Blackmilk is one of them. I found them while still living in Germany, and my friend Verena and I both went a little crazy with our first purchases. My first pair of amazing leggings from them was the Galaxy Rainbow design, and I loved them. You’ll see them pictured over on the Claes and Coosje World Tour page, somewhere in the Germany photos.
Sadly, they no longer fit and I needed a new pair. So I went right ahead and got another design that I love, the Mucha leggings. Added to the Drape Hoodie 2.0 that (finally) came back in stock, I was really excited to wear the entire outfit. It is actually kind of hard to find tops that work well with these leggings, so getting a black top straight from the source really is a good option.
BUT. I also needed a pair of flat boots, to replace the basic black moto boots I ran right into the ground. I purchased them at the end of 2013 before I moved to Japan, and they got a WHOLE lot of wear. It appears that at the time, I was dragging my heels a lot and wore them down(health issues, go figure), so getting the heels replaced would have been really expensive, as I wore through all three layers of them.
Cue me, trying to buy black boots in the middle of the already-on-the-shelves summer shopping season. Not a single pair of normal black boots in sight, unless I wanted rain boots. I DO actually want a new pair of rain boots, but I can’t just go buying everything at once.
Thankfully, there are TWO Doc Martens stores very near my house. Initially I wasn’t too keen on the idea of buying Docs. The teenager in me thought of the skinheads and neo-nazis in my middle and high school who wore them, and I don’t ever want to be associated with them. I also thought that since I’ll be turning 34 this year, I might be a bit too old to be wearing Docs. However, as Verena so wisely pointed out: You’re never too old for Docs, and lots of different people wear them, and I hopefully won’t be associated with any of them. Also, I’d like to think that my wearing them is like an antidote to all of the dicks you see wearing them. I can hope. Also, since I like to think of my general fashion sense as ‘rock star’, Docs will work with everything I already own.
So I went to the shop and tried a few pairs on. I thought at first I might want to try out the heeled pairs, but after seeing them in the store and feeling the different types of leather, I decided I actually preferred the original style. Also: the basic flat style is better for walking and doing lots of things, in general. Heels are for people much more concerned about their appearance than I am. I’m concerned about walking all over Tokyo in comfortable shoes. Since we walk here. A lot. Everywhere.
As many of you know, I’m very concerned with NOT overpaying for things. This means that before buying the ones I tried on and liked in the store, I had to do some online research, regarding the cost of shipping as attached to the boots being sold in the US.
The math came out like this:
JP store: $190 (I’m giving you the conversion from Yen here)
US store: $130
That should have made all the difference and caused me to buy online from the states, except for this small, annoying detail:
Shipping to JP from the US store warehouse: $80.
Add tax to that, and the US shoes came out to $220. So I bit the bullet and went back to the Ikebukuro store, and got myself some new Docs.
Now, I just have to finish breaking them in. We’re almost there.
Sometimes it’s just easier to buy the VAT-marked up one that’s closer to home. Sadly.