, they're not the fanciest boots and in fact there have been times when I've wished they were just a little dressier or a slightly lighter shade of brown, but you can bet that I'll wear these boots until they crumble right off my feet. They're undoubtedly one of the most-worn items in my wardrobe, and while their comfort and versatility make them a staple, it is really their history that elevates them to a special place in my heart.

What are your beloved wardrobe items, and what memories do they recall?

Hat: San Diego Hat Co.
Button-down: Old Navy
Red shirt: Manuela Roth
Jeans: Joe's
Boots: Bata


Marie said...

What a fabulous story those boots make, I don't think I have any item that has seen so much excitement and rugged wear. I suppose that some of my jewelery I've had since I was a child has been worn everywhere I've been- some charms I've had forever come to mind.
Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge
Happy Chinese New Year giveaway

Anonymous said...

I live in Australia, and when I was a kid Bata school shoes were by far the most coveted because they had a sole that left an imprint of an animal's paw in the dirt when you walked. How I longed to own a pair of Bata Scouts! But they weren't the 'sensible' shoes my mother insisted upon.

I think if I had a pair of Bata boots now I would never take them off.

melissa rose said...

There used to be a Bata in Canada.... and I know we have a Bata shoe museum... I wonder if there's a relation?

Alison said...

I'm hoping that the boots I just purchased (and am anxiously/impatiently awaiting the arrival of)will be as comfortable and versatile as your boots have been. Although, I've never left this continent, I hope when I do I have my these boots on my feet!

How fun to have traveled far and to as many places! I look forward to your recaps of your travels. I've learned a lot from you. I'm looking forward to the day when I can travel to Italy and Corsica!

Raquelita said...

I do think the red shirt would have looked better against black or maybe a bright blue.

Thanks for sharing the story of your boots! I have a pair of Fluevogs that have been all over the place, too. They make me remember concerts and tapas consumption in Madrid, shopping in London, parties in Toronto, etc.

Everything Is Better Tinted Purple said...

I've read your blog for a while but never commented. But today seemed the perfect day remedy that.

I have an amazing pair of shoes I purchased from Bata in Praha about 2 years ago and adore them. I know that lovely store OH SO WELL! Living about 60 km from the Czech border makes shoe shopping a tempting thing. ;)

Isn't it great the memories things can hold for us? If only they could tell stories.

Erin said...

I have several jersey skirts and dresses that are supercomfortable that I love wearing. It's like wearing my pajamas in public! But I suppose my real favorite is my dance shoes that I wear almost every day at work. I have a pair of Capezio jazz dance (split-sole) shoes from a class I took as an undergrad, and they are so comfy that I wear them in my cubicle!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, how fun to have a pair of boots that have seen the world with you! Thanks for sharing their story. And if I ever get to Prague ...

Emily Kennedy said...

I lust for those boots every time you wear them. So it's good to know that my passion is not for some pathetic, feat-hurting, single-use shoes.

Also, I really like this outfit. I love the shapes created by the top, and I don't think you look washed out at all. Maybe that's due to the balancing effect of the hat.

A-C said...

Those are some spectacularly meaningful boots! Reading the list of places they've been reminds me that I haven't been abroad in a while and really should figure out a way to get The Fiance over there with me so that I can show him the canals in Bruges and the streets of Paris and the beach in Barcelona. Thanks love!

Audi said...

La Historiadora de Moda: Ooh, I like the idea of a bright blue. I'll give it a shot!

Everything Is Better Tinted Purple: How great that you've been to the same store! Thanks for stopping by to comment!

A-C: I'm always happy to talk about travel, and if I can inspire someone else to go, so much the better!

s. said...

mais oui! The Bata family is from Eastern Europe but came to Canada where they now live. We have the fabulous Bata Shoe Museum in downtown toronto; the architect designed the building to look like a shoe box with its lid askew!

I hope that, some day, all of you will come to my home town and see this little gem of a museum!