“I like my money right where I can see it—hanging in my closet.” – Carrie Bradshaw
What kind of fashion blog would this be without a Sex and the City quote? We’ve all heard about “investment pieces” and the idea that classics are worth splurging on. My number one investment piece? Boots! This may be because I live in Chicago, where we can’t expose our skin from October to April, but leather boots are one of my most worn, most loved fashion accessories.
The key is to buy well-constructed boots made of good leather that ages well. My boots are now toddler age. I have three-year-old grey and black Fryes and four-year-old brown leather J.Crew boots. They’ve been holding up nicely until just this year, when they started looking rough. Real rough. The heels were totally worn out and the salt stains that used to wipe away easily wouldn’t go away. Since I plan to keep these kids around for many more years, I required some TLC from a man named Gus. I started taking my shoes to Gus New Quality Shoe Repair (click that link for my friend Karen’s review. She’s Yelp elite, you know) in Lincoln Park.
My beloved boots, before:
I clean and weather-proof my boots multiple times throughout the winter, but there is just no getting around the layer of salt that’s spread over the city come January. It absolutely destroys everything it touches.
They look practically brand new! Now if that’s not a great ROI, I don’t know what is. I did the calculations and it holds. Gus cleaned these guys up, fixed the discoloration, got the scratches out, weather-proofed them, put new heels on every pair and new soles on the brown and black ones (the grey will need them by next year, I’m sure).
I’m going back to Gus in March (that may be wishful thinking, probably April) to do a thorough cleanup on my boots again so that any trace of salt is removed and they’re ready to go come fall. In the mean time, I’ll religiously clean and water-proof spray them. By the way, saddle soap is cheap and great for cleaning and conditioning leather. You can really see a difference when you use it, plus it reminds me of my horseback riding days.