I am a boots fanatic. If I could wear boots 365 days a year, I most certainly would…comfortable, practical for my on-the-go lifestyle, and beyond stylish. I also happen to love a man in boots…rugged, strong and downright sexy. I have to admit I have always had a thing for a guy in motorcycle boots…the rocker girl in me, or military-inspired boots…no uniform-centric fantasy, I just love the look of them. So this will probably come as a surprise, but the boot style that I am most obsessed with now and that I think will transition your Fall to Spring wardrobe with an air of effortlessness is the quintessentially versatile and always classic Desert Boot.
The ones that I recommend most often to my clients are the J. Crew MacAlister Boots for the amazing price of $135. They are the perfect Desert Boots… They come in three perfect colors; dark khaki, a cross between cognac and sand, dark chestnut, a rich coffee-like brown and my favorite stone, a truly rich neutral. They have the perfect shape, the perfect top stitch detail and the perfect, not too heavy rubber sole. You can wear them now with just about anything and for any occasion…pair the lighter colors with jeans or your favorite casual pant, and the richer colors with grey flannel, even a suit. I think they are a fresh replacement to some of the harder edged boots of the season and an easy modern-feeling update to sneakers or some of the Top-Sider-inspired styles from last Spring.
Another great option is from one of my favorite boot manufacturers, Fiorentini + Baker, available at Barneys. The Ago Boots are a chukka style (ankle length) and have squarish toes and leather soles. They feel a bit more rough and tumble than the MacCalister boots and are a great option for the guy who can’t easily part with his soldier-like stompers! These retail for $360 and are available in a flawless shade of stone. I would save these for weekend and after work as they aren’t refined enough for an elegant flannel… Of course, if you are a rule-breaker (which I always embrace) go for it.
For the true modernista, the Pierre Hardy Suede Booties at Barneys are the choice. They are the ultimate hybrid; part sneakers, part Desert Boots and are definitely suited to the ultra hip set. They have a Desert Boot shape, ankle strap closure and a thick rubber sole. The fashion guy can wear them with just about anything, but I see them with a skinny trouser or jean…they have just the right weighty appearance to be the perfect counterbalance to a narrow, clean-lined silhouette. Also at $360, they won’t completely break your bank.
Now if I just can’t convince you that Desert Boots are way cool, then I have some options for you that sort of do the trick. Leave it to vintage-inspired, shoe-master John Varvatos to design the right Fall-to- Spring, downtown guy boots. I love his Renwick Boots available at Bergdorf Goodman; slightly distressed/worn-feeling, oiled suede, in a sumptuous cognac shade. They are certainly more Chelsea boot, then desert, but the softer color qualifies them to be included in this transitional tale and their apparent versatility requires no explanation. They are the priciest option at $450, but they also can take you through at least nine months of the year, so are smart investment pieces!
So to all of my male readers, whether you are a fashion plate or just a style/luxury conscious guy, Desert Boots are absolutely the thinking man’s choice to subtly carry you from your winter doldrums to the promise of an early Spring. Remember in tough times, buy versatile pieces that have great longevity and stand the test of style time!!!