Building a core wardrobe is all about versatility, but it doesn't need to start and finish with the clothing - you need core shoes too. To me, the Chelsea boot is the most versatile shoe, the equivalent of a leather jacket. It's something you can slip on (literally, there's no laces!) and wear out at night or during the day and look smart in.
HOLD UP, WHAT'S A CHELSEA BOOT?
Men's boots come in all different shapes and finishes, but a classic Chelsea is a narrow fit ankle boot, often in brown or black leather. It has a piece of elastic around the side of the ankle bone and often has a wooden or leather sole.
WHAT YOU CAN WEAR WITH THEM
To answer this question simply, the only thing you definitely wouldn't want to wear a pair of Chelsea boots with is shorts or cropped pants, because they're high-cut. What you can wear them with is jeans, chinos and even a more relaxed suit.
Most of the time, these boots come in different shades of brown or black leather. The more casual will always be brown and is perfect for pairing with denim or a chino, the black looks smart with a dark pant but can be worn both day and night. The next decider for choosing a boot is to choose between a smooth leather, suede or nubuck!
Smooth leather Chelsea boots are the most common to find in stores. They're soft and change colour with age and can be worn in most weather. It's important to waterproof these, even though they're regular leather, they'll last so much longer if you do!
Texture is an under appreciated part of mens style, in my opinion. Suede Chelsea boots are the perfect way to add some rugged depth to your outfit. Suede is much more delicate than nubuck, meaning you should be careful not to wear them on grass and overly wet days. Even if it's not raining, it's best to waterproof these after every one to two wears.
Nubuck leather looks like suede but is more durable and more suitable for winter conditions, like wet weather. You'll look super cosy in these with a pair of relaxed jeans and a knitted sweater, but you'll be even more cosy if you waterproof them!
Alarna Hope is a personal stylist and blogger based in Sydney, Australia. She loves makeover movies like Crazy, Stupid, Love and Devil Wears Prada and she's very good at talking about herself in the third person. You can find her on instagram @alarnahope or searching through clothing racks in Sydney City's shopping precinct.