The world of fashion, clothing, style – whatever you want to call it – can be a bit bewildering sometimes. Even for supposed veterans, the constant twisting and turning of what is an exceedingly fickle part of our social schema can cause some serious problems. For those just dipping their toes or taking their first shuffling steps into their own wardrobes, everything must seem very, very dark indeed.

Choosing what to wear, what advice to follow (ours of course) and knowing where to go can be a real struggle and I’ve no doubt that it is this that puts a large number of men off making an effort with their appearance. It’s a bit like Marmite; you either love it or hate it and there isn’t really an in-between.

The idea of simplicity can often be lost in a world that is constantly trying to better itself and alter the visual impact it has on the society around it, but that’s why we’re here. We want to help you get ahead, we want to offer you sensible, usable and practical advice that will allow you to go away and develop your personal image exactly as you want it.

I’ve been making a big point of simple dressing recently and working in the clothing retail sector I see a lot of men that want to make changes but don’t really know where to go. Hopefully I went someway to giving those in need the building blocks to start their perfect wardrobe with my reinvent your style series, but today I’ve chosen to focus more closely on one of the items I picked out way back at the start of the year: The Desert Boot.

Putting A Good Foot Forward

Regardless of whether you know what you’re talking about or not, it should be drilled into you that your shoes are arguably THE most important part of your wardrobe. You wear them everyday, they protect your feet from all sorts of nasties and they make a big statement about your image and your personality. They should be one of the first things on your list.

Because we have a well established community here at FashionBeans, you will find many of the same ideas floating around; we love our brogue boots for example. However, a pair of (relatively) smart boots won’t be appropriate for everyone, so we need to find something that bridges the divide between your casual trainer and your smarter shoe.

For both the initiated and uninitiated the desert boot is the prefect choice. To use a much overused cliché (I know, I use it a lot) they’re so easy to dress up and down, looking just as good with a plain tee as a button down and tie. The soft lines and material means they blend seamlessly within a variety of outfits and the choice of colours offers a huge amount of choice.

I would suggest desert boots to anyone in a heartbeat. They have history and they are a timeless classic that will never, and I mean never, go out of fashion; they are above trends and ‘the next big thing’ and they should definitely be a consideration for your wardrobe.

How To Wear: Desert Boots
Men’s Desert Boots Lookbook

Men's Desert Boots Lookbook

Look 1

Light coloured suede desert boots look fantastic with dark denim, the two tones playing off each other perfectly. Keep the jeans slimmer and you create a refined silhouette which avoids swamping the shoes.

Whenever people buy desert boots I tell them to keep things simple. You won’t ever go wrong with a simple but well considered outfit. Basic colours, a good mix of textures and the proper fit will make more difference than plastering yourself in all the bells and whistles.

The Mod look is a classic case in point – nothing flash, nothing fancy, just a great mix of items. Wear your desert boots with a Fred Perry pique and a duffle coat for some cracking weekend style.

  • Fred Perry Slim Fit Twin Tipped Polo TopFred Perry Slim Fit Twin Tipped Polo Top
  • Boxfresh Melton Hooded Duffle CoatBoxfresh Melton Hooded Duffle Coat
  • J Brand Denim Tyler Slim-fit Dry Denim JeansJ Brand Denim Tyler Slim-fit Dry Denim Jeans
  • Ben Sherman Clegg Suede Desert BootsBen Sherman Clegg Suede Desert Boots
Look 2

One downside to the traditional desert boot is the material; suede isn’t particularly fond of water, snow, ice, dirt or pretty much anything that isn’t sun and dry weather (which it still isn’t particularly fond of, as sun makes suede colour fade), so they aren’t necessarily the perfect choice for winter. The answer is to invest in a leather version – I’ve just bought the Clarks originals leather desert boots (below) and they’re excellent.*

Should your style be of a more formal disposition, your desert boots will work great with a pair of tailored trousers. Opt for some in a pattern or interesting weave (herringbone etc) and you have a brilliant pair of casual trousers that retains just the right amount of formality.

Once again, keep your colours simple, beiges, blues and greys. Personally, I find a good ratio of basics to colours to be 85/15, the majority of your wardrobe should be the staples and the rest can provide the individuality.

*Note: I would like to point out that I’m not telling you not to wear your suede desert boots (or any other suede shoe for that matter) during the winter, I’m just saying you need to be intelligent about when you wear them.

  • Allsaints Bukowski Regular Fit ShirtAllsaints Bukowski Regular Fit Shirt
  • Topman 100% Wool Textured CardiganTopman 100% Wool Textured Cardigan
  • Reiss Pistole Wool Flannel Trousers GreyReiss Pistole Wool Flannel Trousers Grey
  • Clarks Originals Desert BootsClarks Originals Desert Boots
Look 3

Coloured chinos are a great addition to any wardrobe (and should definitely make up some of your 15%) – stick to autumnal colours like greens, reds and duskier yellows and you’ll find them to be surprisingly versatile. Just the thing to add a shot of colour to any outfit.

Whilst things are definitely getting colder, our weather can still be a bit inconsistent so wearing a jacket rather than a coat could well keep you from sweating your innards away. Throw on a denim jacket over a simple tee and you’ve got yourself a good base to work from; layer up with an over shirt or some fine knitwear.

One thing to remember when you’re choosing your desert boots is that different colours can be just as versatile as brown, so try a navy or a green for something a little different.

  • Reiss Longnecker T-shirt With Contrast Overlocked Seams Grey MarlReiss Longnecker T-shirt With Contrast Overlocked Seams Grey Marl
  • Asos Denim Jacket With Borg CollarAsos Denim Jacket With Borg Collar
  • Allsaints Pipe ChinoAllsaints Pipe Chino
  • Grenson Silas Suede Desert BootsGrenson Silas Suede Desert Boots
Men’s Desert Boots
  • Allsaints Farrell BootAllsaints Farrell Boot
  • Antoine & Stanley Drake Desert BootsAntoine & Stanley Drake Desert Boots
  • Topman Woody Desert BootsTopman Woody Desert Boots
  • Burton Navy Suede BootBurton Navy Suede Boot
  • Topman Nevada Desert BootTopman Nevada Desert Boot
  • Clarks Originals Chocolate Vintage Leather Desert BootsClarks Originals Chocolate Vintage Leather Desert Boots
  • Clarks Originals Grey Suede Desert BootsClarks Originals Grey Suede Desert Boots
  • Limited Collection Suede Stain Defence™ Desert BootsLimited Collection Suede Stain Defence™ Desert Boots
  • Sanders Snuf Crepe Sole Bertie BootsSanders Snuf Crepe Sole Bertie Boots
  • Stortford MayfairStortford Mayfair
  • Opening Ceremony M1 Suede Desert BootsOpening Ceremony M1 Suede Desert Boots
  • A.p.c. Crepe Soled Desert BootA.p.c. Crepe Soled Desert Boot
  • Opening Ceremony M1 Leather Desert BootsOpening Ceremony M1 Leather Desert Boots
  • Façonnable Brown Burnished Desert BootsFaçonnable Brown Burnished Desert Boots
  • Pierre Hardy Suede Desert Boots 133863Pierre Hardy Suede Desert Boots 133863
Final Word

With this article I have tried to keep things simple, because the desert boot doesn’t need a fancy outfit to work its magic – it’s just a great, basic boot. Mess around with it too much and you’ll find yourself doing it a disservice.

Whether you’re a fashion novice or a veteran clothier the desert boot is a great investment.

As always, I want to know what you think:

  • Are you a fan of the desert boot?
  • How do you wear yours?
  • If you don’t like them, what is your winter boot alternative?

Let me know it the comments below and I’ll see you all next week.