Chelsea boots are back in style

Linda Yang
Boots

Bid adieu to clunky platforms and Doc Marten-style boots. Last fall, you couldn’t walk a block down the street without seeing someone wearing big chunky boots, but this year brings the season of the sleek and the minimal.

Right now, it’s all about the classic Chelsea boot. If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, you’ve definitely seen a pair before. The close-fitting, ankle-high boots are known for their elastic side panel. If the boot maker stays true to tradition, there’s going to be a loop or tab on the back of the boot as well.

These boots have a long history in the fashion world. Dating back to the Victorian era, Queen Victoria’s (yes, the Queen Victoria) shoemaker J. Sparkes-Hall actually created the design and then quickly proceeded to patent it. According to legend, Queen Victoria wore the boots both around court and when in the countryside. While originally made as walking shoes, they quickly became the British elite’s go-to riding boot. As always, history and fashion will find themselves repeating.

The Chelsea style became highly popular in the 1950s and ‘60s when it became associated with the Rolling Stones and the scene on King’s Road (a well-known street in London’s Chelsea district). The boots’ association with this neighborhood is why many now refer to them as the Chelsea boot.

Victorian styling dominated the 2015 fall fashion shows and fashion blogosphere. Street style photographers have snapped images of fashion’s cool-girls wearing Chelsea boots of all different colors and heel heights. It’s not only girls; rap super-star and trendmaker Kanye West was recently spotted in suede boots.

The continuous popularity of Chelsea boots is most certainly attributed to their versatility and coordinating abilities. Really anything — other than flare jeans — will match your Chelsea boots. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to your favorite summer cut-offs, get a pair of sheer tights and a chunky sweater and top them off with your go-to Chelsea boots. If you want to look a little bit more polished, simply replace the cut-offs with a pair of tailored shorts and a silky black top.

The boots’ growing popularity also means that you can get them with ease. A perfect pair of black leather stacked heel Chelsea boots will set you back a cool $600 at Acne Studios. However, for the more budget conscious, $99 will get you a leather pair at Zara. If $100 is too much for a college budget, Chelsea boots are available at most fast-fashion retailers — grab a faux-leather pair at Forever21 for only $27.90.

These boots aren’t limited to the rare non-rainy, non-blustery, non-snowy winter day; many retailers have Chelsea style wellies, meaning that you can look good even when the weather doesn’t.

What’s better, is that there are even pairs of Chelsea boots with heels. One can purchase a pair in every color. Urban Outfitters also makes a pair with sleek heel cut outs for showcasing your favorite patterned socks for $175. If you feel like you want to spruce up your outfit, simply put on a pair of heels, kick your feet together and walk out of your building knowing that your outfit makes you look like a million bucks. Chelsea boots are versatile and truly go with everything.

Email Linda Yang at [email protected]

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