Summer Fashion: the Desert Boot

Courtesy of Lundrigans Clothing

I was once told by a friend of mine that women buy shoes because it is one of the few parts of their body that doesn’t change. Now, that can’t be the only reason — there are wardrobes to match and a variety of styles to collect. As younger and younger males begin to pay attention to fashion, there has been an increased, albeit cheaper, accessibility to fashion staples — especially shoes. In fact, shoes are arguably much more important to men than they are to women because there is simply less freedom with variability.

Not every shoe in your wardrobe needs to bespoke leather. A pair of trainers or “Chucks” is still widely accepted and ideal for casual situations. But for those who have an aversion toward sneakers, then perhaps they should consider Clarks Desert boot.

Desert boots have become a necessity for sartorialists — especially in dry climates. Already popular for the past few decades, chukka boots were first discovered in Burma by Nathan Clark of C. & J. Clark and began small-scale production in 1946. Once full production began in the ‘50s, the brand’s popularity expanded itself into a much younger base – being worn by the likes of Bob Dylan and Steve McQueen and becoming somewhat ubiquitous with the Beat Generation.

Not too narrow and not too bulky, the desert boot is both utilitarian and stylish. Although the traditional gumshoe sole is ideal only for desert terrain, it still provides a loose yet comfortable option for summer footwear. Given that it is suede, it is important to take care of your boots and avoid moisture.

The boot, though not formal, is ideal for college students as it can be consistently found in Nordstrom Rack at heavily discounted prices. If taken care of, expect it to last a lifetime and only need a few resoles. However, it should be noted that as a boot is worn, it obtains a desirable ‘mature’ look as all shoes do when they age

If unsure about the color, stick with the most popular — beeswax — which can be paired with cuffed indigo jeans or dark navy chinos. Personally, I enjoy wearing contrasting socks to give a break between the pants and shoes, but it is not something that is entirely necessary if that style conflicts with yours.

Given the time of year, appropriate tops would be any solid colored V-necks or bright Tartan button-ups. For those braver than others, a button-down denim shirt can be worn with jeans to pull off a retro Americana look. If the weather cools down a bit, consider wearing a light matching cardigan. For those who enjoy wearing hats, a standard Panama hat is always a good choice for warm weather.

As the summer season comes to a close, change the pastels and light solids for warm, earthy colors and stripes. Unlike in cooler climates, Irvine residents don’t have to worry as much about moisture and can still get away with wearing desert boots. The only major difference is the strata of layers that you decide to wear.