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Today’s Fabulous Find takes us to a fantastic local, independent retailer: Craig’s Shoes in Berwyn (6548 W. Cermak). Here is an indie shop that offers the best of the best: Frye boots.

Every woman understands the importance of a pair of inspired, versatile boots that can withstand any kind of weather (sloshing through sleet and snow is a given here in the Midwest during our harsh winter months) and can endure our mercurial fashion aesthetic.

Until now, these boots were elusive: I have imagined a pair to wear with bare legs or leggings, with easy shorts, soft summer dresses, vintage floor-sweeping skirts, my favorite jeans and even tweed trousers. (I know, I demand a lot from my footwear.)

Guess what? They exist. (I promise you they do. Read on.)

I ran into a friend in Oak Park recently who looked über chic in a breezy charcoal dress and a pair of rugged leather boots with a chunky heel and boxy toe.

My fashion radar was quick to zero in on the boots: tanned and distressed, these boots had just enough pluck to add a little salt to her sweet, feminine ensemble.

The boots are Fryes, a high-quality, long-lasting boot designed many moons ago at the hands of hard-working American entrepreneur, John A. Frye, in 1863.

Women depend on several boots to meet the needs of our evolving lifestyles and our ever-changing wardrobes, but here we have a boot that does it all (like a best friend who is happy to join you for a relaxed night in, who’ll accompany you for a raucous night out, or who enjoys a simple midday prattle session at a local cafe).

You will get miles out of these boots. I would wear these to work, to play, on a hike or even for a bike ride.

Let me introduce you to the answer to your boot quandaries, ladies. Whether you want a cool biker chick boot for a touch of urban or a sleek riding boot for a cleaner look, your search has just ended. Really.

These boots are durable, timeless, and classic: they are handcrafted here in the United States and finely tailored for hard use with soft leather shafts, cushioned insoles (specially formulated to resist bacteria), and a reinforced toe-box.

Craig’s Shoes carries Frye Boots, and if you haven’t been, it is time to make the short trip (Oak Parkers can take East Avenue south to Cermak). You will pay less than at the big department stores, you will avoid the crowds, and (sigh of relief) there is plenty of parking.

By the way, that friend I ran into was wearing the same pair of Fryes I bought this year; only she had purchased her Fryes twenty years prior. You’ve got to love a pair of boots that can last that long and still look that good.

Craig’s Shoes is a family-friendly shop carrying shoes for men, women, and children. They’re open seven days a week. For prices and store hours call 708.795.8181 or visit 

Stop back next Friday for another Fabulous Friday Find from a local, independent retailer or for more Style Inspiration from friends and neighbors.

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