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Thursday, October 29, 2009

905 by Fruit

Work a Mile: The brisk charm of Fruit's new worker short boot has us occupied.

We have an informal litmus test at the store to judge new arrivals. It goes something like this: 1. Receive new shipments; 2. Merchandise new arrivals on the floor; 3. Wait with baited breath. Like a magical scent, the odor of new arrivals will waft up to the office. Wait ... wait for it ... And there she is! Lori pops her head out, looking this way and that, bright-eyed and alert, moving through stacks of shoes and past bewildered customers, inevitably zeroing in on the best of the latest. It’s like watching a bloodhound to the fox. Truly inspiring. She has a sixth sense for uncovering the latest trend ... even in her own store! This week we found her posing in front of the mirror in dark skirt, black tights and the ultra-soft, black 905s by Fruit/Now.

It may not look like much in the box, but the 905 – an exclusive Lori’s pick from Italy – is an adorable work-inspired short boot that blends the hardware of utility with the supple luxury of buttery leather and a flawless construction. The result is a boot that looks tough but wears as gentle as a lamb. The rounded toe has a beautiful, narrow line that sweeps up to a double-stitched vamp. Five eyelets and three D-rings lend a rugged, masculine touch, as do the reinforced heelcup and padded ankle cuff.

But what drew Lori straight to this lovely number (also available in rustic brown – “I like that too,” she offers) was the amazing feel of the leather. Its soft hand and finish are so beguiling they overcome the manly edge of this boot, softening them to the cute and boyish.

The blend of masculine “toughness” – hiker, military, construction – and feminine discernment make this a versatile boot. It’s so damned cute worked back to leggings and a short skirt and tailored shirt, but it also makes sense with skinny jeans and a simple tee topped with layered chains and a Lives of the Saints bracelet, all the rage in Italy right now (available at the register). Conversely, you could cuff up your boyfriend jeans and butch out these boots, taking advantage of their blue-collar inspiration.

What draws a line through all these outfits is attention to silhouette (softer, more feminine and considered) and material (drool-worthy leathers). The irony is that this shoe is so comfortable you can walk and walk and walk and walk in them. They truly do become a workhorse for your wardrobe!

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