Back to the Future #eighties #boots

I’ve never felt able to wear leggings of any kind. I haven’t had the right legs for them, not since they were invented. My calves have been far too big; my thighs elephantine; my bum… well, the less said about that, the better. I’m not perfect yet – not by a long way – but lately I’ve been converted. With my steadily diminishing frame, I’m embracing the leggings culture.

A Kind of Magic

It turns out, that with the modern-day application of hefty doses of elastane/spandex, good-quality leggings are tough, really tough.  It turns out they can constrain my wobbly bits quite adequately, with no challenge to fragile seams. Elastane is truly a miracle fibre. Careful selection of tops can minimise the look of my far-from-flat stomach, and the overall result is… not bad.

Mirror Mirror 

Do I sound vain? If I do, I make no apology. For years, I’ve stared at myself in the mirror, overwhelmed with defeat and negativity. For years, my response to my own image has been ‘that’ll have to do’. I’ve always dressed carefully, presented well… for my size. But big, is big. And in the privacy of your own bedroom mirror, you can’t escape it.  So, as my size continues to diminish, work-in-progress though I still am, allow me the thrill if you will, of looking in that mirror and… feeling good about what I see.

West End Girl(s)

Back in the day, in the eighties, when I was in my twenties and hovering around the 11-stone mark (that’s 154 pounds/70 kilos), I had a wardrobe full of what we used to call stirrup pants. The forerunners of leggings, these were stretchy, up to a point, but instead of tightly gripping the calves, they were held in place by the addition of elasticated stirrups, which hooked around your heels.  Pop these on and pull on a pair of knee-high boots, and the effect was exactly like you see today with leggings. I loved my stirrup pants – I had several pairs. I worked ‘Up West’ (London’s West End). I went out a lot in those days – and I wore them all the time.

Here Comes the Rain Again

2016-11-21-18-39-20But as my calves expanded over the ensuing 25 or so years, knee-high boots became impossible to wear. If I could get the zips up, they would cut off the blood supply to my feet, but more usually, the zips wouldn’t even meet.  I went into my new favourites – calf length ‘slouchy’ boots. These look like boots that are meant to be knee-high, but are slouched, ending just below the widest point of the calf. As the leather around the ankles is rumpled, the look, even for someone with fairly large calves, is quite nicely balanced. They’re also pull-on, no zips. I wore these for years until… yes, you guessed it, my calves expanded beyond the fit of even this style, and I could no longer pull them past my widening feet.

I’m Still Standing

I ended up in ankle boots, as I could usually get the zips up. When I could no longer achieve even this, there were stretchy pull-on ankle boots, which looked okay, so long as you covered them with boot-cut trousers, which I always did. Eventually, with ankles permanently puffy and the zips on even these short boots straining, only shoe-boots, which finish below the ankle, would achieve anything like the boot look for me.

Alive and Kicking

With the arrival of leggings in my wardrobe over the last month or so, I realised that in my transitional (and still quite cuddly state), the leggings-and-ankle-boots look preferred by the slender ones and teens, wasn’t going to work for me. They seemed to magnify the proportions of my calves and thighs – the opposite of what clever styling is supposed to achieve.

I found a pair of flat suede booties, loose fit, Ugg/Emu style, which worked ok with leggings, but only in a very casual, outdoorsy way. But earlier this week… I tracked down a pair of old-style slouchy calf-length boots at John Lewis. They fitted!  They pulled on easily; they slouched stylishly around my ankles; they even reached the right point of my calves, balancing the look just as it should be. Better even than that, I had £80 worth of John Lewis vouchers squashed into my purse, itching to be spent.

I bagged my prize boots and hauled them home.

Forgive the vanity of this very modern in-the-mirror selfie. I may be embracing the trend, but I refuse to pout.

Walking On Sunshine

I can’t describe how comfortable I felt, trying on my leggings with these new boots; trying on a variety of tops and jackets, just to see what worked with what.  It all felt so… natural… harking back to the type of outfits I would put together in my twenties and thirties; things I would wear all the time, modified just a little for the few more pounds I still carry, and for the extra two or three decades I’m also wearing.  I felt more confident, more poised, more relaxed, more… sexy.

Never Gonna Give You Up

I spent the rest of the day breaking-in my boots at home, and they were immaculately comfortable and supportive for hours – I just didn’t want to take them off.  Every time I passed a mirror, I stopped to reassure myself I wasn’t just imagining it.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

And with those wonderful slouchy calf-length boots, my winter wardrobe… is complete.  Now all I need is to take my worked-in-the-eighties-but-is-somehow-also-weirdly-on-trend-today look for a rocking good night-out.

19 thoughts on “Back to the Future #eighties #boots

  1. Great music selection – certainly transported me back to the 80s. So with regard to the legging ‘never give up on a good thing’ and no chance of ‘you’re so vain’ (ok that was the 70s) and as the youth of today might say “you go girl” – looking great.

    1. Go for it! I am quite the convert, especially having loved those stirrups back-in-the-day. And thanks so much for your lovely words. I blush… I blush… 😊

  2. You are looking so confident your smile is huge, doing great Jools. A word of warning (leggings ) they can also allow room for over eating because they give so easily. But it is like lounging in pj’s keep doing Jools you are inspirational!

    1. Gosh, thanks Ellen! As someone who has lived in elasticated waist trousers for years, I hear you! But I’m loving the fact they have so much more style than the loose-fit jerseys and palazzos that have been my habit.

  3. Being one of the most fashionable outfits for decades, without a doubt everyone will say yes to leggings because of their comfort and cool-looks. What to wear or not it totally depends on us, but here you are looking beautiful, keep sharing the fashion you love the most.

    1. Thanks Sanjeet! I’m trying to blog all aspects of my journey for healthy lifestyle and weight-loss, from the the emotional ups-and-dows, physical and physiological changes, through things like exercise, food choices and… fashion. I’m so glad you found my site and thanks for your lovely comment.

  4. Jools, you look absolutely amazing, honestly! It’s wonderful to find boots that work, and yours look really great. I’m looking for a pair of black suede, knee high with a low heel. Do you think I can find any? No!!!! Either the heel is too high, or they’re over the knee and I don’t think I can quite pull off the cat woman look these days no matter how much I would like to in my wild imagination, ha! I remember wearing stirrup leggings with baggy tops, my young mummy look all through the 80s and into the 90s too! I resisted the legging trend for ages when it returned because of that, but now, like you, I’ve discovered their benefits thanks to modern fabric! You are truly an inspiration, I hope you are so proud of yourself for all you’ve accomplished – and I’m so glad you’re not pouting in your photo. Your beautiful smile is far better than any pout. As for a rocking night out, we should plan something! 🙂 ❤

    1. Ha! We are of the same generation, and of one mind on the issue of stirrups and leggings! Thanks so much for your beautiful compliments too. I’m still very much a work-in-progress, but have waved farewell to another 14 pounds since the BB. Things are a lot slower now and I need to up-the-ante a little for the next few months. I am indeed very grateful for my success this time around, and the sense that it feels much more permanent with some of the bigger lifestyle changes I’ve made.

      Unlike you (although I feel there must be the right pair out there for you somewhere) I’ve been lucky with boots this year. Those calf-length slouchies are made for me, but I also found new ankle boots too, and I’m comfortable in higher heels again now that there is less of me to carry around.

      I love the idea of a night out! Message me on Facebook and let’s see if we can get it in the diary. 🙂

      1. You’ve made amazing strides Jools, you really have. It takes a lot of discipline and determination to make long-term lifestyle changes, it’s so hard at first, but now you can see such great progress, you can press on and take great heart from every success! I did find the perfect pair of ankle boots last year which I live in, and that took 2 years lol!! Either I’m getting fussier or…well, that must be it! I will message you, what fun! It won’t be until after Christmas now, but we will get something in the diary to look forward to in the new year! 🙂 xx

        1. I think it’s absolutely, perfectly, resoundingly reasonable to get fussier as we get older!

          Yes indeed – it will be great to have something in the New Year diary – I’d love to meet up. 🙂

          1. Totally agree! We’ve more than earned that right, right?!!! 🙂 Me too Jools, will be great, and I’ll be in touch very soon… 🙂 xxx

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