Boots are the most useful thing you can have as the weather slowly becomes autumnal. You can keep wearing your usual t-shirts and chinos, but use boots to keep you warm and save your feet from getting drenched when the weather turns iffy—and keep you from looking unseasonal.
Stylist, Alexander McCalla
Practical leather boots are utilitarian by design. So styling them is easy: just pick other pieces that are also made with practicality in mind.
Clothes like parkas, thick jumpers and jeans will look stylish with leather boots—but in an easy, natural way.
Built to resist rain, wind and dirt, leather boots will protect your feet from inclement weather and will naturally last longer.
While a pair of leather boots will need only occasional resoling, synthetic boots are more likely to tear and scuff—and need replacing.
If your boots get wet, don't dry them by the radiator. It'll dry the leather out too much.
Polishing the leather every few months does more than keep them looking smart. It makes the leather flexible and helps them last longer.
Work boots and hiking boots are often sized to take thick walking socks into account, so either be prepared with some chunky socks yourself, or look into taking half a size down.
This shouldn’t be an issue with less outdoorsy styles such as chukkas and brogue boots.
Because practical boots tend to be chunkier, skinny trousers don’t work well proportionally. Slim or straight trousers look much better.
And while you might think boot-cut jeans are an obvious choice, their name is misleading: this style isn't flattering.
So: can you wear boots with a suit or formal trousers? Yes, but it takes some effort to get it right. “It's not the easiest combination," Alice says.
"If you want to wear yours with a suit, go for a classic style like brogue boots, make sure the detailing is kept to a minimum, and choose a pair with leather soles.”
“Don't worry about this one too much—both brown and black are pretty versatile,” says Alice.
Of the two, brown is more casual, so brown boots look great with blue jeans (but not with suits, black jeans, or formal trousers).
Black is a better option if you’re keen to go smart: they’ll go with just about any pair of dark trousers.
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