The Best Purchase I've Ever Made: My Frye Boots

Sometimes it seems like I mark every major monetary moment in my life with a big accessories purchase. My savings from my summer working as a hostess in a diner (my first "real" job) went towards a pair of mid-calf cognac leather boots with buckles—my approximation of the boots worn by my favorite TV heroine at the time, Veronica Mars. But this isn’t about those boots.

After I spent the spring of my junior year in college as an unpaid intern at a New York magazine, I made that all-important jump from unpaid intern to paid freelancer. My first story was small—10 Simple Ways to Cut 100+ Calories—but it paid actual money and had my byline, which was (and still is) a big deal. So what was I going to do with my paycheck? I deliberated for a while, but ultimately my decision was clear. My hard-earned cash was going to one of those so-called “investment” pieces: a pair of Frye boots.

Boots were the best decision for me—I was still in college, after all, so any nice article of clothing probably wouldn’t get worn. I did a lot of walking to and from class (and just about everywhere else), so I was constantly in need of good flat shoes. And since my university was just outside Chicago, I spent far more time in boots than I ever did in, say, ballet flats (thanks, six months of winter!). So a nice, flat pair of boots would do wonders for me.

There was little question in my mind that the boots would be Frye. After all, the brand has a reputation for gorgeous boots that last a long time. Plus, I would be able to see and try on all my options at the then-recently-opened Frye in Soho. One hot summer day, I ventured down there, to the cool vintage-y boot heaven that is the Frye store. With some help from a very amiable salesperson, the name of whom I wish I could remember, I browsed the store, tried on multiple pairs of boots and finally made a choice. They were knee-high and black with a scalloped top—and they were absolutely perfect.

I wore them in the fall, with knee-high socks and skirts or with skinny jeans tucked in, and then in the winter, with socks layered over tights. They carried me through my last year of college, proving the perfect shoe for a mild Chicago winter. Late last spring, I moved to New York to work at Lucky—and when fall rolled around, the boots once again became an important part of my wardrobe. They’re perfect for my 20+ minute walk to work and look good enough that I can wear them throughout the day (instead of my usual change into heels from a pair of Topsiders) and they take me from CVS to brunch without raising any eyebrows in either place.

I've never been so attached to a pair of shoes. I know that when the soles wear down (and with the amount of walking I do in these boots, it's only a matter of time) I'll get them resoled again and again. I'll wear them as long as I can, and maybe one day I'll have a daughter to whom I will pass them on. Or perhaps I'll just keep them for myself—after all, they are the perfect boots.


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