Two years ago my friend, the very talented artist, illustrator, writer, and designer Patricia Saxton took these photos of me with my boots. I am happy to report that two years later – thanks to caring for them and protecting them against the elements – the boots are still in good shape; in part because of the Kiwi shoe polish, in part because of shoe repairs at the cobbler. But mostly, because of my Dad. As a kid I would polish my Dad’s shoes. I would line them up with newspaper and spend time in front of the television polishing them to their shiny core. The black shoes, the brown shoes, and the cordovans. It sounds rather like a Charles Dickens tale but I remember it was quite satisfying and something about it must have stuck because now I do it for my own boots. And this is the season. Just as I am tucking my open toe shoes and sandals away for winter hibernation I am also evaluating the state of my boots and shoes and seeing what needs to be prepped for the upcoming weather and months.
This tradition has not only protected my shoes and boots but has also allowed me to hold on to what I own. We all know that shoes and boots can be expensive and few of us have the resources to replace them every year. That’s where polish and care come in; you can preserve what you have and save yourself a lot of money. And unlike other wardrobe items, shoes and boots are classics that rarely go out of style. They are worth the care.
Photos by Patricia Saxton
Photo: Reuters/Joshua Lott
More high prices for fashion? Quartz has reported that The US Bureau of Labor Statistics just released a report showing that the shoe category has gotten more expensive. While clothing in the US got 2% cheaper on average over the last year, with underwear, sweaters, jewelry and watches going down in price, shoe prices in all categories and not just the high-end, are rising. The reason may have to do with the increasing leather prices because of a cattle shortage in the US.
I’m not buying it! Let’s take a trip to the cobbler and save our soles!
I have now found two stores that are always crowded. The first, of course, is the Apple Computer Store. No matter what day, or time of day, people are buzzing around computers. The second, I discovered this weekend when I dropped off my handbag to be repaired: a good cobbler. I have a special black Adrienne Vittadini handbag that I bought at Loehmann’s several years ago, which I wear as often as possible. I lived with the straps stretching for a few weeks, but when they started to snap I knew it was time for repair. When I arrived at the cobbler on Saturday morning, it was so crowded that I had to wait in line as if I had taken a number at the local deli. I was floored! Men and women came in with their tried-and-true favorites, some simply needing a little sprucing up, others needing more.
The truth is that a good cobbler is an invaluable asset and worth finding (see Styling with Mel, Put your best foot forward, May 26, 2011). It is worth it to protect your beloved shoes and handbags. Prices are so high now, that preserving what you have is a smart move. My handbag did cost $60 to repair, but I know it will be with me for a long time.
What do you think?