On Saturday, Sveta and I drove to the US for an NAS shopping extravaganza. Well, it was an extravaganza for me. For her it was a more restrained affair, but still successful. What can I say? I plead "first NAS" and hope you will all understand.

Pics 1 and 2: My boxes in the Customer Service area!

Considering this was my first time shopping the sale, I had a high proportion of "hits" -- largely due to my time and training on YLF and Angie's expert coaching and recommendations.

But I did strike out in a few key areas.

The first, and most important -- since good winter boots are my highest NEED this season -- tall boots. I definitely need tall waterproof boots -- the ones I own are four seasons old and leaking badly. I also have a need for dressy boots (i.e. boots that look more polished and dressy, not necessarily weatherproof.) This need is not as intense, but is real. The boots I currently use for this purpose are 6 years old, worn, and very dated with a square toe.

I ordered: 2 very dressy styles, 1 slightly less dressy but still polished style, 1 waterproof tall boot. And I struck out in every case.

The main problem is my calves are too short. They are also slightly narrow.

Dressy boots:

Munro Ann: Did not like the way this boot looked or felt on me at all, and it was too tall in the shaft. Angie said that the shaft could be cut down, but I didn't care for the boot.

SW Panache (no pic online any more): this one was similar to the Ann but much, much more comfortable and attractive on me. Also way too tall. I thought it could probably be altered by a cobbler, but it was already a very pricey item for me. Not weatherproof, needs work to make it work, and not versatile (i.e. only a dressy boot to wear with skirts and dresses….which I wear only in my city "smart casual capsule." So I decided to leave it, with some regret.

Pics 3 and 4 -- Stuart Weitzman Setaside: Love at first sight for this boot. Gorgeous in the blue suede. It was a bit large in the smaller of my two sizes but that could probably have been rectified with an insole or heavier socks. It fit in width because it is stretchy at the back. But it was at least 1.5 inches too tall for my stumpy calves, maybe more.

It's tough to see in the image but that bagging around the ankle is due to the boot's height. There is just too much for me to pull it up properly.

Pics 5 and 6 -- Blondos: I had such high hopes for these, but alas….they won't work for me. They are too tall (which surprised me, given the advertised shaft height they should have been okay) and they are also too wide at the top. Despite being stretchy, there was a visible gap, probably because they are not hitting where they are supposed to hit on me.

Please excuse my wrinkly elephant knees. I swear they don't usually look quite that awful!

Flattering footwear that fits is a real issue for me, far more than I ever fully understood. Now I understand more why booties posed such a challenge for me -- and yet at the same time are my best friend. From a figure flattery point of view, anyone with calves as short (objectively) AND as short proportionately as mine is going to run into trouble with a short horizontal line across the leg. No wonder I feared them and still worry that they are "stumpifying."

At the same time, booties are pretty much the only footwear I can easily buy. I can't wear low vamp shoes or even high vamp flats that don't lace because they come off my feet. (Tried on slipper flats the other day -- no luck. Can't wear them.) And I can't find tall boots to fit my short but not wide calves.

Oh well. The journey continues.

Apologies for the length - hope you did not read if it was not pertinent to you!

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