It began innocently enough. Earlier this summer I spent time on a Texas ranch to research a story. While there I fell hard ... fell for the look of cowboy boots. Since returning home my fascination grew. I needed some cowboy boots of my own.
To be perfectly clear, these aren't boots that I'm going to wear horse riding. I just like the look of them, and what Southern girl doesn't? Thus began my quest for the perfect pair: ones that I could wear at work, on the road, with jeans, with dresses, when line dancing. OK maybe not that last part.
Here are some of my favorite stops along the trail of the perfect pair:
Wildflower & Wax -- Located in Helena, Alabama (just outside Birmingham), this store actuallyspecializes in making their own beautiful and delicious smelling candles (here is their blog). But the owners discovered that customers were interested in the vintage cowboy boots they had on display for decoration, so they started selling vintage boots from all over the country.
I found several pair I liked, but none in my size. If at first you don't succeed ...
I looked around online a bit but am a believer in trying on boots for the right fit. So when I had some extra time during a Texas trip last weekend (Lubbock), I tried on a few dozen pair on for size.
At Cavender's, a chain that has been in business since 1965, I found rows and rows of gorgeous new boots in every size, shape, and color.
Simple, ornate, tall, short, dressy and casual (seriously, I had no idea of the range of possibilities), I pulled pair after pair from the shelves, trying them on and learning from their friendly salespeople how boots should feel and fit.
Here were some of my favorites (at right).
Although several of these caught my attention, I had a feeling that the perfect pair was still somewhere out there, waiting for me.
Luckily, I happened to be going to Nashville after Texas.
The odyssey continued.
Following a friend's recommendation, I stopped off at the legendary Katy K's, whose customers sing on the Grand Ole Opry. Rockabilly and rhinestone fashion galore, I knew this was my kind of place. And indeed, this is where I found them: The Ones.
As soon as I put them on I knew I'd found my glass slippers. These vintage boots would go with everything, had an ever so subtle but colorful pattern, and fit like magic.
Move over Carrie Bradshaw. You don't have anything on a Southern girl with the perfect pair of boots. (But if another pair come along, there's still room in my closet ... )