The Response

February 25, 2008 by Ellen Stimson in Shoes, Vermont

Yes, well, okay it’s true, they have boots and gadgets, and we might just have few bags or pairs of shoes. But once you move to Vermont you can’t wear them anymore anyway. For one thing there is six months of winter, ice and snow and stuff that requires boots. You buy the Canadian kind which are not particularly attractive, but which do offer the special pleasure of warmth. Warmth as an honest to God pleasure is something you can only understand when you live where it is winter for practically ever, where you get bone weary cold from conserving oil, and worrying that the woodpile is getting mighty skinny. So you buy ugly boots which start after a while to look beautiful to you because they are in fact WARM.

And then it is mud season and you wear those horrid Martha Stewart muck boots. At first you go for the plaid ones that have sort of a Burberry feel. Only they aren’t really all that waterproof. This proves untenable. Hardly anything is more annoying that wet socks. Eventually you have a bunch of colorful muck boots alongside all those strappy sandals you never wear anymore, and one hardy pair of winter boots, and big forest green ugly muck boots which have somehow become your best friends. They live in the mudroom next to the shovel.

Finally summer comes and you get out all those strappy sandals. Only it’s kind of cool here in the summer. You can’t wear them in the mornings because it is too cold and damp, and the skirts they go with don’t cover nearly enough. And then in the evening
when you go to the theater you have to wear a sweater so strappy sandals don’t quite work there either. July is just about hot enough and so for four weeks you can wear the sandals. But the rest..the pumps, the evening shoes,,,ha! In the mud, ( the Green Mountains get that way from lots of rainshowers…little ones, not denting the beauty of a sunny day for more than a few minutes, but causing runoff from the mountains, and lots and lots of mud…always), or on the rocks which are everywhere since you live in the mountains and the whole place is really after all just a big old rock with little pieces falling off everywhere all the time, not much works but those dreadful LL Bean things that make all of New England look sort of dumpy and square. So, you invest in cowboy boots which almost seem planned with the gypsy skirts, and are at any rate a steady enough shoe to get you around up here. Women in Vermont do not buy all the shoes that women everywhere else do.

And bags, well yes, we have some of those. Only a red ribbony Kate Spade bag looks pretty ridiculous with muck boots. Likewise purple, teal, or anything much more than brown and black. No, the guys get all the fashion accessories up here. Though they may use them to drive cars into fences, they clearly have the better end of the Vermont fashion stick….


  • Angela

    I am just discovering this phenomena here in Nebraska…. and it is with great sadness that I view my beautiful, southern appropriate, pumps, strappy sandals, etc…that I wore year round, and shut the closet door. 🙁 We all have boots now too.

  • katiedid

    Jewelry is unaffected by the cold I seem to recall….

  • molls

    Check out the blogger stats. You can see how many people are logging on. I have almost 90 times the number of comments I am getting

  • Anonymous

    who cares if the bags MATCH??????

  • library lady

    Alas, although St. Louis has a huge variety of weather opportunities for any number of different types of shoes and boots–sometimes five or six in one day, I find that the older I get, the more addicted to clogs I become. But katiedid is 100% correct: jewelry in its infinite variety is always with us!

  • library lady

    One thing that librarians are constitutionally unable to do is leave well enough alone. I just came across a review of a new book called The Meaning of Sunglasses: And a Guide to Almost All Things Fashionable, by Hadley Freeman. It sounds like it was meant for this particular blog entry!

  • Amy

    At least you have an environmental excuse. I keep passing up my very cute, sexy shoes for my Dansko’s. The Danskos are great, but I’m choosing them for comfort. Now I am buying slacks that are hemmed to be worn with shoes instead of heels.

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