Boots and suits; the two may not be an obvious pairing, but this season they’re the style combo.
We’re not talking about clunky, chunky treads in rubber soles and endless lace holes. Those only work with clunky, chunky clothes. The informal boot has evolved into a formal choice that’s de rigeur. The secret lies in using soft yet durable leathers and boots with a host of secret weapons, such as sheepskin lining for softness, warmth and moisture absorption and antibacterial layers for foot hygiene. If a high quality thread is used for stitching, it will have a waxed coating to stop water penetrating.
Whether you work in an office or your job takes you outside, always look after your footwear during these wet and windy months and they’ll do you justice for years to come. Keep the leather nourished and waterproofed with polish as cold weather can quickly dry out the leather and create cracks. For suede, use a good quality waterproofing spray.
Having an all singing all dancing presentation isn’t the only way to win that juicy new piece of business. Chemistry counts and first impressions matter – in all business matters.
A well-cut suit is also an instant elevator to style and confidence. It speaks volumes about your business approach, your personality and your career. David Beckham and Benedict Cumberbatch, among other celebs, all prove that wearing a suit needn’t make you look stuffy. Boots can mean the business and this season, there’s no excuse not to wear them at an interview, presentation or simply every winter’s day to the office.
Think a boot lacks the finer points of an office work shoe? Think again. We’re not talking cowboy boots here. They really do work with tailored trousers and best, of all, with thicker materials such as flannel or a heavier wool.
Break out from the mould: you don’t have to stay conservative and only match black to black. Brown boots look great with a navy suit. If you really want to be bang up to date, go for shades of burgundy and oxblood.
Boots for business
Dress down Friday (without dressing down at all)
Friday, and the promise of a glorious weekend lies ahead. And the appetiser to that is a more relaxed day at work, free of the constraints of tie and collar.
Yes, casual clothing should make you feel more comfortable but you still need to project a professional image. Keep a spare jacket to hand in case of last minute meetings. And make sure those boots are well polished.
For many, dress down Friday means dressing down in jeans, jeans, jeans. Where’s that spirit of adventure? Also, jeans can be anything but comfortable. How about cords or moleskin or flannel trousers? All of them are not only softer but warmer too. This is also the opportunity to inject colour into winter by staying away from black and opting for boots in chestnut or rich brown tones.
For some, dress down Friday still means a suit but with an open neck shirt and no tie. Casual yet classy and James Bond-suave.
Boots for casual but smart
In the media
The pavements of Shoreditch and Soho set the style dial when it comes to what a fashion-savvy media type should be sporting on their feet.
“But, what if I’m off on a photo shoot in deepest Wales at 5am?’ we hear you cry. If you’re job involves being on location or directing a film based on a Thomas Hardy novel, two words come to mind: warm, dry.
Marry practicality and comfort with a generous helping of sturdy and sure-of-foot sole, and you’re on to a winner. Soles need to be rubber not leather, with a robust tread that’s durable enough to brave all elements – but without making the boot so heavy that it’s uncomfortable to wear. Pair with jeans, and layer with t-shirt, shirt and jumper flannel shirts and an overcoat worthy of an Arctic adventure.
Putting up with rain and sleet is bad enough: the last thing you want is to have to break in a pair of new boots. They should feel like a pair of familiar friends from the first moment you put them on. Get twice the mileage out of your boots by choosing leather that you can polish to a sheen to wear if and when you need to be in the agency, office or at your premiere.
Boots for creative types
Downtown or down time
If you’re lucky enough to work in a relaxed environment in town or from home, a great pair of boots can always be dressed up or dressed down for any occasion.
Whether commuting to work or getting some air for a change of scenery, the bleak mid-winter needn’t be bleak at all. Desert boots and Chelsea boots are cut higher up the ankle, affording greater protection. They’re perfect with straight leg jeans as the hem will cover the boot in a neat straight line.
Again, a beefy but lightweight sole will see you from home to train station to office, nimbly sidestepping puddles and without any slip ups en route. (In inclement weather, consider keeping more formal footwear in the office so that it’s free from the perils of rain spatters and slush marks, and commuting instead in smart leather trainers.)
Stay snug. Stay smug, knowing that the secret to warm toes lies in boots lined with soft sheepskin. Ankle padding will also make your ankles feel like they’re in an enveloping hug.
Boots for keeping out winter
You know how toboggans sell out at the first chance of snow? Or bags of logs are nowhere to be found at local petrol stations when you want a fire on a chilly nights? It’s the same with great winter boots. Don’t leave it too late to invest in a pair – or you may be left out in the cold.