The (Laced) DRESS BOOT
In part four last week, we looked at the Chukka Boot.
In part five this week we examine the Dress Boot.
The Dress Boot:
Primarily designed to be worn in temperate conditions this shoe can also be worn comfortably in equatorial climes and is the emblem of ruggedness which is the hallmark of street fashion.
The boot comes in many varieties from plain faced, to those with a brogue face or in a capped toe finish. However, some common features between them are, primarily, the upper part of the shoe sit well above one’s ankle, has an open lacing system associated with derby/ blucher shoes, whereby the lacing sits above the vamp of the shoe as discussed with the explanation of the brogue shoe. Second, it has a rugged aesthetic and often comes in a rubber sole as opposed to a (smoother) leather sole to give its wearer more traction, consequently made for one with an active lifestyle. Third, is made from full leather which makes it durable. A quality synonymous with its functionality. Lastly, but not always, some more expensive versions have a zipper function on the inside of the boot. This makes it easier to slip your foot in and out of the boot, as well as allows you to repeat the same fit anytime you put on the boot. When you unlace and re-lace your boots, it might be a bit tighter or a bit looser than the last time. Conversely, with a zipper, you can be assured of a high degree of repeatability.
This shoe is inspired by a combat boot heritage, hence why it featured in our “platoon ensemble” characterized denim trousers and the iconic camouflage green button up shirt. That ensemble would have been made even more rugged with the presence of a green fatigue jacket. It is due to its military origins that this boot pairs well with kakis (also has a military heritage), chinos and denims. All of which are your quintessential casual dress rugged trousers.
Its versatility is not limited to the types of trousers it can be paired with. It also goes well with jackets as we see in the street style adaptation of our “rugged gent ensemble”, the dress boot was shown to be combined with a sky blue denim jacket, (Nigerian) football jersey and tiedye (adire) trousers. Be that as it may, this shoe can still sit comfortably in a dress casual ensemble featuring either a well fitted pair kaki, denim or chinos on top of which sits an oxford shirt, similar to that worn in the “boat regatta ensemble” and sports jacket. This more matured outlook would go effortlessly well especially considering the coffee brown tone which this shoe comes in.
One might wonder why is this boot is referred to as a “dress” boot when it has already been described above as having casual characteristics? The reason is because of the capped toe finish in which this particular shoe comes in. Remember that the “Balmoral Oxford” always has a capped finish, hence why this shoe is so called “dressy” as the capped toe affords one the luxury of a military shine.
We have been considering the shoes every gentleman should possess in his wardrobe based on their formality and versatility. I trust you have found this series interesting thus far. What are your thoughts, what shoes do you think should have been included?
Next week we conclude the series on shoes their formality and versatility with our look at The (Driving) Loafer.