Uncomfortable Beautiful and Pragmatic Cowboys

The title of this week’s post is weird because I am writing about three pretty unrelated things. It’ll make sense if you keep reading. Also it’s a happy accident because I think I finally found the phrase that encapsulates my forever person. That’s right, find me an Uncomfortable Beautiful and Pragmatic Cowperson and I will marry the motherfucker. On the spot.

First, a reprise from last week’s post, Fashion Choices That Make Me Uncomfortable.

Contrast Stitching

I have been shopping for the perfect bag my whole life recently and I have vetoed otherwise fantastic selections because of contrast stitching. Like this bag from Frye:

When I look at this bag, all I can think of is this:


I Dunno! Why do I give so many shits about contrast stitching?! WHO CARES? Anyways it’s all for the best because I am not spending 4 bills on a purse, which is what the Frye bag costs. Well, ok, I would spend 4 bills on a purse if could, but it wouldn’t be that purse.

Empire Waist Tops

These were super trendy middle of the last decade and everyone was wearing them. And actually lots of times an empire waist is really appealing proportionally. What freaked me out about the trend was that at the time, low-waisted jeans were also trending, meaning people were wearing empire waist tops with low-waisted pants meaning visually there are two waists happening!

You see that zipper placket? Your brain knows it ends at the hip even though you cant see the top.  So your eye is looking at two horizontal lines visually cutting across the body instead of just one — which freaks me out! I have this thing where if someone is under a blanket and only their head is showing it creeps me the fuck out because it’s like they’re only a floating head. This kind of outfit is sort of a low-dose floating head for me. So WIERD! I know.

Needless to say, the rise of waist-lines of late has been comforting for me.

Moving On! I like to stay positive so lets talk about some fashion that instead of uncomfortable makes me feel happy!

Chie Mihara Shoes

Chie Mihara’s shoes are the BEST.  This is because:

1. She designs shoes that have a sense of humor without being ridiculous

2. She designs shoes that will never go out of style

3. She uses the best quality materials

4. She makes shoes that are feminine but not girly or feminized in a fucked up way

5. Her shoes are COMFORTABLE AS FUCK . They are beautiful and pragmatic and nothing is sacrificed on either front. Chie used to work for an orthopedic shoe company before she started her own line!

I personally own three pairs which I got on deep deep discount — her shoes are not cheap! Full price they are around $400!

Classic shape, no bells no whistles, but in a bright red! I’m pretty sure my favorite thing in fashion is when things are designed with very classic lines and have one unusual detail, either color or structurally, that makes it modern and unique. Except sometimes my favorite thing is when people wear things that are totally crazy and over the top and WEIRD and not classic at all.  But Chie Mihara definitely exhbits the former.

If were rich I would buy these and bring them as an offering to Janelle Monae and ask her to bless me with her Dandy Funk. But maybe if I had these shoes I wouldn't need it...

How is this shoe managing to look organic, disco, and AWESOME at the same time?!

FAR OUT! I LOVE the way she took the lines from a 60s platform shoe and brought it down juuust a few notches. You get the funky without the freaky!

Again with the mixing of organic material (wooden heel) and DISCO hotness! My inner 70s granola hippie and my inner 70s studio 54 goddess can finally agree on something...

The color combination here reminds me of a forest in early winter -- brown and black trees with bits of white snow and gold moss and orange and red berries still hanging on bare branches. Perfect.

I have never seen less precious polka dots than this! They almost look like disease spots, which I love. Yeah, this shoe is definitely SICK.

Ok. Really, pretty much every shoe Chie Mihara makes is worthy and I just don’t have enough room in today’s post to bring them all to you. You should just go to her website and check out all the collections.

Next up, while I was perusing the interwebs looking for Chie Mihara, I discovered:

Old Gringo Boots

I love how pretty and tough this is all at the same time! I really appreciate that aspect of the Cowboy aesthetic. Here you’ve got the guys that wrangle big animals and work with their hands and also when they get really dressed up they always have a bunch of flowers and rhinestones all over their outfits.

Also I think the cowboy is thought of as a sensitive, contemplative type, since he is out there alone on the range gazing into the big sky all the time. Sensitive and contemplative is certainly a little more complicated than your average masculine trope, yeah?

These are so romantic! They look like a black and white photograph of a color boot. How did they do that?


Have I talked about how much I usually HATE pink on this blog yet? It’s not even Pink’s fault, it’s just that everytime a company wants to market something to women they make it fucking pink. The worst is in sports equipment. Boxing gloves for girls? Pink. Bike jersey’s for girls? Pink. Motorcycle helmets for girls? FUCKING PINK PINK PINK. STOPPIT! I would like things that are designed to fit my small frame and my present-though-negligible curves THAT ARE NOT FUCKING PINK.

THAT SAID – I would wear these boots. These boots are not pink because some guy at corporate thinks I will be uncomfortable doing something associated with masculinity unless I wear something that screams GIRLY LITTLE BITCH. Ugh, sorry, if you like pink things for sporting activities you are not a little bitch. I take it back. I was angry. Will you join me?

These boots are pink because someone in the design department aptly thought it would look fucking amazing on Python skin. I’m down with that.

Yes, that is skeleton heads with skeleton hands illustrating see no evil/hear no evil/speak no evil. Skulls and roses are kinda ubiquitous (Did the Greatful Dead invent this image or does it have a longer history? I’d be interested to know.) and definitely can be found on items at Hot Topic but I like this iteration and generally speaking the whole beauty/death dichotomy is fascinating and comforting to me.  It’s one of those things that I think people like because it speaks to something universally human, whether it’s on a hand-crafted cowboy boot or a Hot Topic pencil case.

Lastly, I leave you with Katrín:

Katrín in Chie Mihara shoes looking Pretty (and) Tough.

Katrín puttin the OW! in Cowgirl.

You want more of Katrín, don’t you? Come back next Wednesday when she’ll be the star of a new Hi, You’re Stylish! post. She is from Reykjavik, Iceland, land of pale-faced magic fashion faeries.




About Carrie Leilam Love

i love words, babies, and shoes better than everything.


  1. Michael von Braithwaite

    The color pink can go suck a fuck on the real. As I’ve been shopping for phones, all the smart ones that I can also afford are in some shade of fucking pink. I HATE THAT SHIT. The fuck am I going to do walking around with a pink fucking phone? I can’t make serious calls on a pink phone! Ugh. Hatred.

    • carrieleilamlove

      OVERLY GENDERED MARKETING GIVES ME THE RAGE! There are some humans who do not want either “Pink” or “NFL” themes for their smart phones. Product developers take note. We are united in this, Braithwaite.

  2. Michael von Braithwaite

    Oh and I think the skulls and roses thing is a reference to Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. He was making work in the 1800s/early 1900s from (I think) the Dia de los muertos tradition.

    • carrieleilamlove

      Oh DUH I think I have to surrender my WOC card for thinking the grateful dead invented skulls and roses when obviously it was indigenous people in Mexico and Central America. Honestly though, that card was not working so well when I tried to use it at Macy’s. They just followed me around the store suspiciously until I got creeped out and left.

      • Michael von Braithwaite

        Oh I have a blonde white lady card that makes people try relentlessly to make me buy things until I get overwhelmed and angry and leave. This leads me to wonder who is buying things if they’re chasing away both the WOC AND the AWL (angry white ladies). No wonder our economy is in such bad shape.

        THE REPLY BUTTON IS MISSING so I’m actually replying right in your comment. Admin privileges, what? WHY ARE YOU SO GODDAMN HILARIOUS? You should do stand up. You would kill it. Except you’d have to deal with people laughing loudly so it might not be worth it. – Carrie

  3. Those blue mary janish shoes with the contrast stitching make me want to die. Love, luff, Lurv it! And does it make any sense that I would never have worn cowboy boots in NC, I sold my one pair only worn once in Boston on Halloween, and now that I’m headed to NYC I want another pair of boots? Fashion wish washer here.

    Great Post Carrie!

    • carrieleilamlove

      HA! Ricky, you called me out! CONTRAST STITCHING! Though actually, I would call that more embroidery on the pair you reference — but still, the pair with the “disease spots” totally features contrast stitching, which I said makes me uncomfortable! The best thing about saying you don’t like something is discovering the situations you DO like it in. Thanks!

  4. OMG. I wish you have never show me Chie Mihara shoes. They are going to invade my dreams and wake me at night. Such perfection!

    Have you seen Rocketbuster boots? http://www.rocketbuster.com … now YOU can be awake at night!

  5. carrieleilamlove

    Geek Porn Girl!! I will DEFINITELY be awake at night thinking about these bags!


    Thanks for reading 🙂

  6. Pingback: Hi, You’re Stylish! Katrín Lilja Ólafsdóttir puts the Reyk in Reykjavik. « Ironing Board Collective

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