The ´there but not there´ transitional period between winter and spring is a tricky season for fashion. Certainly, it is not cold enough to merit dusting down the work and hiking boots, but neither is it cold enough to slip your feet into a pair of soft leather sandals; it is more of a case of what to wear and how to walk in it. One thing is for certain; with fashion, there is always a solution and a few indispensable investments will take you through this transitional style season with full marks. The idea is to add variety to your style and look whilst staying away from the more mundane looks such as big boots and chunky shoes which are still somewhat of a seasonal fashion cliché. Plus, the longer you wear ´favourite´ shows for, the faster you will wear them down.
Before investigating the best transitional treasures available, pay attention to these wise words; Quality will always win over quantity and this mantra really comes into its own when you’re selecting 1 or 2 pairs of footwear to strengthen your collection for style and longevity. You get what you pay for – so by choosing offerings from more respected brands such as Church´s and Barker, you will always have a savvy investment for comfort and durability. Make use of the seasonal sales; with each and every shop on the high street trying to ´out-do´ each other to clear out old stock and trends, you will never be short of a bargain or two.
With this is mind, now you can take that confident stride forward to check out the principal styles that you should be looking to covet to inject some interest for those darker months;
One of the hardest decisions that we all face, no matter the season, is what we are going to wear for a night out. Unless you’re planning to hit the dance clubs and after hours bars – trainer’s won´t cut it and on the other flip side, your best Oxford shoes are probably a little too formal and expensive for activities like dancing. If this is the case, then you can win by getting your hands on chukka’s boots. By choosing a classic dark brown or black leather design you will be in receipt of a pair of easy to wear boots which will complement all of your more sociable go-out looks.
You can wear Chukka boots with straight or slim-leg jeans (hems neatly rolled up) and a printed shirt. If you want to make more of a statement, try pairing these with chinos or an Oxford shirt for something more classically casual.
The be all and end all of the transitional´s terrain; the desert boot is neither a formal boot nor a casual show either. It presents a classic silhouette of the suede upper and crepe rubber sole making it a universally ideal option to compliment most outfits. Desert boots are positioned in the casual smart spot of fashion, which makes them ideal for you to pair with jeans and a button down cardigan or a shawl neck cardigan for an elegant off duty look. You can also pay homage to the (still on-going) military trend by completing your look with Dockers chino´s, a crew neck t-shirt and a statement (or khaki) bomber jacket to make the most of your luxurious leisure time.
Even if you are already in receipt of the classic beige colourway, desert boots now come in such a variety of prices, fabrics and colours that you can easily invest in another pair to give you more options for matching additional transitional outfits.
A classical pair of chunky brown leather brogues are perfect for looking corporate in the office (even when it’s windy and wet out). But because of global warming, seasonal temperatures over the traditionally colder months have been much milder, making lighter versions are a much more viable option. By switching leather for suede you can still communicate the formality of a leather brogue but in a more spring-friendly look which will add a more natural texture to any look. The laws of suede tell us that with great texture, comes great responsibility so be sure to make an extra special effort to care for suede styles by spraying some waterproof stain-repellent and frequently brushing away surface dirt with a suede brush.
You would think that trainers should go into storage for winter as many men who recently invested in the trainer worlds (costly) classical remakes would not want to risk coating a new pair of kicks in water and snow stains. However, after the eye of the cold weather has passed, leather trainers should be your casual core. A more minimal white style which is served in a chunky sole is a key addition to any style-savvy man’s SS17 wardrobe and can be paired with everything from jeans and sweatshirts to tailored separates as plenty of street style images have proven.
Although the classical summer boat shoe probably won’t benefit you much right now, there’s no problem in reaching for them once temperatures rise in the months to come. The selling point with boat shows is that they are very comfortable on your feet and if you choose a leather pair in a neutral colour like white, black, grey or navy, then you won’t need to worry about them looking out of place as they will quite simply go with anything. For those of you who don´t want to go sockless with boat shoes, you are spoiled for choice with the range of invisible socks out there which will still give you the covetable bare ankle appearance without the hygiene problems. But, bear in mind that a complementary coloured ribbed pair won’t damage your style credibility either.
You can complement this look by wearing Italian Riviera-inspired chinos or tailored shorts rather than the usual go-to denim. Summarise the rest of your look by taking inspiration from the shoe’s design; if you’ve opted for the maritime blue, red and white version, then continue this theme with a classic Breton T-shirt. Or, if you’ve chosen a pair in brown leather then try a simple white look for the ultimate in understated style.