Bootylicious

I got the knee-high boots!

Well I don’t got them yet, exactly (me good English speak). But they’ve been ordered!

Remember I mentioned Duo Boots a wee while ago, purveyors of boots for all sizes? I went to their new Fitting Room in Edinburgh on the weekend. The shop is a nice oasis from the bustling high street. It’s bright and airy with all the shoes and boots along the walls. Immediately you are greeted by a Boot Wench (not official job title) who sits you down on a fancy couch and measures your gargantuan calves at their widest point. Then you tell her which styles you like and she traipses up and down the stairs fetching boxes.

They even treat you tenderly if you’re a Boot Amateur. I stuck my foot in, yoinked at the zip and wailed, "It doesn’t fit! I can’t belieeeeve I’m too big for your boots!" But the Boot Wench explained patiently that if I just stretched out my leg, even braced it against her if I needed to, then it would zip up just fine. OH.

I’ll never be a Girl Whose Legs Get Checked Out kind of girl. I’ve got big legs and they don’t ever seem to get smaller, just more… solid (trouser shopping is a nightmare). But I have to admit when I saw my sturdy calves wrapped in black leather I grinned and I grinned and I grinned. Oh baby. My posture changed instantly. I just felt… mrrrowr. It was like until that moment it never really occurred to me that I AM WOMAN!

Lately I’ve worried a little that I might be alienating you all with my random blogging – up and down like a yoyo, with moments of great lunacy and cheese. But would you mind if I be a cheesy loon just one more time? Don’t run away!

Anyway. There I was gawking and grinning in the mirror with my hand on my hip and my hip at a jaunty, hello boys angle when I had a sudden flashback.

I was nineteen and I was at Big W in Bathurst. Big W is like a poor man’s Target, if you’re not from Australia. I was in my second year of university and I’d outgrown all my shirts. It had taken me months to admit it – I’d started wearing the shirt unbuttoned with a t-shirt underneath, but then I couldn’t get my arms into the sleeves. It was a Thursday night, late-night shopping so there’d be less witnesses. My friends were all out at the university bar, I’d made yet another bullshit excuse for not tagging along. I was in the men’s section looking at flannel shirts, trying to find the one with the most X’s on the label. I remember putting on a red shirt and thinking I looked like a giant lumberjack. But I didn’t feel upset or angry or even, gee whizz I wish I could wear something smaller and sexier. I just felt numb and empty and quietly matter-of-fact that this was my life and this was what I had to wear and that was the way it was going to be. I bought the shirt then stopped at the supermarket for a 4 litre tub of Home Brand Ice Cream (student budget).

And now eleven years later here I was with impossible leather boots and a sudden desire to luxuriate in having this body; to dress it up nicely, instead of just pretending it didn’t exist.

The Boot Wench ordered my boots in brown (the ginger’s friend). They normally only take a week but mine were completely out of stock so it will be 4-6 weeks. Wah! I guess they have to hunt down some more cows to stitch together to get around my mega pins. In the meantime I want to try on every skirt and frock in the universe.

The best part of the Boot Experience was watching all the other chicks trying on boots. Duo don’t just do boots for big calves, they do narrow ones too. Basically the shop was filled with boot refugees of all shapes and sizes. All the sneakered masses who’d been cruelly turned away by so-called Normal Retailers for having legs too skinny, wide or muscley. I could have sat there all day watching them zip up their boots and squeaking with joy. The air was filled with elated murmurs, I’ve never fit into boots in my life. I can’t believe it. Look at meeee. Holy shit I’m so hott! One petite woman posed triumphantly in front of the mirror, winked, slapped her own arse and said, "YEE HAH!"

Who knew there were so many variations of lady legs out there, so many that had never known the soft caress of dead bovine. As someone who postponed her boot debut for so many years, I say to everyone out there… don’t wait! Whether it’s boots or lacy knickers or va-va-voom frock. Let’s rock what we got, right now.

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71 thoughts on “Bootylicious

  1. After your last boot mention I browsed duo, then searched for wide-calf boots online and got myself a pair of brown suede kinky boots. I think knee boots are possibly one of the most flattering things for every shape. YAY BOOTS!

    I am also looking for more knee-length skirts now I have the boots, I used to generally avoid them unless I was going to be wearing silly heels that ate my feet.

  2. *sucks air in through teeth rapidly* DG! When you wrote “the ginger’s friend” I was transported back to 1984 when my mother said to this ginger as she shoved her into a brown tracksuit from Best and Less (I was only 9, I didn’t know how to say NO!) “You can’t wear pink, cranky. You have red hair. Brown suits you. And one day – ONE DAY! – You’ll be able to wear GREY! WHEN YOU’RE OLDER! IT’S TOO OLD FOR YOU NOW! BUT ONE DAY, OH YES ONE DAY, GREY WILL BE YOURS!!!!”

    I am writing this wrapped in a pink jumper.

  3. Shauna, brilliant post – I was sitting here nodding – I remember too the trials and tribulations of trying to pull up the zip in boots and the exquisite pleasure of eventually one day getting this pair of stiletto heeled black leather beauties – I kept them for years as they symbolised a lot for me! ps Will be back in Scotland for 3 weeks from the end of December – hoping to catch up with Lainey for ‘a wee dram’ or ‘a large sauvy’!!! would be awesome to catch up with you too.
    Z xx

  4. You have no idea how much this post made me smile, Shauna 😀 I used to wear skirts in plentiful when I was at my heaviest since I would leave them undone at the waist, and A-Line skirts would fan out and begin bigger throughout the thighs, making my legs look smaller. The other thing was the one thing that I have always fitted into were shoes, so they were the one piece of my wardrobe that actually changed *gasp*

    I love it when you’re a cheesy loon! More cheese, please! Preferably feta, if I get a choice 😉

  5. Awww crank, my commisserations!! typical ginger childhood trauma!

    i can’t believe she said you could wear grey when you got old tho, everyone tells me gingers can’t wear grey. I LOVE GREY. especially with PINK!!!!

  6. hahaha crankybee, i too, never wore pink as a child because i thought that it clashed with my super red hair. no more! i am now the proud wearer of pink.

    re the boots–i’m at the opposite end–it’s not that may calves are particularly small (though maybe they’re on the smaller side), but the meat of them don’t start until higher up, so there’s always a big bunch of unfilled leather in between the top & the bottom of the boot. very unflattering. i’ve found a couple of pairs that fit really well, and also had two pairs taken in (yes, it is possible). all this to say, i LOVE boots (and in Canada, they’re a winter necessity) and i’m so happy to hear about your success in the boot department (and i bet gareth will like them…wink wink…)
    cheers, wilma
    ps–how’s the knee??? still doing your exercises? 🙂

  7. hahaha crankybee, i too, never wore pink as a child because i thought that it clashed with my super red hair. no more! i am now the proud wearer of pink.

    re the boots–i’m at the opposite end–it’s not that may calves are particularly small (though maybe they’re on the smaller side), but the meat of them don’t start until higher up, so there’s always a big bunch of unfilled leather in between the top & the bottom of the boot. very unflattering. i’ve found a couple of pairs that fit really well, and also had two pairs taken in (yes, it is possible). all this to say, i LOVE boots (and in Canada, they’re a winter necessity) and i’m so happy to hear about your success in the boot department (and i bet gareth will like them…wink wink…)
    cheers, wilma
    ps–how’s the knee??? still doing your exercises? 🙂

  8. wilma again–just apologizing for the atrocious spelling/grammar/poor wording issues in my last post.

  9. My mother did nothing but dress me in pink when I was a little girls and NOW I avoid it like the plague. Browns and Greens are what I’m all about…if it resembles autumn then I’m there.

    Loved the post…you could never drive us away with the cheese…bring it on baby. I do love to read what you have to write. Kudos on a great post! (as usual)

  10. Yah for boots! They do make you feel like hot stuff, don’t they.

    I’ve only got lace up ones (very 60s) because I just can’t find the right ones – all the styles here this winter had horrible proportions – chunky boots with spindly stilletto heels, that kind of thing.

    Ugly footwear makes me cry.

  11. WooooHooo!

    Fantastic. I love my boots, it took me ages to wear them (years of tennis may have ruined all joints below the hip but my calves are not too crap)and now I love them, especially with a knee lenght boot. That shop and fitting room look great – I was salivating at the computer.

    I am also wearing my personal favourite mock-bikers today. In Sydney. In November. Cos its freakin’17 degrees and I need to wear boots to avoid the puddles.

    Photies please!

  12. kathryn – you are so right, wtf is up with that? chunky boot with stiletto heel? accidents waiting to happen, too.

    i like the sound of mock biker boots danioz 🙂

  13. OH and Wilma – the knee is doing okay (esp thanks to you) – kickboxing AND a kickboxing DVD AND crazy yoga in one week and i’m not limping, w00t!

    (and no need to apologise for spelling, etc etc 🙂

    Rebecca – you’re so right. If I ever go to NYC again I’ll go in the fall again, coz we were totally matching ! ehehe.

  14. Ooooh, knee high boots for women who have muscle-y calves…I want, I want! Wish they were here (southwest United States). Congratulations to you!

    And I would TOTALLY take a job that likely pays minimum wage if I could have the title “Boot Wench”. 🙂

  15. You are awesome! I grinned from ear to ear reading about your boot outing. And the boots on Duo website are so cute,and I’m not even an adorer of footware. Enjoy your boots, girl!

  16. Bugger- wish i had known about that place when I was in London- actually I probably couldn’t have afforded them anyway!

    Whenever I picture myself “slim” I see myself in black calf boots, a red fitted coat and a cute A line skirt.

    Enjoy the boots

  17. I am muchly jealous of your boot greatness! I have ordered a pair online to be shipped over here but I don’t know if I have the size conversions right as google was giving me too many options, hopefully they will arrive before summer does (though the outlook does not loook hopeful) and I will be able to test it out.

  18. oooh there is NOTHING like the feeling HAWTNESS in a pair of knee-high boots. I found some black cuban-heeled lovelies this winter, and of course there are my red suede poiny-toed ones – made of microfibre! I am so glad you have let go of that sad girl in Big W, that bit of the post made me tear up, I wamted to give that DG a big hug and tell her it would be alright one day.

  19. Have legs, will have boots!!! Just loved this post – DG gets her pins clad in some foxy footwear.

    I can imagine the enormity of the moment AND when those boots arrive, you are going to be SOOOOOOO happy. Pics are a must!

    Big kiss.

    Mrs Lxxxxxxx

  20. Fantastic ! Now I want some boots too, even though I live in California and barely have an excuse to wear them without looking ridiculous, like I am trying to hard to make it winter.

    But looking ridiculous has never stopped me in the past !

  21. Boots from Duo are on my list for Santa. I have stopped at the shop window a couple of times on my way down from court to my office and just licked the window a little (because I know if I go in now, my credit card will regret it). Most importantly: which ones did you pick?

  22. Your last post about Duo Boots got me so I excited I went to the Edinburgh shop that same weekend. I am wearing my sexy new black boots as I type! Oh, and I also wear (bright) pink even though I have red hair. You can only wear so much green before you start to feel like a tree…

  23. Duo boots are the best, aren’t they? Even I feel foxy in mine and I’m huuuge! I’ve got two pairs, one black and one brown but they’re slightly too tight at the moment and I’m desperate to wear them now it’s freezy. And I can’t buy any more as I’m in the widest ones and I’m also broke. Which style did you go for?

  24. Hmmm – I have a pair of boots that have never zipped up, I wonder if stretching the calf muscles out would work for me as well?

    Photos as soon as possible please!

  25. Way cool, Shauna. I love the image of the huddled bootless masses at Duo getting in touch with their boot side.

    Boy, though, you made me winch in recognition when you wrote, “I just felt numb and empty and quietly matter-of-fact that this was my life and this was what I had to wear and that was the way it was going to be.” That is how I felt for many, many years. I hope and pray that I’ll not reach that level again. I hope anyone who feels that way can find their way out.

  26. What an awesome story. 🙂
    And you’ll never alienate this reader! Bring on the cheese! (ohh, now I’m hungry…)

  27. Great read Shauna! They have some lovely boots on the website… I would love to get some. I have always had trouble finding a pair of knee high boots that actually do up on me. I have been searching the last few weeks for some online over here in Holland but haven’t had much luck yet. Might just have to order some from DUO! Thanks for letting us know where us refugees can head in times of need… which boots did you order by the way??? 🙂

  28. Still haven’t got myself to Duo… but I’m glad you did! So which style did you get?

    I never was much of a one for pink, but I’d defend anyone’s right to wear it if they like it.

  29. Good for you! Husband and I are falling off our typing chairs laughing at your funniness, but also I’m so pleased that you like your boots. Or will, once they find all those cows.

  30. Public Service Announcement for boot-seeking Yanks (and Southerners): Everybody in the US with chunky calves looking for sexay boots go to zappos.com and search “wide calf boot”, look in both the dress and the casual section, I just got my brown suede numbers there, and I have NEVER EVER EVER found knee-highs that fit my calves, some of the ones I ordered form zappos to try on were too big! They have quite a few styles too, I am already having to talk myself out of getting a second pair for Christmas.

  31. boot shopping would have to have been one of my most distressing shopping experiences and ive had a few….
    i did buy some camper boots on sale and when they finally fitted i was in heaven!(unfortunately they are now too tight but..
    i visited the website and am tempted to buy some next season.
    and i have always wanted ot be somesort of wench,i love it.and i saw that they actually refer to their fitters as angel fitters!!! i think you should email and suggest boot wench to them.please!

  32. I remember the lustful comments you’d leave when I bought my last two pairs of boots (thankyou elastic inserts!)

    and now, you’ve found some of your own… I could weep. The fact that you have absolutely felt the sexiness they bring tickles me pink.

    You MUST post pictures.

  33. So glad you “got” the boots! Definitely we must see pictures.

    I’m lucky (I suppose) in that my family tends to scrawny little chicken legs, which when attached to a fat person even out to quite normal sized. My calves, anyway. The thing I have problems with is regular shoes–I wear a 6 1/2 double wide! I have to shop at the GIANT SHOE store, where the customers come in all sizes and shapes, including many drag queens over in the 14+ aisle. 6 1/2 is the smallest size they carry, and it’s hard to find, I still frequently end up buying shoes that are too big for me and wearing multiple layers of socks.

  34. Knee high boots are the sexiest thing that ANY woman should have a right to wear. (In fact, I reckon it should be part of the Constitution – Right to Wear Boots.) So glad you took the plunge on Duo boots – they simply RAWK. I’ve just treated myself to my second pair in as many years and despite the pinch on the credit card, have never ever regretted it. And it’s funny cuz as soon as I got them, I went shopping for skirts and dresses. I want EVERYONE to be able to see that even my thick calves look great in their bovine wonderment.

    Good on ya girl!

    PS I had recommended them to my mum who’s in the States and she had them shipped over from the UK – yes they cost a small fortune but every penny completely worth it. There’s nothing better than the sound of ZIIIPPPPP all the way up. *sigh*

  35. I’m so pumped to see your new boots. They sounds awesome. I may have to spend the fortune to ship a pair to Canada! Props to you for continuing to reach these milestones. Isn’t it funny the things that pop into your head at the strangest moments? Thinking of your sad day at the discount store while enjoying your new boot purchase… I love these stories, because I have moments just like these, and I relish hearing them from you, with your irreverent tone. Always makes me smile-don’t worry about alienating your loyal readers. I enjoy every single post-cheesy, loony, or otherwise!!!

  36. helllooooo luvvies, the boots i got were called Zamora. Not the fanciest ones but I wanted to go for a classic style to get good cost-per-wear.

    (Thank goodness for Birthday Money, is all I can say 🙂

  37. I’m so glad you got some boots. I bit the bullet and ordered a couple of pairs via a ‘wide widths’ website in the USA and they seriously gave my wardrobe (and me) a new zest for life this past winter. Awaiting pics 🙂

  38. I subscribed to the new “Womens Health” mag here in Oz (finally a female equivelent to “Mens Health”) and in case you didnt know, you get an awesome plug in the second issue 🙂

  39. You’ve inspired me to try again – I must confess I did not like my very expensive Duo boots when I ordered them, and had to send them back. I wish they had more stores for the whole trying on thing.

    BUT I have to tell you. I have large calves (the humour in my family is to call them “Dunlop calves” because it is my mother’s maiden name and we all have calves like large tyres) but my latest pair of boots were from, gasp, TOPSHOP. Hope is not lost, once every blue moon they come out with a boot you can actually fit a healthy leg into.

  40. I’ve just bought my second pair of Duo boots (first pair are a few years old and are ow Too Big in the calves – hooray!) and love them. They are going to cost me a fortune in skirts though!

  41. thanks for letting us know which boots youre getting!!! they are some gorgeous boots for a gorgeous woman! Cant wait to see photos! 🙂

  42. We walked past the Amsterdam branch of Duo on saturday – well my friend Carolyn & I actually stopped. I told her about you & your blog & the boots. We picked out which ones in the window we wanted and just as we were about to go in we saw the husbands had marched on up the road.Game over there’s always online i spose 🙁 Hooray for you and your new booties DG strut your stuff and enjoy your new status as official boot wearer yay!!!

  43. I’m totally drooling over all those boots!
    I have never really thought of buying boots – mostly because of the fat calves situation. But am now rethinking this!
    I’m not one for heels, either. So I’m liking the casual boots – esp. Bern, Bologna and maybe the Vantaa.
    I hope to be able to go to London this spring – although the thought of shopping on Saville Row scares me more than the price of the boots! 😉

  44. And….!
    Several of your last posts mirror what I am going through right now. All last week I was feeling so blobby until I was in the shower and finally noticed I have muscles were there was only jiggly bits before. Granted, they’re still under a layer of fat but now I have hamstrings and biceps. Oh – I love my biceps! I’m like a teen boy flexing my arm so I can poke at my fledgling muscles.

  45. Not many people realise this but leather knee-high boots aren’t actually meant to zip straight up. If they did, they would fall down. The way you put on knee-high boots is to zip it up as far as it would go and then push the rest of the boot down and zip some more. You end up with a bit of a funky, ripply effect but it looks kind of cool. It revolutionised my life when the saleswoman in the shoe shop showed me this trick.

  46. I love the honesty: “this was my life and this was what I had to wear and that was the way it was going to be.” It’s great that you’ve proven your old self wrong! One day I hope to be able to fit into a pair of sexy boots (and actually look somewhat graceful doing it)!

  47. Shauna,

    Your recollection of trying on men’s shirts made me feel…safe. I’ve been there, too, and it’s so good to hear others have as well.

    Thanks for keeping it real, and congrats on the boots! I have to check Duo out!

  48. Hey Shauna,
    I really hope you’ll enjoy your boots from Duo plenty. I love mine (they are riding boots style ones i got from them last year) and they have totally boosted my self confidence, i love them i’d wear them everyday 🙂
    xxx

  49. All I can say to you, Shauna, is that you are truly inspiring. Your honesty, self awareness and humor make me come back for each new post (and sometimes avoid your posts when I know in my heart that I am not doing my 100% best – does that make sense?). Anyway, I should probably stop commenting for a while b/c it seems that with each of your new posts, all I can muster is that you are amazing and inspirational. And I bet that gets boring to hear after a while :0) (and makes me sounds like an empty-headed, obsessed fan). I’ll still be reading . . . .

  50. Thanks for the link – I’m gonna send it to my cousin’s wife, who says she can never get boots to fit her calves.

    My calves are borderline, some boots fit, some don’t!

  51. Oh my gosh oh my gosh!!! I was just looking through your greatest hits and clicked on this one. I have NEVER been able to wear boots because of my giant muscular I’ve been swimming since I was 6 years old calves. The Duo boots are really pricey – especially to ship to the US – but maybe if I’m a good girl I can get a pair for my birthday. Yay!