It would appear that winter is a season which can saturate your sartorial style which can turn a stride into a squelch; however there are steps you can take to combat this – by trashing the trainers, binning the brogues and losing the loafers, you can keep warm, dry and stylish for every task from Christmas shopping to cocktails. With these notions in mind, here are the best winter warmers for seasonal boot styles.
Black Chelsea Boots
Although approved in the Swinging Sixties, Chelsea boots had more royal beginnings. Way back in the time of Queen Victoria, her shoemaker, a Mr Sparkes-Hall patented their design in 1851. Even since then, her Majesty was said to have been a fan of these boots and was often spotted wearing them for strolls through the garden or horse riding in the palace grounds. Even if today´s city slicker doesn´t happen to have any access to palace gardens then they might find these boots more practical for parading around beer gardens because even decades on, their style and underlying message still stays strong – these really are as ´tough as old boots´, albeit very stylish ones.
By wearing these in a real leather style (in black or dark brown or black), you will be able to pair these boots with pretty much everything in your wardrobe. Just remember that as with any leather footwear, maintenance is essential to ensure that your boots will age well as well as you will.
Brown Leather Brogue Boots
The equally classic brogue boot that has been a sartorial style source since the early 1900´s. Although they may be a less traditional boot option, they are still as versatile as their counterparts. The application of fine brogue detailing around a robust boot base makes these a stylish foundation on which to build up a polished, tailored look.
Because brogue boots are smart and versatile, they give your foot locker added style strength thanks to their pedigree of traditional style and construction without any technical features or metal accents. The traditional punch hole detailing of their leather bodies, means that brogue boots look great with more classical and heritage inspired pieces such as thick gauge woollen blazers. By presenting your trousers to a tailor to have them slightly cropped, you can highlight these boots by putting a contemporary spin on your overall look.
Utilitarian / Work Boots
If brogue boots are the darling of Savile Row, then work boots are their utilitarian / suburban cousin. Today´s work boots aren´t all brick dust and dog whistles – thanks to brands such as Timberland, the ´go-to work´ look is big business from the high street to Hollywood (note Kanye and Diddy as fans).
Although they may not be the perfect partner for a suited and tailored look, worker boots are perfect complement for a classic jean with white t-shirt look. Just remember to keep your look rugged – work boots make a statement, so balance the look with dark bomber jackets and oversized sweatshirts.
Country / Hiking Boots
No longer reserved for day trips to the Cotswolds, hiking boots have been allocated a slot in mainstream fashion. Their path has not always been an easy one as the outdoors style was once thought of as niche apparel (until Carhartt popularised the hunter aesthetic). From that moment on, the top houses of Paris (Louis Vuitton, Bally and Hermes) followed suit in taking hiking boots into the courtyards of the luxury markets for the ultimate juxtaposition.
Apart from the many observations and reinterpretations from the luxury sector, hiking boots are far more than a momentary trend. Thanks to their DNA, they were specifically developed to face the elements and withstand early morning commuter slush. However, when your boots have to take on a work wear element, it’s best to steer your entire aesthetic into tougher territory; hardy footwear is best worn with hardy clothing, so try complimenting your boots with a heavier, rugged denim jacket and a chunky knitted cardigan.
Suede / Desert Boots
As we realise from so many menswear classics, there are a multitude of key pieces that started life in the military and our next candidate is no different. Desert boots started their life in WWII´s Burma where British soldier Nathan Clarke noticed the emergence of basic suede boots with crepe style soles – an idea which was ingeniously manufactured by an Egyptian bazaar in a response to the tough desert climes. This in turn became an idea which Nathan took back to the UK and was the starting point of his family footwear shop, the one and only Clarks that we know and love today.
This suede alternative of the chukka boot is now a core menswear staple and although suede requires treatment with a weatherproof coating, they can horse through most of the elements that autumn and winter throws upon them. Apart from the rain – avoiding snow, slush and anti-freeze laden street salts and chemicals can help to greatly prolong the life and appearance of your boots.
The best go-to look for this set up is smart denim served in a selvedge or indigo with a crisp, discreet turn up to keep you both warm and stylish.