Which Boots Can I Wear With A Suit?

Alden "Cordovan" cap-toe boot I’m looking for lace up boots (both black and brown) that can be worn with a suit, but that have something more interesting/cool/unique going on than the standard plain black side zip up. Something that can be worn with a suit but also dressed down a little. I know this is a broad question so if nothing comes to mind, maybe just brands?

– Jeff

Unlike ties, questions are never too broad. And this is a good one, since it let’s me introduce you to a boot that has long been a staple for gentlemen in the British Isles but has never been common over here. What you want is a traditional “brogue” boot … they straddle the line between traditional looks and stand-out style and will work with pretty much anything you can think to pair them with.

Until recently they have been a total chore to find on this side of the Atlantic, and if you wanted a decent pair you were stuck paying the hideous shipping fees associated with overseas retailers. Times change, however, and now one of my all-time favorites – the Cordovan cap toe from Alden, shown in the picture above – is available at J. Crew. They have a softer profile than the full-on brogue, so they tone down with a suit but still make a pair of jeans pop. They aren’t cheap, but these are some serious quality dogs, and you are going to get a decade or two of wear out of them.

J. Crew! I know!

If those aren’t quite your cup of tea and you have access to some brick-n-mortar stores that carry some of the better U.K. brands (or you feel like dealing with the ruinous cost of trans-Atlantic shipping) then these are a couple of other makers that I have a soft spot for:

Grenson:
Grenson Sharp two-tone

A modern and exceptionally clean take on the classic gentlemen’s country boot.. Every pair is still made by hand and every pair can be fully re-sewn and re-soled for a lifetime of wear. I especially love the “Sharp” in two-tone … they are, quite frankly, stunning.

Tricker’s:
Trickers Stow country boot

This is as old-school as it gets. No fancy urban updates here – these are real country boots with two centuries of use behind them. They aren’t for everyone, and getting a pair is going to put a serious dent in your wallet, but if you want to properly channel your inner “English County Gentleman” this is really the only way to go. These boots are going to outlast you, and probably look a lot better than you doing it.

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