The one thing I hate with a passion is shopping for boots. This is due to my somewhat ‘curvy’ calves, a description far kinder than what I usually call them - ‘sumo calves’. Now if I had aspirations of being a sumo wrestler then sumo calves would be a perfect accessory, but since the rest of me is rather petite, then all it seems I have aspirations of is being a weeble. Still, at least I won’t fall down when I wobble, eh?
So boot shopping is always fraught with disaster. I gaze longingly at the belted and zipped varieties, those leather beauties with ‘no give’, shapely and tall specimens for coltish lucky females. I linger, imagination fitting me with slim calves, prancing around in my lovely boots. Perhaps I’d even wear long stripy socks with my boots, and the horizontal bands wouldn’t look like my legs were in wide-screen only. And then I’d sigh, dreams dismantled, and head over to the large pull-on Welly’s.
Every so often, usually once a year, I forget I have curvy calves. I get fooled and seduced by new-season boots, and tempted into trying one on. There is always a moment of hope, which usually lasts until I try to make the zips marry and realise there is a vast desert of leg between each side. With luck this won’t be when I have slim calved ladies each side of me, but if I do then I just give a knowing chuckle and wry shake of the head, as if to say ‘who put that giant leg there?’ and then slink away.
The worst is if you ask shop assistants to help you. I mention the need for a wide-fitting boot, and they always disbelieve me, and show me some skinny laced leather thing. ‘No’, I will say, ‘show me your nicest elephant leg boots please’. They only ever listen once I have demonstrated the calf in all its glory.
This happened once in Top Shop. The assistant looked me up and down, ignored my plea for an elephant-leg and handed me a stylish leather boot instead, telling me that it would definitely fit. So resolutely I tried it on, and the zip didn’t go up beyond my ankle. ‘You do have large legs, don’t you?’ she said in surprise. Mmm, thanks for that.
So is it any wonder that I always buy the first boots that fit? No lingering, debating, or shopping around for me when it comes to buying boots. If a pair fits then I am at the till quicker than you can say ‘stretchy’. So today I am the proud owner of a new pair of boots, bought at lunch-time. I have absolutely no idea whether they are stylish or even suit me. They fit, and that is the only criteria I ask for – hooray! Unleash the dresses and skirts!