Cristina of Peek Brooklyn fame said she would send a pair of Bootights over. Lovely generous woman she is. I expressed gratitude and enthusiasm in my response, because, well, my Mom raised me that way. But I will confess that I was deeply skeptical of the whole enterprise.
“Really? Bootights? O.K. … I’ll give them a whirl. Thanks m’dear!”
Then Oprah got involved in the whole discussion (thanks Google!) and that did not exactly warm me up. Friends will tell you freely that I am a hot mess of impracticality. Fashion before form and function for me every time. Bootights sounded too suspiciously like a solution to a problem that I did not have. But Cristina knows her stuff (you might remember my ravings here), so I tried to pry my narrow mind open.
My mood-o-meter started tilting in the right direction when I read the Bootights story. I go slightly gaga over people willing to make a big bet on a hunch. Bootights founder, Shelby Mason (tightly framed above) seemed like one of those crazy bundles of energy who would just be fun to shop with. Her idea came about after snagging an innocent pair of tights on her boot zipper while attempting to gracefully tip-toe through a nasty TSA inspection at O’Hare. Been there, you poor lamb Shelby. You have my sympathy. Love you. Call.
So, how did the bet turn out? Pretty well it seems. She did made it to Oprah after all. And now, on to her product and a little review for you dear friends.
My black Bootights are a pretty typical 70d, cool-weather nylon/Lycra blend opaque with a little twist at mid-calf. They are fused to a cozy Tactel nylon sock that keeps the toesies dry, which is important if you want them to stay warm. I suppose I have always considered the vaguely clammy climate within my smart boots a price of beauty. Being a hot mess myself, this is an accommodation to style I have always made with a smile. And sometimes with that splappy sound on tiles and hardwood at the end of the day.
So, yeah, the sock works. Really well. I did a little side by side test against my go-to everyday opaques from Hue. I spent a couple of hours with one leg in the Bootights, one leg in the Hue, and both feet zipped up in my tightest, sleekest dress boot. Without doubt, the Bootight foot fared better.
Imagine now taking your thin soled boot just a little step further. Directly into a cold grey pile of city slush. O, the sodden mass of foot and fiber that gets pulled out at next stop is a complete nightmare with traditional half-boarded tights. In these circumstances, you may look as though you have four heels once you have snugged yourself back up. The trauma induces in many (especially us lapsed Catholics) middle-school flashbacks, memories of the godawful grey woolies that you could have pulled over your head if your crotch wasn’t in the way. Three inches of flapping duck-foot ready to wipe you out on the next rubber mat. The Bootight foot though is sturdy and fully boarded, just like a real sock. It may not be bone dry if you do get a soaker, but it will stay in place. You may catch cold, yes, but you won’t look a cold mess.
As to the leg, well there really isn’t too much to say about a hosiery workhorse like a black opaque. They look just like your faves do. Again, side-by-side, I rather like that the Bootights are just a little less matte, a little more polished than my Hue’s. The yarn is nicely milled, very comfy on the leg, have a lovely smooth hand feel, and are super-resilient. Very sure on the leg, not prone to sagging or drooping, well fitted through the panty, secure and comfy at the waist. You can tell very early in the life of an opaque whether it will be prone to pilling or losing shape. I have full confidence in the Bootights. They will endure good long winters of hard wear.
So, where to wear them? Honestly I am not an outdoorsy type, but I suspect that ski-bunnies can hop slopes all day long in them. I am heading north for Christmas time, and I have been warned that I will be peeled off the couch for a snowy sleigh ride. I know precisely what I will have on under my jeans. And while I don’t keep my knee-high boots on at the office, I do wear booties frequently, and am quite confident that the ankle-sock version of the Bootight will do splendidly on the small handful of frozen over Atlanta days that make the natives empty stores of milk, bread and bathroom tissue on the mere rumor of snow.
If you live in a cold, snowy place you might rock your Bootights with the comfy shearling boots, tweedy shorts, a cozy pea coat and a bright wooly scarf on a Saturday. You might also take to the fancy patterns (fishnet anyone?) patterns that Shelby has rounded the range out with for your Monday to Friday winter routines.
You can find your Bootights here, there, and soon everywhere, but I hope you find yours at Peek Brooklyn. I owe Cristina and team at least that much for the surprising introduction.
If you are a convert or have other great ideas for winter style and comfort, leave a comment here or +1 me over on Google.