Clarks Originals – still a style classic

When it comes to a shoe that is also a design classic, you would have to look a long way to beat the Clarks Desert boots. This year, the iconic boot is celebrating 65 years since the first pair went on sale, and they are looking as good as ever. This is the shoe (ok boot) that was beloved of the Mods, the Rudeboys, and claims to be the world’s most traveled boot. It can never be anything but the height of cool.

Clarks_vintage_Desert_Boot_advertIn celebration of this most iconic of footwear, I was asked if my better half would be interested in reviewing a pair of Desert Boots from the current Clarks collection. This was a bit of a silly question. Pete just happens to be a Desert boots aficionado – they are his footwear of choice and he currently has around 10 pairs (and counting). He has leather pairs, suede pairs, beige pairs, brown pairs, even a pair of blue suede shoes (I mean boots…Elvis just popped into my head for some reason there.). This time around, Pete decided to try a nubuck option, in the Stone option that seems so fresh for Spring/Summer.

 Desert Boot Stone Nubuck Mens Originals Boots £95 click to visit Clarks


Desert Boot Stone Nubuck Mens Originals Boots
£95

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I have to say these are a glorious pair of boots.The colour is super unusual and the nubuck suede is very soft and pliable which makes it a comfortable option, even during warmer days or if being worn for a long period of time. The design is the classic boot cut, but with the addition of a cute dotted lining which adds a touch of interest, and makes the boots stand out from the Desert Boots that are now imitating the originals all over the High Street.

DSCN6862[1]How would you style them? We decided to go with retro inspiration from the Mods and early 1980s by teaming the boots with a Fila Classic polo top from Terraces, and retro Wrangler vintage jeans. This is a great smart/casual option, but you could also opt for lighter coloured denim or cords with these, and they could be made more formal with a shirt and jacket.

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DSCN6852[1]Clarks Desert Boots are amongst the most hard-wearing boots you/your other half will ever wear, and they look pretty good too. I’m guessing they will still be around in another 65 years.

 

 

 

Jacamo gets the feet Autumn Ready

When Jacamo approached me with a view to doing a review of their provision/website earlier this year, I will admit I had a few preconceptions. The main one was that Jacamo was a brand that catered for the plus sized – but for men rather than women. A quick look around their website told me that this was only half the story. The site carries branded items from the likes of French Connection, Penguin, Joe Browns and Lambretta, as well as a collaborative range with Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff. I have to admit I was really impressed by the wide choice available. Unfortunately, a family holiday made the review virtually impossible at that time. However, Jacamo came back with an Autumn review opp, and this time the answer was an emphatic yes!

You can’t have failed to see that we are now most definitely in Autumn. The Indian Summer seemed to disappear overnight, and the days are now chilly, with the nights even colder. This is the season where the flip flops get packed away and the more substantial footwear appears. In my husband’s case, this means Desert Boots.

Label J Slouchy Desert Boot Standard Fit £65 click to visit Jacamo

Label J Slouchy Desert Boot Standard Fit £65 click to visit Jacamo

Pete is a huge fan of Desert Boots, which fit that smart yet casual mode perfectly. Jacamo currently have a good selection, and it was the Label J Slouchy design that took Pete’s eye. These come in two colours, stone and chocolate. Pete opted for the stone variety.

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Top Fred Perry at House of Fraser (similar here)
Jeans Vintage Wrangler
Jacket Peacocks

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The first thing I can say is that these are a great looking pair of boots. The suede upper, teamed with the leather piping makes them visually striking, whilst the leather upper means that the shoes will be hard wearing. Pete wears a size 9, and these are true to size.

Pete commented on just how comfortable they were from the minute he put them on – no need to wear them in and no initial rubbing. These were instantly comfortable and soft on the feet, meaning they would be great if you needed to wear them for a longer period. They also looked good teamed with dark denim, but I think you could also easily team them with cords or coloured jeans (beige, brown or rust would look great in my opinion.)

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I think the cost of these (£65) compares favourably with other brands stocking good quality desert boots. The boots are stylish, comfortable and practical. What’s not to love!

 

*We were sent a pair of boots by Jacamo for the purpose of review. All opinions are my (and Pete’s) own.

 

What’s on Your Feet?

You can tell a lot about a man by the shoes he wears. Does he wear stylish, elegant shoes that match his refined appearance? Or does he wear uncouth, chunky dress shoes from the sale rack? Are they polished and fresh, or scuffed, creased, and worn out? Now, we can’t all have personal cobblers and shoeshines following us around, this isn’t Downton Abbey after all, but there are steps you can take to ensure that your shoes are well-loved and taken care of to preserve them for the long haul. You also don’t need to break the bank on an ever-changing closet full of shoes. It’s better to build a small, reliable collection of shoes that can last for years and be versatile enough to fit any occasion. You want your shoes to inspire confidence so that you can walk into a room with a little pep in your step.

Chukka Boots

These ankle-length boots are some of the most versatile ones you can buy. They come in leather or suede and match perfectly with almost any outfit. Whether you’re wearing jeans, chinos, or cargos, Chukka boots add confident class to any outfit. Clarks Desert Boots are an extremely popular, affordable option. Add a couple pairs of these to your shoe rack and they’ll quickly become a favorite.

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Chelsea Boots

Another ankle boot, Chelsea boots feature elastic siding along the ankle with no shoelaces. They’re easy to slip on, and their durable rubber sole will keep them in good shape for the long haul. They look great with khakis or cargos and an Oxford shirt, or you can rock them with a slim-fitting suit for a vintage Beatles look.

 

ShoppingCowboy Boots

Cowboys are the image of American masculinity, so don’t be afraid to exude that confidence whether you’re an urbanite or a country dweller. The ladies will take notice. A high-quality pair of cowboy boots will last you for years, and they’re the perfect shoes to wear to a concert or out to a bar. They’ll make you stand taller, literally adding a couple inches, and give you that John Wayne swagger when you enter a room.

Oxford Shoes

These shoes are perfect to match with a slim-fitting pair of chinos, especially if you want to show some ankle. They’re formal enough to wear to the office, and casual enough to wear for a night out on the town. They usually come in black or brown leather, but there are more colorful pairs out there and some of them feature intricate toe cap patterns. Definitely a worthwhile investment for a quality, versatile shoe.

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Handle with Care

When looking for dress shoes, make sure the shape matches the contour of your suit. You don’t want clunky, square-toed shoes in this era of skinny ties and slim fits. To keep your leather shoes in good condition, you should invest in a good shoe polishing kit. The kit should include tins of Kiwi black polish and neutral polish, a quality, wood-handled, horsehair brush for polishing, and a soft chamois cloth to buff your shoes. You don’t need to polish your shoes every day, but doing a little maintenance every couple weeks or months is not a bad idea, especially if you wear certain pairs frequently.

Socks

Let us not forget the importance of fancy socks when it comes to footwear. You probably own a healthy collection of black and gray dress socks already, but consider adding a little rel=”nofollow”flair to your sock drawer. Colorful socks can be that little cherry on top of your dapper outfit.  Find the socks that fit your personality and style, whether that’s polka dots, colorful stripes, or bold patterns. When you stretch your legs or show some ankle, a fun sock can make people take notice and appreciate that glimpse of your personality. It might just be the outfit piece that seals the deal or makes that big sale.

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Please feel free to contact Ella Gray at ella.l.gray@gmail.com with any questions or concerns that you may have.