I definitely subscribe to the notion that shopping is a form of therapy, as even window shopping puts me in a mediative state. Still, there are two items I find particularly stressful to browse for. Jeans being one of them. (Is it just me, or is it always an effort for you, too?) The other? Boots.
As much as I love them, boots don't seem to love me back. I'm petite in height (I hover around the 5'3" mark, but I swear I've started shrinking), hourglass-shaped and a size 12. This, however, seems to be an unfortunate combination when it comes to finding boots that suit and fit my frame, and I know I'm not the only one with this predicament. This is why I always stick to and actively seek out classic boot styles and trends that never date. So when I do happen upon the perfect-fitting pair of boots, I know they'll last me season after season. But which autumn boot trends are worth investing in? I decided to ask someone in the know.
Mary Alice Malone knows good shoes. Chances are you'll have seen some of her creations already on Who What Wear, for she is the founder and creative director of a chic footwear brand called Malone Souliers. And now, she has just been announced as the new creative director of DuoBoots—the Brit boot brand on a mission to make boot shopping a more inclusive experience with its timeless designs, all of which come in seven calf sizes, from 32 to 50 centimetres. This means that every knee-high and over-the-knee boot from the brand is available in a whopping 60 sizes. And with Malone at the helm, it now packs serious style clout, too.
"Boots are an investment purchase, so it stands to reason you should fall in love with them and want to get the wear out of them," says Malone. "Not only is the look and construction of the boot crucial, but the fit is imperative if your boots are to give you joy for years to come. Never sacrifice one of these three elements when boot buying."
Which autumn boot trends matter this season (and will matter for every season hereafter)? Scroll on to get Malone's take.
"A well-crafted knee-high juxtaposed with a midi-length skirt or dress has become a go-to look for many," enlightens Malone. "It's versatile, contemporary and means we can abandon tights. This season, try a classic equestrian boot for a nod to off-duty Princess Di."
"Formfitting, corsetry lacing and curved lines—these are all key details to look for in a pair of boots that makes the most out of your leg and foot's natural shape," says Malone. "I like to think of it as power dressing 3.0, and it's a look attainable to all. Look for non-constricting materials, such as our clever use of morphing neoprene, which I think looks great, creating a seamless silhouette that feels even better to wear."
"After a year of lockdowns, our wardrobes have been rewilded. Designs that boast all-terrain appeal reconnect us with the outdoors and blend function and fashion. Think hybrid walking boots, rubberised track soles and the reimagination of the classic wellington."
"I've had a long love affair with cowboy boots. Back in college, they were my go-to dancing shoes! A recognisable silhouette that adds a little bit of toughness to any outfit, I'm so excited they are finally back in the fashion spotlight," says Malone.
"Luxe loungers will love the Alpine-inspired boots that are here to keep our feet toasty this winter," affirms Malone. "Sheepskin is the star feature on our new Vera ankle boots, but on this occasion, it isn't relegated to the lining."