Introduction For the third instalment into the lookbook series, we will be looking at a staple that should exist in every man’s wardrobe – the desert boot. Most of the time in fashion, the art of simplicity is often lost to the newest trends and current hot potato’s but for any style savvy gent, beginner or guru, the humble desert boot is an item that is timeless, simple and the ultimate in diversity.
The year was 1941, and the soldier, well he wasn’t just any infantryman, he was Nathan Clark, and he’d been sent to war with two missions. First and foremost to protect his country, and, secondly, to discover some new shoe designs for his family’s company. As a member of the Eighth Army, Clark had been deployed to Burma, and it was here that he noticed that the officers in his formation were wearing these strange, sand colored chukkas during their downtime. Clark investigated the shoes and learned that they had originally been commissioned to Cairo cobblers by South African soldiers whose old-military issue boots had failed them out on the desert terrain. They wanted something that was both lightweight and grippy which led to creation of a boot with a suede upper on a crepe sole.
—Jake Gallagher, GQ Magazine, August 15, 2012
The Sole of Your Wardrobe
Regardless of your fashion knowledge, the first thing you should learn is that shoes are the backbone of your wardrobe and the most important item you can own – get the footwear right and the rest of the outfit will fall into place. Ever heard the old saying “You can tell a lot about a man by his shoes”; that statement is something everyone should aspire to live by.
The desert boot is a piece of footwear that will need hardly any thought going into it – they look as great with your distressed jeans and plan t-shirt as they do with a button down shirt and tie. Grab a pair in a tan or dark brown colour in a suede material and you simply cannot go wrong. Lace them up with your chunky knitwear in winter (just be careful of rain, suede doesn’t get along well with water – consider buying a leather pair for the colder months) or pair them with chino shorts and printed shirt in summer to give any outfit a masculine edge.
Ways to Wear
Just remember to keep it simple and any outfit will look great. It’s a great, timeless boot that deserves to be treated as such and not attempted to be outshined by the rest of the outfit. The desert boot is a great investment that will last years to come without fear of never going out of fashion.
As always, I look forward to your thoughts and comments on desert boots & this article. Any and all feedback is welcomed and ideas for future lookbooks will always be considered. Thanks for reading!