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London's Chelsea Boots

Rebecca Iloulian |
February 5, 2014 | 5:16 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

The Beatles Boot (Pinterest/WunderiShoes)
The Beatles Boot (Pinterest/WunderiShoes)
The Beatles today still reign as one of London's greatest pop culture icons--not only for their music, but also for their style. 1960s mod London initiated the rise of the Chelsea boot, a style that was popularized by the British boy band who often paired the shoe with their memorable, classic round-collared suits.

Beyond the early days of the Beatles, the Chelsea boot has been spotted in and out of fashion trends regularly. Defined by its sleek fit, elastic sides and lightweight sole, the Chelsea boot can still no doubt be spied among the fashion-forward streets of London. Yet recently, it's quite clear that the London inspired style has more than ever made its return with a grandiose presence worldwide. 

It's refreshing to see that although modern fashion society allows for style extremes and experimentation in all sorts of flashy ways, the classic and tasteful style of the Chelsea boot remains a traditional statement shoe of its own.

Patent Leather Chelsea Boots (Pinterest/youmustcreate)
Patent Leather Chelsea Boots (Pinterest/youmustcreate)

Yet before getting into the details of Chelsea boot style, lets take in a brief history lesson: The Chelsea boot was originally designed for everyday walking use in the Victorian era and made for both men and women. The design of the boot was created by J. Sparkes-Hall, who invented the boot specifically for Queen Victoria  herself in the early 1830s. Shortly after, the boot was transitioned into a riding shoe, and at that time was often referred to as a "Paddock boot". 

Up until the 1950s, the Chelsea boot remained a simple style staple--a shoe of convenience. Yet in 1950s London, the Chelsea boot took on a new meaning after becoming the go-to shoe choice of a young group of artists and socialites, who frequented west London's King's Road area. This group included style icons such as Mary Quant and Jean Shrimpton, and was referred to as the "Chelsea Set" by the media. The name Chelsea was then attributed to the boot, becoming synonymous with a new, mod way of living and dressing. In the 1960s the Beatles became apart of the Chelsea boot scene, and from there the rest of the world eagerly caught on.

(Pinterest/ELLE)
(Pinterest/ELLE)

Since then, the famous boot style has skyrocketed in fashion, becoming an item of both leisure and comfort. The Chelsea boot has earned its place among among a variety of luxury fashion labels, popping up nearly every season, most recently including Burberry, Saint Laurent and Ben Sherman. With the addition of a pair of these boots to your warbobe, you'll nearly forget you own any other shoes. 

The Chelsea boot is a classic piece that can be dressed up, down, and for any season. The style is definitely having a big moment right now, but investing in a pair of Chelsea's means investing in a lifetime shoe. Although a black, leather style is most classic and doubtlessly urban chic, mix it up by trying different materials, colors and heel heights when finding your perfect Chelsea boot. When buying the perfect pair for yourself, keep in mind these three vital details: 

1. Stick to a traditional elastic side: a zipper side is not a genuine Chelsea boot, and the elastic defines a crucial part of the Chelsea boot's shape. 

2. A thin, leather sole is the most tailored and daper way to go, mirroring the boot's sleek intentions. 

3. Larger feet work best with a round toe, while smaller/thinner feet can explore a pointy toe option. 

Because of their endless versatility, the Chelsea boot will pair well with nearly any outfit you throw on, but check out the following outfits for a little style inspo!

(Pinterest/fashionista.com)
(Pinterest/fashionista.com)
(Pinterest/CatherineTran)
(Pinterest/CatherineTran)
(Pinterest/PreciousSpace)
(Pinterest/PreciousSpace)
(Pinterest/StephanieDuncan)
(Pinterest/StephanieDuncan)
(Pinterest/AbbeyStrokes)
(Pinterest/AbbeyStrokes)
(Pinterest/EatSleepWear)
(Pinterest/EatSleepWear)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reach Staff Reporter Rebecca Iloulian here. Follow her on Twitter.



 

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