FROM HOEDOWN TO HIGH FASHION
And just like that, cowboy boots are back at the top of the fashion charts. You can, if you are old enough to remember the 1970s, chart your life in cowboy boots, from Lauren Hutton via princess diana and Madonna to now. They were the big hit of the summer at festivals and they’re here to stay.
Cowboy boots have something that appeals to every generation; they are touched with the romance of the Wild West and — together with fringed suede jackets and leather trousers — have acquired a kind of rock ’n’ roll rebel cachet. And they’re practical.
If you’re drooling over the black-and-white Mango pair, you’re a young fashionista; those of us old enough to remember Tv western alias Smith and Jones are eyeing up the penelope Chilvers suede ankle boots.
all of a sudden, cowboy boots just make
sense. Thee combination of durability and dandiness (the embroidery, tooling, different coloured leathers) is right in keeping with the current mood in fashion, which is: ‘This has to work hard but let it be a bit fabulous.’ How you wear yours depends on you. Diana tucked hers into baggy jeans and a baseball cap (quite the look now); Madonna wore hers steelder capped under boot-cut flares with a plaid shirt and a studded belt. And if you were an early adopter this summer, you’d have worn cowboy boots with dresses or jeans because they’re reliable in the heat and dust and dirt (of course they are, they’re built for cowboys). Goodness knows they are not always comfortable. Back in the day, when you bought your first pair (at R. Soles on London’s King’s Road, if you were making the trip to the mecca of the originals) they gave you slippery plastic bags to wear on your feet to ease them on, and you went home in them with no thought of how to take them off later (definitely a two-person job).
The leather is more forgiving now and, in the case of Stella McCartney’s new-season cowboy boots, they’re not leather at all and pull on like stretchy socks, so that’s progress.
McCartney, like Chloe and Celine and all the leading designers, has spotted the potential of cowboy boots to put new pep into autumn tailoring. These boots are tougher and more badass than your regular boot, so they automatically add a bit of edge, but they can also be sleek and grown-up.
Most of us will take the chic and easy route and go for black or shiny black with a bit of tooling — short or long. And you’re perfectly safe wearing them with double denim, by the way — just don’t add a lariat or a Stetson.