Thursday, March 17, 2011

076: tutorial - slashed combat boots

When this whole recession thing started, I read some articles about how it could possibly change our shopping habits. I excitedly told my friends that in depression times, people were more likely to start wearing more "investment pieces", meaning more money would be spent on quality rather than quantity & we should be getting ourselves very basic LBDs, jeans & blazers. These pieces, which are wardrobe staples would help us save money because they would likely last forever & never go out of style.

Little did I know then that the complete opposite would be happening & the fashion world was instead embracing items that were purely frivolous & non-functional. For example, peep-toe boots. Boots are made for winter weather & protecting your feet from the cold & snow... so what the hell is the toe open for? Well, I'm definitely a victim of choosing novelty over functionality, which is why I'm going to present to you... my slashed combat boots!

ksubi "dusty" boots & jc's "slashed combat boot"
these are obviously non-winter-friendly boots & to me they're some kind of hybrid between boots & gladiator sandals.

I started off with a pair of Doc Marten boots that have been sitting in my basement unworn for years. Prior to that, I found these babies sitting alone in the coat closet of my student house when all of my roommates were moving out. (SARA, WERE THESE YOURS?) I know it's basically sacrilege to slash up docs, but these were completely free & the leather was majorly scratched & dried out.

All you need is
- a pencil
- & an exacto knife

I used the pencil to draw out the lines to cut along

Using an exacto knife to cut leather is pretty easy as long as the knife is sharp... though you might have to score the surface a bit.

pop out the pieces!

I found that under certain parts of the boot, there was a bit of a lining, so I had to go in with fabric scissors to trim it out.

after cutting out all of the slashes on one side, I noticed that the edges were a bit fuzzy. Using scissors, I just trimmed those little fibres back.

& repeat on all sides!

next, I took some black shoe polish & a shoe brush...

I took very small amounts of polish & brushed it selectively on the boots, making sure to miss a lot of the creases & edges so that it would have a distressed finish (but not as distressed as they were before, haha)

so they were a faded brown before & i made them a bit of a darker brown with lighter brown showing through at parts (a bit hard to spot in these pics!)

ta da!

& a photo in better lighting

cable knit bustier by pull&bear, vintage suede pants by danier leather, sunglasses are sam's, floppy hat from ardene, purse from aldo, leopard silk scarf from coach

comparing all the boots:

pretty sweet eh? :)

Overall, it was a pretty easy upgrade & I think they're perfect now for wearing with summer floral dresses or for outdoor music festivals! yay!


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  1. cutest! great ideaaa. I have a pair of knee high high boots... this is a big debate ha

  2. your diys are crazy, i love it! and the whole ensemble, the brown corset top (and is it knit, too?!) is great. THOSE PANTS.

  3. I love slashed combat boots! I'm dieing to make myself a pair for this spring/summer, but I'll have to wait because right now I only have one good pair of boots and I need them for winter haha. I have a beat up pair of these Men's combat boots but they look more like hiking boots. I think I'm going to practice stenciling and cutting on them before I go find a pair I actually want to use and then wreck them in the process haha. You two have such amazing DIY stuff. I love it! Please keep it up!


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