Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Harbingers of Boots

New York autumn is a big tease. Gorgeous winter coats, endless bulky knits and sleek cashmeres are everywhere and it’s enough to drive a girl crazy. Why? Because it’s 84 degrees and sunny. But those lovelies tempting you from the windows of your favorite shops as you bake in the sunshine are all harbingers of my favorite time of year: boot replenishing season. And after seeing the Abaete for Payless ad in W, I immediately headed for 34th Street to stock up on the “Linda,” a black patent charmer with Lucite heels. These boots are irresistible; trust me, I’m the girl who swore off Lucite in the 90’s.

Get there soon as everyone deserves a fair shot at the “Linda.” She’s a sure thing with the young beautifuls as this low-heeled, mid-calf boot is modern with a dash of “mod squad.” I've already worn her twice and received one compliment plus several admiring glances. And check out cool Linda's saucy riding boot companion, “Cabri,” the bold owner of an ingenious zipper feature described on the Payless website as the “distinctive zip-off upper shaft” (!). Go, copywriter, go.

But don't leave without trying on the Lela Rose collaboration with Payless for fall. If Abaete skews hip, the Lela Roses are all girl. Perfect footwear for your cinched-in waists and wide-leg pants of fall are her charming flats and wool-twill heels. What did I buy? Well, after brief hesitation (I've learned a lot since the Abaete fall 2006 "black bootie incident", during which foolish me passed up a cool little boot that haunts me to this day) I became the proud owner of an Edwardian ankle boot with decorative side buttons.

And quality control? No worries. If the Lela Rose’s are as well-made as the Abaete's, I'll get a lot of wear from them with low break-in time. I've bought from the past two Abaete collections and have logged many city miles with little to no discomfort. Brilliant for the price range ($25 - $70 this year).

Payless, 110 West 34th Street, between 6th and 7th, 212-947-0306
Turnmill boot by Lela Rose: $40
Addle Hill flat by Lela Rose: $25 (I'd buy it for the name alone)
Linda by Abaete: was $48, now $43.99
Cabri by Abaete: was $70, now $57.99