An Oxford Education

I came across them two months after the deadline I had given myself. On the bottom shelf of a cluttered but charming vintage shop they sat in waiting. Gently used Nine West oxfords within my humble price range (a mere $28). Since then they have been my constant companions, taking me from crowded basement concerts to a recent 3 a.m. hospital visit for stitches. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when my boyfriend casually mentioned that it may be time for their retirement that I even considered parting with them. Although he may be right (the inside of the shoes are slowly shedding woodchips and transforming into a sawdust-like texture), I couldn’t possibly trash them without first paying my respects to where we have been together. Instead of providing a sappy list of our ten best moments, I have decided to pay tribute to my once lovely shoe’s casualties. Here then, is a list of events that have led to the unfortunate demise of my oxfords.

January, 2010: On an overnight bus trip to Montreal a can of hairspray exploded in my travel bag, leaving the left shoe a sticky mess which needed to be dissolved under the hotel hairdryer for about 45 minutes. This left permanent scarring in the form of a large dark strip near the outside heel.

March 2010:
Right shoe loses elastic fastener.

May 2010: A race down a flight of stairs to the bathroom at Czehoski’s ends in my roommate tripping both of us to ensure no one’s victory. Laughter ensues, but left shoe’s upper button is severed on impact and lost somewhere between the sink and stall.

June-September 2010: Late nights and rain drenched walking has led to some inner deterioration. When I remove my bare foot, little wood-like pieces stick to my toes.

Reflecting now, it does seem to be my own carelessness and neglect that has brought my beloved oxfords to this point. Perhaps not wearing them to an event where a kiddie pool in the middle of the dance floor is the main attraction, or even going out of my way to slip on socks before leaving the house, could have prevented this premature passing (or at least helped control odour). Despite their now shabby condition, I do still rotate them into my wardrobe, but I think this may be based on purely sentimental reasons; so they sit, in my foyer, waiting to be worn. Though I may gain the courage in the next few weeks to kick them to the curb (in the nicest way possible), I know that they will always be present in memory, as well as many, many photographs, anytime I reflect on the past year.

- Casie Brown

Free Shoes!

If you are one of many, you might have fallen in love with our “I Eat Style” photoshoot from issue ten. If you are one of few, you might be able to fit into the size 5.5 teal heels modeled by Van Le, above. The shoot’s art director, Stephanie Herold, says she found them at a vintage store right before the shoot in the exact colour and size she was looking for. (“That’s how I think Jesus shows he loves me.” – Stef).

We are giving away these kicks to one lucky WORN reader
. All you have to do to win is… have tiny feet. The first reader to reply to this post who wears a size 5.5 gets ‘em. That’s it, really. (Of course, if you wanted to brighten up this Monday morning, you could also tell us the outfit you plan to wear them with, and maybe throw in a knock knock joke or two, but we’ll give them to the first entrant regardless).

Tally ho!

Winter’s Comforts

Of all of nature’s gifts, snow is the one I want to take back to the store and exchange for something else. Winter is pretty, but very uncomfortable, and I much prefer sundresses and sandals to being bundled up in long johns and scarves and ten pairs of wool socks. So when the snow finally fell this year I was, as usual, in the depths of despair. After the requisite amount of pouting, I did the thing I always do when the snow falls for the first time: I pulled out my Really Giant Boots.

My Really Giant Boots are not what I would call the height of fashion. I got them for a highschool trip, where we did wilderness-y things like snowshoeing and hiking. They kept my feet warm and dry, and their gargantuan size, thick, heavy soles and general construction-worker aesthetic made me feel secretly tough — like I could kick down a door or fight off a bad guy should the need ever arise. After that weekend, I wore them every single day.

I had a teacher who used to shake his head, bewildered, every time my boots and I clomped into the classroom. “Hailey,” he would say, “those boots are just so curious.“ He explained that they reminded him of a girl he knew in university who was fearless and outspoken, and while I am none of these things – I’ve always been a shy and quiet kid – wearing the boots make me feel like maybe I could be. I’ve worn them every winter since. The last time I wore them home, my mom took a look at them and said, “I’m glad you still wear those. They look like old friends.”
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