WIW: pirate boots for Aziraphale

After Aziraphale wowed us all with her gorgeous Fluevogs, I was inspired to kick out in my Vivienne Westwood pirate boots. It's only taken me three weeks to get around to photographing them. Sorry about that. 

They're a few years old now. I found them on deep discount in the most unlikely place after admiring them online at full price. The only problem was that they were half a size too small. I stretched them on my feet over a few wears and it was excruciating. They fit fine now but I wish I had followed Angie's advice and done it with wet feet.

You'll also notice I'm wearing jeans under a silk chiffon skirt by Dries van Noten. I thrifted it a while back and it's been a problem child ever since. It's an awkward colour to wear with either hose or bare legs, but bizarrely it seems to work over a pair of skinny pants. Result. :)

The jacket is Isabel Marant pour H&M, and is one of those surprise workhorses which gets worn all year round. It has a twin on the back of the lovely Leandra, who, as you can see, stole my look months before I even thought of it. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Sal replied 3 years ago

    Awesome look!
    You seem to get some great buys on deep discount or by thrifting - do you make this part of your routine?
    I love the skirt over the jeans look here.  Perfect.  Would it work with thick tights in grey or blue, I somehow imagine textured grey or dull blue ones?
    And the boots are wonderful too.

  • Inge replied 3 years ago

    I echo Kiwigal, you find the best stuff thrifting, Rio! I really like the apricot skirt with the silver jacket and dark skinnies and boots. Works great with your hair colour too. Glad to hear those boots are comfortable now. And how cheeky of Leandra to copy your outfit ;-)

  • shevia replied 3 years ago

    I have missed your posts! So glad to see your outfit - no wonder Leandra preemptively copied it!

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    Those boots are amazing! Ahoy! I love the jeans and chiffon look on you -- very clever and texturally interesting. Fantastic juxtapositions. 

  • jackiec replied 3 years ago

    What a fun mix. Love it!!

  • Elizabeth P replied 3 years ago

    Oh, so good to see you post!  Love this, love the texture mixing.

  • Aziraphale replied 3 years ago

    Oh wow! Those boots are EXCELLENT! As is the whole look. I remember the skirt-over-jeans look in the 90s and I liked it. And I think Sally from Already Pretty has a skirt just like that -- same colour and everything -- and I've always admired it. I can see what you mean about it being a tricky colour, though. 

    ETA I can see why you suffered for those boots. They are too fab for words. But if it happens again -- especially for boots -- just take them to the cobbler to have them stretched. I've done it loads of times and I've never had a problem with over-stretching. And boots are more forgiving anyway. :-)

  • replied 3 years ago

    Love the boots! And I am a fan of skirt over jeans too.

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    Adam Ant is proud. You look sensational. 

  • approprio replied 3 years ago

    Oh thanks so much everyone!

    there's so much to say about shopping strategy that I don't know where to start.... I'm lucky to live in a city where there's a vibrant second-hand market and I know where to look. But buying designer clothes on discount or even second hand usually means paying high-end high street prices. It's worth it to me, because it's made me raise my standards. These days I'm less likely to buy anything that doesn't look really good, new or old. 

    Shevia, ElizabethP,
    that's so kind of you! I keep saying I'm going to try and post a bit more often. I've been in the doldrums a bit lately, falling back on some old favourites which didn't seem interesting enough to post. But there's a small backlog here. Must try harder ;)

  • catgirl replied 3 years ago

    THOSE BOOTS! Keeling over.

  • Diana replied 3 years ago

    Man, I remember those pirate boots and really wanting some.  Jealous!  Love how you have styled them too. The skirt over jeans is great.  It's funny, I wear dresses over jeans without a second thought but never think about doing the same with skirts.  Something about the two waistbands, I think, but maybe I should try with a very lightweight skirt like yours! 

  • replied 3 years ago

    Amazing boots and great styling!

  • Astrid replied 3 years ago

    Love the boots! Awesome.

  • smittie replied 3 years ago

    Cool! Really inspiring. 

  • tulle replied 3 years ago

    Amazed that you found those boots on deep discount!  Everyone I know has longed for them and either not been able to find them, or not been able to afford them.  They're terrific.  And I never knew that Isabel Marant had designs at H&M.  I'm a big fan. The peach-blossom skirt over jeans is great, too.  Not an outfit most could carry off, but it suits you perfectly.

  • Janet replied 3 years ago

    You have such an amazing knack for layering that shouldn't work in theory but does in reality! And those boots are so excellent.

  • abc replied 3 years ago

    Kick a** boots!!!

    You're so creative with your dressing.

  • Greyscale replied 3 years ago

    Love it!

    It sounds like we have a similar approach to shopping.

  • Style Fan replied 3 years ago

    What amazing boots.  I love the layering look.  Everything works so well when I think it wouldn't.  You have such a talent. 

  • Olivegreen replied 3 years ago

    Very fun and freeing look. I cannot wear a sparkle or sequin, they hate me. But those boots are utterly fab and honestly, can wear them with anything.
    Those are an item that I think an older woman not only could carry off, but that would look extra fab on a slightly used human!
    Now they are on my list of things to buy on sight.

  • Aubergine replied 3 years ago

    Awesome -- the boots, the jacket, the whole look!

  • CocoLion replied 3 years ago

    Really edgy outfit.  It works.

  • rachylou replied 3 years ago

    Wow! You have good stuff in your closet! So interesting to see your take and Leandra's side by side. She should have done pirate boots like you :D

    'Course she *is* wearing that skirt that's gonna trip someone...

  • approprio replied 3 years ago

    oh thank you all so much! *humbled* 

    I feel I should talk about the boots a bit. They're very special to me for all sorts of reasons. It's at least in part because of the huge influence Dame Viv has had on how I think about fashion, and how I see these as a quintessentially Westwood design, up there with the platform ghillie shoes, the bondage trousers, the pirate print. And Angie's right, I owe so much of that to Adam Ant, her muse and my crush during the early '80's.

    There are so many reasons to love Vivienne that I can't even begin to count them. I can't say I love here clothes unconditionally, but I don't think there's another designer who knows quite so well what makes a woman feel good, or how to dress a curvy lady. I've learned so much about drape and tailoring from looking at her clothes and I've bought a fair few pieces over the years for the sole purpose of copying them. I might tell you about that too sometime. 

    But back to the boots.  

    You know I told you all about my friend who passed last year? She moved to the country after her diagnosis and I went to visit her after the first round of chemo. She'd lost all her hair but none of her lust for life.

    She took me shopping and steered me towards the last pair of VW pirate boots in that small town's finest premium boutique. I'd already clocked them months before as my perfect boot and I have no idea why they were half price, how they came to have one pair in (almost) my size, or how she knew I had to have them. Either way, it was one of those perfect shopping moments, followed by a glass of wine to toast a fabulous find. 

    They've had a lot of wear since then but I think the last time I wore them was at her funeral. I felt like I had to carry the torch. It's good to put them on again. 

  • Karie replied 3 years ago

    I love, love, love the chiffon skirt with the pirate boots! Super fun!

  • DonnaF replied 3 years ago

    Such a touching story about the boots.  I hope you can find the time and energy to post more.

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