With the rainy season I’m left wondering, what new shoes should I get?
You see this problem began last year when I entered the rainy season of Japan without and rain boots. When I was a first year at college I went out and got the primo-deluxe rain boot–tall hunter boots in forest green. Those boots were a symbol, a symbol not only of my readiness for the harsh New England weather, but a symbol my acceptance into the New England girl group.
At Wellesley everyone wears hunters, everyone wears Vineyard Vines, and everyone wears LL Bean. The brands, while expensive, are also indicative of a lifestyle choice; you had thrown away you’re previous–now irrelevant–life and entered cambridge fashion.
And did I ever. From Hunter boots to North Face coats I filled my closet with a wardrobe with the New England brands, while my wallet took a beating.
Yet, when I left for Tokyo for a year I had to leave behind everything. No need to bring a North Face down coat when it hardly snows in Tokyo. It seems unreasonable to pack LL Bean boots when you’ll mostly bike everywhere. There’s no reason to pack tall and trendy rain boots when you’ll only be in Japan for a year. So I left my Hunter boots in my closet to sit for a year as I went threw 4 pairs of shoes including: a pair of loafers from Gap, ballet flats from H&M, Van’s saddleback sneakers, and heels from Urban Outfitters.
Though while in Tokyo I would spot the occasional Hunter boot making its way along campus, the mob of brand names that I can’t outrun back at Wellesley were gone. Instead I found myself traveling to vintage shops, where ex-punk store owners were selling vintage Vans, Converse, and Doc Martens. Just to be clear, by vintage shops I don’t mean just the cool stores you pass down Takeshita Dori in Harajuku, I mean back-alley-underground-no-air-conditioning vintage stores where the average customer has piercings and opal dye in their hair.
So when I was packing my bags for my final year at Wellesley I had to make some tough decisions about shoes; to pack the Hunters or not to pack them? When it came down to the wire, I opted for my mom’s vintage lace-up ankle boots (brand unknown), my LL Bean Boots (for the snow) and classic Doc Marten oxfords. Even though I said goodbye to the Hunter boots, I’d like to think I’m still a member of the Wellesley community, all be it a slightly off-beat one.