There is a lot of excitement for this year’s Fall & Winter trends. A lot of that has to do with the enormous variety and a general affection for Fall fashion, but maybe the strong ‘80s influence is a particular drawcard. And of the many examples of ‘80s influence, white boots are top of the list.
I think of white footwear as very ‘60s and ‘80s. Apart from sneakers, white footwear disappeared from fashion in the ‘90s when just about everything was black. Since the ‘80s, white footwear has been scarce at retail, especially white boots. It’s only been over the last few years that white Summer footwear has become widely available. White boots, on the other hand, have been elusive until this year when fashion decided to give them their moment.
The white boot trend is for the most part short, although shaft and heel heights vary. The shades of white vary from bright optical white and off-white, to bone and cream. Go for warm cream if cool tones aren’t your thing. White boots can be trimmed with colours too. There are chunky and dainty styles, dressy and casual looks, polished and rugged vibes, and combinations of these aesthetics. Take your pick.
Most of my clients and friends are not into white boots… yet! White Spring and Summer footwear has grown on them, but many draw the line for Autumn and Winter. Some feel it can look gorgeous in the right outfit, but is impossible in rainy and icy Seattle weather. Others don’t like to see high contrast on their feet when they wear dark bottoms. Some feel it looks dowdy, jarring, or have bad flashbacks of ‘80s fashion. And some enjoy the look but not the practical challenge of keeping white boots clean. That said, some clients are willing to give white boots a go for special occasions, or when they commute by car to the office.
Where do I begin with my love for white footwear? I’ve worn it for as long as I can remember. My Mum put me in white shoes as a towhead child. Apart from brown school shoes and black equestrian boots for horse riding, most of my footwear in the ‘80s was white. I wore white footwear into the early ‘90s until I had to switch to black and brown because that’s all you could get. I found white footwear and boots again in the early ‘00s and haven’t looked back.
My nostalgic ‘80s gene keeps white footwear alive in my style, and so do four other reasons:
1. Effective bookending for platinum blonde hair
2. A Modern and Graphic visual effect
3. Crisp and fresh in the extreme
White footwear is a versatile wardrobe essential for my style. When all else fails, I wear white shoes! It helps that I wear a lot of white clothing and accessories, which complement the white footwear. That way white boots do not look out of place in an outfit. White is not the most practical colour, especially when you pound the city pavements like I do. Yet, I do pretty well keeping white shoes clean and pristine. It helps that I have multiple pairs that share the wear.
I have many pairs of white shoes and boots across multiple shades of white. I have happily and gratefully duplicated white boots a few times too. Here’s my current white boot collection that I wear nine months of the year. The silhouettes are clean and simple, and flat or low-heeled.
I will definitely be adding to my collection, since pickings aren’t slim for a change. What’s your verdict on white boots?