Two new pairs

For the couple of years that my husband was in business school in Boston, I suffered from an off-and-on inferiority complex. (Warning: #firstworldproblems ahead.)

It didn’t really have anything to do with the fact that I was a mere “partner” in a social set of highly intelligent and ambitious people, most of whom scored about a zillion points on on their GMAT and had probably made more money in their pre-MBA working years than I’d make in a decade.  Nor did it bother me to be – as I was, having moved to Boston from Cleveland – an odd-out midwesterner in a sea of New England pedigrees.

Nope…my husband’s classmates were charming and delightful people, and although I kind of wanted to hate them for being so smart and attractive and successful, I just couldn’t. I made fast friends with many of them.

(It probably helped that I could totally hang when it came to drinking. When there’s a race to the bottom, I’m usually a frontrunner.)

Anyway, no, my occasional bouts of insecurity stemmed from the silly fact that my jeans were all…bootcut and shit.

Come back to 2007 with me, please. Bootcut jeans and pointy pumps. That’s what the cool kids were wearing in Ohio. (Well, actually, in Ohio it was considered perfectly acceptable to wear a hoodie and sneakers out on the town…a sentiment with which I still don’t entirely disagree.)

But in Bahhhhston, it was all skinny jeans and ballet flats and leggings and tunics and other trendy things that I did not, at the time, own. In my shorter fitted shirts and flare-leg pants, I felt like kind of a relic.

“You look great,” my husband would tell me, as we got ready to head out to any one of the countless social functions we attended each week.

“I look like a fucking antique,” I’d moan. And then I’d give up and slip into a good old hoodie and sneakers. If I was going to look like crap anyway, I might as well be comfy.

Looking back, I kind of roll my eyes at myself. Obviously, I wasn’t as comfortable with myself back then. Now, five years later, I’ve owned the fact that I’m just not a fashionista; on most days you’ll find me in a sports bra and running shoes. It’s fine. It’s sporty…or something. It’s me.

But occasionally, the complex returns.

This weekend, I’m headed to Vegas for a reunion weekend with my husband…and fifty of this MBA classmates.

Today, I thought about starting to pack. I stared at the small clump of dresses hanging among the hoodies and sweaters in my closet; I eyed the dusty little pile of scuffed-up “fancy” shoes, pretty much abandoned these days, but for the occasional wedding.

It was time for a little something new.

Nude pumps. Shiny nude pumps. With just a little bit of that stripper-platform thing going. Apparently this is what the cool kids are wearing now. Hopefully they are also wearing Ace bandages, because that it what I’m going to be sporting after I sprain my ankle.

So just in case, I’m also packing these…

New Brooks PureFlow colors! Now, you can’t tell me that’s not a hell of a pretty shoe. And functional, too!

Remind me…what’s so wrong with hoodies and sneakers?

25 responses to “Two new pairs

  1. As a B School grad who NEVER fit in, I love this post!
    (honestly I thought most of my classmates were super shallow/boring though).

    Good luck in Vegas! Go get ’em, hot stuff!!

  2. Another B-School grad, I went from Connecticut Catholic school (uniform and all) to New York business school. New England pedigree means nothing…boot cut jeans and cable knit sweaters were my JAM. This is totally acceptable in CT, not so much in super-fashionable-New York. But end of the day…i just didnt care. I think you should rock your PureFlows to whatever events you attend!

  3. The heels are so so pretty. I live in Boston and hate skinny jeans! I think they’re so unflattering. Bootcut forever! I don’t do heels though. They hurt me :(

  4. In WI, leggings + Uggs = big night on the town.

  5. I LOVE those Brooks. I am actually pretty jealous of them.

    I actually like a good pair of heels, but I don’t understand this infatuation with the “Stripper Platform” WHY???? I don’t actually want to wear stripper clothes.

    I hope you have a great time on the trip!

  6. I really miss the bootcuts and pointy heels. And would really like for the pointy heels to come back around because otherwise I’m just hoarding all of mine for no reason…
    Have fun in Vegas! Those shoes are fabulous!

  7. Ooh, purty shoes! (both of ’em) Have fun in Vegas!

  8. I’m a bootcut girl myself, though I must admit, I love my nude pumps. I hope yours get more wear than mine. Mine look much more awesome than they feel. Bummer. Then again, I suppose that’s to be expected.

  9. I used to think I couldn’t pass off skinny jeans. I’m pear-shaped and have what a-holes call “child-bearing hips” and a dumb pilates instructor called “bulky thighs.”

    But I gave skinny jeans a try and now love them. Live in them. And my ballet flats, ha. I just try to balance the whole look with a loose top.

    And I also have a pair of nude heels. They don’t match my skin tone, tho.

    Your new PureFlows are so pretty. I just tried to find them on the Road Runner Sports site, and they are still selling the blue/green model. Harumph.

    • I have a couple of pairs of skinny jeans now too…and I do like them.

      I think these colors just came out. Brooks has them on their website!

  10. The pointy heels are totally making a comeback (cc: Amy)!
    And those shoes are hawwwt. Just throw a pair of flats in your purse for the inevitable moment when you stand up from the gambling table and almost topple over and you’ll be g2g. The nice thing I will say about platforms, though, is that they are actually not all that uncomfortable. Something about the, um, platform…

  11. I’ve been trying to “class up” my “going out” appearance lately, with nicer jeans and pretty shoes. That said, about half the time I still walk around in hoodies and sneakers.

    The nice thing is, in Seattle, that’s damn near formal wear. God bless the fleece-laden northwest.

  12. Wait, the cool kids aren’t wearing jeans and half zips?

  13. I just wore bootcut jeans yesterday! And felt better and more confident in them than anything I’ve worn in a while. Probably has something to do with the fact that they’re a size too large and therefore make me feel extra-skinny all day, but whatevs.

    I also resisted the skinny jeans craze for a long time. One day a few months ago when I was at the mall with a friend and found myself accidentally in the clearance section of Banana Republic (just hate when that happens!) and they had a 40% extra off clearance price, I couldn’t resist trying on a few things. Turns out, what I thought would be horrendously unflattering on me ended up being super cute AND totally awesome that I wouldn’t have to worry about the hems dragging along the ground and getting all gross.

    I only have one pair so far, but I insist on finding more. Soon. Perhaps this weekend? Hmm.

    I have not yet jumped on the skinny jeans + heels bandwagon, but I love ’em with flats and boots (of which I only have one pair).

    • Oh, and I forgot to comment on platform heels. Yeah. Not so comfortable. Or easy to walk it thanks to the fact they’re slippery as hell with a minimal contact patch. At least, as goes for my pair of 4″ slingback peeptoe platforms, which are also quite heavy and contribute to the lack of comfort.

      But those PureFlows are might purty!

  14. At least you know whats fashionable, I never have a clue. Thank the good Lord I can wear scrubs to work most days. The Hubs & I don’t have any friends in our new town, so going out w/ friends doesn’t happen – when we do go to a bar, it’s full of contractors that are here working on the dredge, and they don’t give a shit what I have on. two cheers for hoodies & flip flops!

  15. Girl, I’m 100% with you, and I think it’s because I went to college in Ohio. Boot-cut jeans for the win. There is just no way I will ever rock a skinny pair, and leggings & ballet flats kind of make me cringe. I am ALL about the hoodie & sneakers if I think I can get away with it.

    Props to you for trying to something new! And the PureFlows are indeed lovely! :)

  16. I’m all about jeans, hoodies and sneakers…I guess Tiny Town, WI taught me well. All that other stuff is always changing and so darn hard to keep up with. Oh, and I’m lazy.

    btw, those new Brooks are really quite prety! :)

  17. Own up to what you love but at the same time you’d be surprised how comfortable some “fashionable” items can be.

    My skinny jeans are my most comfortable ones because they are from Target, super dark, and have a ton of stretch. Yes they cost $17 but everyone compliments me on them and they have zero tags = no one can be brand name snobby with me.

    As for the shoes, even though I’m a little younger (still in my 20’s) I am too old to wear one that a) I will seriously injure myself in or b) hurt. I don’t have time for crappy shoes so instead I will plan an outfit around some comfortable flats or mid-size heels. What’s great is that the previously comfortable/orthotic/made for old-ladies shoe brands are now making “cuter” shoes and you can find ones that will look hot but won’t kill your feet.