To be honest, we love this ‘in-between-seasons’ season. It means leaning into great knits. It means mastering the art of layering. It means an array of boots – chelsea boots, desert boots, derby boots, hiking boots, welly boots. And – unsurprisingly our favourite – it means all the colourful boot socks.
But how to style boots and boot socks without looking like a geography teacher off on a field trip in the Brecon Beacons? Can you step out and embrace the great outdoors while still looking sharp?
Yes you can, says Benedict Browne, master of men’s fashion, stylist, and friend of LSC. The writer and contributor for the likes of The Rake, Mr Porter and Robb Report shares his style tips here.
What boot styles look great with boot socks and how do you choose?
I love styling boot socks with derby-style boots, a classic lace up. The field boot, for example. It has military connotations, however it’s now much more suited to a contemporary lifestyle. They’re reliable and sturdy, and when made from brown suede or black calf feel really sophisticated but still practical. With them, a little injection of colour from the boot sock goes a long way.
When should you opt for brown boots vs black boots and vice versa?
Traditionally speaking, brown boots are more casual and suited to the countryside. Black feels more formal and therefore better suited to the city. Today though, it doesn’t really matter and those age-old rules don’t apply so much. Brown boots will find harmony with denim and earthy tones, while black will be better suited to darker trousers.
Any tips on styling knitwear? How can we master the cardigan’s ‘grandpa chic’ look?
There are two styles of cardigans that are worth knowing about: a chunky shawl collar, which is perfect for lounging around the house (especially when made from cashmere); and the Fair Isle, which is typically made from Shetland wool and has a slightly more rustic and colourful feel. With both, less is always more when styling them. A simple t-shirt underneath and your favourite pair of jeans will always be a winner. You can also try buttoned up over a relaxed shirt and layered with a classic wool overcoat for more ‘put together’ look.
How can colourful boot socks elevate an outdoor look?
Outdoor style, particularly in rural environments, is always more reserved in its colour palettes: earthy tones and neutrals. People tend to be a bit bolder in the city. So you your socks are a really opportunity to add some colour and personality.
What about wellies – can you head out on a muddy dog walk and still look sharp?
Of course, but it is all down to the your wellies! They’re largely mass-produced and there are a lot of poor-quality options out there which simply don’t last – and don’t look as nice either. Invest in a good pair of wellington boots from the likes of La Chameau, Hunter or Barbour – you will have them forever. The darker the colour, the better too.
Any handy tips for tucking in trousers to wellies?
Try and pin roll the trousers or jeans at the hem by folding them carefully. This will stop them from being bunched up and looking messy. Simply stuffing them into your socks won’t work as it’s not a secure way of fixing them. Pull some welly socks up over the rolled trousers to keep them in place and show off an inch or two of colour above the boot.
Quick fire round: what outfit colours look great with these boot socks shades:
Heather Purple – navy, green and charcoal.
Evergreen – indigo plus earthy and neutral tones.
Pink – pink always looks great with black.
Spiced Orange – ecru, black and earthy tones.
Turquoise – definitely, navy.
Burgundy – chambray and navy
Head to Instagram and give the wonderful Benedict a follow on @benedict_browne – expect an ever-growing gallery seriously sophisticated looks styled by his hands.
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