Everything looks cute when it’s small.
-Cynthia Rowley
 
People see me as cute, but I’m so much more than that.
-Ashley Tisdale
 
CUTE!  Avoiding that banal adjective is not easy when describing Freshly Picked Fern Oxford for toddlers. Adorable, winsome, dear – all do the job, but these desert boots for the very young set are nothing if not, well, …CUTE! 
 
Delightful, sweet, winning, darling Mr C, official child of Janiqueel, has celebrated birthday one, and is about to go for his first walk. Happily he will not take subsequent adventures unshod. He will sport his Fern Oxfords with pride. After struggling to think of any word but “cute” when looking at these charmers, “desert boots” became an accompanying ear worm. 
 
 
Some decades away from toddler-hood, my friend, John, remembers when desert boots hit the fashion scene in the fifties in the States. He and many of his contemporaries had a pair, although they were ill-suited to the wintry weather of the Midwest, they leapt out of the closet from early spring to late autumn. Born in the South Africa the boots became something of fashion statement in the quickly-becoming-more-casual milieu of the post-we era. Addressing a more sporty and relaxed market, the soft boots took off. Their popularity has seldom dimmed since. Closely related to the hard-soled “chukka boots,” desert boots typically have crepe soles and two or three eyelets, and are fashioned of soft, often suede, leathers. As soldiers in Africa and the Mideast found, they were comfortable and practical with their loose fit and grippy soles. Their popularity has never dimmed and the C. & J. Clark company still offer them , as do a plethora of other shoe makers. 
 
That’s a verbose way of getting back to the Freshly Picked Fern Oxfords, but who wants to buy a pair of toddler boots without knowing their derivation? 99.9% you say? All right, but there it is for free! Impress your friends after they’ve swooned over these winsomely attractive first boots. 
 
 
The Fern Oxfords have no soles (but plenty of soul – titter). Freshly picked addresses this in their informative FAQ page, “The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends soft soled shoes for early walkers as children learn by gripping their toes on the ground, and they don’t need arch support yet.” The FAQ page has links to expert opinions on this subject.  As Mr C experimented with first steps, I noted how his toes sought purchase. “Remarkable child,” I exclaimed, and I was so RIGHT! Pliable and accommodating, the Fern Oxfords are an ideal first shoe for the early walker. Will Mr C be wearing desert boots when he’s my age or even as ancient as Friend John. Based on history, the chances are propitious.
 
Other timeless designs in the Freshly Picked catalog (available online, of course) include moccasins, their signature style, Mary Janes, Penny Loafers, Bow Mocs, Sandals, and Newborns. FLASH ALERT – “Easter Mocs are here!” Shouts the opening banner, I clicked and found no Easter Collection designation, Nor one for Hello Kitty. Diaper bags? Got’ em. Hello Kitty, bountiful bunnies, black history heroes? Yes! But don’t think they are easily seen through the website. Again and again, I was sent back to the over-all page asking me to choose gender, collection (no Hello Kitty there), Color and size before I could browse – attention needed here, FP. My best advice is to Google “freshly picked hello kitty” to find images.
 
Quibbles with the website aside, My experience with Freshly Picked is positive. Bottom line, I love the shoes. They will find their way into “Mr C’s First Steps” photos and videos for years to come. Did I mention that they were CUTE? 
 



Categories: Fashion

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